I finally received my Apple Watch on Tuesday, nearly two full months after I placed my pre-order. So far, I love it.
One of the first things I did when I booted up the watch was tinker with the various watch faces: There are 10 styles to choose from, and eight of those have customisable features. You can change certain aspects of those faces, including colours and information you might want to see at a glance like battery life or the weather.
But in my early testing of the device, I’ve been blown away by one watch face in particular, and it’s one of the two non-customisable options. I’ve got to admit: The “motion” watch face with the butterflies is by far my favourite.
In this watch face, every time you raise your wrist, a new butterfly will open its wings as the screen activates. I’ve probably spotted somewhere between 10-15 butterflies in the rotation, but it’s gorgeous every single time. (It’s better without the glare, obviously.)
Of course, there’s a crucial detail here: These butterflies aren’t computer generated or animated; Apple actually photographed all of these butterflies, as well as other subjects like jellyfish and flowers, for its “motion” watch faces.
“We shot all this stuff,” Alan Dye, Apple’s chief of human interface design, told Wired. “The butterflies and the jellyfish and the flowers for the motion face, it’s all in-camera. And so the flowers were shot blooming over time. I think the longest one took us 285 hours, and over 24,000 shots.”
Given how Apple Watch owners look at the watch face — a lot, and easily more than any other app — the attention to detail and the level of creativity in the motion watch faces is a major highlight. Personally, I’d like to see more examples of the butterfly watchface, where you won’t know what it will be until you activate the screen. Hopefully we see more inventive watch faces from Apple, but it would be even better if the company allowed developers to design their own unique watch faces.