Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at an event to announce new products and an update to the Apple Watch at Apple headquarters, Monday, March 21, 2016, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

I Left the Apple Watch Then Went Back to It

I’m an early adopter of all things Apple. I’ve got all the iPads. I’ve had every iteration of the iPhone. I’m writing this on my wireless Apple keyboard and 27″ iMac with the 5K display. When the Apple Watch came out, I got one. That was a year ago. In that year, it is worth noting the Apple Watch did $6 billion in sales compared to Rolex’s $4.5 billion. Not too shabby.

I wore my Apple Watch pretty constantly. In fact, I stopped wearing my Tag watch that was vastly more expensive and needed no recharging. I got both the Milanese loop and the blue sport band. For formal occasions, I’d put on the loop. Otherwise I used the blue band.

At first, wearing it was a novelty. Then it became useful. I’d get silent taps on my wrist when I got a message. I learned the difference between taps for text messages and taps for breaking news alerts. I could see who was calling me without taking my phone out of my pocket. It was really useful. My secretary could send me taps to let me know I needed to wind down a meeting or I could subtly tap out SOS to get a call on my phone so I could end meetings.

At night, I could lift my watch, tell Siri to turn off the lights, and out they’d go. Yes, I’m a Homekit early adopter too and love it.

But just over a month ago I finally got tired of all the chargers in my life. I charge my phone, my iPad, my lap top, my little MiFi wireless router thingy, and the watch. I stay in hotels a ton and just got tired of fighting for outlets and USB space on my laptop. I didn’t want to keep doing it. I was headed on vacation and just wanted one less thing. The Apple Watch was that one less thing.

Then I got a really nice Hager watch and I never have to charge it. It always tells me the time without having to flick my wrist. I get what I need. It stays on my wrist at all times, including in a pool and in the shower or even a bath. It even came with instructions teaching me how to use it as a compass. It’s pretty awesome.

But a funny thing happened. Two weeks ago I went into the hospital with a large number of clots on my lungs. The blood thinner I’m on now has bruised in the shape of my watch. I had to take it off and instead tried on the Apple Watch again. Its blue band is snug and the watch doesn’t move, but is also not constricting. No watch bruises. Likewise, I actually have a real need now to keep track of my heart beat. When I lay down now, thanks to medication, my pulse is now occasionally dropping below 40 beats a minute. The Apple Watch is letting my doctor and me keep track of my heart. I am walking on a treadmill and can monitor myself. And did I mention no bruises from the watch?

I want to get back to my Hager and my Tag. I love them. But the Apple Watch isn’t an accessory for me right now. It’s actually an indispensable part of keeping me vertical and breathing. I’ve never had a watch that played that role. It’s worth charging.

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Erick Erickson

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