There seems to be some chatter about Apple’s use of time when showing off the Apple Watch and, importantly, the reason behind it. But first, a little background.
When Apple does things, especially when it’s announcing products or just putting on a show, nothing happens by accident and nothing is left to chance. Tim Cook and his team work hard to make sure things go without a hitch and the decisions made along the way are often calculated to the Nth degree. That fact is probably best illustrated by the time that is displayed in an iPhone’s status bar whenever you see it in promotional material.
Always showing 09:42, iPhones use this time because it is the time at which the original iPhone was debuted by Steve Jobs back in 2007. It’s the kind of trivia that you might not have noticed, but once you know it’s there you see it each and every time you see an iPhone either on Apple’s website or one of its slides during a press event.
Those paying close attention will have noticed that Apple does a similar thing when it shows the Apple Watch, with the time in question being 10:09. Rather than being the time that the Apple Watch was announced though, the reasoning is a simple case of what looks best on a watch face.
Historically, companies like TAG Heuer and Timex have shown their watches with 10:10 or 10:09 on their faces respectively. Other major players in the luxury timepiece space use times either the same as or similar to the two we just mentioned and the reasoning is simple. Normally, a watch maker’s brand is in the top-center of a watch face, meaning a 10:10 or 10:09 configuration for the hands keeps the branding from being obscured. Obviously Apple doesn’t need to worry about such things because its watch face is unbranded, but Apple like symmetry, which is probably why it uses 10:09 for its own press images.
Some believe that the reason is more sinister, with Apple wanting its smartwatch to appear ahead of the competition, though we aren’t quite sure that’s right. Apple is all about the appearance of its devices and having a watch’s hands at the 10:09 position just looks nice. Plain and simple.
Now, can we go back to worrying about which size Apple Watch we need to order?