Jony Ive reveals story of Apple Watch in Hodinkee interview

Jony Ive reveals story of Apple Watch in Hodinkee interview
In the years after the passing of Apple's iconic founder, chief visionary and CEO Steve Jobs, Jony Ive, the company's principal designer and a close friend of Jobs, has become one of the most recognized faces and voices of Apple.

And now, for the first time, Ive opens up about the first big new Apple product after the iPhone and the iPad: the Apple Watch.

Was the Apple Watch conceived in talks with Steve Jobs when he was still alive? Did Steve wear a watch himself? And is Ive actually interested in the watch industry? In a detailed interview with watch experts from the Hodinkee journal, the iconic designer that is behind some of the most used technological products of modern society reveals the story of the Apple Watch.

Below, you will find a quick recap of the most interesting and important revelations from the interview. For the full interview skip to the source link at the bottom of the article.

Ive on Steve Jobs and watches:

The first interesting detail that Ive reveals about Steve Jobs is that he did not actually wear a watch. While there are a few well-known photos of Jobs wearing a watch, those seem to be isolated instances and Steve did not wear a watch on a regular basis.

Was the Apple Watch project conceived together with Steve Jobs? It turns out that no, the Apple Watch started a few months after Steve's passing.


Interestingly, just like Apple's marketing guru Phil Schiller, Jony Ive also uses the word courage when speaking about various hard and bold decisions that Apple does when designing a new product.

In its sophisticated, pointed manner of speaking, here is how Ive describes the decision to include a crown for the watch:

Which was Ive's first watch?

A relief for watch afficionados would be to know that Jony Ive is also an avid explorer of different watches and there are a few interesting details about his own favorites revealed in the interview. For instance, Apple's chief designer says he bought an Omega Speedmaster Professional in the early ’90s on a trip to Kowloon.

Who influenced the Apple Watch design?

Interestingly, Apple, the company that swears by the “we do no market research, we don’t hire consultants” mantra, actually did turn to quite a few experts for its own watch and Ive multiple times mentioned the great respect he has for traditional watch makers. Unlike a Macbook where it makes no sense to consult an actual notebook maker, with the watch the company did look into horological traditions.

Another very big influence on the Apple Watch was designer Marc Newson, a person who crafted various timepieces and a close friend of Ive's, and you can see how in many ways the styling and look of the Apple Watch looks like Newson's Ikepods.

On the genesis of the watch idea

Ive also discussed a few interesting metaphors around personal computers and watches, and said that in a way the miniaturization of modern technology resembles the same process that happened centuries ago.

This and other interesting details are revealed in the full interview right below.

source: Hodinkee



1. Feanor

Posts: 1389; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

All this sounds very nice as a promotional talk but when it comes to Apple Watch's commercial success in comparison to Wear OS watches, the truth is that this has exclusively to do with the insane brand loyalty that Apple enjoys. How else can one explain that so many iPhone owners find the Apple Watch a useful and meaningful accesory, whereas Android users largely ignore Wear OS watches, when in fact Wear OS watches have loads of important advantages in comparison to an Apple Watch? Only one explanation; Apple loyalism. Other than that the Apple Watch is a very average, bland product that if it weren't for the Apple badge, it would be completely ignored by customers.

3. kartik.07

Posts: 73; Member since: May 04, 2015

I have moto 360 (2nd gen) and apple watch 3. Moto 360 have more watch face other then that apple watch is way ahead, connection is better, health monitoring is better almost everything works and feel better. That’s what Apple do maybe less features or late but they make each of them count and worth to have.

4. Feanor

Posts: 1389; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

You are comparing a very old, obsolete Android Wear watch with zero emphasis to health monitoring, with the latest from Apple Watch line up. This is not a fair comparison. The correct comparison would be between an Apple Watch 3 and an LG Watch Sport or Huawei Watch 2.

5. Cat97

Posts: 1933; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

There is one difference between Wear OS and Apple Watch, in my experience: The Wear OS is absolutely working against productivity, does almost everything wrong and it focuses on advertising Google services instead of making your life easier and doing the most important things a smartwatch should do: deliver reliable notifications and free your from your phone as much as possible. Some examples of bad design: - Two of the most important swipes (swipe left and swipe right from the watchface) are used to…change the watch face, they assume that this is the most important thing that you do with your watch. - Taps on the watch face are used to…set up the watch face (so many wasted opportunities !) - Accidentally dismiss a notification (it happens with such a small screen) and it's gone forever, no list of recent notifications available; - No customizable canned responses in apps. Only a few Google-delivered stupid sentences that never match what you really want to answer. - Invisible, thin white text which you can never see in sunlight. And many others. Want a truly useful smartwatch with 7-8 day battery life and true always-on screen ? Get a Pebble 2. It's ugly, but it will really make your life easier.

6. Phullofphil

Posts: 1822; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Sounds like a conspiracy theorist talking. Your kind of right though. People with iPhones probably would want to get the Apple Watch. Android users for the most part would want a Ware watch

2. Cat97

Posts: 1933; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

It requires charging it daily and it is mostly a black screen when seeing it on someone's wrist. Fail.

7. gpwebresearch

Posts: 1; Member since: May 10, 2018

I was a windows and android user for a long time. When I had my first mac and iPhone the possibility of going back is slim. We became loyal because of the quality, satisfaction wins over the little annoyances. The integration of the devices is seamless. They are very expensive compared to other products but they can't beat the quality. I still wanted to get other apple products in the future while not to show off but to experience the quality of the products.

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