Apple Watch is totally a Jony Ive production

By

Photo:
This is the device they'll remember Jony Ive for. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

If there’s one thing today’s New Yorker profile of Jony Ive hammers home, it’s how important the Apple Watch is to Apple’s design guru. The 16,000-word story reveals how Ive pushed the Apple Watch as a project, shortly after Steve Jobs’ death, when Apple was under pressure to come up with its next insanely great idea.

Here’s all the ways

  • As a long-time watch collector, Ive worked heavily with best friend Marc Newson on the project, who will be named on patents for the Apple Watch.
  • Behind the scenes, the project developed against a backdrop of Ive solidifying his key position at Apple as he took over design work on iOS while pushing out rivals.
  • Ive is even re-imagining the Apple Store for the express view of selling his luxurious smartwatches, working with retail boss Angela Ahrendts to turn Apple’s retail stores into the kind of V.I.P. place you would buy a high-end wristwatch. (He was prompted to do so after overhearing someone say, “I’m not going to buy a watch if I can’t stand on carpet.”)
  • Ive took a whole year before he settled on the straps for the Apple Watch. He tested them by wearing them outside the design studio with other watches.
  • A circular design was never considered because “a circle doesn’t make any sense” for a list-based interface. The watch’s final form factor resembles one of Newson’s previous designs, plus a 1904 Cartier Santos.
This 1904 watch helped inspire the Apple Watch. Photo: Cartier
This 1904 watch helped inspire the Apple Watch. Photo: Cartier

Ultimately, what shines through from the New Yorker story is just how much of a quintessentially Jony Ive device the Apple Watch will be — more so than any previous Apple product. Given that you’re talking about the world’s most important designer on top of his game, with unlimited resources and no filter, it makes me more excited than ever to pick up an Apple Watch this April.

How about you?