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Apple announces the Apple Watch

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Time and Watches focuses on mechanical watches but from time to time we make some exceptions. We believe that the much hyped Apple Watch which Apple announced today at the Cupertino event deserves our attention.


Coming in two different rectangular-shaped case sizes, 38mm and 42mm, the Apple Watch will be available in early 2015 with prices starting at US$ 349 and in a wide range of case materials and bands which should  help almost anyone to find the watch that meet the personal style.


The main input device is the multifunctional Digital Crown that lets the wearer zoom, scroll, and select without covering the screen. The combined use of the Digital Crown and the sensitive touch display makes it easy and fast to interact with the Apple Watch.


The back of the Apple Watch features a heart rate sensor together with the new Taptic Engine, a linear actuator inside the watch that produces haptic feedback. Whenever you receive an alert or notification, or perform a function like turning the Digital Crown or pressing down on the display, you feel a tactile sensation that’s recognizably different for each kind of interaction.


Charging the new device will be easy and secure thanks to inductive charging. Free of exposed contacts, the connector will snap into place automatically when held near the back of the watch.


Apple presented three collections: the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition.

The Apple Watch is available with polished stainless steel or space black stainless steel cases with a sapphire crystal to protect the display. It can be combined to three different leather bands, a link bracelet, a Milanese loop, and a band made from high-performance fluoroelastomer.


The cases of the Apple Watch Sport collection are made from lightweight anodized aluminum in silver and space gray. The display is protected by Ion-X glass, an alumina-silicate glass fortified at the molecular level to offer special resistance to scratches and impact, while the integrated fluoroelastomer band comes in five different colors.


Last, the Apple Watch Edition collection features six models crafted from 18-karat yellow or rose gold with a display protected by polished sapphire crystal.

 

Each Apple Watch comes with a range of watch faces which can be integrated with specialized functions, or complications as we usually refer to them in watchmaking.



The other main features include: messages, phone, mail, calendar, maps, built-in heart rate sensor, accelerometer, walkie-talkie, sketch, Siri and of course many upcoming apps that developers can write using the Apple's WatchKit.


Something that will attract many users is the Activity app which provides a simple and powerful graphic of daily activity transforming the Apple Watch in a health and fitness companion, especially if combined to the GPS functions of an iPhone 5 or later. In 2015 the Apple Watch will also take advantage of the Apple Pay payment method where available.

Overall we do not see the Apple Watch as a competitor for high-end mechanical watches, rather for multifunction quartz models. We also think that the Apple Watch could contribute to bring the younger generations back to the "watch" object which they have replaced with smartphones.

Lot of details about the Apple Watch can be found at the Apple web site.

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