Weren’t Macintosh, iPod and iPhone groundbreaking in terms of their form design? Those products defied prevailing design conventions of their category and were still hugely successful. No wonder then, followers of Apple were speculating Apple Watch to redefine the way watches look. For example, consider the following concept by Todd Hamilton, which I am sure you have seen more than once in Apple Watch related articles before Apple Watch was finally unveiled.
And, look what Apple gave us! A product which even wristwatch magazines are praising – “…really pays great homage to traditional watchmaking and the environment in which horology was developed” [Hodinkee].
But wait a minute. Is Apple Watch just a timepiece? Hell no! In terms of functionality, it goes way way beyond time-keeping. It has introduced several new meanings to the wristwatch category. Timekeeping is the old one, but then there are at least four others.
Why then did Apple devoutly stick to the traditional design of wristwatch, going so far as to even retain crown? Because they understood the fact that what we wear on our body is not just about functionality but is equally about ‘fashion’. Fashion, the phenomenon, exists because we want (need) to belong to social groups. Apple Watch is a product which Apple wants us to wear throughout the day even as we move through different social contexts. By making its wearable gadget (read Apple Watch) resemble wristwatches, Apple considerably lowered the threshold for the wearable’s mass adoption, thereby pulling a great trick!