Fashion world divided on first look at Apple Watch

Tue Sep 9, 2014 9:03pm EDT
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By Christina Farr

CUPERTINO Calif. (Reuters) - Apple Inc's newly unveiled smartwatch on Tuesday split fashion arbiters who may prove pivotal to its broad acceptance.

Many praised the "Apple Watch", priced from $349 when it debuts next year, for its clean aesthetic, but some bloggers and editors said the watch had a masculine aura, which would limit its allure to parts of the style-conscious crowd. Others said the design, while pleasing, was less than revolutionary.

The gadget, which must be paired with an iPhone, is shaped like a traditional timepiece, with a small square display. A dial on the side, reminiscent of the winding mechanism on a mechanical watch, can be spun or pushed to manipulate what is on the touch screen.

Apple will offer three different versions -- sport, standard, and a luxury edition, with finishes including stainless steel and gold plated. The display can be customized to show the time in numbers or a facsimile of a watch with hands.

Wrist bands range from leather and stainless steel to sports models in hues from pink to blue. The Watch recognizes voice commands and carries sensors that can track activity such as steps and heart rate.

Roseanne Morrison, fashion director for The Doneger Group, an industry consultant, said the design fell short of her expectations.

"It's not pretty," she told Reuters. "It's very future techno as opposed to feminine sexy."

Many contacted by Reuters agreed that the device was better looking than existing offerings from the likes of Samsung Electronics and LG, which are judged to be clunkier.   Continued...

An Apple Watch is seen during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, September 9, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam