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Part Retrospective Part Review: The First Generation Apple Watch

- By Keith Lehman (PA) 2/14/18

Apple Watch on top of pocket watch display at the National Watch And Clock Museum.

What would a review of the First Generation Apple Watch be like if it were released today and not two years ago? Would it still be the industry-shaking product that we know that it is today? Just how far ahead of its rivals, including modern-day competitor models and excluding later models of itself, is the First Generation Apple Watch? But first some retrospective.

When Apple first introduced its watch to the public at the Apple Special Event in Cupertino, CA, in 2014, Samsung alone already had six smartwatches available to the public. Years of rumors that Apple was developing a watch spurred on competitors to get a jump on the looming smartwatch market. They included the usual suspects: Google, Samsung, and Microsoft. But now Apple was taking on a whole new roster of enemies—every brand of wristwatch maker in the world.

Unlike many other successful Apple products, the Apple Watch wasn’t initially received with the usual fanfare from its base. Many Apple cultists, myself included, were skeptical of how indispensable to our lives the Apple Watch promised to be. My first impression was typical of most tech people on a budget. Apple already had me on a computer, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV and were now telling me I needed a watch. A watch, really? Steve Jobs wasn’t even known to regularly wear a watch!

For Apple fans, wristwatch lovers, and tech people, something felt rotten in the state of Denmark. It was completely an industry-disruptive and gravity-defying promise. Looking back, it’s what Apple has always done with its blockbuster products, but many journalists and industry experts were skeptical.

Apple proved all doubts wrong. In two short years the Apple Watch became the most sold wristwatch in the world and is currently on track make more profit than the entire Swiss wristwatch industry combined. In the next segment I’ll share my experience using the First Generation Apple Watch and explain why Apple is to smartwatch like Heinz is to ketchup.

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