After weeks of deliberation, I ordered the 38mm Apple Watch with sport band, in black. My reasoning for the 38mm Apple Watch was to go for the black sport band, which wasn’t an option with the aluminum Sport Watch in silver. While Apple can’t estimate popularity of specific models, it seems like this is the second glaring omission from the product line. The other being the lack of anything resembling gold that doesn’t cost the price of a Honda Civic. One would think that years of day one sellouts of gold iPhones would translate to a gold finish, even it were in aluminum. As for black, unless you get the Space Gray, you need to upgrade to the stainless steel model in order to get black. I can talk myself into pretty much any technology upgrade and the watch was no different. In addition to getting what I thought was a more appropriate color for my style, the upgrade also afforded me a more scratch resistant sapphire display and the stylish, yet easily scuff-able stainless steel bringing back memories of iPod backplates. I’ve still got a supply of Brasso, should I need it. At any rate, the sport band is standard on any Apple Watch below $599. The first upgraded band is the 38mm with classic buckle for $649 and 42mm version is $699. That’s a big investment for a first generation product. I had been of the thinking that the sweet spot is the upgraded watch case with sport band.
I wasn’t ready to pony up for any of the more expensive band options, at least at this point, figuring I could always add one later. You can buy any model Apple Watch and add any band, provided it’s the same size as your watch case (42mm or 38mm). If you add a band later, it’s basically a $50 additional cost, plus the cost of the band. You basically get a cut rate if you order the band with the watch.
I’ve been wearing my Apple Watch for the last few days. I started with the small band. It’s the one that came on the watch and it managed to fit my wrist, albeit at the final notch. I had heard that controlling the watch was easier with a snug fit, so I was content with small band. It wasn’t cutting off circulation snug and removing it didn’t leave any imprints.
The small sport band has not been comfortable. I’m not sure if it’s the material, the size of the band or if any band would cause the same reaction. Maybe I’m wearing it wrong. I’m half-kidding, as this watch thing is still new to me. There were points over the weekend (at night), when removing the watch was actually a bit of a relief. I missed the notifications, information at a glance and how it’s become my default controller for my home automation and alarm. Yes, I’m enjoying all of the glory of wearable technology. Still, it felt liberating removing the watch.
Not being a regular watch wearer, I’m not sure how a watch is supposed to feel. In anticipation of the Apple Watch, I dusted off my J.Crew Timex and put it back into action. If I was going to transition back to being a full-time watch wearer, I had better start some training. It’s roughly the same size as the 38mm and there isn’t any drastic difference in weight that should cause discomfort. If at all, the J.Crew watch was uncomfortable only when typing on my MacBook Pro. I can feel the Apple Watch with sport band and not in a good way.
I switched the larger Sport band today and will see how that goes. It’s not as snug as the small band, but it’s definitely not what I would describe as loose. What I’m describing could simply be a result of my wrist finding discomfort with any band. I’ve already convinced myself that I’d prefer the 42mm. If my wrist and sport band don’t find a happy place in the next week, I’ll be looking at $700. While it might be uncomfortable for my wallet, it might be the price to pay for finding comfort.
I am relatively ok with software issues that are symbolic of a 1.0 product, but want the physical watch to be, perfect. Much of what I’ve described with my experience underscores the personal aspect of the Apple Watch. Before you even get to software and apps, there are sizes, bands and materials. It’s the most complex Apple product purchase I’ve made and not having the ability to try before I bought, made it that more difficult. Finding the perfect wrist companion might half the battle. Wearing a watch might require re-training my brain that going forward, my wrist must find comfort with the shackles of technology.