Why I’m Breaking Up With the Apple Watch

Jun 11, 2015 · 511 comments
EEE (1104)
Thanks, Vanessa.... and now that I own one, I feel the same about my 700HP Dodge Charger... Who needed it ???
MikeInMI (Novi, MI)
Nice article. Well written and brings up many good points.
Ted Mead (Rochester, NY)
I've used a Moto 360 since they came out and have enjoyed it. It's a quick convenient way to check messages, manage emails (quick to delete the obvious unwanted ones), and see who is calling. I can see why an Apple-fan would have fun with one, if they have the $$$ to spare.

The fact that I find interesting is how complex (and IMHO ugly) the interface is. More buttons than a Mac. This is the area that I believe has suffered from the loss of Mr. Jobs. For once the Android interface is more focused, cleaner, and easier to use. It seems to be trying to do to much (I suspect to warrant the expensive price).

And to all the people spending $350 at a minimum, don't forget it will be outmoded in 18-24 months and your cell phone carrier isn't going to subsidize it.
Nancy (<br/>)
being old, I have worn a watch since I needed to be places on time, and that is when I started high school. wall clocks were not always correct, to say the least and it mattered. The same with working; I was to be on time. I got used to knowing what time it was.

My cell time is correct, I guess but it is a nuisance to take it out and do whatever to get it to light up with the time, as opposed to a quick glance at my wrist. It seems that the apple watch has to be physically requested to tell the time too. Not useful.

So there it is. I care not at all what my heart rate is, or if I have an e-mail, but want to know what time it is. ( I guess my cell would alert me to e-mail, but I don't keep it on unless I want to use it because horrendous data costs you youngers accept as necessary. )

And when I read that I would have to lug the i pad or iPhone with me anyway there seems no reason to buy this rather clunky thing, except to show off that one has cash to burn.
BG (New York)
what were your expectations when you bought the watch? The effort you exert to avoid associating yourself with any consumer products that could result in being mistaken as materialistic seems inconsistent with the label of a breakup with your apple watch. It's just a watch. I'd be curious to read the article about why you broke up with your original watch if you're working on a follow up piece.
Alla Gringaus (New York)
Apple is not sucking in you, and I know many people who were not into Apple and after using its product for a while, can't live without it. Before you spend a few hundred dollars, do your due diligence and read up, then judge - is this product for you or not. It's okay to be impulsive though, and if you don't like what you purchased, return it. I must thank you though, for this article - it's a excellent piece of user feedback. I hope Apple's product managers are jumping up and down.
akeklia salmon (bloomfield nj)
I think everyone is going to have there own thoughts on this because some may love the apple watch while some dislike it .some may cant handle the watch maybe its too much or they simply don't understand how to use the watch. Its nice that you try something new but it don't seem like your type of watch .I think the watch is nice I like that's its small and you can still use your phone even without having your phone really in your hand . the watch can come in handy some many times.your phone is in your bag but you have a big call coming in but cant find your phone don't worry just answer it from your apple watch. I think the watch is great I used one before and it was really simply and easy to use to me I like the watch I am working on getting my own :) I think the watch is great but others may think other wise but I think you should try the watch out for your self . this was a good article I just don't think it gos for everyone
RetiredinOhio (Ohio)
I think it's pretty clear that the author was never destined to enjoy or appreciate the cellphone/ watch concept regardless of brand, but merely bought it to make a few dollars writing this silly breaking up story. She admits as much right from the start, when she elevates herself above what she considers to be the great unwashed rest of us.
Grossness54 (West Palm Beach, FL)
Yet another reason why I've never met a trend I couldn't ignore. lol
ridgeguy (No. CA)
I really admire the engineering in the Apple Watch.

But there's nearly never an occasion when the time isn't available from some device within my gaze, and I don't want yet one more device to admin. Life is too short.
DR (Connecticut)
All this chatter reminds me of the first iPad's release. It seemed a little silly. It filled a void that didn't appear to exist. It was a giant iPhone. Most ridiculed the name. A few years later, I go to a piano recital and one hundred grandmothers hold up an iPad to make a video. Nobody asks about it. Nobody requests to try it. Nobody ridicules it. It's an accepted part of the culture and every tech company has attempted to mimic it. I don't have an Apple Watch. I couldn't think of a use for an iPad until I received one as a gift. Now I need more. The Apple Watch could come back to haunt its early critics. The next generations will undoubtedly be smaller, more fashionable, and eventually everyone will assume everyone else is wearing one to make videos of the piano recital.
Brian Hutcherson (Sandpoint, ID)
I guess I just can't get excited about 'wearables'. You would think I'm the prime demographic since I'm under 30, college educated, and grew up in California with a bevy of technology in the home, but to me they're just another consumer-milking gimmick. Even if the Apple watch was priced below $100, I think I would still value the $100 more.

Then again, I also can't get myself interested in the latest marginally-faster smartphone. I relish my older, lower tier devices, even though I could comfortably afford a more expensive item. It makes me feel like I'm beating the con job I guess. It's not like my conversation improves on a fancier device...and if I'm so immersed in researching a subject that I need more internet-delivering 'oomph', I wait until I'm home where it's quiet in front of my desktop, with a larger screen and superior interfacing, and I'm not ignoring people/the world around me. Plus I have snacks. And a beer or wine. And a comfy chair. ;)

I could possibly see myself using some sort of performance tracker/GPS for mountain biking so I can see my trail routes and if my times are improving or not, but honestly it's more fun to just experience the real world and interact with it (what's the real benefit of taking the human interaction out of a boarding pass?). I guess that's a small part of why I left California for Idaho. I just can't get myself to care about tech fads.
David (San Francisco)
Judging by the number of Apple Watch postings on Craigslist I believe this author's experience with the watch is pretty typical. Perhaps the feelgood marketing buzz and novelty has worn off.
Mark Lebow (Milwaukee, WI)
The Macalope is having a regular coup de foudre with this. Not the Watch, just articles that announce how the writer is breaking up with it.
Channie (Seoul)
The problem with this article is that she does not mention why she bought the watch in the first place. She just lists endless complaints about the watch. What did she want from the watch? just tell the time? If there was a specific reason for her purchasing decision, I'm sure she could have included in the article next to her gripes about the watch how she would it like to have worked. That would have made this article more convincing. But as it is written, she just doesn't like it. That's it. Doesn't make it a compelling piece.
Marlow (Washington, DC)
She didn't buy it. She got it so she could write this article.
chris Gilbert (brewster)
What's going to induce economic growth if gadgets start losing their appeal. This person is down-right anti-American.
Beowulf (Natchitoches, LA)
I like tablets (yes an ipad, and a Kindle Fire), and laptops: I use the all day every day. I hate cellphones as useless time wasters for the most part. My ex wife is angry at me most of the time because she can't call me to whine about her life--why would I want a cellphone? Most of my day is spent within three miles of work, what is the worst that can happen?

Why do people who love gadgets like the iwatch get offended when I refuse to be sucked in to the over hyped, and over rated new toys? Not only are they time wasters, but they cost a fortune that I choose to spend on my 12 year old daughter, not a gadget that will be out dated in a few months.
Desmid (Ypsilanti, MI)
I thought I might like an Apple watch. When the product became available I decided it was not for me. I have not worn a wrist watch since college days and this is a long time ago. So putting somethng on my wrist that I have not done for almost 50 years would have been a definite change in the way I do things. I thought having to charge the unit every night was going to be a drag when traveling but it is amazing that the little device can get as much time to be active s it does - great technological achievement. Also, with it having to be paired with another device is a change in the way I carry out my day. I am a strong Apple fan for computers and my iPhone. I just will not migrate to the watch for it will not be adding to my life as it would for others. That is the nice thing about technology we can adopt or not depending on how we want to live our lives.
CW (Seattle)
I wish I had friends who warned me about a coup de foudre. Once I looked it up, I would feel very sophisticated. Mon dieu!
vicki (san francisco)
It's a $350 watch that tells accurate time, displays day/date at a size I can read, and allows me to get handy reminders and data at a glance. It is not life-changing, but I didn't expect it to be. My Apple watch does not impede my ability to walk my dog, interact with friends and family, or engage in non-tech based activities. I never considered it a status symbol, fashion accessory or expected life-changing technology. At its core, it's a tool, like any watch. I control it, not the other way around. And I like it.
matthewdlyons (washington, dc)
I think articles like this are interesting because it usually involves one person's take, but they are viewed or received as an admonishment why everyone else should feel the same. I tend to real the "Why I'm..." articles more neutrally. Friedman did touch on a number of things that resonated with me about the Apple Watch, in particular the notion that I don't buy things to impress others or fit in. I am a pretty big tech nerd, though, so I won't knock anyone for being an early adopter or liking something that doesn't float my boat.
Kelly (NJ)
I haven't seen or worn the iWatch, but I think most of this review is a little unfair. The first half of the article basically describes why she wouldn't be the right person to own one so she begins her experiment with a negative opinion of the product. Sure it probably needs some kinks worked out, but overall it's kind of nice to see an item you don't have to fumble for. Additionally, one thing I truly enjoy about apple products is that they all sync together. When I'm on my iMac and my phone is far away in another room, I find is extremely convenient to get text notifications on my computer and be able to respond back right away, which is just one way the products work together. Therefore, I think the iWatch will work for many people out there and this review definitely shouldn't discourage those from trying it.
curtis dickinson (Worcester)
Hahaha. I love that Friedman was a person that Apple couldn't seduce. It's fresh air after being smothered by reading all about the smarmy, Apple-loving, techno-geek talking heads who would label a dumpster an iDumpster if the Apple logo were imprinted on it.
Doug Keller (VA)
To all those who don't want or need an Apple watch: Good for You! Bravo!

Now can you tone down the snark and harsh judgements heaped upon those who decide they DO want one? Do you get the same treatment for choosing NOT to have one?

How is the view from your high horse?
Stephen Folkson (Oakland Gardens, NY 11364)
This woman is absolutely right. I could not agree with her more.

In the end I think both Apple and Google, no matter how much I love both of them, are straying away from what they do best.

Sad, but true.
Shawn G. Chittle (Alphabet City - East Village - Manhattan - New York)
I'm an Apple Watch owner.

Number of times I pull my phone out in social situations when I get a text: 0
Number of times I'm rude to the people around me by being on my phone: 0

Apple Watch has been a wonderfully casual method to get information / messages from people without bothering the people who around me... now.
Steve (USA)
@SGC: "... a wonderfully casual method ..."

So you are just as inattentive and self-absorbed, but now others don't notice?
Jack K (Los Angeles, CA)
At this moment, it's a solution searching for a problem.
OpposeBadThings (United Kingdom)
I can see where she comes from in general, but I find that its been a fascinating talking point, created interesting debate and we already know major improvements and developments are in the pipeline with OS2 and the revolutionist native app developments. I did wonder for a while If I would like it. I did wonder for a while (weeks 2-3) if it was needed, and he I suddenly realised I was bale to keep my iPhone 6+ out f sight, rarely looked at until I needed to. Yes I have to put glasses on to see it (same with the phone) and yes it is a pretty black boxed screen a lot of the time. But it does what I hoped it would do and its made me far more aware of health minima than otherwise I would be. I now, despite a moment or too of doubt, wouldn't be without it.
Mike Bean (Des Moines)
Not submersible?? Oops!
Bill Sprague (Tokyo)
The watch is just plain rude. Like Millenials tend to be. And, like a phone, it's nothing but a handheld (wristwearable?) computer. And what do you think voicemail was invented for? If someone took another call from someone else while I was talking to that person I'd not bother with them anymore. Terrorism? It's not about cutting someone's head off in the desert it's about cutting the power. When the ATMs don't work and phones and wristdevices don't work anymore then you'll REALLY hear the screams. And I'm not a Luddite, either. All I have to do is watch TV!
Maria (San Francisco,CA)
I just looks ugly, specially when the screen is all black. They didn't make it cool looking like their other devices.
Joseph (Washington DC)
I never saw the appeal. Never bought it and I won't for a revision or two. First of which is how long the battery lasts. 4am to 8pm. That's my schedule and how long the battery may or may not last. Then I have to recharge it nightly. I'm used to wearing my Fitbit Surge or may go for the Polar Sports Watch. Both last a week on your wrist. Secondly, it's so fragile, just smack it against a concrete wall and it's dead. Unless you spent $18,000, be very careful.
Barry (Sausalito, Ca.)
Bravo Ms. Friedman! A voice of sanity in the wilderness.
I have never owned any other brand of computer since my Mac llCX. I have a seven-year-old MacPro tower, an iPad and an iPhone6. I would imagine Steve Jobs is rotating at about 400 RPM if he was not cremated, at Apple going into the fashion business. I am in awe of the technological advances of the Internet, my life has changed astonishingly for the better through its existence. But a fashion statement on my wrist? Not likely. Thank you for providing a modicum of sanity.
jaytay777 (San Francisco, CA)
I don't want an apple watch because you still have to carry a phone but if I did buy a new type of device I wouldn't complain that people didn't act like it was an old type of device. That's just silly.
E C (New York City)
The watch will only became useful when I can use it without a phone nearby
Dave Cushman (SC)
Never seen the watch, besides here though but it seems to me that it should be round with a face or screen which rotates so as to be always vertical. That way those of us with small wrists could wear it on the inside of our wrists and view it by holding our arm vertically.
Speaking on it could then be as easy as putting ones hand on the side of their head.

I new type of device needs a new type of interface,
Helene (Fair Lawn, NJ)
What about a good, old-fashioned Timex? I am not a Techie, but I need watch to keep track of the day. Hank Plotkin
indigoreefs (boston)
Very nice piece Vanessa. While evolution built the need to be defined by labels in our DNA, seeking identity through "corporate labels" seem a bit of a waste of a life. As in "Here lies Elizabeth, she wore Versace."

Just one clarification (as an Apple fanboy and once proud owner of a 2e). Your argument is not that the iWatch is not for you. Rather, the points you make suggest that you are not an early adopter. You seem to love you iPhone. I would guess you were not an early adopter of the iPhone either.
Michael (Ojai, CA)
A brilliant display of writing ability, and, as is more and more common in the Times and especially its magazine, without much substance. Snarky and smart, but just plain silly.

I'm over seventy and I find the Apple watch has improved my life in many ways. I now turn off all sounds and ringers on my phone since the wonderful haptic tingle is plenty communicative; the silence is wonderful. If there's a text message or a request to Skype I know about it right away. As for email I can easily see if it's junk or see if it needs immediate attention, all on the surprisingly readable small screen.

I didn't turn on the Fitness feature for a month but now appreciate being reminded to stand up if I've sat for way too long and knowing how many steps I've taken in a day can give a sense of accomplishment.

The watch is another step in this age of miracles. And only yesterday did I realize that if I fall down I can say to the air and my watch, "Hey Siri, call my wife."
Rick Benstock (BuffaloNY)
I don't want the watch but I like this fellow boomer's attitude :)
Swann du (Charlus)
It's time to pay attention to life and death and the world around us and dismiss all these superfluous conspicuous consumption items and start paying attention to what's really important. It's all become sadly disturbing: gadgets, gadgets, gadgets. And while I don't consider myself anti-social, I feel my privacy has been invaded when I get a notice that I was at a restaurant or party of whatever. Maybe it's just that we're going to hell in a hand basket at the mercy of greedy corporations emphasizing inequality. I don't "like" it.
Bryan (California)
I can readily understand why someone might not want an Apple Watch. But to project that opinion of everyone else's need is like saying no one should own a pickup truck (or a Lexus) because they really don't need it. The Apple Watch is a gizmo, not jewelry. It's sold in a computer store. I love it. The people who don't want one have little insight into the utility it might have for the people who have them. And I don't think we should all drive a Toyota Corolla either.
JustWondering (New York)
"Talking into thin air". That pretty much describes everyone using a Blue Tooth headset/earpiece. If you're a male, the headset is pretty obvious. On the other hand women, with more hair and covered ears not so much. We have gotten used to it though. However, the population that will recognize the Dick Tracy posture of talking to your wrist, they're aging out a bit and probably aren't the targeted demographic for Apple's phone anyway.
J.L. (London)
Great article, Vanessa! I would not buy an Apple watch to check e-mails, articles, etc. on a little screen. I'd rather spend money on a real watch, swiss-made. Hope Tech understands that some Fashion accessories are not gadgets.
ibivi (Toronto ON Canada)
Ms Friedman based on how you describe yourself you are not the intended customer for the Apple watch. A nice analog suits you just fine.
Milgritos (ciudad de nueva york)
analog for day wear Movado for evening wear.
Milgritos (ciudad de nueva york)
Lol....analog for day wear n soccer n Movado blank dot for evening wear!
David (San Francisco)
All the i-stuff is just me-me-me-stuff.
Paula (Boston, Ma)
I would be happy to take your watch off your hands! I do appreciate the reasons you are breaking it off though--especially the part about knowing when you're fit and when you're not. Same reason to have a love/hate relationship with the scale. Generally speaking, I know when I need to drop a few and don't need a device to remind me.
John Matera (Andover, MA)
The Dick Tracy posture for using Apple Watch is no more or less a problem than holding a phone. We'll get used to it.

While speaking face-to-face, glancing at your wrist is more tempting than looking at your phone - and even more annoying because it is also the universal gesture for, "I am running short of time and you are boring me." We won't get accustomed to either rudeness.
Sophia (nj)
Technology is the future, and fashion will be always, but combining the two isn't as straight forward as it would seem. The problem is that it's all these big tech companies trying to get into "fashion" by making their products wearable. Just because technology can be worn, does not make it fashion, and they shouldn't market it as so. They should just claim to be another technology accessory to make people's lives easier, there's no need to dip into fashion.
Tired of Hypocrisy (USA)
"First everyone wanted to know about it. Then they wanted to try it. Then they made certain assumptions about me."

Assumptions about you? Definitely not the watch's problem!
tme portland (<br/>)
Bring the money and the jobs back, Apple...OR we will break up with you.
Completely Normal (Pacific Palisades)
The Apple watch is, in my mind, similar to the Segway - a device created with the expectation that it would create its own market.
As it happens, it is currently fashionable to wear outsized wristwatches and/or bracelets. Go to the jewelry section of any department store and you're likely to see display cases loaded with them. In this market, the Apple Watch can find a degree of welcome, but it will never be able to get aby smaller, so that as the fashion trendline moves away, the device will lose any commercial value.
Not that any of this matters NOW, of course, since fashion is all about trend.
Good luck with your new toy, Apple, enjoy the ride. It won't last.
Upfrontlad (USA)
How many people ruin themselves by laying out money on trinkets of frivolous utility? What pleases these lovers of toys is not so much the utility, as the aptness of the machines which are fitted to promote it. All their pockets are stuffed with little conveniencies. They contrive new pockets, unknown in the clothes of other people, in order to carry a greater number.

Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. 1790
rixax (Toronto)
Great article. Couldn't agree more. I never wear watches anyway. That said, if you don't want it, can I have it?
Marilyn (New Haven)
May I purchase it from you? I'd like to try it for myself. Thank you.
Kat Perkins (San Jose CA)
Brave and honest writing
Hoping we can sort out useful/helpful technology while also returning to a time when people looked at each other on street rather than their devices.
Keith S. (Philadelphia Suburbs, PA)
So this review is about form over function. About societal views and interactions with the watch than actually use of it. While I have limited interest in buying one, I find this review to be a strange assessment. It seems the author has some personal issues better suited for the therapists chair than a review in the NY Times. You really care and find it annoying that people want to see the novelty that is the Apple Watch? What did you expect. weird.
pillpoppinpuppy (nyc)
The other thing I don't get is that years ago, Apple freed me from having to wear a watch. Now it wants me to put something even more conspicuous than a watch on my very-happy-to-be-freed wrist. It just smacks of scamminess.
jpduffy3 (New York, NY)
There is nothing so rude as a person who persistently looks at his or her wristwatch during a speech or a presentation. It is just plain rude and it typically signals boredom or lack of interest in the subject matter or worse.

We are going to have to change this long standing social reaction before putting your smart phone (or at least part of one) on your wrist where a wristwatch would normally go.
Doug Keller (VA)
Take a look at the first bicycle — its aesthetic appeal and usefulness.
Take a look at the first car — and the scorn heaped upon it by many.
The first desktop.
The first IPod. iPhone. IPad (and all of the attempts to replicate or improve upon these by competitors).

Snap judgements mean little when you take the long view.

It does make for an entertaining article -- and interesting to note that the author's first objection is to being identified by the watch she wears (and the attention drawn by being an early adopter — though I'm doubting from the context that she of her own volition went out to buy it for herself).

Followed by her establishing her identity by her 'breakup' with it — and a number of commenters who establish or assert their identity by what they reject (accompanied in many cases by a rather harsh judgement rendered upon those whom they see with the watch but apparently do not know).

In some cases, it seems, a sense of self-worth or identity is validated by the scorn you heap upon others.

Whether you accept the watch or reject it, it's all about how you assert your identity, isn't it? So why be judgmental of others?

Meanwhile, innovation moves on, and Apple, among other companies, whistles by the graveyard of snap judgements. I'm sure the folks at Cupertino are saying, 'Duly noted. We'll get back to you.'

Take the long view. Whether you find usefulness or beauty in it right now is up to you. Isn't America's progress tied to innovation?
I wouldn't want the smaller watch either. So what.
Garon Galloway (Kent, WA)
I use a Samsung Note personally and a Windows phone for work and I have an iPad Mini and an iPod that several of my children use. So having extensive experienced all three of the major mobile worlds, there is no question that Android is a year ahead of Apple, and Apple is a year ahead of the Windows phone. It's really not even close. Apples patented multi-finger controls are not intuitive at all. Androids widgets and 3rd party keyboards are just better, period. Windows is slowly adding features like notifications but their buttons are not very re-definable and there are so few developers making apps for it. I've tried them all and Apple enjoys so much popularity that they aren't on the cutting edge in the utility of their devices, they attract a lot of developers so the apps are plentiful but using an iPad after experiencing Android is just painful.

I've had a Samsung Gear 2 watch that I've used for over a year that I love to answer calls in the car or catch notifications. People notice it a lot lately because they think its a iWatch. I'm glad the iWatch is around because it will push developers to create more useful software for wearables, but I wouldn't trade my Samsung devices for Apple products, for all the reason mentioned above and many more. If you don't believe me, borrow a friends device and try them for yourself. I have no brand loyalty; I love utility, ease-of-use and intuitiveness, so I currently recommend Samsung Galaxy.
Matthew (Tallahassee)
The watch cements Apple's role more fully in the luxury market, and carries an unapologetic tang of elitism. A certain sector of the tech market, which includes me, finds that distasteful, increasingly so--a certain ressentiment now informs the antagonism toward the company's products. (And they pay no taxes--how helpful to all of us!) Indeed, the advent of the Dell XPS 13 and Asus Zenbook UX305--far cheaper ultrabooks that best Apple's laptops significantly on several fronts--is also helping to underline this identification with style over substance or practical need (the watch still "awaits its killer app"), shining a light on the way that Apple has moved ever further from the one core virture that its overpriced products (to now) always carried--an absolute (if staid) reliability that increasingly conservative and elitist Boomers could rely on not to threaten them too gravely. Whether gouging your customers so that they can pat themselves on the back is a winning strategy long-term, for less and less real technical advantage. . . I'm not so sure. Bang & Olufson stereo equipment looked great at one time too. There are just so many other inventive products out there, and open-source software is so much more fertile and generous a model. Apple would do much better to come up with a truly elegant $800 laptop that meets most users' needs.
Ryan (Australia)
vanessa might not like it, but these women seem to love Applewatch:
Katy Perry, Liu Wen, Alyssa Milano, Beyonce, Sophie Turner, ChristyTurlington, Liberty Ross, Anna Wintour, Karlie Kross, Kate Bosworth, and many more...
alex9 (Toronto)
and how many of those were paid to wear it? And you define yourself by those people?
pat (USA)
If you're breaking up with your watch, send it to me!
Omar Traore (Heppner, Oregon)
Numbers-driven neurosis or nicer way to live? This one should keep the public distracted from complex issues like drones, torture, 'free trade,' spying, climate disruption, poverty, and . . . plutocracy. Until the next gadget, celebrity meltdown, or pseudo-election comes along.
The Jetman (NYC)
Even if the price were almost zero, I can't get excited about what is essentially a watch. I was the 1st person to own a computer decades ago, so I appreciate living on the bleeding edge. But I can't get past the idea of adding a gadget, which is tethered to another gadget and on and on. This is the 2nd article I've read in the NYT about this device and it doesn't make much sense to me. If it could realistically replace a phone, then I might be more favorable.

If there are those who can make use of it, so be it. But this seems to be much ado about what is at best a niche device for people who have a bit too much time on their hands....
scratchbaker (AZ unfortunately)
I don't even own a cellphone or smartphone. So I don't spend any time staring at a phone or showing other people photos they wish they didn't have to see. The watch's appeal is beyond me. Better than "keeping up with the Joneses": BE a Jones.
Jesse T (Denver)
the author of this article is terribly honest.
grabbyg (new york)
I love my apple watch. I love taking a call on it every now and then. I love looking at my wrist to see and answer messages. I love standing up when it tells me to. And I love that as an early adopter I will see the OS grow, just as it did on my first iPhone. Do I care what people think if they see me performing these actions on my watch? No. Life is too short. I'm a geek. I love being a geek. It's fun. P.S. friends don't seem to mind my being a geek when they need help with any of their gadgets or computers.
Completely Normal (Pacific Palisades)
"I love standing up when it tells me to." Perhaps. But there are very few actual human beings who feel as you do. The day a machine tells me what to do is the day I pull the plug on the machine.
andrew (dc)
You bought a gadget to "free you" from your other gadget? That makes a lot of sense. Just admit you like having a lots of gadgets. The watch provides no functionality not already contained in the phone. Its superfluous. That's fine, but let's not pretend its "feeing" anyone. No GPS and no cell transceiver also means that you can't be "too freed" since your iPhone has to be within a few feet of you all times.
Lure D. Lou (Boston)
Technology obsession has become an excuse for living. Not one interesting person I know cares a whit for what kind of phone he/she has and certainly not what kind of watch. It's pathetic. People should be out and about doing things: saving the world, writing novels, falling in love. Obsession with gadgets is a kind of masturbation for the imaginatively challenged, porn for those starved for real experience. All of these things are aimed for the young but they really ought to be designed for the old.
Geo Williams (redneck Florida)
"... It's pathetic. People should be out and about doing things: saving the world, writing novels, falling in love."

I'm betting that social media, made possible only by the use of gadgetry that you liken to masturbation, has done way more to save the world (Arab Spring, Police Brutality), write novels and bring people together in love than you give credit for.

Remember how ridiculous the first iTunes commercials were, a solitary individual dancing their own way to their own beats? I remember the criticisms that it would "end social discourse as we know it". I guess they were right, for today's individual, involvement in social affairs is infinitely greater than it was in the pre-gadget days.
David B (New York)
I'm slightly suspicious that the writer got a watch free to evaluate for the story, how easy to break up with something you would have shelled out 700. for. It's really a non-issue as it IS more tech than style and most people don't need the computing power in a wristwatch, phone or even computer. With the browser as the most used app on small computers it is tech wasted on nonsense.
bk (los angeles)
The NYT doesn't allow writers to accept freebies
WBJ (Northern California)
Sounds about as attractive as the calculator watches of the 1980's.
boo radley (california)
Except the calculator watch actually did something and only cost 24 bucks back in 1980
Debra (Grosse Pointe, MI)
Love mine. Frees me from my phone. Nicer way to live.
Axel (Oslo and the Midwest)
I know not everybody is in a situation where they can do this, but I lock my mobile phone away when I have to deliver quality, uninterrupted work. Now THAT is being freed from my phone. And gosh, I get actual good work done. Call me old-fashioned.
andrew (dc)
That is right out of the Apple Watch commercial. The reality is that one gadget cannot free you from another gadget. To the contrary, you have now tethered yourself to two gadget, especially since the watch is functionally useless without an iPhone in close proximity. So the reality, it that you've added to your gadget burden.

Let me tell you a nicer way to live: don't check your devices every 2 second and don't have them constantly interrupting your life. That translates to no watch and not starting at your smartphone 24 hours a day. Its lovely.
Mark Gray (Seattle)
Got you beat. I have no cell phone. None.
Lee (Tampa Bay)
It is pretty darn ugly in the picture.
Brooklyn Traveler (Brooklyn)
There are plenty of people who use flip phones today and are perfectly happy. They like what they like.

There were plenty of people who stuck with typewriters in the 1980s. It was good enough for them.

Nobody should buy what they don't use, like or want.
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
Right on, Vanessa! I agree one hundred percent. And, don't worry about it... it really won't matter to Apple, or to anyone else. No one knows whether I'm wearing one, or not, and I have yet to see one being worn.
vaporland (Denver, Colorado, USA)
brilliant article. nobody but apple knows if the Watch has been a hit or a dud, and Apple's not talking.

the silence is deafening...

"emperor's new watch"?
rude man (Phoenix)
Watch - heh heh - the stock tumble, that'll tell you.
Kyla (Syosset, ny)
I like it and that's exactly my answer to all those who have asked me and there are many that have. I enjoy it; I have fun with it. That's not a little thing to me in this quite gruesome and frightening world. Having some fun on a steady basis is just fine by me. I have bought apple products starting with the 512K introduced in '84 and have stuck by and with Apple through its ups and downs. Yeah, I've also read two books on Steve Jobs and in the early years, belonged to a nerdy Mac users group. So I have enjoyed lots of fun along with challenges that have also been fun. What's the problem? You don't like it, don't buy it. Nobody's going to twist your arm (or wrist) to do so.
Tesnik (NYC)
we all need to go for a gadget diet or fast.
Ignatius J. Reilly (New York, NY)
I guess I am not so surprised that the Times Fashion Critic no longer finds the Apple Watch fashionable. I don't own one yet, mainly because I don't want have to put my reading glasses on every time I need to read a text message on my watch, but I do find the watch to house very cool technology. Now if the Times Technology Critic decided to stop wearing the watch, I would be more interested in hearing why.
Sandra Hutchison (Near Troy, NY)
I was going to buy one, but I got wary from all my friends constantly saying “Don’t expect a coup de foudre." Everywhere I went, morning to night, that's all I heard. Even the taxi driver told me, "Madam, don't expect a coup de foudre." When the guy selling me coffee at the diner said, "Just don't expect a coup de foudre," that was the coup de grace of my dreams of coup de foudre.
Irish Lass (Boston)
Nothing beats a good Timex.
Mark (Saint louis)
Coup de foudre? You may be expecting a little too much from the Apple Watch. Consider a watch that needs manual winding.
bestguess (ny)
Okay, I'm dumb. What's a coup de foudre?
Steve (USA)
@bestguess: "Okay, I'm dumb. What's a coup de foudre?"

If you had an iPhone, you could ask Siri. As an alternative, you could just do a web search.
M. Klein (NY)
I'll help you out, bestguess.

A coup de foudre means 'a bolt of lightning' or 'love at first sight'.
robert (Maui)
Just received my apple watch, directly from China, I like it , cost was $728.00. I was in the market for a watch, so it was either a Rolex, Cartier, Ten thousand dollars is silly to me. I happy.
Mike (Chicago)
"I carry [a].. (no logo) handbag everywhere...my ..watch had no bells or tourbillon whistles; .. I gravitate toward clothes that are not identifiable by ..designer.."

you seem to treasure your nonconformity, which is a form of conformity.
Jeremy Larner (Orinda, CA)
I think the lady is saying that she stays outside the fashion game and doesn't like other people's signature or writing on her clothes, doesn't particularly want to "make a statement" by what she is wearing. You could look at her or anyone and infer such a statement, but that measure might be inadequate or of little interest to the person who does not think that way.
andrew (dc)
Since when is not consciously identifying and announcing yourself via brand labels "nonconformity?" Its actually the natural state of humanity. The idea of walking around as a functional billboard for Gucci is the real absurdity, but of course people in all walks of life have been well trained by marketers to wear labels as a "self expression" etc.

Conformity has nothing to do with it.
Big A (White Plains, NY)
She is trying to make a statement by not making a statement :)
Frank Language (New York, NY)
I'm a die-hard Mac user since 1987, and I still have no interest in the Apple watch; there's no function I need it to perform beyond telling the time, and my Swatch is durable, water-resistant, and long-running.

I don't think I could deal with a watch that had to be charged nightly; I can barely keep up with my iPhone.
Web Commenter Man (USA)
There are around 105 pronoun "I"'s, 13 "me"'s, and 33 "my/myself"'s in this article (counted using a text editor). You may need to get a little less self (and watch) absorbed. Go for a walk without the phone, talk with your family, etc. Life will get better, I promise.
CD (Indiana)
Well, as the article is meant to be about the author's experience with the watch, what pronouns would you expect? Would "one" have suited you better?
inframan (pacific nw)
& you should probably seek a more productive & enlightening pastime than counting pronouns.
DB (Tampa)
So personal journalism written in the first person is an exercise in narcissism?
daveguerra (Houston)
Not Super, regrettably dumb not Smart. Until these devices can talk to me and do my bidding they are going to be bleeding edge android wannabes. Which google watch is too btw.
Mark (Florida)
The apple watch, iPhone, iPad, pebble watch, 3d TV, etc is a matter of preference. Why does everyone have to have an opinion on whether someone should buy the "new gadget" or not? It's simple. If u want it buy it and if you don't then don't buy it. I like the apple watch but I don't expect everyone to like it. That's fine. It's called choices. If you like the pebble watch better that's fine with me. Why do people read articles about something they obviously don't like and then comment on the article? Maybe they have something Freudian going on. Just because one thinks a certain piece of tech is stupid doesn't make it so. Maybe I would think what u like is stupid. What gives me that right?
slothinker (San Luis Obispo, CA)
As someone who once spent an inflation-adjusted $7,000 for a 10-mg. hard disk, $300-$700 for a 6-gigabyte device with a screen and entry mechanism and weighing perhaps 1/200th as much as the HD strikes me as a pretty great deal.

I thought Apple's initial TV advertisements focused rather directly on young women and wondered if this meant that the company saw them as a natural customer group OR if they were particularly concerned that women would be hesitant to embrace (woops) the technology. I do think deciding to call this computer-on-your-wrist a "watch" was probably a tough call.

I've only had my Apple watch for a day... I guess I'm easy - I love it. I think Steve Jobs would love it to. But it is for a techie at least until the inevitable killer apps come out. Meantime, I think Apple is making a mistake to initially market this Dick Tracy-like device as a fashion accessory. That would only be true if the background could be any color and not just "the little black watch".
sweinst254 (nyc)
It's interesting that no one mentions how ridiculous the iPhone 7 is. A friend brought one out at a party and everyone burst out laughing, because it's so huge it harks back to the old shoebox cell phones of the '90s.

There's also the little matter of fragility. I had an iPhone for a year; actually, I had three — the first two were destroyed when I accidentally dropped them. I have had a $160 Android for three years. I could drop it 5 feet and it's fine.
vaporland (Denver, Colorado, USA)
No one mentions the iPhone 7 because it hasn't been released yet.

Nice try.
PR (nyc)
There is no iPhone 7, the latest model is an iPhone 6 Plus.
JR (East Cost)
Funny, I had not thought about the Apple watch being blank/black most of the time. Too bad it is not a color. It could be like a moonstone bracelet or something when not functioning.
I took a look at the display models in my local Apple store. I wasn't crazy about them myself. I think they look much better in photos and videos they they do in person.
The watch is really just an added interface for the phone. The goal is to sell more phones, build the system.
dave nelson (CA)
Bought it to make a statement and then dissed it to make another one.

Pure narcissism camouflagued as commentary.
PRG (Houston)
Ahmen brother!
drtaxsacto (Sacramento)
OK so I get it. I bought the watch because I thought it would be handy. It is. At the roll out, Tim Cook commented this is the most personal device that Apple had ever developed. I think that is true. You made a personal (albeit public) decision not to choose one. I made a different decision and believe (even though I have not worn a watch in the last couple of decades) that each day it becomes more useful. So I am not breaking up with mine.
Jeannie (Austin , TX)
All I can say is APPLE wins.

To me the obsession in this country for gadgets and stuff to make us feel like we are part of a tribe is sick.

Advertisers convince the weak minded they need "stuff" to be cool to be accepted.

I know people who have iPhones, iPads, Macbook's and Apple watches and the redundancy in all these products is absurd.

Choose the tools you need and buy them. An iPhone and an LL Bean watch guaranteed for life sounds like a better fit. And you won't have to be embarrassed to be a part of the sheep that follow the gadget trends.
Rob (Dix Hills)
I have the Pebble and have found that it's keeping me from picking my phone up all day long every few minutes. I get an alert from Slack or a meeting notice and I just take a quick glance at my watch. It's actually helping me from getting distracted for too long by my phone.
Shari M (West Hollywood)
I find someone "sneaking a surreptituous glance" at a watch MUCH less rude than someone who has their phone in their hand all the time.
incredulous (Dallas, TX)
I heard on the radio this morning that voicemail is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Since everyone just texts now, companies are seeing that it is an expense that could be eliminated. I wonder if, one day, it will feel completely unnatural to talk to someone. For a non-tech-savvy person like me this is yet another conquest I would rather not even attempt.
Joe Solo (Singapore)
Thank you. I love tech, any tech. This is no advance. I ride my bike, I walk the dogs a mile or two, I know when I eat too much. I know how to put my phone on vibrate. When I work out hard, I use a polar hrm.
It is, as correctly described, a tech accessory pretending to be a fashion accessory, really telling the world you have $600 to waste on nothing, a replacement for my 40 year old Rolex.
I pass.Great piece.
D (Wills)
The problem may be for folks not as self aware or people who do exercise a lot but do sit for 8 hours a day- my doctor wears one and mentioned that's the exact reason why- we often don't realize how inactive we are for long periods.
b flat (State College, PA)
The high from getting a new gadget lasts about a week.
John L. (Cincinnati, OH)
Seems that few of my kids' generation even wear watches (ages in their 30's). I am an old goat, and am satisfied wth a self-winding Swiss watch. Tells time and date. I-phone and laptop/I-Pad in the other hands.
Rick (New York, NY)
Sorry, technology is taking over our lives too much. Somehow we all managed to live and be happy before we were wired and accessible 24\7. I am beginning to long for the days pre i-phone where everyone on the street was engaged with the world rather than constantly checking their phone every 2 minutes.
npr (Palo Alto)
Seriously?!? Before cars "took over" everyone walked everywhere. Before fire "took over" cave men sat in the dark. It's not technology - it's progress.
David B (SF, CA)
City streets filled with folks looking down at their phones as they walk, is progress, you say?

I'm on my 3rd iphone, 5th Macbook Pro, etc, but calling the aforementioned symptom "progress" sounds like Kool-Aid to me.
director1 (Philadelphia)
I have never had a "watch", I don't like the feel of it on my wrist, relative time is important to me, I can figure that out. If hours and minutes are important I can find a clock that will let me know what I need to know.
Steve (USA)
@director1: "If hours and minutes are important I can find a clock that will let me know what I need to know."

Where do you find a clock at a bus stop?
Tideplay (NE)
People who are overly concerned about other people's opinions and about change will never enjoy growth and exploring new worlds.

Like the time when the first rotary phone came out. They showed a 12 foot model dramatized in a movie to show during matinees to allay people terrified they would get their fingers stuck in it and be taken to the hospital. No joke
I remember when we had a couple of (brief) lessons in grammar school showing us (and we, in turn were to explain to our parents) how to use a rotary phone. We aren't pulling your leg...
Judy (NYC)
The only thing I need a watch for is to tell me what time it is.
Doug (New Mexico)
Apple's watch has an app for that!
Doug Crowe (Rocklin, CA)
Yeah, it's kinda cool 'n all, but with my current slew of devices and the accompanying endless apps and social media already demanding more and more of my time, why exactly would I want yet ANOTHER gadget competing for my attention? Most of us are already living inside "The Matrix." The watch is where I have finally drawn the line.
D (Wills)
But that's the point I think it's not creating new alerts it's making your phone less essential to be in your hand at all times- as a user, it is strangely freeing.

Oh my phone is ringing let me go find it turns into let me glance at my wrist oh it's just so and so let me send it to voicemail.
I LOVE my Apple Watch. I find it quite useful, especially the activity tracking feature helps me measure and meet my goals and do extra 20-30 mins of brisk walking every day. I feel just that itself is worth far more to me than the cost ($399 + tax). No, I won't be breaking up with it. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
sweinst254 (nyc)
I live in NYC. I don't need to be prompting to do more walking. I have to walk. here, we don't call it "exercise." It's "transportation."
Ryan (australia)
excellent reply. Some people still don't get it.
bsa (boston, ma)
More power to you Ms. Friedman. Bravo.
PUAAN (swampland)
Me, I'm holding out for the Maxwell Smart Shoe Phone.
Linda Fairchild (Larkspur, CA)
Best comment ever!!
Kelsey Brennan (Oakland, CA)
Though I also question why the author bought the product in the first place as she doesn't seem interested in the main features, she also brings up a great point about it's social acceptability. It's hard to deny that to check your watch (smart or analog) in the midst of dinner or an engaging conversation connotes boredom. It seems ironic to me that a gadget that is supposed to promote connectivity is actually disruptive to interpersonal interaction, making our friends, families and colleagues feel less connected to us once we actually inhabit the same physical space. Though this might be an interesting tool, it seems ironic (not to mention a major design flaw) to put to market something the promotes such socially unacceptable behavior in the name of connectivity.
npr (Palo Alto)
i agree that checking your watch mid conversation is rude. I'd say checking your phone mid conversation is also rude, but - as the author alludes- it is becoming acceptable in a way I could never imagine when I had my Nokia 3110. Give it time (no pun intended!) - once everyone has a smart watch of some kind, it will be normal to check your watch because the last thing you will be doing is checking the time!
GetReal (Newton)
Please, just don't look at your watch when speaking to someone. It really is that simple!!!
vj (Atlanta)
Me, me, me and my watch! A device functionality commentary or a self-absorbtion introspective gone digital? If your life can be so influenced by your watch, you need a new one---life that is!! New O/S announced this week and you don't think you can wait that long? Really??
I guess it's a generational thing. That's why I don't get it, that is, the article OR the watch!
David Berger (PA)
I love my Breitling Chonograph. The Apple Watch, a Chinese manufactured piece of tech, and would never replace the timeless beauty of my Breitling. My iPhone 6 plus has all the features and battery life I need. However, I hope Apple sells millions of them since it will help fund my retirement!
MBernard (Maryalnd)
Mine has been charging for a few weeks now. Poor old thing. The only useful aspect of the watch for me was that it tapped me when I got a text (mostly from my kids) so I knew to check my phone. The screen is entirely too small for anyone over the age of 40 to read anything. This one, Apple, is a stinker.
M McCarthy (California)
Not to mention that if you've ever had a shoulder injury as many of us have, waving it in front of your eyes to read it could result in a painful frozen shoulder. No thanks.
Jack NYC (New York, NY)
They're simply too expensive. If they had a clear purpose without the iPhone having to be within proximity they'd still be too expensive. The first decent looking version starts at around $700. And you know it will be obsolete when they come out with Apple Watch 2 in a year or so. It all feels a little like a not-ready-for prime-time gadget. I don't want to pay that much money to be a giant corporations guinea pig. I don't know anybody that's bought one yet. I was thinking about it but this article finally tilted the scales.
Ronni Rosenberg (Toronto, ON)
There is a very useful niche in the tech ecosystem for wearable computers such as the Apple Watch.

The watch will never be about consuming content. It's an embodied transactional tool--digitally signed with our identities to make hailing uber cabs and paying for other services more seamless.
Dr. Mises (New Jersey)
This intriguing and - for the Times Fashion section - bold appreciation of the Apple wristwatch reminded me of a rule I gave myself a few years ago - a rule I've recited ever after to everyone whose lapels I can get hold of who's planning to buy what used to be called a newly hyped digital device (now a "newly hyped smart device").

I became a bore in respect of un-asked-for advice after finding in my file cabinet, among newspaper tearsheets I needed to discard, a 47th Street Computer ad from the Sunday, November 18, 1984 edition of the Times touting the original IBM PC at a "NEW LOW PRICE" of $2995 for an entry-level IBM PC (monitor extra).

Specs on that bargain personal computer were a 10 megabyte hard drive, and 256 kilobytes of ram. 10 megabytes is smaller than the size of a Wordpad document with one photo embedded in it; 256 kilobytes is about the image size of a large digital photograph today. $2995 in 1984 dollars is almost exactly $6000 in 2015 dollars.

So the rule I pester luckless - often young - people with at barbecues, dinner parties - and more and more often, wakes for us "golden agers" - is: "Never be the first adopter of any new electronic technology."

If smart watches don't go the way of Pet Rocks, then - flimsily made as they already are- within two or three years they'll be selling for 50 bucks each ($25 used on eBay). So buy a nice, fashionable worth-the-money Invicta watch (Invicta Reserve, not the regular Invicta line) now, and be patient.
Ralph (SF)
funny. mine cost close to $10,000 and I borrowed money from an IBMer to buy it. I used the text editor that Bill Gates turned into Word and made billions. It was free from IBM. Word doesn't work that much better even today.
Steve (USA)
Apple is a premium brand, so the company doesn't reduce prices, it releases upgraded products at the same price. Other companies will introduce lower-priced products.

'“There’s always a large junk part of the market. We’re not in the junk business,” [Apple CEO Tim] Cook said ...'

Apple's Pricey iPads Protect Premium Brand, Profit Margins, Leaving Low-End To Android Tablets
by Connie Guglielmo
Forbes Staff
Dr. Mises (New Jersey)
Hello Steve - You comment is exactly on point. But I can remember when Apple was a brand known for educational computers used in schools all over the U.S. And, as you probably already know, more than one industry observer has noticed that Steve Jobs' greatest achievement was to convert Apple to a luxury label - right down to large, rather coldly stylish stores across the country obviously modeled on pretentious, sterile-looking stores that sell ridiculously overpriced clothing, shoes, luggage, jewelry etc. mostly but of course not entirely to women.

Years ago, a study refuted the law of supply and demand. A shirt manufacturer of high quality designer shirts found that it could sell many more of its already expensive items to men at a much higher price point than it had been selling at a markedly lower one. That's premium pricing!

As to Apple's own premium pricing: Apple is only taking a leaf from Sony's book. Sony has always styled itself as a premium brand - and refused to allow its vendors to quote discounted prices for its products. But for decades, a Sony television, radio, stereo system etc. has never been discernibly different in quality from a Toshiba or a Panasonic.

One thing that Sony never accomplished, though, that Apple has, is keeping customers tethered to Apple throughout their products' rather short useful life. E.g. Apple watches accommodate newly installed batteries - but only if installed by Apple.
TS (California)
The way this is written highlights how neurotic technology is making us. To pretend to have a relationship with an inanimate object, and then to 'break up' with it is ridiculous. I can't believe I wasted 1 of my 10 free monthly articles on this garbage. There are a lot of things I like about the NY Times, but its love afair with all things Apple is not one of them. The breathless reviews of every iteration of every product Apple puts to market is a real put off.
Janet Camp (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
This article is a negative review, so I don't get your point at all. Actlually, I get tired of people who just seem to hate all things Apple and feel compelled to say so at every opportunity.
Ralph (SF)
Boo hoo. You wasted one of your 10 free monthly articles. What a sponge you are? Do you work to get everything for free? BTW, why do you bother reading some many "breathless reviews?" I guess you don't get put off too far.
Steve (USA)
The author is a fashion reporter[1], and the article is in the Fashion & Style section. How did you come across it?

[1] http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/author/vanessa-friedman/
Fyredawg (Tacoma)
NO HOME BUTTON or DIAL. Yuck. There's a traffic accident waiting to happen. Battery life is most unpleasant.

4 gens of iPhones for me. Loyal to Apple's mobile market but won't bite on this wormy fruit.
Janet Camp (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
There IS a "home" button. Push once on the side button (stem on a tradiitonal watch) and you go to home screen.
M McCarthy (California)
Glad you're not out driving on our freeways as you gaze at home screen.
Rohan Shah (Raleigh, NC)
I have a knock-off fitness band that I paid $16 for. My fitness band collects the steps I move and also monitors my sleep, all without the need to be around a phone. The data collected has been very informative. As a single guy, I did not know that I don't have much deep sleep. I also did not know that I walked around 5-8km a day. The band also alerts me if it is around my phone and I get a phone call. The joy I find in this band has led me to considering a smart watch. There are things that a smart watch can do that I don't think a phone can do, and if it can, it is not too ergonomic. I am looking forward to a smart watch that gives me the functions of my fitness band plus an added heart rate monitor, a way to quickly glance when I receive important notifications such as a meeting appointment or a phone call.
Richard B (Washington, D.C.)
Aside from all the reasons she decided she did not want this watch, how much did the Apple brand weigh into her decision? Would she have like the device better had it been a different brand, or no brand, as she claims she prefers?
Nico (South)
1- maybe zero %
2 - she would have liked better if Apple could paid more for the endorsement
Eric (Thailand)
To which one could say : would this person have bothered at all to try a smart watch if it weren't for the Apple brand and marketing ?
Apple victimization exchanges are kinda 10 years out of date.
David Sedillo (Los Angeles, CA)
Interesting perspective. I know the moment this device came out it wouldn't be for everyone.

That said, can I have your watch Vanessa? There's a small wrist here who would love to try it.
Vin (Manhattan)
"I knew other people looked at what I had with envy."

LOL. It wasn't envy.
Ralph (SF)
Well, maybe sometimes...
Babs (Richmond)
I agree with the author--Apple Watch is not for me.
Thank heavens for my fabulous baby boomer friends--who are funny and articulate --and have the ability to focus on those who are present.
Janet Camp (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
I am a boomer, I'm often told I'm articulate, and I'm definitely funny. No one has complained about my focus. It's a matter of manners, not age or devices.
sheila monaco (vancouver)
When I first saw the Apple watch, my thought was how does someone read ant message on the thing. Vanessa Friedman has expressed my thoughts exactly.
I hated wearing any watch and I was so happy when our cell phones were also a clock.
In addition to having talking computers, I still want a "21 century" land line phone that looks like a phone and stays put on the wall without a battery attached.
Janet Camp (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
It's very easy to read--and I'm old, wear bifocals, and often complain about small print as I age. I've read that it's the resolution that makes it readable.
Ken (Pompano Beach, FL)
And, as Seinfeld put it so rightly, one you can slam down when you get angry with the person on the other end.
Big A (White Plains, NY)
Vanessa - all good points, but surely you knew about the watch's capabilities even before buying it. Your colleague was right - you were not part of the target market. You should not have bought it in the first place. What were you expecting?

It takes time for non-Apple addicts to get into the fold, product by product. Iteration by iteration - until one day you find yourself staying up at 3:00 AM EST to order a product. Watching other folks on Periscope/Meerkat do the same thing.

Wait for it to become a real fashion accessory and capable of transforming your life.
Vanessa Bogenholm (campbell,ca)
I truly love my watch and have no problem with the money I spent on it. Working as a personal trainer and tennis coach, I can get text messages while working, and working out, without having to look at or carry my phone, which seems intrusive to the person paying me. I have also found the radius is 70 feet from my phone allowing me work freely.
sweinst254 (nyc)
Every personal trainer I've ever spoken to is adamant that one shuts off devices that distract from concentrating on the workout.
Babs (Richmond)
I applaud the author for choosing to be more present in her own life. One justification for the distracted, inattentive behavior --or "virtual addiction" -which is now so common was a claim that the watch is "less rude" than constantly checking a phone during dinner. This is actually quite revealing.
Apparently "less rude" is the new social standard!
Janet Camp (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
I glanced at the watch today at the doctor and she did not notice, I swear. It takes only a milisecond to glance after getting the pulse. It's rather instinctive, but I instantly saw it was only a text and ignored it.
sheila monaco (vancouver)
Indeed, having your phone out in a restaurant is the height of rudeness. It immediately hijacks the ambiance!
Maxomus (New York)
I like to describe my technical up-to-dateness on a par with the food co-ops of the 60s: brown cardboard boxes with really good food inside, and cheap. Hence, I own a third-hand Iphone 4, a third-hand IMac II, no television, a very nice hand egg-beater, my concession to Cuisinart, and a second-hand rescued dachshund named Walter who sings along with me and Giuseppe diStefano's "Parlami d'amore Mariù" in a beautiful "hound tenor" voice!

And unlike the mystified millennial minions of Silicon Valley conspicuous consumption, I use all the consonants in the alphabet when I speak.
Janet Camp (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
I too have a second hand doxie, no television (no clothes dryer or garage opener either), I rarely eat out and eschew all store bags. I also compost (bin and worms), grow veggies and keep three hens on a city lot. I also have a new MacBook, an iPad, an iPhone 5s, and now a AW. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

I speak well and admire those who do. Most of my more articulate acquaintances have up-to-date technology, especially the science-oriented.
Steve (Massachusetts)
Let's not overthink this. It's a device you wear on your wrist that tells the time just like a watch and does many more useful things on top of that. You don't have to obsess over it.

At the end of the day, I really like some of the features like turn by turn notifications so I don't have to hear Siri interrupting my songs. I like not having to check my phone every 10 minutes when I'm out golfing to make sure I'm not missing important business. I like the step tracker and find it helps motivate me. I like being able to take a phone call without racing over to my phone before I miss the call. I like getting access to often used information without having to dig out the phone. I like being able to go for a run without my phone and still be able to listen to music. And so I find the watch is kind of liberating, actually.

Is the Apple Watch a game changer? Not really. But it does offer conveniences. I don't feel like I'm a slave to it and I don't center my life around it and constantly wonder if it's a good "fit" for my lifestyle or how others perceive me because I wear it.

And when I get a notification and I'm with someone, I ignore it until I'm done talking to the others person. Nothing is compelling you to look at the watch as soon as you get an alert. Simple courtesy.

It will take longer than the phone for people to adopt, but ince the novelty of these devices wears off, I think you'll see a lot of people begin adopting wearables.
RDS (Greenville, SC)
You only need a smart watch if you are either too lazy or physically disabled to remove your smart phone from your pocket or purse.
Eric (Thailand)
Fire, you only need if you are too lazy to kill a mammoth and bathe in its warm.
Technology is so overrated.
M (MD)
Interesting that the developer's conference is what sealed the deal. Seems to me that you did fall for it as a fashion accessory, and that was the whole problem - you never considered that it was a technological device. Apple's lack of releasing a pleasingly "innovative" new product made you feel like the watch wasn't cool anymore. So you broke up, because your partner wasn't cool anymore, and made you look geeky. That sounds exactly like what the fashion flock would do. It's a fashion flock thing to begin with to buy a piece of technology, not think of it as not a piece of technology, discard it for reasons not really relating to it's actual functionality, and then write about your ex. What did you think you were buying, coolness? That's a question worth asking about actual fashion accessories as well.
Deborah Moran (Houston)
Maybe your mistake was being one of the first to own an Apple Watch...when talking to one's wrist actually looks funny. But I think that beats talking to no one at all on Bluetooth. The first time I saw that, it reminded me of some of the unfortunate mentally ill I used to see on New York streets talking to no one in particular. But we accepted it as normal within a few months.
Jack (Eastern PA)
Thanks for sharing, but honestly, who cares?
Jen (Saint Paul, MN)
You read it, didn't you? I thought it was pretty interesting and deals with bigger issues of technology and how that affects/syncs with human life.
leveauj (New York)
This is a humor piece. Duh.
Unbalanced (San Francisco)
Well, I guess this conclusively establishes that an Apple Watch is not right for Vanessa Freidman, who she is. Why the rest of us should care is an another question.
This article is a just vehicle for the author to paint a vanity self-portrait.

About the apple watch: "its face effectively span[s] the width of my forearm"). Hilarious that the author demurely calls her wrists "small." The author confesses she had to "wean" herself "from a reliance on exercise machines telling me how hard I had worked." We even have to wade through stuff about her friend's exercise habits ("I have too many friends who look at their fitness tracker in the middle of conversation, then immediately spring up and start walking around energetically"). OK, we get it, you are thin. And you have thin friends. And your son runs track.

I tried to re-read thinking I was being unfair (or unkind) but couldn't make it past the paragraph about how the author avoids any brand or designer identification in her clothes and accessories.

The author is just incredibly pleased with her lifestyle choices and is using Apple Watch to tell you all about herself.

This article is ostensibly a critique of the Apple Watch but, to quote the author, "I just couldn't fall for it."

A good editor would have read between the lines and it sent back, just like the watch.
WiseOldOwl (New York, NY)
With all due respect to the author, I agree with the sentiment, here. The common thread seems to be one of independence, self-reliance, etc. I get that it's a style article but if the author is all about thoughtfully and reflectively going her own way in life why *even write the article in the first place?* Don't knock Apple; re-write the article as a diary entry and say, "I wasn't really thinking about who I am and how I work best when I made the choice I made."
Steve (USA)
@CT: '... "its face effectively span[s] the width of my forearm"). Hilarious that the author demurely calls her wrists "small."'

Did you look at the photo?
KS (Upstate)
Baahh! The Apple Watch apparently has a lot of sheep following it!
Iver Thompson (Pasadena, CA)
It's always kind of sad reading a story about children coming to terms with reality and discovering that their dreams and hopes are just that, and regardless of what they are lead to believe by others - especially those like Apple who exist only to make a sale - Santa Claus is not real nor should he be.

It was nice, however, to read that the author did make the self-realization that actually turning a key with her hand was a joyous experience and an appreciation of a gift most of us have been taught that we should take for granted and thereby lose.

Just imagine what the world would be today if Michelangelo of Leonardo Da Vince had been conditioned years ago to discard the worth of their hands' physical function like that way "smart" gadgets are spawning a generation of two-thumbed Neanderthals are coerced out of the use of all the God-given talents derived from all the parts of us other than our thumbs.

My advice to Apple is if they really want to turn civilization completely indolent is to introduce a "smart" pillow - good for nothing more than wasting one's life entirely while inducing a virtual dream-state that lets one think they've done something when they haven't.
David Martin (alpharetta ga)
Not every one will buy one like an iPhone, but thats ok. Right now its just a really nice digital watch with health tracking and notifications . its expensive because it can be. i will buy one and if i don't see allot of people wearing one well that suits me just fine. i will probably buy another one in two years or not. I remember when having an iPhone was a conversation piece. the whole no keyboard thing was a big deal for most people at the time.
Mark (Vancouver WA)
Thank you for being brave enough to say what so many of us are thinking:
"I don't need this."
Heavily-advertised the Apple Watch may be, but I've never seen an ad for one and I wouldn't have recognized it on your wrist. The photo accompanying the column is the first time I've seen one, and it does indeed look like a clunky black box strapped to your arm. I'm surprised you endured it as long as you did - I wouldn't last a day.
Jon (Queens)
I wear a regular watch, because I'm a grown-up.
Janet Camp (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
That's just childish (your comment), and a bit rude. I am a mother of four and a grandmother of six. I have a degree, had a career, travel, grow food and volunteer for a number of good causes--and own an AW. I think I qualify as a "grownup".
HJR (Milford de.)
Interestinly sold my Apple stock this morning, before reading this. This is stock that goes back to 69 with my father, then inherited. Honestly Apple is great at marketing, builds a solid product, see I Pads, I Pods, but way overvalued

Love my I Pad , but its inability to easily parallel play with the rel world, sorry going going...
I tunes/ pod, sorry moving on to other providers, much easier and simpler.
NYT had a great article omparing Apples position IBM 30 years ago. Anyway at least tey have billions in Ireland.
By the way no buzzing bracelet will ever march me around, honestly Zi am able to take care of myself, and evdn open hotel rooms .
Diana (San Francisco, CA)
Finally - a woman reviewing a tech gadget! Thanks for making the point about the watch being too big for a small wrist. I totally agree -- the designers should welcome reviews like this so they don't miss out on designing their products for the other 50% of the population.
richard kopperdahl (new york city)
Great watch! Does party tricks and actually tells the time! You only have to charge it nightly. All yours for about $500. It sure beats that Timex that cost 20 bucks with a 10 year battery.
Ralph (SF)
I really like the way Vanessa writes. Plus she reminds me of the central character in William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition." Great book, great character.
AMH (Summerlin, NV)
Glad I didn't waste money on one. I wouldn't even buy a regular watch, unless I was rich.

You see, my phone has a clock in it.
Steve (USA)
@AMH: "... my phone has a clock in it."

How do you carry your phone?
Ted Pikul (Interzone)
Remember all of those totally excellent digital watches from a few decades ago? Made your standard analog/dial wristwatch look oafish and obsolete?

Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
Sure, I had one that would play four Beatles tunes as alarms, around 1980. Was a big hit with my peers. Nowadays I've got a Hamilton analog watch, no numbers on the face, and it's self-winding so you can see all the little gears in the back and the pendulum that winds it up. I like it better than any other watch I've ever owned, and it makes the Apple watch looks oafish and geeky.
Drew (TX)
Variations of the same arguments were made when the first iPhone was released. And for better or worse look at the world now. In two years there will be no more gawking - the question to the author will be "Why don't you have one?" And if ye harken back to the olden days when a watch was just a watch, well, the times are a changin'.
Shonun (Portland, Oregon)
With all due respect, that's an argument in favor of the lemming mentality. Yes, Apple products are pretty ubiquitous. Are they essential? Debateable. I am not the only person who prefers to live outside Appleworld, and I am definitely not suffering for it.
Fyredawg (Tacoma)
Won't happen. Different species of product.
Drew (TX)
@Shonun my use of the word "one" really means smartwatch, not necessarily an Apple Watch. Consider the explosion and reach of the whole smartphone market in general. Are all of the millions who own one lemmings? Folks back in 2007 could not even conceive of what was possible with the iPhone when it was first released. Pay for things with your phone? Inconceivable! Video chat? What? People didn't buy the iPhone and subsequently Android phones in droves because they are lemmings or sheep. They bought them because they can be very useful and entertaining. They make it easier for people to get things done. Smartwatches, lead by the Apple Watch, will eventually be the same. People will purchase them because of their utility. If your life would not benefit from products from the "Apple World" or the like then more power to you. At fleeting times I feel like all this technology is harmful for our society and how we interact with each other. It's a train that can't be stopped. Maybe unfortunately, you are part of a shrinking segment of the population.
RBS (Little River, CA)
I was never tempted or were my friends. I have all the help I need from Apple on my laptop and iPhone--the rest of my non-computer life is working wel lwithout help from apple and it's APP suppliers
operacoach (San Francisco)
Why have I never even considered an Apple Watch? Because I have a life filled with friends, music, books, good food, and health. I don't need another tech device to cut me off from human interaction.
GetReal (Newton)
You will only be cut off if you are easily distracted.
Steve (USA)
OK, but how do you tell the time?
Casey (California)
The biggest reason people are not going to buy smart watches like they do phones is that you can't finance them through your phone carrier. That and they are totally redundant to another device you carry around.
Steve (USA)
@C: "... they are totally redundant to another device you carry around."

What other device can you wear on your wrist?
Stuart Wilder (Doylestown, PA)
Since the Mac 128k, I avoided being an original adopter until the Apple Watch. I had no idea if I would like it, but I have become attached to it, so much so I make a point of not wearing it to purely social occasions. It does what I need— a little more fitness info and reminders, nice to have when in a sedentary job— and obviating the need to pull out my phone from whatever pocket or briefcase or drawer or room it is stuck in when it summons me. I have not lost my sense of self, nor my sense of humor, but just gained a bit more of time and information I would like to have during the day.
Mark (Vancouver WA)
My phone is not allowed to summon me.
It serves me, not the other way 'round.
michaelant (iowa city, ia)
Well... It certainly seems the author could have predicted she'd not like wearing the watch, because people are going to comment on a shiny new Apple gadget if it catches their eye. My black Sport model should be here in a week, and I chose that one because it should attract less attention, even though I thought white looked equally as good.

I anticipate that some computing things will be a lot nicer on the wrist. Maybe most people will think of the watch as a fashion item first, but, how many people think of their phone as a fashion item first? After the newness wears off, we'll see the wrist as just another place to do our tech stuff - no fashion statement required.
alansky (Marin County, CA)
I love my iMac, iPhone and iPad; but I thought from the very beginning that the Apple Watch was being hugely over-hyped and would end up being a very clever niche product for those who really get value out of wearing one. Nothing that has happened since its release has changed that opinion in the slightest.
Drew (TX)
All the same things were said about the iPhone and iPad when they were released.
Brett Maimann (Edmonton)
"I spend a lot of time in a world where products are shorthand for people, and I know too well the risks of having such semiology attached to myself (though I fully acknowledge my willingness to attach it to others)."
Well said and the exact reason the Apple watch will be a hit.
Greg Susman (NJ)
It'll be a hit despite already being out for months?
Steve (USA)
@GS: "It'll be a hit despite already being out for months?"

Watches are not movies.
George (Chicago)
Beyond the criticism of appearance, I am pleasantly surprised the Fashion and Style section has brought such a meaningful perspective to technology criticism.

Bravo for outlining several basic behaviors consumers might consider adopting before searching for technological solutions. Many consumers are obviously captivated and desperately need to be made aware of alternative ways of interacting with devices besides granting full attention to every beep and buzz. Mobile operating systems should be judged in part based on how well the interaction model they encourage enables the social and mental well-being of the user. I hope these ideas find their way into the discourse of the tech community.
Nancy (Great Neck)
To be sure, technology is or can and should be terrific and I do need and want my computers but I really can get up from my desk on my own, I do not need to have my steps counted when I run daily and I will pay attention to my phone when I darn well want to and not all the time or any old time. I even know what time it is, like, now with no Apple watch.
Steve (USA)
"get up from my desk"
"my steps counted"
"pay attention to my phone"

The Apple Watch has more features than the ones the author mentioned. How do you do GPS navigation? Check your calendar? Ask Siri a question?

"I even know what time it is"

What happens when you travel to a different time zone?

Disclaimer: All features mentioned are based on what the Apple web site says.
Jim (Mill Valley, California)
Shame on me; I wanted google glass to fail. I was so happy when my wish came true. I don't know if Vanessa Friedman's excellent article will usher in the same fate for Apple Watch. That said, I have a strong feeling Ms. Friedman's piece is not the kind of publicity Tim Cook was looking for. All things Apple do not equal all things practical.
DS (Georgia)
I've been wearing an Apple Watch everyday since release, and I've only had maybe 3 or 4 people ask about it. Nobody has asked for a demo or to try it on---they just asked if I like it. Yes, I do.

So I guess I stopped feeling self conscious about wearing the watch after a few days. I just go on about my business and take advantage of its features.
Steve (USA)
@DS: "Nobody has asked for a demo or to try it on---they just asked if I like it."

Has anyone asked if you have you forgotten to charge it?
Ottoline (Portland)
Thank you for this refreshing article. It is reassuring to know that there are others in the world who are skeptical of the increasing robotization of human life. I daily encounter so many people who cannot read a map (or a book, for that matter), cannot write a clear and understandable sentence, cannot spell a word with more than three letters, and are incapable of communicating with other people, either verbally or in writing. Will I now be encountering people who cannot tell time or be able to keep track of their appointments without a device to remind them?

I would prefer to think for myself, using my own mind, as imperfect as it may be. The ability to think and perform tasks for myself is a joy that I am not willing to relinquish. It keeps my mind exercised and allows me to function independently of any computerized appliances.

I also happen to work for a much lauded and highly skilled watchmaker, who will not be servicing the Apple watch when it inevitably malfunctions. After all, it isn't really a watch. It's just another gadget.
The day I wear anything that tells me to stand up or sit or whatever is the day I realize I've turned into a dog.
Steve (USA)
Do you ever use an alarm clock or a cooking timer?
KinLA (Los Angeles)
good one!
rkny (NYC)
"I am breaking up with my Apple Watch. The relationship was, despite all expectations, not what I needed."

No one needs a watch, (except maybe a nurse). No one needs an Apple watch or any smart watch.

You can't blame Apple for making a watch you don't need. That's like blaming a scorpion for stinging you.
Aravind (San Francisco)
The iWatch wants your attention and occupies key real estate on your body. In business speak, the value it delivers is lower than the value it tries to capture from you. In sum, another gadget that like all the other electronic junk around us, has no enduring or emotional value. If you want a real watch, this isn't one.
Steve (USA)
@Aravind: "The iWatch ..."

Apple doesn't call it the "iWatch", so why are you?
weijia wang (China, NYU)
I like her last sentence, it's a tech accessory. I think deep down, the author knew that she would not like the Apple Watch. If that was the case, it would make so much sense about her struggle. Her desire of being a maverick would also make sense about her deviance towards such a popular product: she just could not handle ubiquitous love
sheila monaco (vancouver)
I'm all for technological advancements when they actually enhance our lives without hijacking our ability to be present with life and can be used prudently and without harming us, but too much of what we see today is pure human vanity.

Unfortunately, our current technologies that involve communication and the internet require devices that send and receive microwave radiation. The Apple Watch is more dangerous because it is placed against the skin for many hours per day. At least with cell phones, you can establish a healthy distance from the device in order to do what you feel you need to do.

The cranial bones of children are very thin. Brain cancer in children is up by an astonishing factor of 10,000%, yet very few are connecting the dots. It might be a good question to ask why it is we need to keep current with literally every new development in the field of electronic technology. It’s pretty easy to see why these companies feel we need to.

Use these devices safely, prudently and with restraint, and they can be realized as helpful and enhancing. Allow them to take us over, and we become a disfigured, mediocre race. I seriously doubt that positive human evolution was supposed to include us becoming slaves to these things the way we have.
GetReal (Newton)
Siri, on my Apple Watch, does not believe your ridiculous statistic re brain cancer in children.
Steve (USA)
@sheila monaco: "... devices that send and receive microwave radiation."

The Apple Watch supports Wi‑Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz) and Bluetooth 4.0,[1] neither of which are high powered. The Apple Watch requires an iPhone to send and receive calls.

[1] https://support.apple.com/kb/SP717?locale=en_US
DaveD (Wisconsin)
To paraphrase the old Nigerian proverb: the watch did not invent man.
IMHO (Cyprus)
Gotta be honest. I just got the Iphone (3 months ago) and I am still missing my Nokia with buttons. Progress is not always better. I see no reason to give up my watch.
BillyDKidd (75024)
I'm a long time Apple fan, but I will not buy an Apple Watch. My 45 year old Rolex Datejust is working well and I love it. I have an iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Mac Mini and a Macbook, but that is as far as I will go. It is a miss in my world.
Kilroy (Jersey City NJ)
So Marx was right, our relationships with objects mask our relationships with others.
Gretchen King (midwest)
I was thinking just the opposite. It seems to have brought the chance for her to engage with many people. There is so much discussion of tech objects keeping us all trapped in our own little worlds,her experience seems like the antidote.
zDUde (Anton Chico, NM)
Have no fear Apple fans, the very same corporate geeks who destroyed iTunes and came up with ideas on how to bombard us with ads when we use apps we've already paid for will infest the iWatch. Soon we'll all have little billboards beeping, pecking, and tapping us into submission to consume.

How nice to now know that the very bagel shop I walked past is offering a once in a lifetime sale, plus an old high school classmate is there right now, a frat alumnus, a Seinfeld fan club is meeting there as well, plus a hot lady who swiped me and wants to practice her English and discuss term life insurance. To think all of what I would have missed! Thank you iWatch.
Jared Hendler (Los Angeles)
I too have found that looking at my Apple Watch is rude. The psychology of interruption is interesting to contemplate and one thing that Apple overlooked. While it has become accepted for folks to look at their phones around a dinner table and during a conversation, looking at your watch is still perceived as being rude as it is assumed that you are looking at the time.

I enjoy the notifications, but I am not sure I want to be that attached to every message and phone call knowing that my phone is most likely somewhere close by. When a watch or embeddable chip replaces a phone it will become more interesting.
Adam (New York)
Captain Kirk used a communicator, not a watch. He did not shriek, and he never said "Beam me up, Scotty."

Thus, it's not a complete shock that you are not a gadget person.
Const (NY)
This article was a nice juxtaposition to the one the tech guy in the NYT’s wrote when the Apple Watch first came out. I have a “geek” friend who has to have the latest offering from Apple and he proudly came to show me his watch the day after he got it. Having watched him demo the various functions of the watch, I thought to myself this is worth $400?

Maybe the Apple Watch will be a big hit, but to me it is just an expensive toy for people who love Apple products and have disposable income.
Joe (Suburb)
What I find sad about this commentary is it further diminishes women in technology. What is the most important quality a woman should worry about? FASHION! It is sad that we continue to undermine the importance of technology in our lives and that women cannot embrace technology and be leaders unless they only "look pretty". Sad. :(
Danny (Chicago, IL)
With all due respect this is a very silly column. It sounds clear that the writer should have known from the beginning the watch wasn't for her. Why would you buy a product, and then write a review knocking it, when none of the core features appel to you? It's like a vegan writing a bad review about a hot new steak restaurant because the salad bar was lacking. You got one thing right in the article: it's not the watch, it's you.
an Observer (San Diego)
Some of you who are smart-watch-curious should check out the sub-$100 Pebble watch. It links seamlessly to your Iphone or Android, and, while not as fancy as the Apple watch, still buzzes when calls or emails come in, shows weather, and location, etc. and is much more discreet and watch-like. It lacks a touch screen, using instead simple, intuitve buttons along the edge, and has a monochrome but very legible LCD screen that helps it maintain a charge for nearly a week!
There is also a pretty vibrant community of developers producing multiple apps for it.
DemforJustice (Gainesville, Fl.)
Brilliantly done. In our brave new world of technology, it's easy to lose your sense of self. By being so dependent upon tech, we risk becoming a little less human and a little more robotic.

Tech provides many wonderful things, no doubt. But too much of it, like almost any good thing, can be bad. Try backing away from time to time. Slow down a bit, relax, and recharge your own personal motherboard.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
I'm in complete agreement with this column, and thankfully, I saw this coming for myself before ever purchasing this gizmo. The watch isn't even a techie accessory, what it really is, I think, is a way of automating your neurotic tendencies and attaching them to yourself so there is no escape.

Constantly needing contact and social support? Here's a phone you can never avoid, that will tap you on the wrist every time someone tags you in an instagram photo.

Worried about your weight and a hypochondriac? Here's a gadget to order you around constantly, get up, do jumping jacks, stop eating donuts, your weight is now 158.43 pounds so aim to lose 0.23 pounds by the end of today.

Anxious about lateness? Well this is perfect for constantly reminding you that you're about to be late, with sharp little taps on your wrist.

Thankfully I'm not that neurotic but wearing one of these surely would make me become a nervous wreck. This wristcomp is a solution in search of a problem, and really there is nothing it takes care of that we can't do perfectly well already. I'm capable of opening hotel doors, picking up plane tickets, and so forth, without using any electronic crutch at all.
sweinst254 (nyc)
I just don't see why it's necessary to wear a gadget that does everything a phone does only worse — but does nothing a phone can't do.

I was an early adapter to cell phones partly because it liberated me from having to wear a watch. No way I'm going back to having something on my wrist that gets sweaty; that I have to take off if it's raining and I'm wearing a short-sleeved shirt; that may light up at inopportune moments (at least the phone is my pocket).
Mark (Portland, OR)
Perhaps it's time for a new television commercial where an auditorium of Apple devotees, all dressed and looking alike, sit and stare at a small screen while someone--Big Brother?--preaches about the latest gadgets being offered. It seems like I've seen something like that before.
kmgunder (Kentfield, CA)
I don't have the watch but I do have an Iphone and Ipad. I often ask myself if they're really doing much to make me happy. Not really. You need the phone really to function in today's working world and I enjoy the Imac at home for reading Newspaper articles and the like. But I often find myself on them too much. I had a fitness tracker, the Jawbone Up, and enjoyed it for about two months; but then it became a hassle, and like the writer, I don't need every moment of my existence, every calorie burned, tracked. I can live without that. Better to stay mindful and pay attention to how you feel than to give up that mindfulness to a watch. Or maybe instead of a watch it feels more like a watcher? Hmmm . . .
Boxster550 (Montreal QC)
I do recognized the value of the author's experience and would be the first to say that this device is not for everyone or a necessity. for those who can find value in what it does, and, as the apps and the software evolve, will do, it is a nice piece of kit.

After a month, I have come to appreciate not having to have my phone in hand, keeping it in my pocket, only to come out when I need it and its larger screen. The Apple Watch is a glance device, a watch and extension of the iPhone. It is for those quick interactions that are measured in seconds, not minutes. Quick reply to a message, done! Who is calling? Dismiss or take? Mute! Perfect. Or, tracking and timing a run or bicycle ride, good!

It is not perfect, it is still a work in progress. Is for you? It would depend on your lifestyle, how digital you are, and, how active you are too. For the right person, it can make your day a little more efficient and effortless, or, at least give you that sense of being.

As for attracting attention, for the most part, my experience has been it has not. Most of the people that ask me about it, know me and knew that I got one. Those that do not know me rarely notice or ask. Not that I am hiding it, as I go about my day with it on my bare short-sleeved arm.

Should you get one? Go to the Apple site look at the videos, think about how you use your phone, read the reviews, better yet, talk to someone that has one. Then come to your own decisions, but don't break the bank for it.
Eric (VBVA)
Really, I think the author worries too much about too much! Jeez calm down and quit worrying so, it is just a machine after all. Do you worry about your refrigerator this much?
DD (Los Angeles)
The original orgasmic response to anything new from Apple having now subsided, I would love to know how many have been returned to Apple. I bet the number is huge.
Scott (Middletown, Ohio)
Ah, the early adopters lament. If you saw the WWDC presentation, you now know that the watch isn't yet finished. It will be better soon. As developers make new apps for it that don't need the iPhone connection it will become more useful, if not more of a stand alone gadget.

If it is you modeling the Watch in the accompanying photo It looks fine on you.
Mark (Vancouver WA)
The Apple Watch looks awful on the model in the photo, whether the author is depicted or not.
rzfeiner (New York, NY)
I find it interesting and amusing on the number of people that comment on articles like these that don't own or would never consider owning an Apple watch or, in some cases, any Apple products, but think their opinions so worthy to shout about in a semi-anonymous forum.

If you bought an Apple Watch and like it, or even bought & returned one then you've earned the right to present your opinions on why you like/don't like this product.

If you DON'T like the Apple Watch, and would NEVER buy one -- fine. That's your choice. But why do you think you need to shout to the rafters why you think people that have bought one and like its uses (as I do) are dupes; have some psychological need for attention; are slaves to technology... plug in additional descriptors here.

I wonder if these same naysayers bash luxury cars they'll never buy, or high end cameras they either couldn't afford or figure out how to use? Your opinions and speculations are neither relevant nor useful. It seems that there are more Apple-haters willing to opine about why they dislike anything new this company makes than any other company's products. No one's forcing you to buy one. You like your Timex or even checking the time on your phone--I've no problem with that. But I'm not going to be out there telling you you're a luddite and need to get into the 21st Century; so why is it that the Apple Watch and the free choices of people buying them with their own money is so offensive to you?
LG (California)
I think the article and many of the comments here appertain to the larger phenomenon: technology which is superfluous, or otherwise making our lives more complex rather than simpler or more elegant. While I don't yet have an Apple watch, I do have many of the other gadgets out there, and their voluminous owners' manuals pile up on my desk unread. I do think it is time that the message be "shouted from the rafters" that often less is more. Of the 40 or so "apps" on my I-Phone, I regularly use perhaps three of them. Likewise, I use only a small percentage of the functions on most of the products I own.

You don't have to have bought an Apple watch to realize that it is part of a larger trend: technology encroaching on our lives in marginally relevant ways at best, and in fact, in ways which potentially can detract. I think the criticisms are imperative: the makers of this stuff need to know that people are looking for functions that actually make our lives better.
Christine (SFO/PHX)
Somehow you don't sound amused, but bitter. Anyone is allowed to comment herein. I have used all three major operating systems on a number of devices and most assuredly have my preferences. I am perfectly capable, and comfortable, making comments about any technological device that is marketed. I am also quite sure there are many others like me who are commenting on this article.
Dan Stackhouse (NYC)
All commenters, by definition, think their opinions are worthy enough to broadcast to the public that's reading this particular comment section. As do you, no offense. The thing is, everyone's opinion has to be taken as coming from whatever source it's from; if someone clearly hates Apple but you don't, then disregard their opinion. But if someone loves all Apple products but hates this watch, their opinion might bear paying attention to.

Also a lot of us, like myself, comment because we enjoy writing and discussing things with folks in the blogosphere, regardless of whether we're really affected by the topic. And good day to you sir, comment onwards!
SteveRR (CA)
"...in part because I knew I was cheating pretty much all the time anyway and thus could not trust the results, and in part because it became an excuse to modify, or not, my ensuing behavior."

I have no idea what then author is trying to get across here - but I do agree that feedback devices like the Apple Watch or like a Fitbit can skewer one's Magical Thinking.
I guess I am surprised by how many people don't really want to abandon magical thinking as a core personal organizing principle.
On a secondary note - this is exactly why women only comprise in the high teen percentages of college engineers.
Lance Fortune (IL)
So being suspicious of superfluous and unnecessary technology is why there aren't enough female engineers? Now that's magical thinking.
SteveRR (CA)
No - disconnecting the relationship between objective measurable results and the consequences of those results is magical thinking.

And it is a job requirement as an engineer to believe-in and actually act on those results.

Did you read what she said and what I noted?
David Carroll (Brooklyn, NY)
I'm well-known to friends as an Apple fanboy and gadget early adopter. I even wore Google Glass around town for a bit. I received my Apple Watch in stainless steel with the link bracelet this past Monday as a wristwatch wearer until only a few years ago as my expensive, mechanical, Swiss-made watch suffered repeated mechanical problems. Into my first week, the Apple Watch has not attracted any undue attention. It has already reduced my iPhone pickups and screen time as measured by the Moment app. I've become more conscientious about my exercise and productivity. This stainless steel 42mm Apple Watch is beautifully built and the battery life is surprisingly impressive with 60% of life left at the end of the day, whereas my iPhone 6 has run-dry and needed top-up charging to get through the same day (I play a thirsty game that accounts for 20-30% of usage). I already can't live without having a thermometer on the watch face and it doesn't bother me at all that the screen sleeps when idle. I can easily see how this device isn't for everyone but the Apple brand has become increasingly polarizing perhaps epitomized by reactions to this Watch. It's too early to tell whether or not this will be "huge" like iPhone or just "big" like iPad. It's the natural evolution of the wristwatch, neither radical nor revolutionary, but handsome, clever, stylish, and more useful by the day. I can't imagine this product flopping because Apple is way too big to fail and the real apps are on the way.
jw (Boston)
Steps to happiness:
realist (NY)
Why do we need so many gadgets? Too many intrusions into one's life. May-be many don't have a life, that's why they don't mind...
Ernest Lamonica (Queens NY)
I have for years eschewed all wrist watches. Where do these giant clunky gauche ostentatious "things" come from? Cruella De Ville? When I see someone with a huge Rolex built for undersea/Space travel my first thought is "Why lift weights?". Whatever happened to less is more?
Jenifer Wolf (New York)
.....& I thought the cell phone had banished the watch forever! What is it? Do people just like having something on their wrists? a bracelet is nice too, but all it tells you is the story of how you acquired it.
Michelle (New Jersey)
As a woman who also doesn't wear flashy clothes or expensive handbags and has a busy work/home life, I have to disagree with the author. I have had the watch for 2-3 weeks now and only twice did someone I was talking to even notice or bring up the watch. The first time I bought a drink at Starbucks with it, the barista said, "cool, that's the first Apple Watch I've seen". That lead to a 45 second pleasant conversation. It's not that noticeable. I'm 5' tall and have the smaller model with a light pink leather band.
I personally find that in today's society we are accustomed to seeing people looking at their phones all the time. My Apple Watch allows me to keep my cell phone in my purse and prevents me from slipping into the black hole that is too much internet. I have configured my watch to only notify me if 1 of 12 people email me. This way my watch vibrates if I get an important email, text message, or phone call. That's it. Before my watch, I would carry my phone in my hand or pocket. Now I can go about my day untethered to my phone. This has lead to significantly less time on social media and less time reading fluff news. In the morning and then again in the evening, I have naturally come to block out time to read the news and check all emails. Without the phone on me, it's not tempting to fall into the trap of being that person who sits at a restaurant, soccer game or party looking at their phone instead of the people around them.
'...it's not tempting to fall into the trap of being that person who sits at a restaurant, soccer game or party looking at their phone instead of the people around them...'

You mean, rude people?

But at least you impressed a barista.
gene (Laurel, MD)
There were similar comments about the iPhone and iPad in the early days of both products. I do admit I still don't have the "how did I ever live without it" feeling the i had on the very first day of the original iPhone. The Watch is growing on me though. It is great not having to reach into the pocket to read emails. Best yet the girlfriend and I compete for how much physical activity we do each day. We are both completely bummed when the watch does not accurately give us credit for the exercise we do. We are disappointed when we go to bed without filling up all three activity circles. We had the Watch for about three weeks I have lost 5 pounds the GF did not have to lose much.
Arno (Herten/Germany)
It's simple to me. Since 30 years I'm using apple products. Until now it's been a kind of win win situation for apple and me. More then 50 years I have not worn a watch. Since 60 days I'm wearing the magic item at mey left wrist. My judgement after these two month: there's no apple product permanently as close to my bloodpressure as the watch, but's still the only thing I'm definetely not missing.
So in the short term distance there might be only one winner.
bwise (Portland, Oregon)
Eliminate all brands from your life and become a Situationist. William Gibson's Cayce Pollard in Pattern Recognition --a soothsaying "cool hunter" with an allergy to brand names.

Buy real fashions at thrift stores if you can so the money goes to real people. Few brands try to elevate human art and culture.
Mitchell (Arizona)
For me the "killer app" is a slight tap on my wrist to reassure me I'll never miss an important meeting or an urgent email. Surprisingly helpful. I've found it very stress relieving, somehow.

Won't be for everyone, but for harried professionals out there with full calendars I think Apple is really onto something.
sweinst254 (nyc)
I don't understand why this somehow more superior than simply putting a "notification reminder" in your calendar on your phone.
DaveD (Wisconsin)
I still recall with fondness the meetings I missed during my working years. (And many of the reasons I missed them.)
Boxster550 (Montreal QC)
In fact that is how it works, the notification is set up in your calendar, (synced) across all your devices. but if your phone is in your bag or coat pocket, you will most likely not feel it vibrate. Also, most professionals leave their phones in silent mode, so they would not normally be getting audible notifications to begin with. I agree with Mitchell, "the slight tap on my wrist..." does have a reassuring affect and is discreet too. It is sort of having your own PR person quietly telling you time to move on.
drollere (sebastopol)
you realized it's just a gimmicky extension of an iphone *after* you bought it. that has to mean you bought it for the wrong reasons.
mdgoldner (minneapolis)
My kind of techie! Tell your kinds you are te best kind of role model, tech independent.
mandy (NYC)
So you don't like the watch, that's ok...maybe the author likes something someone else might not like? What I don't understand is how the watch defines you in other peoples eyes and quite frankly who cares?? I have the watch and I happen to like it. I wear it on one wrist but I wear my Rolex on my other wrist...I can only imagine how that would "define" me in the authors eyes.
Andy Greenberg (NYC)
Who even wears a watch anymore, when a phone is usually clutched in one hand or nearby in a pocket?
D (Wills)
The point of the watch is to allow unclutching of the phone.

It truly does reduce scree time.
Denise (San Francisco)
There's too much focus on image here, not enough on the watch.
Nancy (Great Neck)
Brilliantly written essay, with which I completely agree. I am happy not selling Apple products, or at least I think I am, and just being me and not an extension of Apple. I can still tell time with, well, a watch my mother gave me and to which I am attached because Mom gave it to me.
Tom (Midwest)
Interesting idea but we don't have either Iphones or apple watches. No AT&T cell reception which makes both the phone and the watch just fancy paperweights.
Mike (Santa Barbara, CA)
The entire conversation is fascinating. I bought the smaller version with a simple black band. I do not want to draw attention and I am getting none. I am retired, so I totally do not need this watch. My life is not that busy but my memory is problematic. I walk a lot and listen to music. I find pulling the watch out of my pocket to see which of my kids just texted me is slightly inconvenient. I can stay in touch a bit easier.

Of course, I don't need the watch but it is a handy way to use phone features. Not life altering. Not a fashion statement. It is useful. If you can manage alerts and iphone features, you can manage the watch. If you are tyrannized by technology you are probably not even reading this article. You already know you hate this latest item.
Geoffrey (New York, NY)
I have The Watch and I'm not sure I'm going to keep it either. I'm fascinated by posts like yours. I don't remember the watch ever being billed as anything more than an extension of the phone, so I always chuckle when someone says it's not delivering on some perceived promise. Your colleague was right--it's not for you. I'm just perplexed as to why you ever thought it might be?
yo (oh)
I'd be more interested in the watch if it replaced my phone.
A Guy (Lower Manhattan)
Do you honestly see yourself holding your watch up to your ear in order to hear a call and then moving your wrist to your mouth in order to speak, or are you one of those people who is happy to broadcast every call on speaker phone?
Martin (Minneapolis)
It's not hard to imagine that reality with a Bluetooth headset. As for typing, dictation is solid to the extent that typing isn't even necessary anymore. The only real issue then becomes the need for screen real estate.
MIckey O (CA)
Hey, A Guy. Obviously you do not own an Apple Watch. First time when I called my wife at work using my Apple watch from my home, she initially could not tell that I was using the Apple Watch. She was very impressed with the sound quality. I was not holding it near my ear. My arm with the watch was comfortably resting on the chair arm and I could perfectly hear my wife's voice.
Erich (Miami)
Agree. Apple sells this as a high end timepiece, and recently with "complications", what about this complication: Always readable? The cheapest analog watch have it. And thats the main difference between Jobs and Cook, the former just likes to over-hype (just replay the Apple Music launch show, I couldnt stand it) and launch products prematurely, then when things start looking bad (decreasing ipad sales, apple watch complains) he start rushing developers to enhance thorugh software what in first place was not integrated and envisioned in the hardware launch (multitasking should finally make ipads more productive, watch OS 2 finally create real apps, but beware of battery life!), so in short, Apple watch needed 2 breakthroughs to really stand to the hype, first a really long life battery, second a double screen architecture able to show the time and other features at ALL times in low brightness but clear, and other usual smartphone screen.
Lkf (Ny)
One would think we were debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin!

A company (Apple) releases yet another shiny, clever gadget.

For those who like (or need) clever gadgets, this watch is indeed a coupe a foudre. For the rest of us, another big yawn.

The writer makes a good point by noting that she does not wear designer goods. I understand what she is talking about-- I too want no one else's initials on my chest or other personal goods. Whatever I am missing by not having the latest Apple gadget, I suppose I may come to regret. IN the meantime, I will continue my troglodyte existence ignorant of the watch and its benefits.

It's all good.
Fideles (new york, ny)
The novelty of a newly released and anticipated device is inevitable. The Watch isn't for everyone, and that's a matter of personal choice, but to hold it accountable for the curiosity and lack of etiquette of one's co-workers is bizarre.
pag (Fort Collins CO)
As I watch Apple products evolve from the truly useful and substantial to the new ones that offer only style as their outstanding features, I really liked this article because Vanessa got it. It is a tech accessory, and a really good way for the company to make a lot of money by advertising it for fashion. Apple needs a new Steve Jobs and real innovation. Its new offerings are kind of boring.
Middleman (Eagle WI USA)
Hi Vanessa,
Thanks for your critique. I've had mine about a week - I'm a middle aged engineer guy so the fashion element of it is to an extent lost on me.. fundamentally nobody has noticed. It doesn't scream "brand!" as far as I can tell.

I think it's a bit early to judge how this category will serve (or not serve) users. It's an extension of the phone and it occasionally succeeds on making things much easier. That will depend upon the creativity of app designers as much as anything. I bought mine to consider it as a platform for medical device testing, and there's a clear focus on sports/health/fitness here. After seeing it, my girl friend will probably still get a FitBit for her exercise tracking.

You anecdotally mentioned one very interesting thing - that the iPhone was transformative for you. I've been a big believer in how smartphones have helped women in particular (safety, info, social, directions, etc.). I've personally seen this shift in confidence in the women in my life. While all genders have access to phones, not enough has been written about how women have benefitted in particular.
Mickey O (Redondo Beach, CA)
I bought my 42 mm stainless steel Apple Watch with the Milanese loop. After using its health app, I suggested my wife to get one for her but she refused to do so since she was mainly interested in the health app and did not need other features that Apple Watch offers. Two weeks ago, she bought a FitBit and she was very much disappointed in its features and performance. She bought it since it was much cheaper than the Apple Watch. She received her own 38 mm stainless steel Apple Watch with the Milanese loop yesterday. It arrived within three days after ordering it online!! She mastered how to use it in a matter of a few hours and was already on her elliptical machine for an hour. After the exercise, I could tell how happy she was with the performance of her newly acquired watch that replaced her diamond-studded Seiko watch ($800). Although she has a very small wrist, the Apple Watch looks really good on her. With the OS 2 with a lot of useful features coming this fall, the Apple Watch will get much better. I know it has a bright future!!
Chris (Vancouver)
This is a very important article in the newspaper of record. Without journalism like this we would be lost in a world of ignorance papered over with faux-knowledge about the world of commodities and celebrity worship.
Brian (Brooklyn, NY)
It's a big paper, Chris. It can hold more than one kind of article. Section A is right there for you when you want it.
Yoandel (Boston, Mass.)
May I point the obvious, which I think all of us can see. The watch is, ahem, quite ugly and bulky. It might (at some point yet to come) supremely useful. But, alas, aesthetics are not here. A shame for an Apple product.
Josh Hill (New London, Conn.)
My sense is that smart watches, of which Apple's is a Johnny-come-lately with little to differentiate it from the (generally less expensive) pack, haven't yet found their killer app or interface. I don't think you're alone in thinking they aren't yet worth the hassle and expense.

Nor is this the killer, market-defining device of the kind Apple has been known for. It may well be that sans Steve Jobs, they're no longer able to do that. Tim Cook just seems to see what others are doing and follow along.
Scott (Middletown, Ohio)
Just like the MP3 player, Apple does it better.
Josh Hill (New London, Conn.)
Except they haven't done it better, reviews of the Apple Watch have been decidedly ho-hum and the watch was late out of the gate.

Back in the days of Steve Jobs, yes, but since he died, the company seems to have slipped.
Mike (Virginia)
I don't understand -- if you didn't have any interest in the most advertised features (fitness tracking, taps on wrist for messages, glances and watch faces, aesthetics, etc) of the Apple Watch, why make a huge deal or imply it's Apple's fault that you don't like it? If I went out and bought two-seater sports car, I wouldn't complain that I can't drive my family around in it; that's not what it's designed for.

The Apple Watch is just a rethinking of what a modern and high end digital watch should be. Personally, I really like the taps on the wrist when I get messages, or when I've been sitting at my desk too long, or it's ability to track my workouts. I like looking down and seeing the time, weather, stock prices, and when the sunset is. Only two or three people have noticed and said something, but we talked about it for 10 seconds and it wasn't a big issue.

It doesn't seem like the Apple Watch was for you, at least in it's current state. I don't think it's that big of a deal, it's a personal product that's not for everyone. But if none of its core features sounded appealing to you going in, I really don't think it should be a huge surprise or somehow Apple's fault that you didn't like it. In my case, I thought the features sounded appealing, and after a month of using it, I think it's really useful and I wouldn't want to go without it.
Mickey O (Redondo Beach, CA)
I totally agree with you. After a month of use, I cannot leave home without it. With the OS 2 with many useful features coming this fall, I am extremely excited about it. It will fill some of the shortcomings of the current Apple Watch without buying the 2nd generation version. If the author does not like it, move on without writing this article!!!!
Meela (Indio, CA)
I agree with you. I don't have an iphone because I refused to use AT&T at the time. That would have been my entry point. But the Apple Watch is very intriguing to me and although I'm a long time Windows user I think Apple is on to something big with this watch. I am usually bored with the slavish adoration of the 'fan boys', but I really think this is going to be a Disrupter. They will evolve and when they do, I'm going to be interested. Very interested.
Mickey O (Redondo Beach, CA)
I used to be an Apple hater. I did not want to do anything with the Apple products. A few years ago, my wife bought an iPhone 5 and she loved it and I was impressed with its quality and features. Now, both of us own an iPhone 6 and an Apple Watch. They are pricey but their quality is next to none. Apple could have introduced Apple Watch a while back but waited until this year to make sure that their product would excite not only the Apple fans but also non-Apple fans with the proper setup of the Apple Watch. With their vast amount of time spent on research and feedback from the current customers, they are flexible enough to come up with the OS 2 this fall to satisfy a lot of current and future customers. After seeing the framework of the OS 2 features, I am very excited and I am totally convinced that its future is very bright. It is evolving very fast and you will see it this fall.
There are always negative people out there like this author. Just ignore them!!!
David Edwards (Stafford, VA)
The Apple watch is an experiment that may or may not be successful. If you bought it for the looks and not the technology then you must live on a different planet than me. I've been using it for over 2 weeks and I like the health features as well as the notification capability and apple pay. The apps available are limited but the numbers and features will grow. More battery life would be nice as well as a way to recharge the watch without having to take the watch off at night. Only time will tell. But its got my attention.
Greg (Seattle)
It definitely is not for everyone, and Apple has not done a good job rolling it out. I have worn a watch all of my life, and since I already am used to having a watch, it made sense to have one that I personally found attractive and offered a lot of functionality. I've turned off the things that I find annoying, and find that it integrates into my life really well. When biking or rollerblading, I don't have to stop and pull out my phone to check a text or adjust what I'm listening to. I'm not interrupted at work or in social situations by having to pull out my phone. I have super fast access to my calendar and other information about my day (upcoming meetings, alarms, weather, timers). First world problems, for sure, but I would miss it if I didn't have it.

I think the device is a hard sell for many people. I work in technology and interact with it all day, and even so it took me a fair amount of tweaking and reading to get it set up optimally for my lifestyle. Most people won't have the time or inclination to do this.

I think Apple should have come up with several personas and published recommended settings that were easy to understand for each persona, and then educated their support staff accordingly. The watch isn't for everyone, but it is for more people than it will end up being sold to, given the current rollout.
Harleymom (Adirondacks)
When the tech industry addresses itself to real issues such solving California's water problem [which are not just about rain] then maybe we'll have time for a luxury gizmo that helps & does nothing. Meanwhile, let's stop assuming the geeks are smart---a chimp could probably write code. Impress me with a durable good that isn't a toy, Palo Alto.
Matt Richter (Woodside, CA)
Apple is in Cupertino! Palo Alto has it's issues, but Apple product design isn't one of them.
Rob B. (Dingmans Ferry PA)
One week in and I'm loving the Watch. It is everything it promised and a little more. Why did you buy it if you never really wanted it in the first place? They told you what it could and would do! This is a silly article.
Kathy (Tucson)
The colleague who observed that she wasn't the target for the watch was being nice. Waaaaay nice. Every attitude and belief she listed in her article screams it. But she went out and bought it anyway and now its just going to sit in a jewelry box. Want to bet she will still get some status mileage out of it by telling everyone "Oh, I had one. I just didn't like it."
SusanS (western MA)
I love my iPhone too much to be cheating on it with an Apple Watch. My husband and I are big Star Trek fans, and we used to laugh when characters would have sixteen different handheld tablets in front of them.

I don't wear a watch. When I want to know the time, I look at my iPhone.
Scott (Middletown, Ohio)
Hey Susan

Any bets on how long it will take the developers to come up with a Star Trek logo for the face. I bet July 1.
'...I did like the fact that I could turn my phone ringer off, and the watch would vibrate when, say, my children were on the line and I needed to take the call...'

Similar to almost any cell phone?

One of the best things about a cell phone is that I do not need a watch or an alarm clock or even a flashlight, as my cell phone does all of that in one package.

Who would want to go back to that, except for those who need to be at the front of every new trend and fad? And who would envy such a ridiculous watch, that should come with a magnifying glass, but instead needs to be paired with a large cell phone?
Laura (Florida)
I appreciate my Pebble because when I am in the laboratory wearing gloves with whatever chemicals I'm working with on them, and my phone vibrates, I can glance at my wrist and see:

My daughter is texting me something funny.
My coworker is calling me.
I have a meeting in the training room in fifteen minutes.

And I can make a quick decision as to whether to finish what I'm doing before I respond, or peel the gloves off then and there and get the phone out of my pocket.

I love it.
Ceil H. (Havertown, Pa)
My husband and I ( both Seniors) were talking last night about how few people today really seem to listen to each other. It seems that most people "hear" your words, then they quickly want to do the talking. Why does poor listening seem to be so wide-spread? I ventured that it is due to the fact that we ( especially young people) do not have to wait for things as long as one had to in the days prior to the internet. So many things today are at your disposal, often in seconds. Even some fast food places have express lines!
Not having to wait, I believe, makes a person more self-centered and less interested in other people and what they have to say. The Apple watch, in my opinion, will compound this. In fact, I wonder if it is mostly impatient, self absorbed people who will buy the watch? I am only 64, and I like many modern technologies, but I also miss these things, to name a few. I miss the joy in getting a hand written letter. I miss the free time I had when I could not do banking after 5 PM on Fridays. I miss people sharing actual photographs, printed on paper. Equally, I miss people talking to each other on a phone ( or cell) without "call waiting" or checking e-mail as you try to have a real conversation. We will not get the Apple watch. We will continue to enjoy our basic watches, and when talking with a friend or stranger strive to listen more. Other senses awaken when true listening is practiced.
GetReal (Newton)
Solution, buy the watch, and only use the watch face function.
A. Hominid (California)
Many of the comments are in disagreement with this author's opinion. I do plan to buy an Apple watch but I have to upgrade my phone first and it's not quite due. When the iPad first came out, I thought "who needs this?" Seemed useless. Then my husband bought me one. A couple of years later I got the iPad mini. It is a wonderful device and I take it everywhere. Very useful for travel. The large iPhone 6 probably replaces the iPad mini, but I'll get the smaller phone. I suspect the watch will have numerous useful functions that I will enjoy (as some of the comments describe). It just takes time to become familiar with all the functions and apps.
Steinberg36 (Washington, DC)
I agree with the author. For me the Apple watch has been a big zero - and I am an fan of literally every other Apple product.

To me an indicator of the Apple watch failure - and different than what the author reports - is that while many people ASK me about the watch - I've noticed that barely anyone asks me to show it them. No "lemme see that" No "Can I try that" When I got my first iPhone and iPod, everyone wanted to grab it and mess with it. Apple Watch - everyone just looks at it for a second and says "huh"
MB (San Francisco)
We'll see. I just got mine yesterday as a gift and so far I like it. Mainly because it it finally gives me a good reason to wear a watch. My wrists are freakishly skinny so I have never worn a watch of any quality because only the smallest watch-face fits and on tiny watches the time is barely decipherable, defeating the purpose of wearing one.

So this iWatch is my first foray into the world of watch-wearing. It is much larger than any old-school watch I would ever consider wearing but the upside of that is that is has much more to it than an old-school watch. It still looks a little clunky on my freakish wrists but at least I get more functionality in return. I like the design of the interface and the fitness apps seem to be useful.

So far so good... it remains to be seen how friends and the general public react!
Nice article but I certainly did not need to read it to know the watch was a waste of time the moment Apple announced they were coming out with it.
tiddle (nyc, ny)
One has to realize, that different gadgets have difference strengths and weaknesses. I'm not sure if Apple realizes it, but fashioning the smart watch as an extension to our phone simply isn't a compelling enough reason to pay hundreds of dollars to get yet another gadget to care-and-feed (recharge frequently on intensive use, for example). While this is not as bad as the misstep that Bill Gates made in trying to shrink the desktop windows onto a "tablet" (even though Gates were ahead of his times when he tried to push the "tablet" idea more than a decade ago), a smartwatch isn't a phone and it will never be.

One would have to reimagine what "killer apps" these smartwatches can do for us, before they can find their raison d’être. I'm sorry to say, but fitness tracker in and of itself just isn't good enough, as the article's writer has rightly noted. I don't need a fitness tracker (or a smartwatch, for that matter) to tell me how many steps I've taken so far today, or buzz me to get up and move my butt around in order to burn a few calories in inopportune times.

Speaking of which, I don't like phones with big screen either. As my kids have joked of it, the way it's going, we'll all be carrying our 20" LCD with it in the iphone 20.0 release. From the underwhelming reception of apple watch, it could go the google glass way, dying a quick (or slow) death.
yo (oh)
HP made one of the first "tablets" in the 90s. It was a laptop with a swivel screen that could be closed screen side up or the typical way a laptop closes. And it was touch screen with a stylus. It was as functional as today's "pads" although it was thicker because it was a laptop. I went through several.
PDA (Santa Monica, CA)
The watch is an add-on, not a product that can stand on its own. So, as long as it relies on another device, it's an appendage, not a vital component.
Benoy (philadelphia)
i agree with the author . It is an unwanted attention, compared to benefits. I remove my watch b4 I head into meetings... There's enough problems to discuss without this.. And I am not a celebrity, an ordinary IT DEveloper.. Glad I am within the 15 day return period
Ted (Connecticut)
Not for long. Apple has just released to developers Watch OS 2, which allows us to build native (standalone) Watch applications. In a few weeks, the Watch will be much more than a second screen for your iPhone.
Ken Nyt (Chicago)
Just this week I spotted someone wearing an Apple Watch for the first time. Ya, gotta admit that it immediately pre-"defined" that person in my eyes. And ya, I wanted to ask the stranger what his impressions were of the gadget...rather than ask about him as a person.

Good choice. Apple -- i.e. the late Steve Jobs -- has established its uncanny ability to create now-indispensible gadgets that we originally didn't think would be useful. But the Apple Watch does not seem like it will be such a gadget. I miss Steve Jobs.
mark glickman (san diego)
I almost bought the watch. I'm glad I didn't. It seems like a digital bridge too far. I already spend way too much time on my phone and lap top. Right now I am very happy to have nothing on my wrist. That feels good.
SteveD (Marlborough CT)
Maybe you would agree, Vanessa, that Apple Watch or maybe Fitbit needs the app a user's friends would (gently) suggest most: one that recognizes his/her voice and vibrates when the wearer's talk-time percentage of a conversation exceeds, say, 60%.
RML (New City)
Ms. Friedman put it so well when she wrote:
the busywork the watch’s apps can replace — handing over airline boarding passes, opening hotel room doors — seems less like an advance than a loss of control. Call me a Luddite, but honestly, I don’t mind unlocking things with my actual hands.

Yes, yes....find a problem and fix it. Having a boarding pass in hand or opening a hotel room with a key or a keycard is NOT a problem and is NOT something that needs to be fixed. And, anyway, all of these tech gizmos are always less reliable than a piece of paper, they just are.

We do future generations no favors by condensing perfectly simple tasks, such as having a boarding pass, into digital form unless and until the digital form is 100% reliable and universally available always everywhere [easy to get a signal at the airport? NO. battery dying? YES]. Who needs cute when you want to get something done.

Good bye Apple Watch and for you futurists, learn from this mistake and Google Glass. Neither adds to what is already fine technology. Too much tech not doing enough that is useful turns out to be useless.
Politicalgenius (Texas)
I can understand why certain types of people would want to wear an Apple watch for the same reasons Vanessa Friedman doesn't care to wear one. Me.....I don't believe I would be inclined to wear one even if Apple paid me to do so.
C'mon Apple, forget the glasses and the watches and get back to inventing items that are ....well, inventive.
Carl Todd (Glen Cove. NY)
I'd buy the first one that will monitor my pacemaker!
N.B. (Cambridge, MA)
I am a techie. But I have been ambivalent about apple watch.
More than defined by it, I am afraid of being run by it:
'Watch your step' voice alerting me at every moment. And being made a fodder(eventually) for advertisers. So, as tempted as I have been ever since it has been ever since it was rom outed, the other half of my brain is pushing me towards a Skagen with just two hands, thin, and no digits whatsoever on its face. And this side I feel will win. Even so, I also feel the mourning for the loss of Appje watch I never had!
Alex S (New York, N.Y.)
I know this is the faction section, and I know that's a world inhabited by people with money and who live lives fairly dissimilar to most of us, but it's interesting how the $650 the watch cost didn't enter into things.

It's strange how different lives can be here in NYC -- some people get tossed into Riker's for three years without trial because they can't afford bail, others spend freely and develop complicated aesthetic sensibilities about fashion or food or performance art, or whatever. Then there are people like me, in the middle, to whom both extremes seem sort of alien.
Blueaholic (UK)
The watch starts at $350; how is that so bad compared to $60 for my Swatch that cost $1 to make, tells time (more or less), looks cute, starts falling apart on week 2, and has no hope for an upgrade?
Jane Mars (Stockton, Calif.)
Even better--not only did the cost not get mentioned in the first place, but apparently, she can afford it so easily that the thought of giving up on something that she paid that much for only six weeks later doesn't bother her at all (if I dropped that much on something, the guilt of then giving it up would be huge).
JaimeBurgos (Boston, MA)
I'm going off on a tangent here, but in my opinion fitness apps (either on your watch or phone) are a silly panacea. It's like thinking you did something good for your health by drinking a diet soda. Somehow I am naturally aware of how much I'm eating, and what quality food it is. I also have this uncanny, almost supernatural ability to know if I got to the gym or not WITHOUT some gadget monitoring my activity.
Jane Mars (Stockton, Calif.)
So do I, but since most people don't, a device that incentivizes exercise is not a panacea, but a real tool since the resulting exercise is, itself, real.
Mahalo (Hawaii)
Well just because more people it seems dont like the watch does not change my mind at all. I am a boomer and love tech gadgets. I am no geek by any stretch of the imagination. Needed help to turn it on...waited too long to choose a watch after my Omega went bust. Guess I waited too long - Apple came out with the watch of my dreams! If you don't like convenience you should know better than to get the Apple. It was bound to happen - people complaining about its shortcomings. It is more than a watch - it is convenience. That it has to be connected to my phone is a pain but give Apple time...that will come in time. Its called progress.
Dr.J (Redondo beach, CA)
I think it's annoying for the author to compare a watch to a boyfriend.
Chris (Vancouver)
I know, like, really? Boyfriends don't deserve this much overthinking.
progressivepapa (Reno, NV)
I've been an Apple disciple since the 1980s. I have a Macbook, an iPad, the latest in a long line of iPhones. But the watch bears no appeal for me. I like my old school timepiece with real mechanical guts. In this simple way, I actually act like a 55-year-old guy. I don't need to be fashionable or constantly connected to tell time.
Michael J. Weber (L.A.)
I get you, Vanessa! It's no coincidence Apple released the Watch to coincide with the release of the larger iPhone 6 and the cumbersome, unwieldy iPhone 6 plus. The watch is clearly intended as an interface to render the iPhone less necessary to handle. My conclusion is the Watch's target audience is primarily iPhone 6 plus users and road warriors. Personally I don't think the Watch's design qualifies it as a fashion statement.
The fact is in my view the FITBIT Charger HR is the perfect alternative to a typical watch and the Apple Watch. It gives you the exactly time plus keeps track of useful physical activity and keeps a daly and cumulative log effortlessly and it only needs to be charged once every 4-5 days for just an hour. I highly recommend the new Fitbit unlike the Apple watch which is over priced, over rated hype for the gullible.
Lawrence DeVore (Minneapolis)
I imagine wearing the Apple watch is a bit like having Dwight Shrute in your office, overeager to help, always reminding you of something he thinks is important, constantly distracting you, highly engaging and annoying.
Renaldo (boston, ma)
I'm having the opposite experience with mine, I love it. I suspect it has something to do with building such a 'wearable' into one's lifestyle, and I had no problem doing so with my Apple Watch. It's a very valuable addition to my active lifestyle.

Now, let me tell you about my parting with my TV, which was relatively easy since, like you, I only owned it for a month or so. I've always had a hard time understanding what people see in them...
InFact (Novato, CA)

Getting rid of our TV has enhanced my life in myriad ways.

Good-bye mind clutter and meaningless external trivia.

Hello solitude and serenity.
iamcynic1 (California)
I don't own the watch and don't plan to get one in the near future but one thing struck me about your review. It could have been written for the iPhone when it first came out in 2007. If you substituted I-phone for I-watch your description applies perfectly to my experience with the I-phone when it was new and I first got one seven or eight years ago. Does the I-watch have the same future?
tiddle (nyc, ny)
Different gadgets have different strengths in its interfaces. The iphone in and of itself isn't the most revolutionary, but Jobs' ingenuity was to breath life to it with a generic platform for apps via apple store, much as he had done with the iTune for music (which does not tie specifically to ipod). That said, iphone can stand on its own, but apple watch can't. The limitations on the watch can be severe, so much so that it makes power-hungry apps with snazzy display almost useless, given the tiny screen and limited juice. If apple (or google with android, for that matter) cannot reimagine at least one or two killer apps to justify its existence, the apple watch (or any of those smartwatches out there) will soon cease to exist.
Josh Hill (New London, Conn.)
Quite possibly. We don't know what these watches will end up doing as new apps are developed for them and the hardware improves.
Banty AcidJazz (Upstate New York)
Exactly. Many of the complaints will go away with more ubiquity.

If it catches on, it will no longer be a 'statement' to the world just to own it. For example, remember how having a mobile phone, then a cell phone, at all, was supposedly a look-at-me status symbol?

Does looking at one's wrist strike others as rude? Or just novel? Again, if it catches on, this aspect (as much as it exists at all) will go away. Imagine ten years ago if one saw the majority of people who are waiting for something, occupied with a thin rectangular thing in their hand? Rudeness is about context, not about having a device at all.

And besides, Dick Tracy anticipated it. Talking to one's wrist was - action, excitement, directing the scene, relying news!
Daphne (Tucson, AZ, USA)
My experience with the watch has been different. I love how it nudges me to get off my butt during a long workday and get moving, throughout the day. It has a clever "coach" approach, adjusting goals specifically for me to make sure they are attainable yet increasingly challenging. Over 5 weeks it has gently changed my bad habits. They say sitting too long is the new smoking. I don't need a standing desk or a slow treadmill to keep moving while working. My Apple watch has gotten me to look forward to frequent, easy breaks, and more natural walking outdoors.

The watch's sensors on the underside are smart. I love to see my heart rate during the day and during workouts. A colleague who has diabetes uses an app and the watch's sensor on the underside to tell his glucose level continuously, no longer needing to use a needle twice a day to draw blood.

I like adjusting my notifications to my preferences so I only get what is most important to me, yet I can take a quick call w/o fumbling in my purse for the iPhone.

I like asking Siri to do various tasks for me (a reminder before I leave the house, or set an alarm while I cook). It frees me up from digging through menus and buttons.

I like customizing my watch faces, I have some for the workday and some for the weekend.

Is the watch for everyone? Of course not. Neither are cellphones, or any technology. But writing about rejecting a popular gadget while critiquing only superficial traits feels like click bait.
Guy Beales (Fitchburg MA)
When I got my iPhone, I stopped wearing a watch. Don't think I'll go back.
Diogenes' Dog (New York)
Slowly, these days, products are enveloping us - and the commoditization of mankind marches forward. We make products of ourselves in our cv's, on social networking sites, in the personal narrative we construct of ourselves. Meanwhile, products are literally encroaching on our bodies, becoming extensions of our bodies, even replacing what our bodies and minds were once meant to do. Every part of us becomes a symbol, symbols that say so many things but are ultimately meant to signify one thing: worth. It is thus that we've placed a price tag on ourselves. We are 7 billion vulnerable, emoting, aspiring human beings desperately hiding our darkest corners and sharpest edges, like many businesses, small and large, trying to hide where we dump our trash and by what nefarious means we've produced such quality at such low cost! The Apple Watch is meant to cater to the worst of all of this - to our ceaseless desire to reframe and market ourselves, to brand ourselves, to commoditize and sell ourselves.
oz. (New York City)
Thank you for your brilliant comment. It is a ray of light showing how limiting technology can be when focused on toy-like gadgets that create artificial necessities. We are still biological beings run by the seasons and the tides. We are still social beings in need of real conversation. Depending too much on the simplicity of virtual digital screens will tend to atrophy our true capacities for more nuanced, complex, and empathic communication. With all this technology we're in danger of dumbing down our civic sense and our emotional intelligence.

Grenouille (USA)
Refreshing article. A while back I also decided to get away from the numbers-driven neurosis after a brief flirtation with a Fitbit about two years back. All that hassle with the charging, looking at the app, doing something for 30 minutes and then looking at the app again to see what had changed... It's just asinine. Like you said, I know when I'm in shape. I know when I'm cheating. The technology's purpose seems to simply be a self-imposed torturous obsession designed to rationalize poor choices. If a piece of technology really can improve my lifestyle somehow - in information access, in health and fitness, in keeping my research focused and insightful - then I'm all for it. But the wearable watches just don't seem to add that much, if anything, to the plethora of devices that already perform the exact same functions (usually in a much easier and convenient way). In all honesty, I'm at my limit for the number of things that I need chargers for anyway. Do I really need to add another to the pile? Isn't it time that we started replacing what we have with something better?
pavehawkdoc (Florida)
I am an early adopter and love Apple products, but after wearing the watch for a week, am underwhelmed just as the author was. I was surprised how hard it is to activate and the annoying notifications. I truly regret the purchase, but like others, will put it aside for potential software upgrades in the hope of improvements.
Mara C (Missouri)
Hey if you don't want your $400 prototype watch, you can send it to me. I would be happy to wear that beautiful piece of technology as a badge of honor. But I can't afford one, you can and now you don't want it for the most superficial reason I have ever heard. What that watch represents for the future is so much more than you being annoyed that people keep asking you about it, I'll wear it proudly and answer every single question that comes my way. Your first world problems are sickening. Send it to me
MIckey O (CA)
Right on!!! I bought mine (42 mm with the Milanese loop) a month ago. My wife just received hers yesterday ( 38 mm with the Milanese loop). We both love our Apple Watches immensely. She replaced her $800 diamond-studded Seiko watch with it. Although she has a small wrist, it really looks good on her. She learned how to use it in a matter of a few hours. I enjoyed people's attention to the watch and their comments. The author's reasoning to abandon the beautifully crafted watch is very superficial. With the OS 2 with many useful features coming this fall, the Apple Watch is going to be phenomenal. Someone mentioned, "With the OS 2, it is going to be like that Apple comes up with the 2nd generation Apple Watch without costing the current users any money." Apple Watch has a bright future!!!!
Lee (Tampa Bay)
Why are the big tech companies so keen on getting dupes to wear computers on their faces and wrists in the first place?
The Rabbi (Philadelphia)
So many time pieces surround us yet I have so little time....Umm?
marian (Philadelphia)
While I am a fan of the I-Phone, I have no interest in the Apple watch. It's just way too much intrusiveness for me. I don't need a nanny watch telling me what to do, how to live with continual reminders every minute. That is just not for me.
I am way too busy living my own life on my own terms and I don't need to look at my nanny watch every 5 seconds.
rd spafford (Grand Rapids, MI)
Nicely written, Ms Friedman. You've produced the classic "It's not you; it's me" tech fable.
artistcon3 (New Jersey)
I don't like that it's part of the new operating system and that it can't be deleted. For that reason alone, I won't buy it. They're making too many cozy assumptions about people's buying habits and I'm beginning to feel that they're everywhere.
GS (Chicago)
This is an excellent validation of why I successfully and happily cancelled my 2 Apple Watch orders, only 2 days after I placed them online. I was initially excited to jump on the bandwagon, lured by all the hype and gorgeous marketing. Then, I further thought about actually living with this device, and correctly predicted all of the issues that Ms. Friedman has thoughtfully raised, plus:

The notion that you must have the paired iPhone nearby for much of the purported benefits to work, in many cases, obviates the utility of the Apple Watch in the first place. For example, as a runner, I initially thought it would be very convenient to strap-on the watch vs. strapping-on or carrying the heavier iPhone, to measure my speed, distance, health data, etc. But, in fact, the Apple Watch is rendered useless in this example, since it doesn't have built-in GPS and requires that data from its paired iPhone. So I would need two devices to monitor my running, instead of one. Silly.

Coming to my senses following my very brief Apple Watch fantasy, I have happily returned to devoting my wrist to attach one of my wonderfully simple, beautiful, mechanical timepieces, which elegantly, dutifully and instantly provide me the useful information that I need, at a glance -- Time & Date -- without the fuss of pulling out my iPhone and better yet, without the fuss, delays and natural distractions inherent with the Apple Watch (or any other "smart" watch, for that matter).
'...I was initially excited to jump on the bandwagon, lured by all the hype and gorgeous marketing...'

Good for you, but that raises the question of why so many people become mindless lemmings when it comes to Apple products.
Nancy Robertson (Alabama)
The Apple device is the ugliest watch I've ever seen. I don't understand why any woman (or man) would even think of wear it.
Portlandia (Orygon)
I'm an old-fashioned guy. I use a watch to tell me what time it is. And for that, my original 1934 Ingersoll Mickey Mouse fits the bill. And it's a real Mickey, not a digital picture.
B Dawson, the Furry Herbalist (Eastern Panhandle WV)
My pocket watch and fountain pen are the subjects of much comment and occasional giggles and stares. I love old-fashioned, functional & simple things. I can actually fix them when they break.

I have never understood why my husband uses his phone to text back and forth with people for 30 minutes or more at a time. It's a PHONE, call them!
hmm (PNW)
The watch and the new push into streaming music...I love Apple but neither of these float my boat. I wonder if there's really enough want/need to sustain the hype of these.
stanford37b (NYC)
Not only are the “pseudo-watch hands” in every ad, they are set at the classic 10:10 position, a subliminal smiley face, as The Times memorably reported some years back ( http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/28/business/media/28adco.html ).
I can certainly see the advantage of have something that small. I think the trend to larger smartphones is silly. Where do you put them? I don't like to carry a purse and I can't imagine putting one in a pocket.

My wrist is also to small for the Apple Watch.

So there is a place for a small Smartphone But why not a pocket version? Or a as a necklace? I would go for one of those. I could even imagine one that could clip into the inside of a lapel. So Victorian.
MD (Washington DC)
Agree with this fine article, similar experience. The battery life is abysmal, and even the magnetic charger is poor, doesn't cling very well as watch flops on nigthstand. But overall, the taptic notifications redundantly echo phone notifications, add to modern techlife's distractions. First Apple product I ever purchased and then set aside after a few days. Back to my clunky old watchwatch. I will keep Apple Watch for its historic value, maybe return to it after a year of software updates, but I'm sooooo disillusioned.
Lone_Observer (UK)
Unfortunately for Apple the author is right. What were they thinking not having the clock active at all times. Otherwise you are carrying around like she says a "big black box on her arm". That is actually the main reason I didn't buy one. Its a simple fix though. Personally I wish that Apple would compete with Microoft Hololens and produce an unbounded holographic system. I could imagine Steve Jobs pursuing that fearlessly. That would be revolutionary, liberating and wouldn't require us to "wear" technology. Call me Luddite too, I would rather technology be separated from my person than attached to my body. What's next? Implants? No thank you.
Jim D (Las Vegas)
Quite aside from all the psychological aspects of dealing with the Apple watch, there is a very practical reason to reject it. My old eyes can't read it without wearing my 2.5 power bifocals. And, my fat fingers can't touch only one icon at a time.

Remember the electronic clocks and watches where the time was displayed numerically? The reason they went out of style (a few remain) is that they only told you what time it was. They didn't tell you that it was a quarter past or until the next hour. They didn't graphically show you that there were 4 minutes remaining before you were supposed to meet your date. They had one piece of information and one only.

Now we face the quandary of having too MUCH information to process quickly. As the emperor said in "Amadeus," Too many notes. Too many notes.
Steve B. (Pacifica, CA)
Unless you're in the tech business and need to research the thing, who buys a version 1.0?
Chris (Chicago)
So the Apple Watch is not normcore recommended. This is neither surprising nor interesting.
NoWAY (California)
I find that when I have a little semiology attached to me, a little club soda gets it right off.
aussiebat (Florida)
NoWAY just wanted you to know you made my day. You should do stand up!!!!
love tennis (Santa Fe)
I can't get past your, ( NYT's) word, "handsome". To refer to this piece of tacky chrome as "handsome" is a stretch...at least! It. And all the "hoopla' around it, reminds me of when Pulsar came out with the first trendy techno "watch to have" in the 70's. It's 15 minutes of fame lasted about exactly that. I suspect this Apple gizmo's "15", is already up.
Baltimark (Baltimore)
I suppose this is the "Fashion & Style" section so it's to be expected, but people who say things like, "I knew other people looked at what I had with envy" sound like the target market for a product like this.

You know, it's a choice to live among people who view the world through a filter like that.

Bad sign for Apple if even such a person didn't like it.

Really bad sign when enough people have them that that feeling of superiority is lost as a selling point.
Mortiser (MA)
I had wondered about my utter indifference to the release of the watch, and this helped clarify my sentiments. Plus, I learned a new word definition: tourbillon. I had thought the word referred to a beef reduction sauce or a secret payment to a FIFA official.
India (Midwest)
I don't understand why the author bought an Apple Watch in the first place. It was clearly not the product for her and her individual needs.

I love Apple products and am usually an early adopter, but have no interest in owning an Apple Watch. I own a lovely Rolex which I can swim in and it serves my needs admirably. I don't want to own an everyday watch that is not submersible. I don't want to have to worry about it but I do want a watch that is a lovely piece of jewelry. I think the top-of-the-line Apple Watch in Rose Gold is stunning, but I would never pay that amount of money for a watch which will at some point in the near future (a couple of years?) no longer be upgradable. I buy a watch for life!

But all these reasons why it's not for me, doesn't mean it isn't a great product for others. I'm an elderly woman - hardly Apple Watch's target demographic! While I have had an iPhone from when the first one was introduced and now own an iPhone, I'm not addicted to it in anyway. I frankly detest texting and only do so when I need info from my family immediately and they don't pick up their phones.

While I'm about as far from being an Apple insider as possible, I don't think Apple ever saw the phone as something everyone was going to have, like the iPhone, which totally changed how we see phones. Someday, perhaps, but not now. It's for a certain type of person, but that doesn't mean it's a lousy, looser product.
Angeles B (México)
Probably it was a gift from Apple.
'... I'm an elderly woman - hardly Apple Watch's target demographic!...'

But definitely Apple's target demographic, as Apple products are expensive toys for people who know nothing about technology and want to keep it that way.

The demographic is older people and college students.
cboy (nyc)
Quite happy with mine; why on earth would I care about what anyone else thinks of it?
Jeff Klinkenberg (St. Petersburg)
It's just a watch. You bought it and didn't like it. Sell it to someone who wants it. No need to to pat yourself on the back.
mfo (France)
I'm an American living and working in France. I bought one for my wife and none of my French co-workers get the point. It honestly doesn't do much and what it does can be odd, like telling her to stand up in the middle of a movie while in a movie theater.

On the other hand, pardon the pun, my wife really does seem to like her iWatch, even if it doesn't seem to do anything genuinely useful. In that regard I suppose it's more like her Dogue de Bordeaux than a fashion accessory.
NA Fortis (Los ALtos CA)
OK. Jobs is gone; innovation is kaput. All recent attempts are shallow, shallow, I say.

Question: When does the stock start to plummet?

yo (oh)
As soon as I buy it.
I do respect the author’s views but it is likely that many people have different takes on the same. For example I think that the apple watch is a just another step in the evolution of the technology and future models will be more attuned to our needs rather than just technology prowess. Also allowing person to monitor his health or his movement is great and can modify individual behavior over a period of time to his betterment. As everything in life there are some who take things to the extreme as mentioned by the author. But then that would be same with or without a gadget.
Darrell Burks (Miami Beach)
I quit wearing a watch when they invented the Iphone. It did everything that my watch did - so why should I have a Iwatch hmmmm
TommyR (Austin, Texas, USA)
I use mine to see what time it is.
Rick Wamre (Dallas)
If you're selling the watch, I'd be interested in buying it!
Vicki (St. Louis, MO)
Unless one enjoys reading an article/email one word at a time, it's not a device for the over-forty eyes. Perhaps Apple could attach a pop-up magnifying glass to the watch? just for us older folks (who've been buying their products for over 25 years). Perhaps they could call this new line of products "Apple Sauce." : )
Saide Shades (california)
Heck, I had enough trouble with my Casio Baby G telling me the time in a zillion different time zones, trying to program the stupid thing (even though it looks good), so I can't even imagine trying to deal with a mini-computer on my arm. I'll stick to my Timex, thank you.
Tony B (NY, NY)
But how will you know when or if you need to stand up?
suzinne (bronx)
Why a watch when we already have a phone?
Jerry Vandesic (Boston)
Exactly. Apple has sold (pocket) watches for years. They just didn't call them that.
steven23lexny (NYC)
Exactly! I no longer wear my watch as my phone is with me constantly.
I have never enjoyed wearing a watch or bracelets so the thought of having to strap on an Apple Watch holds no appeal and my phone provides access to any technology/information I need.
Genevieve Cerf (Groton. CT)
I'm a geek too, and I love my watch for even more reasons than Ms. Friedman hates hers!
- I'm of the Dick Tracy era and wanted more than anything to have his watch. Impossible childhood dream come true!!
- I don't have to keep searching for my phone to do something.
- Counting my steps is hugely important for my health and I don't need an extra band to do it.
- I feel freed from having to look at the phone at every beep, as the watch notifies me of anything important, but allows me to defer the rest.
- I can set an alarm much faster than on my phone.
- I can ask Siri to search my calendar for when I need to change my contact lenses even when I'm in the bathroom without the phone!
- It's easier to get Siri to find and call someone than to use the phone.
- Betcha haven't figured out that the watch can automatically jump on any Wi-Fi network for which you had the passcode on the phone! That's brilliant!!
- I'm constantly making pleasant new discoveries about things it can do and I bet Apple will keep pushing great new stuff on to it as we go forward, while I'm sleeping and the watch is happily recharging.
- Best of all, I can't get enough of spinning the moon and the earth around, and marveling, whenever I need that spiritual boost, at how beautiful they both are.

There are plenty of uglier and more reprehensible objects in this world to pick on than that wonderful little Apple watch! I'd say that'd be a better use of your craft...
Berkeley Bee (San Francisco, CA)
When someone creates a watch that is truly a Dick Tracy watch -- all the functions of a laptop/notebook available in a wrist device that does not need another device (iPhone somewhere around/on the body) to make it work -- I shall be impressed. And maybe I'll look at buying one for myself. Until then?
rude man (Phoenix)
"I'm of the Dick Tracy era and wanted more than anything to have his watch. Impossible childhood dream come true!!"

That was a two-way radio. You don't have a two-way radio.
Stan Continople (Brooklyn)
Maybe if it had an attachment, where you could clip it onto your glasses...
Bill (Charlottesville)
It's not the Apple fans' fondness for their toys I have a problem with. It's when they turn that cultish stare on you and ask, "And why don't YOU have an iPhone/iPad/Macbook?", as though your choices suddenly stopped being your choices, and you must either fall in line or provide a valid excuse.
Bill G (Scituate, MA)
Perhaps you're hanging with the wrong people. I have never experienced that kind of interaction, at work in a tech environment or socially.
Paw (Hardnuff)
I predict there will be a backlash against all of it.

After initially swooning over my smartphone & the geniuses who created it, one day it evaporated with all my texts & tappings, & I've never gone back.

We had the most advanced gadget we could ever need 3 I-phones ago. This is all just manufacturing a market, an endless stream of planned-obsolescence.

The very concept of being that connected, constantly tapping self-obsessed minutia into gorilla glass, everyone staring at their phones lest they actually have to deal with the world they're actually walking through, the novelty & fictional necessity will fade.

But when they actually do come up with a brain implant for additional ram, or an actual mind-meld module, or a bionic lobe-link to Wikipedia, I'm in!
Don Jones (Philadelphia)
William Gibson was right.
Walt (Wisconsin)
A good and sensible argument. Brought to mind a line I saw recently, attributed to Ellen DeGeneres: “Do we have to know who’s gay and who’s straight? Can’t we just love everybody and judge them by the car they drive?”
Emily (Pittsburgh, PA)
I love Ellen!
wing ding (chicagto)
I consider myself tech savvy and have Apple products throughout the office and home but I just don't get the niche this product fills?
Run76 (New York)
I have only been using it for a couple of days. So no definitive answer yet. But driving directions are certainly helped by it. First you get a slight tap on the wrist. A fraction of a second later the Apple maps voice will give you directions. In heavily trafficed inner cities were watching traffic is absolutely important, it really helped me to listen more closely while keeping my eyes on the street. I never needed to glance on the screen because I missed one direction. So in combination with the iPhone deiving seems to be getting safer. That is a plus point.
Another point of view from a new Apple watch owner - I was out for dinner with family the other night , when I realized that I was the only one at the table without the glow of a phone on my face. Yes, this may be a reflection on my dinner conversation , but I prefer to attribute it to the watch , which now requires only the occasional, and in my opinion less rude and intrusive glance away to satisfy my virtual addiction.
The only adult I know who looks at a cell phone when out to dinner with companions is a corporate attorney who is paid by the minute and is paying for dinner.

Anyone else is rude, so best they dine with each other.
Ted Manning (Peoria, Indiana)
What a family!
Wendy (New Jersey)
This is what mystifies me about the "need" for the Apple watch. So far most people have mentioned, as you did in this comment, that having the watch means they are no longer "required" to check their phones incessantly. What kind of skewed perspective have we come to when people MUST be constantly connected to whatever their phone tells them is important for them to know? I get that this comment makes me sound like an old geezer, but it seems technology, which was to make things simpler for us, has become a tyrant, an "addiction" as you call it, which holds us in its thrall and keeps us from enjoying the very things that make life worth living. Sad.
Vern Stevens (Va. Beach, VA)
I can get why some people do not like the watch. I can also get why I do like the watch. In my case, it is more convenience than necessity to be sure. However, it does that job well.

The fact that it is a conversation piece now, because it is new, is something that will fade with time. That some people think it is rude or geeky will fade with time too, just like the oddness of people who talk to the air with their bluetooth headsets. That some people chose to do that when it was uncomfortable is what allows others to do it now with ease. I also worry less about the assumptions people make about me, that's their problem. Their opinion of me is none of my business.
judgeroybean (ohio)
To Vern Stevens who wrote: "I also worry less about the assumptions people make about me, that's their problem. Their opinion of me is none of my business." I love that last line! I will make use of it.
But, to the business at hand. I characterize the Apple Watch as an "almost". Just like the blind date who was great in every way, but not exactly right. Or all-electric vehicles at this point in time. They're an almost. All are remarkable inventions, but just have too many drawbacks to really be of use. Not ready for prime time, not seamless; no matter how we wish it so.
paula (<br/>)
Now can we rethink whether we need all the other useless stuff which will eventually end up in stinky, polluting landfills all over the third world for children to pick over? And maybe remember it isn't all about us and our "fashion statements?"
Assume you typed this comment on your MAC/PC that was build with planned obsolescence, no?
A Guy (Lower Manhattan)
There are very few things that make me more furious than people with this attitude.

Here's a list of things off the top of my head that were at one point considered "useless stuff" by people who thought just like you:

- Electricity
- Phones
- Cars
- Planes
- Computers
- Internet

I don't know about you, but I'm glad the people who came up with that "useless stuff" didn't rethink it first.

It's impossible to foresee how innovations will change the world. Nobody should rethink things that have a chance to do just that.
Brett (Washington, DC)
Interesting observations, however, I believe the watch isn't fully baked yet to woo the masses. I've had mine since day one and I realize that the best interactions with the watch happen when I don't actually interact with it, but when it provides me with information proactively like if it's going to rain, when to leave for an appointment, alarms and timers, quick news glimpses, fitness alerts, and messaging. The watch will 100% be more useful with the new iOS 9 due to the proactive features they are including. I think developers are having a hard time understanding that the watch works best when we don't have to tinker with it because the screen is too small. We should be able to install an app and then never have to use it until it notifies us of something.

We are so accustomed to hunting down information and "opening" apps to find it, but this is not the way the watch will work best and I think most people who don't yet grasp that would not see the utility of the watch at first glance (or maybe after initial use). Once the general public understands how information is going to reach us via the watch, then I think widespread adoption will take place. In order for that to happen, we will need developers to make more apps that use predictions and notifications to deliver information based on environmental and habitual cues from the user.
Run76 (New York)
I think you are 100 % correct. People complain about how this is not needed and just a toy when actually the opposite is true. The smartphone is the toy on which we can install hundreds of apps to enjoy or work with based on our preference. With the watch everything needs to function. It is the ultimate notification device that could remind you of anything and make your life simpler that way. The interaction should always be brief though. Aside of the first day I think I have not used it for more than 30 seconds at a time. Her sentiment why she does not want to use the Apple Watch is a statement of our time. I have friend who renamed her baby son right before his first birthday because too many people criticized her for his name. In times of social media everybody seems overly sensitive to what others think of them.
Marcel (Greensburg, PA)
Brett, thanks for your thoughts. What you describe is exactly what I hope a tech savvy watch can do for me.
atoughmoose (Madison,WI.)
Apparently, ''It is not us, it is Apple.'' However I would go by the one, in about by the year 2020 ''the Predator'' movie villain has; the whole arm ''powrcompfabletwatch'' with Invincibility and Camo App, strapped to my arm like a glove. Then Apple of my arm, could be eyeing the Earth with ease and smug.
Laurence Svirchev (Vancouver, Canada)
fantastic, a woman who does not wear labels.
Mr. Robin P Little (Conway, SC)

Your wrists are fine, Ms. Friedman

This summary says it all at the Ars Technica website:

Review: The absolutely optional Apple Watch and Watch OS 1.0
A pragmatist's guide to a nice but not quite necessary gadget.

by Andrew Cunningham - May 3, 2015 3:00pm EDT


Turn to directly to page 7's The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly to scan what you need to know about this $400 (and up) gadget that still needs an iPhone to work at all. What?
FreeRange (Everywhere, America)
So you read an article and that makes you an expert? In fact the majority of functions continue to work without the iPhone depending on where you are - I left my iPhone at home the other day when I went to a meeting but continued to get text messages, send text messages, get the time, could play music.... Etc etc etc.
Chip (Concord, MA)
Don't feel bad, Vanessa. My wife ordered me an Apple watch for my birthday. Having waited almost a month and a half for it to arrive, I was excited to have received it. However, once I got it my feelings quickly changed. First, it has to be recharged every night; and the charger, which I had originally plugged into a surge suppressor, wouldn't work unless plugged directly into a wall outlet. Next, I couldn't get the notifications to work the way I wanted them to. My watch wouldn't notify me when a reminder popped up on my watch. And, finally, when trying to work with Apple support to correct issues with the watch, it became quickly clear that their support personnel just don't know how to use the watch well at all. I'm a big Apple fan and have been for some time in no little part because their support is the best in the business. But for this product, it quite frankly is dreadful. So, having worn the watch for five days, and after a particularly frustrating 30 minutes on the phone with Apple support yesterday, I packed up the watch and returned it to my nearest Apple store. I'll just go back to having my watch do what it was meant to do - tell me the correct time.
Deering (NJ)
Never buy the first version of tech--bugs are a feature, not a bug. :)
It seriously wasn't clear to you that charging it daily was part of the deal from the get-go?
RML (New City)
Ahhh, yes, a watch just telling you the time. What a concept!
S.D. Keith (Birmingham, AL)
What more can the Apple Watch do that the iPhone doesn't? Nothing. And everything it can do, requires you still lug around an iPhone. I might one day be interested in a gadget that alleviates the need to carry around other gadgets--can someone please invent a phone and laptop all-in-one that I can wear on my arm?--but tending to another tech gadget just so I can say I have one? No.

I know this sounds like heresy, but with every new gadget enabling ever greater connectivity, I wonder, is there any real benefit to all this? I need an Apple Watch so I can immediately know whenever someone posts something to Facebook? They say Facebook changed the world. Did it? Or did it just enhance the efficiency of wasting time hanging out (a notion loaded with internal contradictions)? But do people who aren't on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram (like me) really exist in the minds of the social-media-besotted majority? When something happens in a life lived away from social media, does it make a sound?
Joe (Philly)
I don't lug my iphone around the office and I no longer keep my phone within reach at home all because of my Apple Watch. For me that is a big benefit. Not transforming but valuable none the less.

People who "don't like the watch" seem to view it through a number of preconceived narratives

Apple has had a string of successes and it's time for the company to fail
Steve Jobs is dead so Apple can't innovate
I can't understand why anyone would wear a watch when they have a smart phone
The watch is a status symbol- I don't wear status symbols
The watch can't do anything without the iphone so why does it exist

These are all limitations of perspective. Not the watch.

I can say after owning an Apple watch from the release date that it fills a need for people who don't sit at their desk all day and are expected to stay on top of breaking work issues. My Director used to come to my office and start talking about an email she sent me which I had not read because I was working on something else. That does not happen anymore because of the watch. I also don't miss any communication from my wife. That for is worth the $500 I paid for the watch. Your mileage may vary but you will never know until you've actually tried the watch.

As for this article. Would it have been published if the author liked the watch?
hoosier lifer (johnson co IN)
Your experience was exactly what I thought about this thing when they put it out. For me , with plus 50 eyes, it would be a cumbersome to use.
I hope you were paid to review it.
IMO folks don't look to cool staring at & stroking glowy rectangles all the time; talking to techno box on a wrist even dorkier.
Joel (NYC)
Could not agree more. Which is why I did not, for the first time in AppleHistory I did not buy a new Apple product ( I even owned a Newton), the iWatch had no lure. Your point regarding the fitness-app is one of my big non-selling points. I do not subscribe to the need to know my steps, miles, inches, heart rate at all times. It made me nuts when my Dr. asked me to chart "a few things" awhile back. No thanks, "watcher" no thanks. One other point. I love watches, yes I am over 40, I like seeing my watch face, I use it, now get this, to tell time and have several for my various events (formal, workout) and enjoy them all. A black square on my wrist, again, no. My Fitbit friends with wearing black/green/whatever colored bands, about as interesting to me a wearing other rubberized accessories. Next iPhone, but of course.
Samuel Markes (New York)
Years ago, I was deeply impressed with Apple for the facility with which I purchased a laptop for my wife - it was remarkable to walk away with a functioning computer in 20 minutes. But, the world has changed. The iPhone was revolutionary - today it's just another smartphone - a toy designed to suck people into an unceasing world within a 15 square inch layer of glass. I walked with my daughter and her friend the other day - one of those truly remarkable late spring afternoons, and both of them were stumbling along, staring into their screens. And we passed 3 more people, all of whom were staring fixedly into their screens. We all live now, charge to charge. The screens blink and flip and call for our attention, while the world around us can go to ruin. Maybe it's a secret plot to take our attention away from the real world.
Me - I'll stick with my regular analogue watch and watch the world around me.
Kathy Leary (Dayton, OH)
Maybe other people will also watch the world around them more if they have this watch doing the work their phones are now doing. That's the one positive take away I'm getting from iWatch adapters' comments--they look at their phones less.
Steve Fankuchen (Oakland, CA)
Samuel, well said.

Consider this, unlike you, kids today will think the movie "Twelve O'Clock High" is about smoking dope at lunch in the school cafeteria.

And if you ask them to turn the spigot clockwise to stop the flow of gasoline heading for the fire, you'd better just run for cover.
Amiblue (Brooklyn, NY)
A nice piece on the newest overhyped tech gadget. Thank God for me, I've never been seduced by new toys, waiting in lines for some, days, just to be one of the first to pay good money for something that'll be outdated in a year.
Joe (New York New York)
Nothing says "I don't want to be here" like a person constantly checking his or her watch. Do you remember when President George HW Bush looked at his watch during a debate with candidate Clinton in 1992? I for one do not need another gadget chirping and beeping for my attention. As for watches, I wear my grandfather's Bulova from the fifties and have been happy since my father gave it to me when I graduated from high school, many years ago.
Run76 (New York)
A person constantly checking their smartphone and even typing messages on it is infinately mor rude though.
How many people really need to know the time to the second, outside of commuters racing for planes or trains?

Any basic cell phone will give you the time and is a great alarm clock and flashlight, all in one small package.
Richard (Concord, NH)
Well put. I currently do not wear a watch as a matter of choice, but was considering whether to take a stab at this. You have reminded me that if I don't like watches, then I shouldn't get this.
Charlie B (USA)
Hmm, let's see. Your friends say things like, “Don’t expect a coup de foudre." They jump up and march around the room in the middle of a conversation at the behest of a fitness bracelet.

You're fine. Your watch is fine. What you need is new friends.
Matthew Iadarola (Los Angeles)
Au contraire Charle B, you need a new newspaper site.
a. einstein (artic)
Thank you Ms Friedman. This was exactly the article I was hoping somebody would write.

You see, I am a FOWM and thus entirely unqualified to assess the effect that the Apple Watch is going to have on the profitability of the Apple Corporation. Should I buy gobs of the stock or should I sell the overpriced/overhyped shares immediately. Will the fashionistas and their followers rate it a "must have" or a "only a geek doodle would be caught dead with one"

You see, being a FOWM, I giggled the first time one of my kids danced in to the farm house wearing a T shirt with a Levi logo emblazoned on the front. "How much are they paying you to advertise their shirt", I sneered. "No way anybody would ever get me to put their picture or logo on anything I'd wear", I continued. "Boy, that is one marketing scam that will never catch on", I concluded. Am I clever prognosticator of our populace or not?

Again Ms Friedman, thanks a lot. You are obviously quite like me. This Fat Old White Man hates hype and calling attention to myself like you so obviously and eloquently painted your own portrait. And like this FOWM, you're obviously the exact opposite of the huge majority of the human buying public.

Note to my broker: buy 1000 shares of Apple asap!
xxx (Brooklyn, NY)
You were a geek to begin with when you purchased it. Don't be fooled, you did exactly what Apple wanted you to do. If everyone was smart enough to not buy an Apple product as soon as it is released because they are deficient and/or plain stupid (in the case of the Apple watch), it would change Apple's whole marketing strategy and business model.
Frank Matheis (New York)
I read Miss Friedman's article with interest.
With the identical watch and just about the same time frame of ownership, my experience is entirely different.
Only once did someone notice the watch and commented "Oh, that's a real status symbol." My response was "Well, low status guys like me need all the help we can get." Everybody laughed and that was it.
I don't own a gadget, a watch or any device, to be seen by others. It's not fashion, even though it looks good. It's a watch that keeps perfect time. It's a phone that I can answer instantly without having to fumble for my phone on time. I love the ability to track my steps and to be notified when I have been sitting too long (typing stuff like this). I love it when it augments my GPS while in the car. On and on. Sorry, Miss Friedman (an excellent writer) but I am keeping my watch – most happily.
Neil Lazar (New York)
I completely agree with you on various levels.

I also don't wear the watch to attract attention or to show I'm how cool I am and also have had only a couple of people ask me about it.

I just got my watch about a week ago and, so far, have found a few things I like and some I don't. However, I can now clearly see how much better this device has the potential to become. Even from the demo of the next watch operating system there will be improvement.

The watch is not for everyone as shown by the comments here. However, as with most new categories, it takes time. People thought the iPad was a joke; even back with the introduction of personal computers, people would ask 'what would I do with one?'.

Not every new innovative product is a success and Apple has had it's share of failures over the years. However, they are quite good at realizing when something doesn't work and discontinuing it or making it better. This one is no different and it seems like there is tremendous interest in digital watches, if the number of companies and models already out there is any indication.
Bill Sprague (Tokyo)
Give it a rest. I bet you don't even know why it keeps "perfect time". Is it so hard to pull your iPhone out of your pocket to look at the time on the lockscreen? It keeps "perfect time", too. It's Apple stuff and they will undoubtedly move onto the next "big" thing before you can even say "marketing".
zato (Los Angeles)
Making Apple WRONG is the driving motor of the TECH Internet. It's where the Clicks and MONEY is.
Mike (New York)
Very smart review and agree with all of it. Although I still like my Apple Watch and it will continue to cling to me.
Charles Haynes (USA)
I know everyone needs a job. And if you have a job you gotta do something to get paid. A very little thought up front would have revealed what was likely to happen having a "black box" on your arm though. And no, I don't think you were the target. Because the speed with which you made the choice to divorce the watch means to me it was all about having something to say and, since it is Apple, it's automatically current. There you were, waiting...
George (New Smryan Beach)
My IPhone made my watch obsolete. The IWatch just baffles me. It's like a buggy whip for my Honda.
Karen (Phoenix, AZ)
I didn't have to buy the Apple Watch to know everything Friedman said about it. It is another products as attention seeking and pretentious as Google Glass and e-cigarettes. Everytime I see someone hopelessly flaunting them, I immediately seek to avoid them. I have no deserve or need to be connected all the time. I'm just not that important. I Iphone is more than enough connectedness, so much so I makes efforts to separate myself from it, leaving it in my purse, if not at home. I truly hope that wearable tech prooves to be a trend so short-lived that it never really materializes.
DRD (Falls Church, VA)
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Frank Stanton (Campbell, Ca.)
Totally agree. This, like most Apple products is much about nothing. Very little if any of the Apple products can really make the quality of one's life better. Ultimately, it is mainly a status icon; one that constantly has to be renewed (upgraded) because Apple tells us so.
Jacques 5646 (Switzerland)
Hallelujah, at long last a strong and joyful position which dares to swing away from the megatons of technically-correct articles, the geeky authors of which want to prepare us for a world where Orwell's 1984 will look like a nursery rhyme.
MsPea (Seattle)
Good for you. I hope more people will realize that their lives will not be transformed by gizmos like the Apple Watch, which really are just items developed by a giant corporation to be sold to people that don't need it. If your life is so burdened that you can't hold a boarding pass, unlock a hotel room door, or use a smart phone, then you need more than a watch to straighten things out. Companies are developing products just because they can, not because they really serve any purpose.
jgm (North Carolina)
"Companies are developing products just because they can, not because they really serve any purpose."
Kinda like the fashion industry that Ms Friedman gets paid to write about.
Elizabeth (Az)
Thank you...what you experienced I had suspected, so I paused before buying the watch, I waited for the experiences of living with the watch. I was heartened to learn that others, like me, are tired of all the exercise and fitness metrics that can, if we let them, run our lives, No thanks. And always looking at your wrist especially when you are with others has always seemed so rude to me, as if I were sending a message to anyone near me that says "can't you hurry up with what you are doing or saying, I am bored with you."
Sam (Montana)
I'm an Apple fanboy but have been disappointed in Cupertino's latest offerings without Jobs at the helm. It seems like they're desperately trying to innovate without the innovator at the helm. I can't find any utility for the watch and I wanted to like it. I don't need to talk to my watch and I don't need to further disengage from the world around me by obsessively seeing every text, email or tweet the moment it comes in. Life seems more abundant with less of these technological distractions than with more of them.
Jeane (Oakland, CA)
Too many people like to ignore the fact that Apple has NEVER been successful without Jobs. Like him or not (and he was hard to like, unlike Tim Cook), his passion for innovation and instinct for creating an entire new market segment was equaled by very few other CEOs (Akio Morita/Sony was another). Cook is a nice guy, but an inspiration, a driver of engineering challenges? Not even close.
tiddle (nyc, ny)
@Jeane, Cook is a perfect operations guy who has indeed perfected the operational side for apple for so long. But he never claims to be a products guy (not in design, or engineering, or anything remotely close), and he never will be. That's why he has to elevate Jony Ives because it's the products/lifestyle guy - the ultimate arbiter for what users might want before they even know it themselves - in Steve Jobs' ingenuity that is totally lacking.

And this is not just a deficiency for Apple. Afterall, no one who before or since has come close to what he had achieved, in pushing his way into so many categories, from music, to smartphone, to animation, and more, so successfully for so long. Yes, I'm a fan of Jobs, but I'm not a fanboy. I admire what he had achieved, and I don't even need to like him.
Ted Manning (Peoria, Indiana)
"NEVER been successful without Jobs"!!! ???

Where have you been the last couple of years as Apple become the mostly highly valued company on the planet?!

And saw the iPad Mini, MacBook Pro with retina display, MacBook, iOS 7, and Apple Watch introduced --new products, new engineering! All under Cook! And, who do you think was running Apple when Jobs took his several medical leave of absence? Yes, that's right, Cook again!

Sorry, but the Apple bashing linked to Jobs idolatry should come to an end. His RDF is amazingly strong, though he's no longer with us!
Steve (Arlington VA)
I'm an unabashed geek and am more accustomed to reading about gadgets in the technology section. But this completely nontechnical review may hold more wisdom about whether the Apple watch will succeed or fail than anything Farhad Manjoo might write.
Ted Pikul (Interzone)
Also, there's no photo or drawing of the author wearing a fatuous smirk.
G.R.B. (Maryland)
Finally, someone that doesn't drool over the Apple Watch, is very refreshing. I myself am a techie. I have all the toys and gadgets within my budget. Being an older guy 60+ I am fascinated by all the things gadgets we have today! But back to the watch. I have tried a couple of "smartwatches" which were not that smart. But I recently purchased a Smartwatch that doesnt require you to be tethered to your phone. I love it ! I have actually gone without my smartphone for a few days and rely on my watch to receive texts, make calls and count my steps, etc. So for me this watch makes sense, not just a techie fashion accessory. Hint I have a Samsung smartphone.
David (Florida)
Technology is the new jewelry, for about ten years now.
j (NYC)
Just about every negative reference to the Apple Watch on this page applies to phones too.
Unless the user is so pre-occupied with his or phone to the point of having lost all perspective.
Lyle Greenfield (New York, NY)
Agree on all levels. And those are pretty much the reasons I won't be going on a first date with the Apple Watch. Enjoy your freedom, Ms. Friedman!
Barry (Nashville, TN)
Obviously, you were only faking it from the start.
Sue Saks (New York)
VANESSA FRIEDMAN's breakup with her APPLE watch is a heartbreaking story.
After reading the WHYS, I concluded that the APPLE WATCH had become a DISTRACTION that was consuming her valuable TIME instead of making her life EASIER. Like all break-ups, she now has more TIME for herself. We all need an UNPLUG DAY from our computers.
Franz Litz (Niskayuna, NY)
The writer of this piece is too concerned about what other people think. I wear the Apple Watch--the simple, cheapest Sport Watch version--because it is functional. I am no longer staring at my phone nearly as much, and that makes me more aware of what is going on around me, more connected to the people around me. My phone stays tucked in my briefcase or in my pocket. I can less obtrusively confirm that I have no pressing texts or emails or calls from my wrist and not get distracted into checking a bunch of other things on my phone. My daughters also have the Watch and I find the digital touch features allow us to share moments throughout the day--funny sketches, one-word inside jokes, our heart beats. I love this device and have the distinct sense that this is just the beginning, just like the first iPhone before creative app developers are unleashed to bring more useful features.
Dino Reno (Reno)
Apple made a lame product when it created the watch that did not succeed as a fashion statement or a tech gadget. It's a big miss because it's their first post Steve Jobs product and shows the world the void he left behind. Apple now is just an ordinary company, but with massive resources, thanks to their Jobs's legacy. Extending out their lines of successful products will be play out for years to come. Try as they might, the days of producing game changing products are history. What is sad to observe is Apple's attempt to be cool when it was cool without trying.
David (Portland)
I totally agree. The iPhone was a truly innovative and extremely useful device, the most useful and highest quality consumer product I have ever owned. The watch is blatantly a fashion item, and not even ready for whatever market it is aimed at. Nothing could demonstrate more completely how much Apple was Steve Jobs.
Josh Hill (New London, Conn.)
Yes, sad but -- I think -- true. Apple is very much like Sony after Akito Morita died and it became just another electronics company, good products but not leader-in-the-field ones like the Betamax and Walkman.
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
I agree that being successful is cool. As an Apple stockholder for almost exactly thirty years, I've never lost faith in what Apple was trying to do, and I see no reason to start doing so now. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down.
Bob Burns (Oregon's Willamette Valley)
Bravo. Maybe, finally, the bloom has come off the rose. In the end, much of this stuff is just an annoyance.
Janet Camp (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
No breakup for me. I too have small wrists and the 38mm covers my wrist, but with a sport band, it stays in place and looks good.. I have had NONE of the public exchanges you describe. Only a couple of people have noticed my AW and no one has asked to "try it", though perhaps because that is because I show them a couple of things if they seem interested. I love that the fitness app tells me to get up and move as I tend to sit too long when I knit and I know that's bad for me. I love it when I meet my goals, and I really love being able to answer a call without digging for my phone when engaged in other activity (when I have the phone secured in a cargo,pant pocket for example, while working outdoors). I simply don't have any of the issues you describe and I find the AW a wonderful addition to my much loved iPhone. Another neat thing is that I can have a playlist on the watch and go for a run with just the watch and my Bluetooth headset without wearing the silly arm case that came with the earbuds. I use my AW all day and find it helpful, comfortable, and attractive without being at all intrusive.
Completely Normal (Pacific Palisades)
Expressing joy at being told what to do by a machine is weird and un-human.
40 (New York, NY)
Well, if you don't want it, can I have it? ;)
Rod Blank (California)
Giver her 18 months to "re-set"; bet she'll be back on the AppleWatch train.
Paul (Phoenix, AZ)
I'm not getting it. Clearly, this hokey looking thing was going to fail; even a high school drop out could tell you that.

But she says she doesn't want to be identified by her gadgets and is not afraid to do things manually, yet her iPhone has transformed her life?
Daryl Kunzmann (West Los Angeles)
Live in LA or NYC and you'll get what she's talking about.
- Who do you have on? (clothes)
- That so defines you! (car)
- Did you see that? (fashion(less) accessory)
- So last year! (a lot of things)
It's pervasive and gets old fast.
Ted Pikul (Interzone)
It's actually selling very well.
LV (San Jose, CA)
Thanks. Exactly my sentiments, though I don't have an Apple watch.
This article should have been in the Technology section as well - I sometimes see the same article highlighted in two different sections in NY Times (web edition).
Frank (Kansas)
You did not mention the deal killer for me... charging. I am one of those people who never removes a ring or my watch so it must be waterproof and able to run for a year or more at a time. The idea of charging a watch every night makes the product seem like a burden rather than the next great thing. iMac, iPhone, and Macbook Pro; yes, iPad, Apple Watch; fail, Apple tv; meh.
just me (California)
so we may not be ready to implant such devices in a child's head at birth, maybe, huh? you mean we're humans, not machines? (sorry, spoken by an old fogie Baby Boomer)
Murray Bolesta (Green Valley Az)
Bringing attention to yourself as a walking brand is an attraction to most buyers. However, in the end, irregardless of which wrist band you choose, these Apple Watches have no style and are ugly.
rude man (Phoenix)
Fellow Zonie, I agree with you. But stop saying "irregardless".
Carolyn (Lexington, KY)
I'm more interested in the following statement from the article, I don't care at all about an Apple watch....
"There is a reason that I carry the same (no logo) handbag everywhere I go, a reason my (pre-Apple) watch had no bells or tourbillon whistles; a reason I gravitate toward clothes that are not identifiable by season or designer and do not appear in any advertisements I have ever seen..."

I'd buy the book that she has written...will write...on how she accomplishes this and what she actually wears.....
Passing Shot (Brooklyn)
It's not that hard, at least in NYC. Well-cut white shirt (or T-shirt), jeans that fit, and a strand a pearls. Done.
Oliver (Rhode Island)
I agree. Not sure why Apple did not make a bangle or bracelet for women, knowing that women really are Apple's bread and butter. Women are their largest demographic. Is this a case of Silicon Valley sexism where few women executives have a voice?