I’ve had the same Daniel Wellington since 2013 (yes, before it became cool to own one) and as much as I love my Canterbury/Oxford straps, I thought it was time to decommission mine.

The search for a watch began with Bering, led me into smart analog watches (like those from Fossil) and ended with an Apple Watch. While people usually have some really spectacular reason for their purchase of the still-novel smartwatch, mine’s simply this — there were no other alternatives that sparked joy in the market. Even the Apple Watch didn’t spark joy in me when I first saw it. But I had friends who were able to get me a discount (thanks, Elroy & Mabbel!) and I got my huge, chunky 42mm Apple Watch Nike+ for SGD 498.00.

The more I look, the more I love! 

I bought the 42mm size, which is usually for men, because if it’s not going to be a red-white-blue lady-like timepiece, I’d prefer to have a chunky black watch on my wrist. As for the choice of the Nike+ watch — well, let’s just say I wouldn’t mind the free watch faces that came with it.

What I’ve grown to appreciate about the Apple Watch is, unsurprisingly, the ability to customize watch faces and the complications. While I agree that it’s not for the gym rat or athlete who’s looking for super accurate fitness tracking, I think it works for me — whether I’m at work, the gym, or just chilling at a nice cafe. I love having notifications on my wrist, I love being able to control music without fiddling with my phone while I’m on the treadmill, and I love having apps motivate me to be a bit more active every day.

My most used watch face is the baby blue Nike+ watchface with complications for fitness, walking and battery:

THE EVERYDAY WATCH FACE

TOP LEFT | Nike+ default complication
MID LEFT | Pedometer
LOW LEFT | Battery
BOTTOM | Date

The date and time are things that I’m very particular about, because what else would a watch be for? Everything else was built around it, and the Pedometer complication just makes sure I keep moving throughout the day.

THE FITNESS WATCH FACE

TOP LEFT | Date
MID | Music
BOTTOM LEFT | Cardiogram
BOTTOM MID | Activity
BOTTOM RIGHT | Standland

This is the app I use for gym sessions when I’m on the treadmill and prefer not to have to fiddle with my phone (and risk dropping it!). I connect it to my 1More iBFree bluetooth headphones – don’t ask why, I needed a pair for running on the cruise and it was the only one within my price range to begin with – and this makes for an overall simpler experience with music during workouts. I don’t use Activity much because I really don’t see how Apple does its calculations, but it’s occasionally still gratifying to see the rings close up. Standland is a cute tamagotchi-like app that I use to check how much I’m standing during the day, it’s really just an interface off Apple’s stand hours.

THE SLEEP WATCH FACE

TOP LEFT | Nike+ default complication
MID LEFT | AutoSleep
LOW LEFT | Moon Phases
BOTTOM | Alarms

This is the watch face I see last every night, which is why most of it is simply black & white, for as little excitement as possible nearer to bedtime. The main app here is AutoSleep, which helps track sleep the moment I really fall asleep. I’m not big on accuracy so don’t take my word for it, I use the data mostly to see if I’m falling into any abnormal sleep rhythms or if I’m not getting enough sleep.

Along with Alarms comes my gripe with the Apple Watch. Everything on Apple Watch is connected to your iPhone, so it would make sense that Alarms would also be synchronized with the iPhone, right? Wrong. Apple thinks somehow it’s a good idea to have a Watch-only alarm function. While my alarms on iPhone do still go off, they don’t make as much of a ruckus as a Watch alarm does. Which begs the question, are they expecting us to duplicate every single alarm (and I have 26 every morning) on my Watch with the extremely counter-intuitive Watch Alarm app?

I’m a millenial, and I don’t even know how to use this.

THE WORK WATCH FACE

TOP LEFT | Nike+ default complication
MID LEFT | Bear
LOW LEFT | Just Press Record
BOTTOM | Date

This is the one watch face that I appreciate most on Mondays and Thursdays, which are usually crunch days, and I end up running mindlessly from place to place. I use Bear to access my short notes, and to take quick, dictation messages, and Just Press Record for the longer-form idea dumps. They work really well especially when they eradicate my need to type, which has been a big upside of owning the Watch in the first place.

Overall, I thought a fun conclusion might be the top 3 moments when I love my Apple Watch. So here they are:

TOP 3 MOMENTS:
1. Calling when I’m driving – I often scream at my inner circle for calling me on a drive with their voices muffled by the ambient noise of the phone on a stand. It’s very frustrating to try and have a deep conversation when you have to clarify every few sentences. The watch amplifies the call quality by leaps and bounds, so now we can have actual legit, life discussions over Facetime (that still drop off in tunnels, but you can’t have it all).
2. Tracking fitness – I daresay I am a lot less of a sedentary potato than I was 3 weeks ago, because now I get pings to stand up, to take deep breaths, to walk more. It’s small, yes, but for a potato like me, I think it was worth the hefty investment. Whatever gets me to move is good.
3. Travelling – everyone close to me (or worse, who has travelled with me) has been on the receiving end of a long rant about how unbelievably stupid I can be when it comes to timezones. And of course, there’s been many a lecture missed from time zone errors. I love the fact that I can customize watchfaces specifically for when I’m overseas and keep tabs on both SGT and the timezone I’m in. Also, I can see how a weather complication would benefit me in Seoul, as useless as it may be in Singapore.

While the beginning of my relationship with the Apple Watch wasn’t so rosy, it’s become a wearable that I look forward to putting on every day, and that I miss when I’ve left it behind to charge. I guess my take on this is that it’s a WIP, much like the iPhone 3GS with its very limited functionality and unclear value prop for people back then. Now, no one questions the value of a smartphone. One day, wearables will be in that state too, and I’d love to have witnessed that revolution grow.

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