Skip to main content


The Apple Watch: Musings on faces

Posted in Reductionism.

Two things that confound me about the Apple Watch is a) why Apple is so insistent on packing it with analogue faces, and b) why people use them. Blending in skeuomorphic representations of top-of-the-line mechanical watches with glanceable information looks good in marketing…

The default Apple Watch face

… but it is a mess to actually use.

Customizing the Apple Watch within the boundaries of what it actually is – a fitness device with quick access to micro-views of the iPhone – is a better way to take advantage of its usability. My personal pick is the Infograph Modular.

My Apple Watch face
An oasis of easy-to-read information.

It’s glanceable, and the large mid area is great for more in-depth information. (In this case, Activity, though I suspect many will get good use out of Weather or Calendar.) The way I look at it, Apple Watch is about as much of a watch as the iPhone is a phone.

And if you want a face that looks like a high-end analogue watch? Go get a high-end watch. The Nautilus 5711/1A will run you a cold $25,000, but it’s hard to argue that it isn’t a fine piece of jewelry.