tim cook on stage

“With an Apple Watch wrapped around his hand brass-knuckle style, Ive reveals that the project was conceived in his lab three years ago, shortly after Jobs’s death and before “wearables” became a buzzword in Silicon Valley.” This is just one of the many interesting anecdotes in Bloomberg’s new piece on Apple.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone and Adam Satariano interviewed several Apple executives, including Tim Cook, Jony Ive and Jeff Williams, after their big event last week. The conversations cover a wide range of topics, including the new Apple Watch, iPhone 6, and how the culture is changing in Cupertino.

Ive tells Businessweek that the Apple Watch has been “one of the most difficult projects” he’s ever worked on. The designer literally immersed himself in horological history, and even invited watch historians to speak at Apple headquarters—including French author Dominique Fléchon, an expert on antique timepieces.

Also interesting is that the Apple Watch team is being led by Jeff Williams, Apple’s SVP of operations, and not Dan Riccio, the SVP of hardware engineering. Williams is a “Cook clone,” a tall, soft-spoken, fitness buff with a knack for operational details. He too graduated from Duke, and spent his early years at IBM.

Bloomberg also spoke with SVP Eddy Cue, who says Cook isn’t getting anywhere near the credit he deserves for what he’s done at Apple, Jimmy Iovine, who recently came aboard Apple as part of the Beats acquisition, and other executives—not just about the Apple Watch, but the iPhone 6, and the future of Apple as well.

The consensus is that Tim Cook has been working very hard over the past three years to break down walls inside Apple, to get all of the once-standalone teams to work together, and we’re only just now beginning to see the fruits of those efforts. If you have a minute, I recommend reading the entire Bloomberg article.

For more on Tim Cook, check out this riveting interview the CEO did with PBS’ Charlie Rose last week.

[Bloomberg Businessweek]