Why the Apple Watch Works

03/23/2015 02:34 pm ET | Updated May 23, 2015


I don't know about you, but I love watches, and I own a few. (My wife would say more than a few.)

Some are simple, like the one I wear during the summer at the beach: waterproof, thick and sturdy, with a colorful rubber wristband and a colorful face and dials -- perfect for the task of taking my grandkids to the ocean and keeping track of time.

Some are complex, like the model I wear when traveling the world (which is often): automatic, with multiple time zones, and relatively thin but with a large dial and a stainless-steel clasp bracelet.

Then I have the usual assortment of dress watches and sports watches and cool-design watches and, most special, my late grandfather's watch.

And then there are the watches -- called complications -- that I admire and covet but will keep admiring from a distance, as each one is worth a year's college tuition.

Like many things, these watches serve many purposes -- practical tool, fashion accessory, investment -- but the bottom line is that they fulfill both emotional and functional needs and are thus quite satisfying for me to own.

The only type of watch I have always rejected is the digital-faced version, as I find it lacking in aesthetic appeal, and frankly, I find the technology to be mundane when compared with the complex Swiss creations.

One might think I'm a Luddite, old-fashioned, not with the times. Who needs a watch these days? After all, we all carry our phones (smart or otherwise). Or should I say mobile devices? Although that now broadens the carrying-around category and is like comparing a last-century Walkman to a boom box (so last century).

But thank God for the digibabble crowd. They understand that we don't need or want watches (so, so last century -- no indeed), and that carrying that device around is such a chore. But we do need to tell the time and see who is calling and texting and messaging and posting and tweeting and... you get the picture. No, what we need are wearables, things that fit on our body and do stuff like tell the time (and more, to be fair).

Yet, as always, Apple is smarter than the babblers. They have introduced a watch: the Apple Watch. They didn't call it the Apple Wearable or make up some new category name; they called it a watch, much like the phone they introduced that changed the category and our lives, the iPhone. And I call your attention to the way they launched the first one, before we even knew what it was, using the Oscars in the United States and the following video called "Hello."

Hello! A phone and so much more, but still a phone at heart. Take that, you digibabblers.

And so it is with the Apple Watch. The notion that somehow my watches are not wearables or worthy of technology interest is ludicrous and beneath Apple's dignity, and that is why they continue to transcend the naysayers and bandwagon jumpers alike. They key in to people, not babble.

And I call your attention to Google's deal with Tag Heuer for a "Swiss" smartwatch, going one better and keying even more in to the emotional side of this particular wrist adornment.

But make no mistake, the latest evolution of time wear stays core to its heritage: Everything about it is geared to saving, managing, and maximizing time -- in short, doing our human best to control the single most limited resource we have, and doing it with style and panache.

The founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, said it best: "My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time."

Bash Apple if you will. Criticize the price (clearly, despite what Jobs thought, they are not giving it away) and whatever else you want about the Apple Watch. No doubt Android will pass them by, as they have in all else. But they get the gestalt of us humans, and all else follows.

So call it a wearable if you must, and pretend that it's not a watch if you'd like, but at the end of the day only time will tell. And as Jobs said, that is our most precious resource, and my sense -- based on history -- is that it's a resource we are ready to pay dearly for to help control.

What do you think?