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Deciding Between an Apple Watch or a Traditional Watch

Why should I choose an Apple Watch versus a Swiss Watch

As an avid watch lover, I at first avoided the Apple Watch. I had trouble understanding why I would choose it over the old Swiss Quartz watch that I loved. But as a digital citizen, I felt the pull towards the Apple watch. And eventually, I bought an Apple watch and wore it for several years. But I eventually switched back. Here’s my take on why an Apple watch does or doesn’t make sense for you.

My Apple Watch Experience

I’m a Type A personality who pushes hard to achieve goals and drive work forward. So I wanted the Apple watch to accelerate my performance. Here’s what I learned from switching to the Apple watch.

First, it collects some interesting data. The Health data seemed more interesting and more accurate (walking/running for example). That was an addition to any mechanical watch functionality that you would see, of course. The iPhone does some of that, but not quite as much.

Second, it alerts you to things. This might be a positive for some folks. And I thought it would be a positive for me. If you get a text in a meeting, it’s much easier to glance at your watch face and see it than to pull out an iPhone.

However, the downside to these alerts is the distractions. When you’re working away and your Apple watch buzzes, it’s hard to ignore. And the watch tends to alert you to lots of things that aren’t important. This might be the biggest drawback to the Apple watch: it pulls your attention away from whatever you are doing. And it makes small alerts seem important. You can’t ignore texts or emails when you are doing something more important.

This did not work well for my personality. Rather than increasing my productivity, it destroyed it. I wore the Apple watch for almost two years before I had enough. And I did try managing notifications to make it better. But it’s hard to ignore texts from your wife.

So I decided to switch back to my traditional Swiss quartz watch to see what I thought.

Switching Back to a Traditional Watch

A year ago, I switched back. Immediately my productivity increased and I was better able to control my day. No more distractions. But what surprised me is some of the small things that improved as well.

Charging an Apple watch every day annoyed me more than I realized. It’s nice to have a watch that just works well. No need to remember to charge the damn thing every night. Seems small, felt like a relief. I’m also a guy who ends up in nature a lot. So the Apple watch is a problem if you’re in the woods for more than a day.

My conversations also changed. I love a great niche brand watch. No one mentions how cool your Apple watch looks when you wear it out. Lots of people comment on a cool quartz or automatic watch. And it sparks great conversations about life, your dad, personal style, and love of mechanical things.

Your watch says something about who you are as a person. An Apple watch doesn’t in my opinion. So I loved getting my watches noticed again.

It turns out that I did not miss much about the Apple watch’s capabilities. I wasn’t using it to text or call anyone. It probably never made sense for me to wear one, but I’m glad I tried. It made me appreciate my favorite watches much more, even though they have limited digital capabilities.

The Future of Apple Gadgets

There’s another part of this puzzle that might make traditional watches interesting again. Apple is reportedly moving towards AR/VR glasses in the future. My opinion is the watch isn’t the correct place for most of the functionality that the Apple watch offers. I think glasses make a lot more sense for this information.

If Apple does launch Apple Glasses, it might make the Apple watch redundant. Or less interesting. Maybe the glasses will be too expensive for most, but I’m sure prices will drop over time. And maybe watches – old school watches – will be back in vogue.

Or maybe I’m dreaming.

Masculinity versus the Apple Watch

And here’s where I give you my opinion that is less consensus: I want a masculine watch. I want something that indicates my maleness. And the Apple watch is not masculine. It’s a digital tool that can go on anyone’s wrist.

I like watches that say something about me. An Apple watch says nothing. A dive watch indicates you’re a diver. A tactical watch indicates you can handle yourself in tough situations. A watch is a symbol of your personality as much as anything.

You have enough gadgets, get a proper watch

This is my advice to everyone. The Apple watch does extend your phone’s functionality to your wrist. And it makes it harder to focus and get away from your phone. But that’s where it stops.

I recommend every man choose a watch that looks like they feel. That says who they are as a person. And sends a signal to the world about how you define yourself. You have enough gadgets, get a proper watch. And choose it carefully.

It’s time for watches to make a comeback. There’s still very few places where a guy can show his personal style in a cool watch. Your wristwatch is a great place to define who you are to the world. That’s why I love Smith & Bradley and other small watch makers.

If you agree, shop traditional watches here. If not, shop Apple watches here. Either way, you’ll show the world who you are.