I never thought that I'd be a smartwatch girlie. I loved having an analogue watch on my wrist and viewed smartwatches as an expensive gimmick. But I got a smartwatch about a year back and, I'm surprised to say, it definitely changes things.

This is not a full-blown review post. I'm not specifically structuring this or aiming to be as helpful as possible. I just wanted to record and share my thoughts on having an Apple watch and my observations of how it has subtly changed my daily life.

So, grab a drink or snack and settle down to read my rambles on this random thing! Also, forgive me for any typos because this is post is pretty long and I did not have the patience to proofread it 😂

what was my previous watch?

Right after I finished 10th grade, my dad bought me a watch because he thought it was a defining accessory for anyone and that I should have a watch of my choice. Before that, I was using my mom's old watch, I think, which I didn't like but I didn't have an alternative. He wanted me to get a really nice classic watch that I would be happy to wear and it was lowkey a present for doing great on my 10th grade exams.

At the time, I was a huge introvert with a small group of girlfriends who preferred staying at home and reading all day. My tastes were leaning towards minimalistic and simplistic things but maybe with a few pretty touches. I liked things in pretty colours without patterns. I loved anything with butterfly patterns on them—earrings, tops, bags, etc. I hated high-contrast colours, sharp designs, and bulky things. I liked dainty, soft, pretty things that weren't overly feminine.

It's a blurry memory now—and that's a reason why I'm writing this because I'll probably forget about it in a few years—but I remember that he took me to a few different watch shops to find something that I liked. I did not even remotely like any of the designs that I saw for a long time. Thankfully, my dad believes in taking the time to research and find a good option before buying anything, so he did not get annoyed with me and continued taking me to different places to find the right watch. (He also loves researching things to buy and this was a fun project for him, lol.)

One day, he took me to a small shop in a random street of the city where there were not many people around and it looked like the shop received barely any traffic. I was sceptical but I gave it a shot. It's funny how a random shop that I didn't expect anything from had just the right watch for me.

my timex watch

I found the most beautiful Timex watch. It's a metal watch with a light steel container for the dial. The band had the same steel metal and the center row of the band's metal is in a coppery rose gold. The strap is thin and loose enough for my wrist so that it would move around a bit (I didn't want a tight watch).

The dial does not have numbers. In their place are tiny square boxes. The 12, 3, 6, and 9 spots have a tiny square diamond-like stone that reflects and the other numbers have the same coppery rose gold square pieces. The 3 hands are thin and in the same coppery colour. And the best part? The dial has a really cute design with 3 butterflies.

The watch was perfect for me. I loved it. My dad was also really happy with it because I chose a Timex watch. For my parents' generation—and especially for my dad—an accessory choice is almost like an identity choice. I clearly remember how my dad approved of my choice because it's a Timex watch. He was like, yes, you should have a classic and elegant timepiece to wear every day. And I did!

It lowkey became a part of my personality because I wore it all the time. My friends did not wear watches at all, even though some of them didn't have a phone. Watches were not the rage in my school but I wore one. It's also probably because of the watch that I was always on time (or early) for things. Whether I was going to school or hanging out at a friend's place, I wore the watch. I only didn't wear it at home.

I'm still obsessed with the watch, honestly. I've had it on my shelf within reach since I got the new watch even though I don't wear it. I am looking at it right now and still love it so much. It's so simple and yet pretty. It has a good design that doesn't stand out too much. It's dainty and elegant on my wrist. It's just so good.

This was a long story for no reason but in short: I was not bored or unhappy with my watch. I wore it every day for almost 8 years and still loved it. It stopped working only once in all those years and was easy enough to get fixed. The coppery colour on the metal was only starting to wear out after 7 years. The dial got a big scratch after 3 or 4 years because I was clumsy but it still looked good. I was not looking to buy a new watch at all.

why did i buy an apple watch?

I can hear you thinking: she clearly loves that Timex watch, why did she switch?

Although I was not considering the Apple Watch at all, I did end up buying a bunch of the other Apple products. I got the iPad first because I wanted to draw on Procreate. Then when my previous laptop started breaking down after years of use, I exchanged it for a Macbook Air which was quite affordable with the exchange. A while later, I got an iPhone mostly because of how the Apple ecosystem works—I wanted the notes and reminders to sync across and be available to me all the time. And finally, I got the AirPods Pro paid by my blog earnings as a gift to myself.

I looked at the Apple Watch purely out of curiosity as it was one of the few Apple devices I didn't own and I was curious about the uses of a smartwatch because few of my friends love them. While the Watch was nice, it wasn't a necessity, you know? It has a bunch of extra features that most of us don't need. In my opinion, smartwatches were mostly used for fancy dials, notifications, and occasionally to track fitness.

And then, I had a ton of work at work. I was part of a very critical project that had me working from when I woke up to late at night. I wasn't doing anything but work for two to three months including weekends. I was so absorbed by work that I would forget to have meals and even didn't notice when my mom went out for hours. One time, I heard her complain to a friend on the phone, "Sumedha is always working, I'm so bored." 😂

illustration of a person working on a laptop with coffee, books, plant, and airpods scattered around the laptop

I was part of the core team for the project and was the least experienced person on it too, but I was able to contribute a lot. When the project ended, I was highly appreciated. My company allowed gifting of "points" which can be used to buy items at the employee portal or exchanged for gift cards for select stores. As a reward for my contribution, a couple of people from higher management gave me the maximum number of points possible in a reward. So, I got twice that from two different people.

The new reward points plus the ones I had from previous projects amounted to a lot. In total, I had enough points to exchange for electronics store gift cards which would completely cover the cost of an Apple watch. You have no idea how much I laughed when I realized that. I had literally 48k rupees worth of points. And honestly, I worked enough to be paid that much (and maybe more) in overtime, so it was well-deserved.

As I could only get gift cards for select stores, my options were limited and I had nothing else on my mind to spend those points on. I only got the watch because it was the best option and I didn't have to pay a rupee from my account.

I hope you didn't expect me to say how I came to love the Apple watch and wanted it badly. My case was the furthest from that. I saw no need for it and got it as a random luxury gift to myself simply because I had points to spend 😂

which apple watch did i get?

Just because I could afford it doesn't mean that I immediately bought one of the available watches. The points weren't going to expire any time soon and I wanted to take my time to research and make a good purchase. After all, I am my father's daughter.

I spent a few weeks researching first. I considered buying clothes but I didn't need any and I'm not someone who spends a lot on clothes. I don't care about having a lot of jewelry and I don't use makeup as well. So, the only area left was electronics.

Most of the electronic items that I could get, I already had. I could have gotten headphones but I still had my Sony WH-CH510 which I got years back and worked fine, not to mention I wasn't even using them much after getting earbuds. I didn't want a speaker so the only thing left which made sense was a smartwatch.

If I was paying out of my own pocket, I would have spent a lot of time researching smartwatches from other brands even though they don't work well with iPhones. But since I could easily afford an Apple Watch, I only researched those. I watched a TON of videos and read reviews of the watches.

The latest Watch SE at the time looked fine and Series 8 has a few extra features for a big price difference. However, for some reason, I just liked Series 8. It also had a new feature at the time of tracking and eventually predicting menstrual cycles which I was interested in. I have PCOS and my cycle is not consistent so I thought the temperature-based prediction would help. And of course, my points completely covered the Watch Series 8 cost.

After I chose Series 8, I looked at the variation within it—the colours and sizes. I immediately liked the starlight colour because it is the closest thing to rose gold. I did not want white, black or blue because they're too basic. I also didn't want red because I hate how eye-catching it is. Starlight was perfect.

I spent a lot of time looking at which size I should get. Both the 45mm and 41mm sizes were in my budget but I was leaning towards 41mm. However, a couple of my friends were insisting on 45mm because of the bigger screen size. I wasn't convinced, though. I watched a ton of YouTube videos to see how the sizes looked on people's wrists and tried to find reviews on their weight differences as well.

It was so hard to decide, though. It seemed like people preferred both. I was specifically at women's videos for the sizes. Most got 41mm but some were really praising 45mm. I didn't like how bulky it looked on the wrist and how the strap kind of stuck out before bending.

I finally went into a partner store to try it on. I didn't find a 41mm watch but they did have a 45mm one. As soon as I tried it, I knew it wasn't for me. No one talks about how heavy the 45mm watches are! I was going from a veeery light watch to a heavy one and was not ready for a heavier one. I was especially thinking of how the weight would add if I were exercising or carrying something. I could easily imagine the weight changing my posture and mannerisms.

illustration of a person using laptop and making notes

In short, after a lot of deliberation, I chose the Apple Watch Series 8 41mm in Starlight colour. Unfortunately, that exact model was not available in the store. All of the other colours were in stock. Even the 45mm Starlight was in stock. But 41mm Starlight was not.

Because I could get gift cards only for two specific stores, I was stuck with them. The first one was Croma which is a reputed electronics store and was out of the model I wanted. The other was its sister company Tatacliq but they had none of the watches in store. I was super bummed.

I was not ready to settle for another model, though. I was obsessively checking the online Croma store for it to come in stock. One day, a bunch of other models came back in stock and got sold out within a couple of days. I started checking the site even more often after that. Finally, after about a month, I woke up to find it in stock and, after a lot of trouble with the payment, bought it. Turns out, I bought the last (or only) watch in stock because it disappeared from the catalogue immediately after 🙃

After a few more days of waiting for it to be delivered, I finally got the watch!

initial impressions

As usual, Apple's packaging was really nice and I liked unboxing the watch. It felt weird to get a watch in pieces and to have to connect them to make a full watch, though.

picture of my initial watch face with a digital time, weather prediction, battery, fitness, and spotify shortcut

Right off the bat, I loved the colour. I knew that it was a good decision to get the model that I really wanted. The colour was lovely and the size was great for my wrist. It was bigger than my previous watch but did not feel oversized compared to my wrist. It was still a bit bigger than I would have liked but considering that it displays text, a bigger screen is good for the eyes.

The watch was super easy to set up. It finds the nearby iPhone and asks for permission to link the devices, and that's it. It took a bit of time for the setup but it was okay. I get excited with new electronic devices because I can play around with new options and this one did not disappoint.

I liked the amount of customization options the watch face has. I haven't gone through all of them even till today. The watch faces alone are so many. Each watch face also has a different setup for configuring app shortcuts which makes the customization more granular.

However, other parts of the watch have barely any customization. The grid layout allows us to change where the apps show and the shortcut menu allows changing the widgets, but that's it. Everything else stays as is. Which, honestly, is fine. There's nothing much that one would want to customize within the apps themselves (except Fitness, I'll get to that below).

Another big feature of smartwatches is how it alerts notifications. I almost immediately loved the haptics. The haptic is a subtle vibration of the dial against the skin where it's settled. Different notifications have different haptic patterns and strengths. I set my phone to silent and haven't really removed the setting since then (except when I'm not using the watch).

I explored the watch for an hour or so. While there's a lot that it has to offer, they make more sense in use rather than in discovery. So, I spent about 10 minutes making a watch face and decided to see how it works in daily life.

thoughts on the apple watch after a year

As I'm writing this, it has been around a year and three months since I started using the Apple Watch Series 8. My life looks very different now than how it was before I got the watch. It's not all because of the smartwatch but I will admit that a few changes were easier due to it.*

*Funny how this is the main part of the post but we're already 2.5k words in before getting to it. This blog is called The Wordy Habitat for a reason 😂

notifications

Let's talk about my favourite feature of the watch first. As I mentioned, I immediately liked haptics. But, as I also said, it is totally a personal preference.

I've always hated notifications. Be it calls, messages, app notifications, or whatever else. I usually work in a state of flow and notifications always disrupt that.

For example, when I'm in the flow with blogging, I'm typing a lot of words easily and writing is as easy as breathing. It lasts for 20-25 minutes after which I usually need a small break before continuing. Or, I stop for the day.

My flow state is much more concentrated when I'm working. I've never experienced this with studying for more than 10 minutes but I see it with work almost every day. It's easier for me to concentrate when I'm actively working on something and I can accomplish a lot in a short time. I also like working and seeing my work create valuable output.

Notifications (and sudden sounds in general) jar me when I'm in a state of flow. Even if I'm just reading, the sudden ping is jarring and I HATE it. It distracts me in a bad way and ruins my work.

I've actually kept most notifications turned off on my phone since high school. I didn't install WhatsApp until I absolutely had to for a class and I turned the notifications off within a week. Instagram notifications got blocked as soon as I started getting more than a few a day which was in my first year of college. It's now become a habit to turn off notifications when I install new apps.

I usually have notifications turned on only for calls and regular messages because they can be important. A few apps like Ola are unblocked because I need those notifications while using the service. Notifications from all social media app notifications and other random apps are blocked.

However, even the messages and call sounds can be really annoying and I didn't have a way to turn them off or make them better for me. Until the Apple Watch.

I feel much better with touch/vibration alerts than sound alerts. I mean, I literally asked my mom to not wake me up by speaking and to instead gently shake me when I was a kid. I just never thought that the same concept would help me with digital notifications.

I like haptics for notifications because they're subtle and don't jar me. They're soft vibrations against my skin. They don't break my concentration so I can easily finish what I'm currently doing before taking a look at them or I can easily ignore them.

Different notifications have different haptic patterns so it's easy to identify what kind of notification I got without looking at the screen. As I was writing the previous, I got a notification from the Jetpack app and I could easily identify it through the vibration pattern. Obviously, it's easier for me to identify because very new notifications are enabled, but you get the point.

A common complaint against notifications by most people is that it makes us abandon our current work to check the notification and we easily lose ourselves in a social media app within a minute and forget about what we were doing. That is almost fixed with a smartwatch.

illustration of a person wearing an apple watch

Not only does it help you identify if you should look at the notification based on the haptics, but the watch shows the notification with a glance as well. Sometimes, it shows a summary. To take action on most alerts, we have to pick up the phone. The watch makes ignoring unimportant alerts easier.

For example, I saw the Jetpack notification with a glance, noticed that someone liked my post, and got back to writing in a couple of seconds. Even if it was a comment, I could notice it and simply decide to look at the comment later. My flow state was not hampered. I don't need to pick up my phone to see it.

The watch allows different notification settings from the phone which is helpful in another way. Having two levels of customization helps me give the appropriate amount of importance to different types of notifications. I keep even fewer notifications enabled on the watch because too many haptic notifications are a thing too.

For example, I have Slack and Teams notifications turned on in case anyone needs to reach me and I'd rather they don't have to call me (thankfully, my office believes in using official forms of communication first). However, I also don't want them distracting me during personal time, like when I'm riding my scooter or playing badminton. So, I keep them enabled on my phone but disabled on my watch.

The watch enables me to deal with notifications in a better way so I'm able to do more concentrated work. My distractions are fewer and I see a difference in how much I get done in the same amount of time.

Ever since I got the watch, my phone has not gone off silent mode. I've literally forgotten how my ringtone sounds. I miss calls sometimes when I'm not wearing the watch but it's okay.

the watch as an extension of the phone

As I'm using the Apple Watch with an iPhone, it provides me with a LOT of features. I can do so many things without my phone at hand. In fact, most of my watch usage is not active, I use it as a quick way to see/do things instead of using my phone.

I take a lot of calls on the watch. I don't always have my phone on me, especially if I'm at home. It's easier to accept calls on the watch and talk while I walk around or do chores. The quality is great and it's super convenient. Most people can't even tell that I'm not on my phone if I keep the watch at the right distance while speaking.

It also helps me important take calls while riding. I usually only accept calls from my parents and let them know that I'm riding or I stop at the side for a minute to talk to them. I don't have to take my phone out of my pocket at all.

I also often forget my phone in random places at home so I use the watch to locate my phone. Yes, I'm aware that this is a first-world problem only for scatterbrained people but it helps! One time, I spent 15 minutes searching for my phone only to find it under a pile of laundry. Now, I just trigger a sound on the phone from my watch and use it to find my phone.

Messages work really well on the watch. Most of the time, I see text notifications on my watch and if it's important, I respond from the watch itself. The keyboard is a bit tiny so I've found that swipe-type is easier than regular typing. If I don't feel like typing on the tiny keyboard, I dictate and it works just fine. I am not sure of how well WhatsApp or other texting apps work, though, because I don't have notifications enabled for them.

In the beginning, iMessage texts glitched a ton for me. I would reply to an iMessage text and it would go as a regular message. It was highly annoying. It got fixed a few months later.

FaceTime is possible on the watch as well. The watch doesn't have video, of course, but it can display video. I've FaceTimed my friend from the watch while lying on the bed and saw his video as he showed me something.

apple watch showing music controls

Setting and getting reminders is very convenient with the watch. This is important to me because reminders are a big part of my organization system. Whenever I think of something during the day, I tell Siri to create a reminder. It's super easy.

Earlier, I used to miss reminders completely because I wouldn't look at my phone screen for hours. Now, since I have the watch on me all the time, I don't miss reminder alerts so I don't forget to do things. It's easy to view and mark reminders as complete on the watch too.

Navigation is made super easy. It was not a problem before I got a vehicle. But now that I have a scooter and go to new places with it, it's important. Whenever I go to a new place, I enable the "always on display" setting on the watch and start Google Maps navigation on it. Because of this, I don't need a rainproof phone holder to keep my phone on the scooter all the time as many people do.

I can easily twist my wrist to look at the next navigation guidance on the screen. The watch also notifies me of an upcoming turn when I'm 100 meters away with a small haptic. It's subtle as usual but not easy to miss so I never miss a turn.

The navigation guidance can be a bit delayed based on the strength of the internet connection. However, it is manageable. I look at the next turn beforehand without waiting for the 100 m alert just in case the distance update is delayed.

Another favourite feature is the ability to control media from the watch. For example, if I'm listening to music on Spotify, the Spotify screen comes up automatically on the watch every time I look at it. I can easily skip a song, save it, or even play a different playlist from the watch itself. I don't use Apple Music so I don't know if it allows more control but the Spotify integration is great.

The feature is not limited to music, specific apps, or even the phone. I'm currently playing my YouTube blogging Lofi playlist on my bedroom speaker through my laptop as I write. The main control is on the laptop, not on my phone. Because all the devices are connected, the watch automatically shows a "now playing" screen with controls to pause, rewind 10 seconds or skip 10 seconds. It even shows the cute YouTube video thumbnail with a matching background colour.

This is helpful when I'm running or commuting on public transport while holding bags and don't want to struggle to take my phone from my pocket just to skip a song. I mostly use it to control music because I listen to music a lot and it's easy to do through the watch.

The weather integration is not great with the watch. Especially if you have a watch widget on the watch face. I think it requires a lot of data so it doesn't load all the time and it loads slowly. Initially, I had it on the watch face because it looked nice but I got annoyed and eventually switched it out for reminders.

The only integration that I wish was present is Apple Notes. Unfortunately, you can't view Notes through the watch. I feel like this is an easy integration to do and am surprised they haven't done it yet. I understand that the watch can't support all of the notes features like PDFs and links but it could easily support simple text notes. They could allow only a few notes to sync to the watch too. As someone who takes a lot of notes (which is also a big part of my digital organization system), it would be useful for me.

picture of my apple watch showing my run statistics while the run workout is on

In short, all of the integrations are for lazy people or people who are too busy to use their phones for everything. None of it is a need because we can easily live without it. But it can be handy and can make basic digital use a bit easier.

fitness

This is the main feature set that the watch brings, like most smartwatches. The iPhone already has the Fitness app but it tracks only a few things on its own like steps and active calories burnt. With the Watch integration, a lot more things are tracked.

It tracks 3 main things—"move" i.e. active calories, exercise minutes based on heart rate, and "stand" i.e. how many hours you stood at least for one minute—and is called "activity" rings. Other than that, it tracks stuff like steps, distance covered, etc.

I've seen some of my friends' smartwatches and can confidently say that this feature set is not very different from what they have. It looks like most smartwatches have similar features. And they do help.

I've become much more active now that my activity is easily tracked. I wasn't a total couch potato earlier. I liked walking a lot but I didn't do more than that. I did not exercise at all. With the watch, I've slowly started exercising often and now I do it very regularly

Won't lie, closing the activity rings is addictive. Most of it is easily done through my daily routine but it does require to do a little bit extra every day. I love the little animations that show when I close the rings or complete a goal.

apple watch showing a summary of my run after my workout

The monthly activity challenges are quite ingenious. On the first of every month, the Fitness app gives a challenge for the month based on your activity patterns. I like that it's personalized in a way and not a general goal. The best challenges are one step outside our comfort zone and these challenges use that strategy. It's achievable with just a little bit of extra effort.

For example, my average distance per day through walking and running was 6.28 km last month so my challenge this month is to achieve that 14 times. In April, my challenge was to exercise for 55 minutes 14 times because that was my average in March. In March, my challenge was to close all my activity rings 19 times.

I like that the type of challenges vary every month and it uses my data for my challenges. It's a brilliant idea and works really well. There's a different congratulatory animation every month as well. They're usually really cute and fun so I love seeing them.

Other than the regular ones, there are ad-hoc challenges based on specific days. The notification is shown in the morning so that you can work on it any time of the day and they're easy to do. They're generic but they work for everybody. On Earth Day, it was to exercise for 30 minutes. On World Meditation Day, it was to meditate for 10 minutes.

These challenges are like little side-quests. It's fun and it pushes me to be active are part of my regular routines.

Just having it tracked is not enough, though. I didn't start exercising regularly until I got a scooter which made short-distance travel easier. Once I could go to parks and badminton courts within 10 minutes, I started doing it more often. Other parts of life have to support you in working on those goals as well. Having a smartwatch that tracks it doesn't magically change everything.

The daily exercise goal of 30 minutes has pushed me to regularly exercise. I used to go on irregular walks before whenever the mood struck but now I'm more intentional about it. I look for ways to integrate exercise into my day to close that ring.

It provides different types of tracking for different workouts which is super helpful. I love seeing the different metrics after a running workout and it lowkey makes me want to run more so that I can improve them. The list of workouts supported is extensive as well so there's never an issue of something missing.

There are small things that change without any help. For example, stand goals. The stand goal has changed my daily life. I am not exaggerating it.

I have it set to 12 times. So, for at least 12 hours every day, I have to stand for at least a minute. If I do not stand yet in the hour, it sends an alert 10 minutes before the hour ends to remind me to stand. This sounds like a funny and first-world problem goal but I didn't realize how much I needed it before it got tracked. I found that I don't stand up often if something doesn't remind me to.

a picture of my apple watch saying "you just ran a 5k!"

As a software developer, I work while sitting most of the time. I can forget to stand for hours. The stand alert is more than just a stand alert for me. It reminds me that I should take a break and stretch. If I'm in the office, I walk around and get some green tea or talk to someone for a few minutes. If nothing else, I at least drink water and/or go to the washroom.

My water intake has significantly improved due to the stand goal because I usually grab a glass of water or refill my bottle as my break. Even getting myself green tea is drinking water. I don't feel like my hydration is bad anymore.

My physical activity has increased so much that it is visible in my looks. My colleagues exclaimed over it for several months when I lost a bunch of weight. The change is not just due to having a watch that tracks my fitness but it helped a lot.

The cute congratulatory animations induce a tiny dopamine hit so I chase after them. I love the small amount of validation it gives me every day. Even if the day was bad and I got nothing else done, at least I got a congratulatory animation for closing my rings, you know?

This automated validation system is also nice because it can replace the validation we look for from people. Instead of posting our updates every day on social media and hoping that someone validates them, the watch does it for us. I've found that I don't need to share every update with people to show my progress and get a compliment if I get an automated alert for it. This can make us less reliant on people and become more confident.

We really should figure out a way to use this concept for other things like studying. I would study a lot more if I got appreciated every time I finished a certain number of topics. I just want cute validation, okay?

watch-specific features

The watch tracks sleep cycles pretty well. Of course, you have to sleep with it to see those metrics but they're quite detailed. The few times I've worn it while sleeping, it's been accurate. If I wake up tired, the metrics show me why. It's quite interesting to see sleep patterns.

However, I find the watch uncomfortable to sleep with so I usually take it off at night. I've heard that quite a few people sleep with their watches comfortably but it's not my thing.

One of my friends knows someone who wears a different smartwatch all the time, even while sleeping, and after several years, their skin where the watch dial rests and continually sends electric signals looks very different. Like, the skin doesn't look normal anymore. Ever since hearing that, I've been removing my watch more often.

Remember the temperature-based period tracking that the watch provides? Well, it turns out that the period prediction requires wearing the watch during sleep because it uses the base temperature during sleep. I'm fully sure of this but I read it somewhere a while back. It apparently needs 6 months of sleep data and manual cycle tracking to start making predictions.

As I don't wear the watch while sleeping, I can't make use of it. No way am I wearing it while sleeping every single day. It's fine, I'll continue living the high-tension life of not knowing when my period will hit.

Another watch feature is noise-level detection. Whenever it detects noise over a certain decibel, an alert is shown that the surroundings are too loud and it may cause hearing loss. The funny part is that I was getting noise alerts several times during the day. Listen, India is a noisy place. It was initially humourous but I soon got annoyed and disabled it.

apple watch body & strap

Don't underestimate the watch's weight! Remember when I was concerned about going with the 45 mm watch partially due to the extra weight? One friend told me that I wouldn't notice it while wearing it and that I'd get used to it in a while.

But here's the thing: if you wear an accessory every day, it does affect your posture or mannerisms. Even the 41 mm watch that I have right now feels quite heavy at times. Most of the time, I wear something on my other wrist (like a bracelet or scrunchie) just to feel like my hands are more balanced.

The weight is especially felt while walking or exercising. It's not that bad, the weight is easy to get used to. There are several analog watches of similar weights so it's not very heavy.

It matters to me, though. My earlier watch was like a feather on my wrist. I hardly felt it. But I'm always aware of the weight on my wrist with the Apple watch.

Most (or all?) Apple watches come with a sports band by default. It's a good quality strap that keeps the watch in place and is great for exercising, or sports as the name says. I like the design of the sports band because the end of the strap doesn't stick out like usual watch straps.

a picture of my apple watch saying that i just ran my fastest 5k. the watch is with my new rose gold metal band.

I didn't face any issues with it until I went on a trip to Varkala. Varkala is a beach town with very hot and humid weather. It causes a lot of sweating even if one's just sitting on a chair.

Because I was sweating a lot and the strap stayed in place all the time, it caused a sweat buildup and I got an eczema rash on my wrist. This wouldn't be a problem for most people. I am prone to eczema breakouts so this affected me.

The strap was perfectly fine even in Bangalore summer (which is usually not that hot). But it wasn't right for me for even 3 days of use in Varkala.

After I got back from the trip, I decided to get another strap. Most Apple watch straps available online are expensive. I searched a long time for an affordable strap that I liked. I wanted a metal band like that of my previous watch because that didn't give me any issues and metal bands usually allow for some breathing room and move around a bit so it doesn't cause sweat buildup.

Finally, I got a rose gold metal band online that came with a dial case. The strap was very long for me so I spent hours resizing it for my wrist. I almost irreversibly damaged it but it's down to my size. I also learnt how metal watch straps work through it, so the experience was worth it 😂

It looks bulkier and adds a bit more weight but it looks great. The strap looks much more expensive than it actually was. My watch looks like a luxury watch now, haha. Almost every person who sees it complements it.

the watch as a watch

The Apple watch provides so many features that we sometimes forget that its main purpose is to show time.

There are so many watch faces provided that you can choose how you want to see time. You can choose analog or digital, square or circle analog dial, whether you want numbers on the analog dial, different sizes and fonts of digital time, etc. It's so customizable that you can make reading time super easy.

I went for a simple analog watch to a smartwatch and for a year, I was using a digital watch face. Earlier, I used to be a someone who would tell the exact time down to the minute within a second by looking at my watch (which doesn't show numbers). After a year of reading digital time, I got so comfortable with it that I couldn't read analog time as easily. By as easily, I meant it took me a few seconds to read the exact time (like 3:24) but it felt like a few too many seconds for my liking.

picture of my apple watch with the current analog watch face

It's surprising how fast our brain forgets to do things if we stop doing them. The body remembers things through muscle memory. The brain often doesn't because there's so much to remember and it throws what's not needed.

So I switched back to an analog watch face a few months ago and it feels great. We've become such digital people that we stop using what was the standard and what was easy for us. It's funny how I still prefer an analog dial without numbers over one with numbers because that's what I used for years.

I like that the watch can feel like a new watch whenever I want because of the watch face customization. There are more styles that I want to eventually use. All of it without buying a new watch!

endnotes

Sometimes, I still feel like going back to my old watch or buying a new analog watch. I feel it more when I look at the beautiful analog watches that my colleagues have. I will probably start using my old watch now and then when I feel like it but otherwise, I'm going to stick with the Apple watch because of the tons of ways it helps me during the day.

It has helped with a lot of good changes in my daily life that have my days and health much better. I never thought I would like running but here I am! (I will be writing a post on my journey to being an active person, so keep an eye out for that 👀) I am glad that I didn't get something else with those reward points.

But I will say that a smartwatch is not a necessity. I don't think we live in such a fast-paced world (yet) where saving a minute or so by using the watch instead of the phone makes a huge difference. It's a nice-to-have, not a must-have.

The Fitness features are definitely the most useful. It can improve your life if the methods that it uses works for you. The workout metrics as great for most people people but I believe there are better watches for athletes that focus on fitness a lot more.

Almost everything that the Apple watch can do is provided by other smartwatches as well. Unless it is easily affordable, I wouldn't specifically recommend this brand. Especially if it won't be supported by other iOS devices. A lot of its features are dependent on being linked to an iPhone.

It works well for me because I have a bunch of other iOS devices. I can fully use the different features like Fitness, reminders, and Siri. So, I am happy 😌

chat with me!

If you read till the end, thanks for sticking around! I did not think that I would write over 7k words on a WATCH but that's how it turned out 😂

Do you use a smartwatch or a regular watch, or do you not use watches at all? What are your thoughts on smartwatches in general? What features do you think are the most useful? Do you have any thoughts on the points I mentioned? Tell me in the comments!

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

Be wordy with me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

6 comments

  • Clo @ Cuppa Clo says:

    This was such an interesting read! I own a watch, it's small a lot smaller than your butterfly watch as I don't like the bulkiness of most watch faces. I always found they dug into my wrist so my dad ( a bit like yours) spent ages finding a watch for me. It slides on like a bracelet and stretches due to the way it's been designed. Mostly silver with some gold down the middle of the strap and I wore it everyday for work when I first started my current job. Then I stopped after noticing the watch mark it left behind due to that bit of my skin not getting the same sun exposure. I just can't deal with the watch marks so I just stopped wearing my watch. I should probably try and wear it a bit more but I'm very used to not having it on me.

    As for smartwatches I think they're useful and can assist for tracking fitness, as well as giving us reminders as I also regularly wander around and forget where I left my phone. However it would be futile for me as I don't even wear a normal watch, if the person is in the habit of wearing one and enjoys it then it's worth it. I loved hearing your thoughts though and I will say that the gentle vibration for notifications the watch does sounds lovely. My phone has always been sent to silent, everything is on silent because I can't deal with the noise or vibration.

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      oh if it’s the watch marks stopping you, try a looser watch! it might take some getting used to but they work great for me. my skin was even with my old watch because it was loose and moved around, and my current watch’s metal band is just a tad bit loose so it doesn’t stay at one place.

      Reply ➔
  • yourwordsmyink says:

    I've had my apple watch since 2019 (yes the same one, it's still going) and I use it daily now. I went through long periods of not using it, but something just clicked in my brain this year and I wear it almost every day. I got it mainly because I like knowing (to the second) what the time is, and I just struggle to read regular watches. I also use it when filming, as I can see my phone camera on the watch and that makes getting the angle right so much easier. Overall I just love my watch and when it gives up the ghost I will replace it (maybe in another 5 years).

    Reply ➔
  • abookowlscorner says:

    Do I ever intend to use a smartwatch? Nope. Did I still read all 7k+ words of this in utter fascination? You bet! 😁 I just find it so interesting how other people organize their lives around media and also love the little anecdotes from your life, like how you got your first watch. Your dad sounds so sweet, with all the effort he put into researching it with you! 🥰

    Still, personally, I don't see myself ever wanting a smartwatch. I despise immediate notifications - I find them really distracting, and there's no way I would NOT read that WordPress comment straight away if my watch told me it existed, no matter how it did so 😂 It actually wouldn't be a reprieve from my phone at all because I never have my phone on me when I'm working. It's always on silent somewhere in my backpack or across the room, so the only time I'll see notifications is when I consciously make the effort to pick up my phone with the intention of spending time on it and responding to any potential messages that have come in. Which really works for me and helps ensure that my screentime isn't that high 😊 Which is also another reason why I love my current analogue watch - I've always had one because I want to be able to keep track of time, but that's it!

    In fact, the only thing that kind of perks my interest about your Apple Watch is the ability to control music with it - but then again, it's not like it's very hard for me to reach for my phone when Spotify plays something I don't like 😂 - and the way you said it increased your fitness. However, I'm incredibly good at ignoring motivational apps like that, so I'm not sure it'd work for me anyway... I'd probably just increase my screen time by spending forever analyzing my fitness stats instead of actually going outside and being active 🙃 I love hiking so much that I do that a lot anyway, and also, as a typical European, I walk around so much in my day-to-day life that that's perfect for a non-athletically motivated fitness legend like me 😂 I'd rather get rid of the tech and have fewer features that could distract me!

    Reply ➔
    • sumedha @ the wordy habitat says:

      you’re probably the only one to actually read the entire posy properly so far 😂 i’m glad it was entertaining enough for you to read all the 7k+ words lol.

      i totally understand what you mean by the immediate notifications. it’s much reduced for me now and i don’t get that many notifications anyway so it’s fine. but there will probably come a day where i turn off all notifications 😂

      having active days without having to push yourself is a good thing, here we are so accustomed to taking our scootys even to go to the grocery store 5 min walk away 🙃 the media control is nice and is probably the feature i used the most throughout the day but it’s definitely not a need, just a nice luxury to have haha.

      Reply ➔