Sunday, April 12, 2015

Apple Watch: Only for Smaller People

My girlfriend wants to buy me an Apple Watch for my 50th birthday. Yes, I really am that old. We were traveling yesterday so were close to an Apple Store, a novelty for me. We went in and after being initially told it would take almost 3 hours to get an appointment to try on a watch (really?), one of the sales assistants with a little more competence said that no, it would only be a 20 minute wait. So we made an appointment to try on a watch and came back after a quick run to the bathroom (not too much information is it?).

Some of you may remember that I'm a little taller than the average person. I'm not exceptionally tall, I'm not Shaq, but tall enough that I'm taller than most football players and I don't feel out of place stood with the basketball team (though I am built more like a football player). And, of course, I have hands and feet to match too.

I only wear watches with metal bands. Having a day job that means plastic (and often even leather) bands are not an option, I wanted to make sure that the metal straps worked. That means, in reality, I'm trying to choose between the watch with the milanese loop or the link bracelet.

I tried on the milanese first. It went on okay, would fit on the wrist with ease but, because the magnet doesn't feed through the clasp, was really hard to take off. That's not usually a big concern with a watch, particularly if they are water resistant as I'd put the watch on and then not take it of for quite a while. That's not an option for a watch that needs to be removed each night to charge.

So then I tried on the watch with the link bracelet. $400 more than the milanese if you want it in black (let's be honest, who wouldn't want it in black?). It just about went on over my hand. Not with ease but at least it went on and came off with the same relative ease. However, it was tight on the wrist. Tom the sales guy showed me how easy it was to remove links. So it must be just as easy to add the extra links you guys will send out to those that need them, right? "I don't know, let me check" No-one in the store knew. I called 1-800-MY-APPLE and the guys there didn't know so I've now got to call Corporate.

Any even moderately competent watch company will send you up to three extra links for a steel watch and usually on their dime. Apple doesn't even know if they can sell you the links.

This is very sub-standard service and unfortunately what I've come to expect from Apple support recently. Even with such a simple question, they did not have an answer.

And I always love the ending tag from Apple's help line: "is there anything anything else I can do for you?". Especially poignant when they failed to answer the simple question I first called about.

I'll update with what I find out from Corporate.

Edit 8-25-15 Corporate was no help. Evidently there are no extra links to be had through official routes. Apple offers a kit for the silver link watch for $49 but that's not satisfying for those that wanted the black link watch. However, there was a happy ending to my story. My girlfriend acquired three extra links for me from her optician who had just bought the same watch.