Go Read This Story About How Iconic Watches Influenced Apple Watch Faces

Apple Watch faces quietly but lovingly reference centuries of traditional watchmaking.

apple watch on red background

While unquestionably innovative, Apple stands on the shoulders of giants both in technology and design. Take its watch faces: many are based on elements of centuries-old traditional horology, as is expounded upon in this in-depth article over at Arun.is, the blog of designer and engineer Arun Venkatesan.

Many people assume that the Apple Watch is simply a shrunken phone or tablet — they couldn't be more wrong. Apple studied the traditional watch industry intensely in developing the first Apple Watch, and the subtle details and resulting user experience feels familiar to dedicated wristwatch enthusiasts in a multitude of ways. It's no coincidence that one of the original Apple Watch developers was designer Marc Newson, who had relevant experience from working with major watch companies and creating his own brand, Ikepod.

The Apple Watch faces feature are often taken directly from chronograph watches, GMT watches, dive watches and even offer a somewhat obscure feature known as the "California dial." Each has deep history that Venkatesan treats individually. (He also keeps terminology well defined for those unfamiliar with specialized watch jargon.) Give it a read, and you'll surely appreciate the universe of technology and design inside that gadget on your wrist just a little more.


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