9 April 2015Daring Fireball:
The Sport Band is a downright revelation — I’d go so far as to call it the most comfortable watch band I’ve ever worn. I’ve rolled my eyes at Apple’s use of fluoroelastomer in lieu of rubber to describe the material of these bands, but it truly does have a premium, richly supple feel to it. The way the end of the band tucks under the other side of the strap — a design Marc Newson first used at Ikepod — is brilliant. Up until now, it struck me as odd that the $10,000 Edition models came with the same bands4 as the entry-model $349/399 Sport watches. Having worn it, it now strikes me the other way around — that the $349/399 Sport watches are equipped with straps that can genuinely be described as luxurious, fluoroelastomer or not.
When the Watch was first revealed in September, I misinterpreted the Sport model as the ‘cheap’ variant. As time has gone on though, I realised I was wrong. Cue and Cook wear the Apple Watch Sport, with sport bands. The Sport is a first-class piece of hardware. I jumped to conclusions and originally modelled the Apple Watch Sport as the iPhone 5c equivalent of the iPhone 5s, a pale imitation of the real deal.
Now, I see it more like the Sport being the main model — at least for this generation, the model I am recommending people buy. The steel and gold casings should be seen as luxury options, available for those that can appreciate the materials and higher-quality jewellery finishes.
If you want to stretch an analogy, you could position the Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the phone lineup, respectively. The iPhone 6 is the primary ‘new’ hardware that most people ought to buy. The Plus is the ‘added extras’ model.
The Edition doesn’t translate to the current iPhone range at all (although I don’t think you should rule out Apple making an ‘iPhone Edition’ in future). It is truly in the space of unnecessarily exuberant wealth, a field that Apple has not approached with any of its other products to date.1
1 I don’t think the Edition is a mistake. It has a purpose.