The design of the Apple Watch hasn't changed a whole lot over the years. Sure, bezels have shrunk and screens have grown, and the Apple Watch Ultra has taken things in a slightly more rugged direction. But what if Apple went the other way and decided to style its wearable like a dress watch?
A prolific tech concept artist has imagined the collaboration that will almost certainly never happen: Apple meets Rolex. And it's such a radical departure from the current Apple Watch that I'm not sure what to make of it. (Check out the best Apple Watch Ultra deals if you're in the market for new gear.)
While other brands like Garmin have leaned into more analogue-style designs lately, Apple has squarely refused (pun intended). But this concept by 4RMD (opens in new tab) imagines what an Apple Watch with a circular display might look like – and it's certainly different.
Aside from the circular screen and metal strap, the most notable design touch here is the bright orange bezel. While this might be something we'd expect to see from Omega more than Rolex, it's also surprisingly Apple – just look at the bright orange Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra.
The impressive 3D rendering certainly makes this thing look premium, and the rotating bezel could actually make for a useful input or navigation tool. But I just can't help but wonder whether the idea of a truly premium smartwatch can ever really work. Tech by its nature has a finite lifespan, whereas a luxury watch is designed to last for generations. Just ask anyone who shelled out $10,000 for the first generation Apple Watch Edition (below), which received just three years of software update eligibility.
And then there's the question of useful this thing would be for exercise. Activity tracking is arguably where the Apple Watch shines – but I can't see myself taking a whopping great Rolex for a run. Especially if it ended up costing anything like, you know, a Rolex.
Still, fan-made concepts like these aren't designed to be taken completely seriously – and they certainly make the quieter periods of Apple's release cycle a lot more fun. Indeed, artists are already imagining what the rumoured iPhone 15 Ultra might look like, with some stunning results.
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