Apple Watch – Part 1 – The Basics

I must admit that I used to scoff at those with an Apple Watch thinking that’s just too much.  Why would anyone want one of those?   They look pretty cool as is a characteristic of much of Apple’s product suite but what real function did they provide.   So I decided to get ad Apple Watch to see first hand what the experience is like.  And, I’m pleased to report that I was pleasantly surprised.

Purchasing expensive watches is not new; Breitling, Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, the list goes on and on.   You can easily spend thousands of dollars on these timepieces.  The thought of spending significant money on an electronic version of a watch caused me pause.

Apple Watches range from $369.00 at the low end to $1,029.00 at the high end – so there is quite a bit of range here in terms of features and functionality.

What drives the price?

Size:  Watches are available in 38mm, 40mm, 41mm, 42mm, 44mm and 45mm.   The bigger the size of the watch, the easier it is to read and the more costly.

Crystal:  The higher end watch has a crack resistant crystal whereas the lower end watches do not.   This pretty much follows the same trends as a traditional watch.

Blood Oxygen:  The high end watch can measure your blood oxygen level.   This is really useful during COVID times as one of the symptoms of COVID is that there isn’t enough oxygen in your bloodstream but you don’t know it as you do not feel it.  This function helps you keep tabs on that value.

ECG:  The higher end models come with an ability to take and ECG.   The ECG is transferred from the watch to and iPhone’s Health App.  Oh, an important point.   If you are going to use an Apple Watch, you must have an iPhone – otherwise the features cannot be used effectively.

Fall Detection:  All but the base model (Series 3) support this.   If you fall the watch can detect this and call emergency services on your behalf.

Cellular:  Higher end watches support their own cell service so they can operate independently from an internet perspective.   This means that the watch does not need to be close to your iPhone for full functionality such as making calls from the watch.

Features consistent Across all Watches

Application Extensions:  Some applications already on your phone are Watch aware.   For example, I used to need to have my phone charged and near by to log in and enter my 2FA authentication via Duo.   But Duo is watch aware so when I press the Push button the authentication appears on the watch and I can then touch Accept or Decline.   Likewise, text messages, LinkedIn requests and other applications hook into the Watch at various levels.

Watch Faces:   The watch face is programmable.  You can choose from literally 50-100 different variations of watch faces.   You can load some on the watch and switch faces whenever you want.   Faces are loaded from the iPhone Watch app.

Water Resistant:  All watches are water resistant to 50m.

Heart Monitoring:  All watches periodically monitor your heart rate and can notify you of high or low hear rate conditions.  They can also notify you of an irregular heart rhythm.

Bands:  Watch bands are available in a rubberized plastic, braided fabric, flat fabric, leather, stainless steel and as a linked bracelet.  You can pop over to the Apple store to see the variations:

Watch Models

There are three base models.   The Series 7 is the top of the line unit, the SE the mid range and the Series 3 the low end:

The amount of real estate available for viewing differs significantly from model to model.  Notice the amount of dark space around each model:

The Series 3 and SE are available with Aluminum casings whereas the Series 7 is available in Stainless Steel, Titanium and Aluminum.


I have a Series 6 44mm watch and I find it surprisingly easy to read.  In this article I wanted to provide you with a non – technical look at the watch from the perspective of someone looking at a new watch.  In the next article, I will get more into the applications and how the Watch environment combined with the iPhone helps you to live a mode healthy lifestyle without sacrificing your privacy.

Charles Bennett is the Principal Consultant at Triella.  We are a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium-sized firms. Charles can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to our blog page. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Webroot Reseller.

© 2021 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.

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