The reviews of the Apple Watch are in — and they’re brutal.
The gadget goes on sale on Friday. Mainly, it’s the tech folks who’ve checked out what was expected to be the finest smartwatch of them all. And the most fashionable. We’ll have to wait for the high-end watch world to offer up its views.
However, if the Apple Watch is less than thrilling, hard to use, flawed — well, that would make it a typical first-generation gadget. Even from Apple.
But whatever, if you must have one, you will. But you could also put your money into a real watch.
“Real watch” — I know it’s a provocative and snooty concept. The Apple Watch is a toy! The Patek Philippe Calatrava is a true timepiece, an shimmering example of Swiss horological skill and tradition!
Ugh. But let’s say you now have some reservations about dropping $US650 on the same stainless-steel Apple Watch with a Milanese loop band that the New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo spent time with before writing his fairly ambivalent review. Here’s what you should do with the money instead.
Use it for a down payment on an Omega Seamaster. You can get a certified pre-owned version for about $US3,000. Make payments for a year or so and then own it free and clear. Forever. Because it will last … forever, if serviced and cared for properly. It’s easily the best value there is in high-end Swiss automatic watches. No, it’s not a Rolex Submariner. But it’s basically the same watch, and it’s thousands less.
You could hang onto your $US650 first-gen Apple Watch for 30 or 4o or 50 years and it might retain some historic value, but its actually value will be effectively zero. Heck, its actual value will pretty much be zero when the next gen appears in a year or so. This isn’t news. Everyone has offered this observation.
Meanwhile, in 30 or 40 or 50 years, assuming the Swiss watch industry doesn’t vanish from the Earth, your Omega Seamaster will still tell time and still enable you to go swimming with it on. You kids or grandkids may very well be eyeing it. And you will be able to sell it for at the very least a few hundred and maybe even a few thousands dollars. Over 30 years, it will have cost you $US100 a year and served up decades of pleasure.
Or you could just keep buying Apple Watches.
All right, so maybe you don’t want to spend $US650 to start owning a fine Swiss sport watch.
You can buy a very nice Seiko dive watch that will also last forever for about $US400 (before online discounts and markdowns). Not Swiss. But rock-solid Japanese, from a watchmaker that’s been around for ages. Not as likely to hold its value as the Omega. But not a watch that you’ll ever have anything to complain about.
So there you have it. Don’t spend your money on this awful Apple Watch. Buy a real watch instead.
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