Apple Watch Stainless Steel Photo

As many of you may know, I’m now on my second Apple Watch. I got in the game on launch day with a 42mm Space Grey Sport, and after a month or so with the device, I quickly realized that it just wasn’t for me.

Not only was the functionality not quite there with watchOS 1, it was heavily lacking in the looks department. You may not agree with me, but I think the aluminum Apple Watch Sport looks pretty bad with anything other than sweatpants or basketball shorts. Don’t feel bad if that’s what you have or prefer; remember, it’s just one person’s personal opinion.

If you’re the type that uses your Apple Watch primarily as a fitness device, then fine, I can certainly see the appeal of the Apple Watch Sport, hence its name.

For me personally, however, the Apple Watch is a fashion device first. It’s pretty good on the technical side of the fence in several areas as well, but coming to terms with this reality has made the experience of wearing this watch so much better in my eyes.

It’s a first-gen product with lots of promise

The Apple Watch is a first generation product, a 1.0 if you will. As such, it lacks polish and refinement. It’s still heads and shoulders above any other smart watch offering that I’ve tried to date, but that doesn’t necessarily make it great.

Even on watchOS 2, the Apple Watch is still really slow in many areas, and even native apps take much more time to load than I think they should. The Apple Watch is finicky, doesn’t always respond to taps, and sometimes just acts plain odd.

All of that said, it’s still really good at handling notifications, directions, decent as a Siri input device, and pretty great as a remote for controlling the Apple TV and Music. All in all, I’m satisfied with it from a technical perspective, especially since we’re only two iterations into the OS that powers it.

I’m admittedly not big on the fitness aspects

As someone who isn’t gung-ho on the fitness aspect of the Apple Watch, I realize that I’m doing the device a disservice regarding my impressions. Many people swear by the Apple Watch as a fitness device, and have the results to back it up.

For me, however, that’s just not a huge appeal, even though it probably should be. But the reality of the matter is that I’m not huge on using my Apple Watch as a fitness device. The potential is definitely there, but it just doesn’t fit my lifestyle at the moment.

Yes, I do an occasional run or jog on a weekly basis, but I don’t have time to walk for miles every day or go to the gym every day. Therefore, my Activity rings look very erratic at best.

Apple Watch Stainless

The Apple Watch is the best Apple Watch

There’s a reason why the stainless steel Apple Watch is called the Apple Watch. It’s because it’s probably what Apple envisioned when it first set out to design the product.

I tried to justify purchasing an Apple Watch Sport due to it being a first generation product that I just wanted to “try” without investing in it too heavily. Here’s a little piece of advice, throw that mindset out, and pay the extra $150 to $200 and get the good-looking Apple Watch if you can swing it. You will be so much happier.

My stainless steel Apple Watch looks sooo much better, and goes well with the clothes I wear. I find myself admiring the watch and the stainless steel finish every day. This watch looks good—it looks fashionable—it looks like a piece of jewelry that I’m proud to wear. I can’t say the same for aluminum version.

Even when I get upset at how clunky watchOS is, it’s easy to forgive, because the hardware looks so good. Even if the technical aspects don’t always work as expected, no tech issue can change the fact that this thing is beautiful, and still goes well with my blazer and shoes.

The good-looking Hermes’ line reiterates the fashion angle of the Apple Watch

Consider the 38mm size

If you’re a guy, don’t just automatically assume that you have to go for the larger 42mm Apple Watch. I have skinny wrists, and I’m not alone in that boat. My first Apple Watch Sport was a 42mm version, and I actually recommended the larger size across the board, which added insult to injury. For many of you, the 42mm watch will be like wearing a suit that’s two sizes too big. That doesn’t look good, it just looks plain silly.

The bottom line is that the 38mm looks infinitely better for my wrist. The 42mm looked like a gaudy toy, while the 38mm looked refined and well-fitted. At least try on the 38mm version if you’re in store. And then be honest with yourself.

Apple Watch Stainless Steel

It’s fashion first

If you take the mindset that the Apple Watch is a fashion device first, then it’s easy to overlook some of the device’s shortcomings. Regardless of how clunky watchOS may be at times, the Apple Watch still does way more than any other watch, mechanical, or otherwise, does on the market.

The fact that my Apple Watch is able to do all of these extra things, while looking good, is what matters. If you view it as a fashion device first, that will go a long way towards changing your mindset. It certainly did for me.

  • I probably should have warmed my arms up before snapping that picture. Goosebumps!

  • Carlos B

    I agree. I purchased the Sport (Space Grey) because I didn’t want to invest any more $ in the first gen watch than I had to, especially since I waited months to buy it. When the second watch is released I’ll be going with the Apple Watch.

    • Alexander Figueroa

      Same here

    • @sexyhamthing

      the first gen watch than I had to,

      You’re not obligated to buy apple products man.

  • Merman123

    Hmm I don’t know man. It looks good “for a smart watch”. But next to other “fashion devices” it’s quite peculiar looking. I love my watch for its functionality first.

  • David Pomerleau

    Niiiice, Jeff! That Hermés cuff looks sweet. Def agree w this article. Love my Black Sport but it’s not that good looking. I just remember how much nicer the iPad 2 looked over the original. Hoping they slim the next Watch down a bit and make it more responsive. It’s a great device but frustratingly laggy at times.

  • George

    If the apple watch is a fashion product first why did you call the apple watch sport a toy and ugly? You seriously sold it for a stainless steel one and now its beautiful somehow?

    • Merman123

      That makes a lot of sense. It’s like going with wheels on a car instead of hub caps. Changes the look and feel of the car completely.

      • George

        Not really it is the same watch.

      • Tyler Smith

        you obviously don’t understand what he is saying… or understand cars

      • George

        Lmao, don’t fkn compare that Fisher Price toy watch to a car design.

    • Jordan Agaran Riley

      Because the regular watch was meant to be more luxurious. People are naturally attracted to shiny objects. Luxury watches are all stainless steel or gold. Not aluminum. For a reason. This is why the gold and stainless steel are being marketed on the fashion side. You don’t see rolex or seiko selling aluminum watches. All probably made the sport as an entry level product of anything. I still see people working out at the gym with a stainless steel. It may be the same shape and software, but the material it’s made out of is what brings a superiority to it over the sport

      • George

        I still have not seen a single apple watch in the wild.

  • Eikast

    I couldn’t agree more. My friend use to tell me the Pebble Time was a better device because of the battery -_-. End of the day his brother ended up getting a sports watch and was surprised that I got the SS version. I simply stated that it’s a fashion item to me since it’s a watch.

  • That_Fruitarian

    My next one will be stainless steel, too… I, too, wanted to test the waters with the aluminum version – now I have regrets. I wish I had purchased the steel one instead. Unlike Jeff, I use mine primarily for its fitness capability. My wife and I loaded strava on ours and the rest is history. We ride as much as 30 miles some days. It has definitely motivated us to be more active. No other piece of technology has ever done that – we’ve become healthier and it’s amazing.

    Looking forward to the second generation.

  • Sure looks fugly besides a fashion wrist watch like a Rolex. And it’ll be way outdated by the time it gets to your grand kids, like every other computer of today…fashion is timeless, computers are not.

    • That_Fruitarian

      That’s your opinion. I’ve never owned a watch until the Apple Watch. And wouldn’t even look twice at a Rolex, Cartier, fossil etc.. Now that I own this, I can’t live without it.

      • Ok…enjoy you “fashion” device.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Yeah, I wouldn’t be caught dead with that on my wrist. Two thumbs down. Now the Hermes Apple Watch is more my taste.

      • anustart

        You’d like these more, I take it? Those are true, high quality watches. The Apple Watch is a watch and high quality, but Jeff is right; it’s fashion first.

      • That_Fruitarian

        No. Those are ugly to me.

      • I take it you prefer the Rolex? At this point I could start a long and pointless rant but I’m not going to. Fashion is subjective if you think the Rolex looks better then you think the Rolex looks better (this is a fact that may or may not change in the future). Apple can never please everybody (nobody can), there’s no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to the look and feel of something.

      • George

        Yet the fashion world has not accepted the apple watch. If you ask any 20-30 year old in the fashion industry about the apple watch they will tell you how bad it looks.

      • Blip dude

        I know the Apple Watch is ugly, but F*** that flashy piece of **** on the left is no better. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that for sure. Maybe I should look at it in person before making a judgement, but geez, Even the Moto X looks more respectable than that. I don’t mean to insult, if that’s you’re taste, fine, to each their own. But geez, it looks like something your typical generic rapper would wear.

      • Yeah it’s subjective, wouldn’t buy it either myself. Would be more interested in skmething like this (http://bit. ly/1jDpCRS). Was the first jmage I saw comparing the two, and it just looks better than the Apple watch and it’s price would be justified by the fact that it wouldn’t wear/tear, would never be outdated cinpared to what’s in the market, no battery replacements ever, and thus, you could keep it in the family from generation to generation for centuries and it still would look and function just as it is today.

        That of course is presuming you intend to keep a watch for that long, which I wouldn’t…the Apple Watch, wouldn’t last anywhere near that long despite being priced similar, and the tech it offers, sure doesn’t justify it’s price tag.

      • Jordan Agaran Riley

        If fashion was timeless we’d still be dressing the same as the 60’s

      • That_Fruitarian

        I think you’re responding to the wrong person.

    • Franklin Richards

      Fashion is not timeless. Timepieces maybe timeless but fashion most definitely is not.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Agreed!!

    • mrgerbik

      Agreed

    • Cameron

      from using numbers to prove your point, you’ve moved onto something purely subjective. Good job. “Fashion is timeless” is probably the dumbest thing ive ever heard. Perhaps i should wear my grandfathers suspenders and 10 gallon hat into the mall and remind everyone its timeless.

      • That_Fruitarian

        Lol

      • I’m sorry, I forgot how dumb you are and didn’t make it clear enough for your lead-pipe IQ this time, I’m just refering to a wrist watch…but congrats on the goofy analogy, it sure was hillerious.

        Thanks for the laugh…

  • Marcus

    Beats is a fashion device too.

  • Chris Coleman

    I’ll likely get the steel version of the 2nd gen, but honestly I’m happy with my 38mm space grey, especially paired with my black milanese loop. I wear this with shirt and tie and get compliments on how good it looks.

    • Urname

      is that a third party milanese loop? looks slick! Where’d you get it?

      • Chris Coleman

        It is yeah, I picked it up on amazon for less than £20. Just read the reviews and stay away from the really poorly made bands. This one looks and feels really good.

      • Garry

        please passme the link or the name of the product

      • Urname

        Thanks!

    • Nathan

      Link? 😀

  • Adrian

    Your opinion is interesting. Most likely in the minority. I agree on a few parts, somewhat tho. I started with space gray sport to test the waters…. Then when Apple finally allowed the purchase of space black SS(w/o link bracelet), I gave my 42mm sport to wife(she felt 38mm was too small) & I got the black! I am a bank manager & I wore space gray sport with a brown leather band or white sport band & w/ a full suit on, the sport looked fine!

  • therealjjohnson

    Nah. I don’t agree at all. On the view of it being about fashion first, or thinking the stainless steel is somehow a “better” watch.

  • Ds

    And that is why I will stick with my Nixon watches for fashion and my Suunto or Shark for tech. I don’t need one that fits in both categories. When I’m wearing a watch for tech it’s when I’m snowboarding or snowmobiling. When I wear my Nixons I’m either at work or going out and don’t need to have a piece of tech on my wrist but simply something that looks nice and shows what time it is. so until I can actually justify buying an Apple Watch.. I’ll stick with what I got.

  • Sofakingstepwit

    Great article, Jeff! I totally agree with you on the stainless steel looking so much better and it probably is the device that Apple imagined making when they dreamt up the watch. That said, I still opted for the sport.

    I’ve got a pretty physical job and I constantly lift, push, pull and the like. I knew from day one that I’d have to put a case on my watch if I wanted to keep it looking nice. I had the original Pebble and that thing was destroyed after a year of use. Scratches, chips, dings, all things that I didn’t want to subject my Apple Watch to. I opted for the sport since it would just be wrapped in the Spigen case du jour.

    Every now and then, when I go out or I’m just hanging around the house, I go caseless and wish I had the stainless. I don’t wish hard enough to make that extra $200 something I want to spend though.

  • JayDee917

    Not going to lie, I only read the headline.

    With that said, I don’t wear the Apple Watch because of its looks. I have the space gray Sport model. It looks a smart watch. Most people don’t think smart watches are cool, or look cool. I get more people cracking jokes about it then I do people saying it looks cool. It’s basically a device on my wrist that insinuates I’m a nerd apparently.

    Why do I wear it? Functionality.

    • Tikimaker

      Couldn’t agree more. I wasn’t interested in the the apple watch at all from the day of release and I pretty much have apple everything. Well except the watch.

  • I just switch to a regular watch when I’m going out at night. It doesn’t look good with nice clothes.

  • Tim

    I believe this doesn’t fit sweatpants. 😛 I went for the black look.

  • Jake Platt

    I prefer the look of my $50 digital retro Casio watch to the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is a good piece of technology, but every time I see someone wearing one it reiterates why I don’t wear one anymore, because it looks quite average.

  • zabrawn

    Watches have been fashion accessories for a long time now, when I wear a watch I dont wear it for the time, thats why I got the apple watch, whatever it offers is just extra

  • -= J$@ =-

    In my opinion, the Watch is not a fashion accessory…it’s an iPhone accessory!

  • WvB22

    Well I actually agree on this one. Even so: I reserved a black Apple Watch Sport and I looked at it for some time (in the Apple Store). I then saw the steel version which looked so much better to me instantly. I asked if I could change my mind the last second. The store member looked baffled and asked a supervisor (this was launch day). He said if they had it on stock it wouldn’t be a problem. And so I ended up with a steel version. A lot more money but every day I know I made the right decision although I might regret it if the second version proofs to be much better. But then I can always buy a lady band and give it to my wife.

  • iPhoneWINS

    yeah and the sad part is that it does not even look cool it looks retro and feminine and its too thick..

  • iByron

    All watches are fashion devices first.

    The time is all around us — on our phones and computers, in our cars, on the bus, on buildings and billboards, in train stations and on the train, on TV in the bar — so we don’t *need* them for that primary original purpose anymore.

  • iByron

    That Hermès Cuff is pretty hot, though.

  • Ron G

    I’ve always thought the Apple watch, and smart watches in general, are really unnecessary. I have a co-worker that has one and even he admitted he hardly even uses it but it just “looks nice”

    • They’re are unnecessary. They’re a convenience that doesn’t benefit everyone. I personally find it useful when I’m in the hospital and we’re not allowed to have our phones out. I can still be in communication through my watch since my kids are always sick or got somethin goin on.

  • sguyx

    im sorry, but there is no fashion on that watch. no fashion industry here in europe took that medical healthcare unit look-a-like item to work with.. and fashion industry said already earlier, that is not an fashion item. sorry, no paid vogue ads or that ridiculous dancing woman with a apple watch ad make the watch any classy, luxury or fashion at all. that is one of the most awful design ever… best regards from europe with people some understanding about fashion!

  • Noicc1128

    Don’t forget the SS Apple Watch has a sapphire screen that only diamond can scratch. That was 50% of the buying decision for me. The other 50% was I thought the aluminum model looks cheap to me. However, if I was on a tight budget, or in college, or in high school, or lived check to check, I’d go with the aluminum one.

  • Charles

    I’m going to sell my 38mm stainless steel Milanese loop. I don’t use as much as I thought I would. Maybe next gen!

  • I agree on the 38mm size being fine for men. I am 6’2″ and it looks fine on my wrist. When I went to Best Buy to get my watch I figured they would have the 42mm on display and I would have to talk myself into the cheaper 38mm. But they had the 38mm on display and it looked fine so I took it!

  • Shankar Dasika

    I understood two things from your post

    1) you brought the watch not because you liked it but because Apple made it and like you were forced to buy it.
    2) it’s a piece of junk but a stylish piece of junk.

    Sorry if I misunderstood.

  • Froo

    I use a wheelchair and the fitness functions are all totally useless for me but I find the Watch much more than a fashion gadget, but I got a nice stainless with Milanese anyway thanx to Apple stock.
    The main value is the watch allows me to keep on top of many projects and I have many reminders thru the day. I turned sound off on the watch for almost all alarms and reminders on my iPhone (Alarms and Reminders mostly get assigned a ‘Silent’ ringtone I made). That allows me to get my reminders and alarms via Haptics only without irritating my friends and clients. Omnifocus on the watch allows me to see daily priorities without digging out my 6 Plus. I can also turn off the ringer and screen phone calls from the watch to know when I need to grab the phone.
    For years I relied on over 90 mostly rock song ringtones to ID my friends and regular clients so I didn’t have to grab the phone to see who was calling. (Silence is a great tone for PITA callers). That is fine still, but I can turn off the ringer and still know who is calling if I don’t want to disturb others, like at a movie or in a meeting.
    Better things will come I am sure, but I also like to pull out the Milanese loop band instead of the daily white Sport for a special evening as a fashion accessory too.

  • LuchadaveDeBarbarian

    A Pip-Boy is still more fashionable.

  • mav3rick

    It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a Gimmick!!