I think Apple is in the best place to move smart watches to a point that traditional watch wearers will consider these devices to be acceptable. I laughed when the Apple Watch Edition was announced and scoffed at the price. I am laughing less at the ceramic version available today, but still see the folly in producing ‘luxury’ smart watches.
The thing is that it is not about luxury when it comes to making a watch that one wants to wear every day and which can be relied upon to do what you need throughout a busy day. The basics of accurate time, notifications that only appear when you are not using your iPhone and subtle fitness reminders do not get in the way, but do enhance particular aspects of what needs to be done.
Apple seems to understand that whereas others seem to be heading towards a world where a smart watch should be yet another computer that you carry (wear) around with you. Apple’s careful planning and implementation has been viewed as negative for many products, especially Macs, but in the case of a watch it fits well.
The subtle changes in the series 2 Apple Watch highlighted that Apple does in fact understand what a watch should be. The waterproofness and extra battery life are crucial to anyone who wants to wear a watch 99% of the time. The speedier processor ensures that there are very few moments where you feel frustrated with what is going on and the brighter screen also helps to quicker gauge the time when out on a sunny day. Such simple advances, but they mean a lot in the real world.
To me, a watch (smart or not) is a success when I largely forget that I am wearing it. It should be comfortable and light enough to not get banged on desks or to be physically noticeable under a shirt cuff. I should not need to interact with it unless I want to and when I do, it should offer an almost invisible and immediate experience.
The series 2 is not there yet, but most importantly it is heading in the right direction and one which will hopefully include always-on time display and a deeper understanding of what a watch should be.
Aesthetically, the Apple Watch remains a monstrosity in my eyes and one which has further broken a golden rule in the move to series 2. The height of a watch has to be in line with the width and in the case of the Apple Watch, it is top heavy and even the extra millimetre is noticeable. Watches are getting bigger by the year, but rarely do you see one where the height is so apparent and this is an area where Apple would do well to return to their favoured strategy of making things thinner. Then again, I still want better battery performance to go along with that.
Overall, the series 2 is a good solution for me and one that I will be wearing every day until I see something very special come to replace it. That may be a hybrid watch from a traditional manufacturer (Casio?) or that may be the Apple Watch series 3. Time will tell.