Announced today, the Apple Watch Ultra is a grade 5 titanium adventure watch; at night the screen looks phosphorescent. It has 8 complications, a screen that measures dive details. Do these features sound familiar to you too?
The Apple Watch Ultra, introduced by Apple today, is a sensational watch that surprised us at first sight, because it suddenly took us into a time capsule: from 2015, when the Apple Watch was first released, to September 2022.
With the advent of the Apple Watch, the first real example of a touchscreen smartwatch, Swiss watchmaking had to change drastically, just like in the Quartz Crisis. In order to get a share of the desire object atmosphere created by the Apple Watch, and even to keep the Swiss watchmaking alive, the brands gradually changed their attitude: First they denied and defended the superiority of automatic watches, then some brands (Montblanc, TAG Heuer, Frederique Constant, Movado, Tissot…) started to produce watches in the field, some brands announced that they would never produce smart watches (this was also the case during the Quartz Crisis. Blancpain would say, “We have not produced any quartz watches since 1738, and we will never produce them”). After the phases of acceptance and action that followed a period of denial, Apple Watch’s market dominance was acknowledged, but that still wasn’t the end of Swiss watchmaking. An article by Roberta Naas in Forbes was headlined: “The Apple Watch sells more watches than the whole of Switzerland, yet the death knell is not yet ringing for 600 years of Swiss watchmaking.” Before the author’s writing in 2020, all Swiss watches sold 21.2 million in a year, while the Apple Watch alone had sold 30.7 million units.
“We actually don’t need a watch anymore,” said Jean-Claude Biver, the industry veteran, “we buy it because it’s a work of art.” In the smart watch market, where the Apple Watch and the smartwatches it brought, followed by Huawei, Samsung and many large and small brands, the main issue was not aesthetics, but function. These watches have also increased their claims gradually: At first, smart watches that show your phone messages, the time you do sports and calories, over time, have become able to measure your sleep, blood sugar (Quantum Operation), blood pressure, it understands what sports you are doing like a personal assistant. meat,” he said.
At that time, other trends in high watchmaking followed one after another: Titanium watches, famous for their lightness and durability, swept the industry, the number of functional watches called “tool watches” produced for and combined with adventurers and explorers increased, artist and designer collaborations were made for a modern look.
From this perspective, it will be understood why we call the Apple Watch Ultra, which was announced today sensational: While some watch brands are trying to approach the Apple Watch, Apple, which is unrivaled in the smart watch industry, took the opposite corner and announced a watch just like the “functional watches” we mentioned and approached them. With its price of $ 799, it announced one of the luxury watches of this area. All the features that we will write from now on bring to mind Swiss watches.
First of all, the Apple Watch Ultra is a watch with an aerospace (we’re used to being called the 5th degree in watchmaking) titanium case and measures 49 mm. It has a sapphire crystal windscreen and the best battery ever (we can habitually call it a power reserve) with up to 36 hours (60 hours on low usage) battery life. The dial has a compass showing 8 complications. It is produced with three different straps named Ocean Band, Trail Loop and Alpine Loop for outdoor activities such as diving, running and mountaineering, respectively. It’s not over: Here’s how Apple CEO Jeff Williams introduces it: “Inspired by explorers and athletes from around the world, we’ve created an Apple Watch category for new and challenging environments. This is the most rugged and capable Apple Watch ever. Ultra is a versatile tool that allows its users to push the boundaries with adventure, endurance and exploration.”
In collaboration with Huish Outdoors, the Apple Watch switches to a dive computer mode while diving with the Oceanic+ app. The watch, which is twice as water resistant compared to the 8, shows the dive time, depth, degree of water, time spent in the water and the maximum depth reached.
The evening clock is switched to night mode with the digital crown (corresponding to the SuperLumiNova on the clock) so that the display is legible, and the legibility is thus enhanced by the bright red written display.
It is stated that it is used to extreme conditions just like Victorinox watches: It is durable from -20 degrees to +50 degrees. It maintains its durability in conditions of sand, humidity, rain, shock, snow and vibration.
It has been said that the battery of the Apple Watch is large enough to allow to complete a triathlon. In mountaineering, they stated that the watch can save you by emitting an 86-decibel siren when you get lost, along with the compass, your location, and exact location information (an advanced version of Breitling Emergency).
Combining a diving, GMT, robust functional watches and adventure watch, the Apple Watch Ultra, which equips it with smart watch features such as heart rate and blood sugar values, has taken the appearance of retro orange functional watches as an image.
We can interpret this move both as an approach to watchmaking and benefiting from all its know-how, and as a blow to the adventure watches branch, which constitutes an important part of Swiss watchmaking, by turning the coin over. Because, as far as we understand from the explanation, Apple Watch will add many features that we have not seen yet in analog watches to the adventure watches that it will continue, and will force the engineered mechanical Swiss watchmaking to reach it. We are sure that at least tomorrow many watch brands will hold a private meeting within the company.
On the other hand, the choice of titanium, a luxury and functional watch, is truly amazing and a proof that Apple is watching the watchmaking industry closely. So what do you think will be the next step?
For those wondering: The Apple Watch Ultra will be available from September 23.