Like so many, I was up at 2:57 AM on Friday to order my Apple Watch. All the research was done - had decided on an Apple Sport 42mm silver aluminum after doing the obligatory printing of guides, balancing my iPhone on my wrist and favoriting my choice for quick selection.
At 3:03 AM, mission accomplished! Watch ordered successfully using the Apple Store app on my iPhone (the web version of the Apple Store hadn’t come online for me).
Immediately afterward, I ordered the black Leather Loop band. I could live with the white band for a little while, and there will certainly be third-party options that I’ll want to explore, but I wanted to get the full Apple Watch experience. That part of the equation was solved around 3:16 AM after several attempts.
After all that, however, I still wanted to try one on to be sure I had made the right choice. Better to cancel the order if I wasn’t happy than to try to do a return. Since I was getting on a plane for Las Vegas and NAB at 6:30 AM that same morning, I was able to book an appointment at The Forum Shops at Caesars for early that evening. (The reservation process was a little shaky - I ended up with three appointments and had all sorts of problems canceling the unneeded ones, even after the email confirmation arrived.)
About 10 minutes before the appointed hour I walked in to an Apple Store that was buzzing. As usual, there was traffic in all parts of the store, but the action was clearly at the Apple Watch tables. I was greeted immediately with an offer of assistance. They found my name on the reservation list with no problem, and suggested I browse the display case with all the watches and combinations (including the vaunted Apple Watch Edition) until they were ready for me. Security was everywhere, obvious but not obnoxious.
Right on time, Jason walked over, introduced himself (good, firm handshake) and asked what I was interested in. I opted for the model I ordered, as well as The Apple Watch. We went to one of the try-on tables and Jason pulled those two models out, the latter with the Leather Loop I had ordered. The drawers where the watches were kept had some sort of special latching system that had to be operated from underneath, so no one was just going to walk in, open a drawer and run.
The training here was obvious. Each time Jason or I handled a watch, before he helped me put it on or after it came off, he wiped it off with a microfiber cloth. There wasn’t a fingerprint to be found. When he took one off, it went back on a dark pad on the table. No question as to where each watch was at any given time.
The fluoroelastomer band was quite comfortable and looked great; the material is similar in appearance to my Pebble’s native band. The Leather Loop was even better - looked a bit more refined and should be good for casual as well as business wear, and the magnetic closure makes adjusting the length simple but effective.
Jason assisted me in putting both bands on so I clearly understood how they worked and how to make them fit. It didn’t need to be done, but it was a nice touch that sped up the process and also gave a sense of personal attention to the process.
One thing that did surprise me was the weight of the Apple Watch compared to the Apple Sport. On my wrist, there didn’t seem to be that much difference, but when holding one in each hand, there was a definite difference. If you are planning on being active with your Apple Watch on, that is a real consideration. That extra weight is going to be definitely noticeable in a golf swing, on a bat swing or anything that involves your arm moving fast and generating centrifugal force.
My try-on was completed in less than 10 minutes with no rush and all my questions were answered The watches went back into the magic drawer and Jason asked if I would like to place an order. To his credit, he did mention that everything was on delayed shipping at that point, probably back to June. No hard sell, just an offer and appropriate information. Very, very smooth and professional.
One more handshake and I was on my way. I’ve always had great experiences at Apple Stores, but this one felt just that much more professional and polished. Apple says that the Apple Watch is their most most personal device yet, and their approach to trying it on matches that description.