Posts Tagged ‘luxury’

The big day is here. The Apple Watch is now in the hands of the lucky few who ordered one on release day.

Apple are currently experiencing supply constraints meaning that if you ordered one now, you won’t receive one until late June.

I went to the local Apple Store on the 11th April to try on a few models and see if they worked for me. Here’s how the 42mm stainless steel model looked:

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Demo Mode Activity App

It is gorgeous. The band is expertly crafted and compliments the watch face perfectly. As a luxury watch owner, I was expecting to see a big difference between this watch and the ones I own, but I just couldn’t fault it.The watch and straps look and feel to be made with precision and with an exceptionally high quality. I stood there unable to choose which strap combination I would buy and in reality thinking of how many of them I would purchase over time. The steel bracelet and Milanese Loop were particularly beautifully made.

I think Apple have hit the nail on the head here, you are buying one face and then get to choose multiple straps. Essentially you will have a watch for different occasions as the straps were so simple to remove with a click of a button but yet felt so secure. Imagine buying a Rolex or Breitling with a leather strap and deciding to buy a steel bracelet for diversity later. The luxury brand will charge you £600+ for that strap, where as Apple ask you for on average around £120.

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Milanese Loop

Apple’s appointment system allows for fifteen minutes to try on up to three different watch and band combinations. In reality, I tried on many more.

It should be noted that the watches they allow you to try on are locked into a demo mode which Apple staff tell me is to prevent people trying them on and running out of door. Fair enough, but it meant that I couldn’t test the digital crown for example to see how easy it is to operate. For actually testing the watch, they have one bolted to the table.
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Demo Mode iMessage

I tried using the Apple Watch’s various apps and found them to be of the typical iOS quality. I came away without ordering one as I came to a strange conclusion. When the Apple Watch was first announced I thought ‘I’d love a smart watch, but I’d want it to look like a normal watch’.
After trying one on, I had completely the opposite reaction. I don’t think I need any of the Apple Watch’s features, but I want one precisely because it looks so good. What a turnaround.

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Tag Heuer have just announced that they are producing an Android powered smart watch in partnership with Intel and Google. There are no specifics on specification or design yet, which makes the timing of the announcement look like a brazen attempt to make people think twice before purchasing an Apple Watch next month.

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Data from a number of customer surveys appear to suggest that up to 18% of iPhone 6/6+ users may buy an Apple Watch and, if true, that’s a very real dent in the Swiss watch market. Tag, along with other premium Swiss watchmakers such as Breitling, have now taken notice.

Most of those surveyed who answered ‘Yes – I will be buying an Apple Watch’ will most likely have never owned anything other than a traditional timepiece. 18% is a very high number for a market that aside from Pebble, doesn’t really exist.

There seems to be some trepidation from potential buyers, who may like the idea of a smart watch but just don’t know for sure if it’s for them. Apple knows this and from April 10th, will have all models available in store so that customers can test drive it themselves. For those who find it a bit too much of a leap to make and perhaps come away still preferring the classic watch look, Tag Heuer could be ideally placed.

If a Tag Heuer smart watch looked like a traditional timepiece with smartphone features and was priced around the £1000-£1500 mark, I’m sure it would sell very well. I for one would be interested!