The Series Zero still ticks

· 2 minute read

On Friday, September 14 at 2:58 AM, my alarm woke me up so that I could pre-order an Apple Watch Series 4 the moment that it went on sale. If you’re reading this blog and/or follow me elsewhere on the Internet, this might not surprise you very much. But it might surprise you to learn that prior to this month, I was still wearing an original Apple Watch – henceforth referred to as the Series Zero – almost every day since its release in 2015.

It feels safe to say that most meditations on consumer technology in 2018 have a tinge of negativity to them, and as such a soliloquy in praise of the Series Zero feels in order. Are there times over the past three-plus years that I wished mine were faster and smaller, or that it had GPS? Absolutely. But in an age when shortened attention spans and heightened expectations always have us ready for what’s newer and shinier, the duration over which my Series Zero served me well feels commendable to say the very least.

Apple’s AirPods were released in December 2016 – over a year and seven months after the Series Zero. With both the Series 1 and Series 2 watches already being available for sale at this point, it wouldn’t have been too surprising or indefensible if the AirPods weren’t compatible with the Series Zero. But they were, and this combination was instrumental in my training for and eventually completing my first half-marathon in Brooklyn in May of 2018.

Running the 2018 Brooklyn Half-Marathon

Despite my surname, this was the first race that I had run since high school.

As M.G. Siegler notes, the Series Zero’s longetivity can in part be explained by the fact that watch apps still aren’t particularly useful even on the newer, faster models:

While Apple did eventually fix my not-even-year-old third-generation Apple Watch which spontaneously broke, I had to send it in twice, which means I was left wearing my older Apple Watch as a backup quite a bit. This worried me since it is far slower than the third-gen. But in reality, I realized that barely mattered. Again, because I don’t use any apps. So really, the Apple Watch just pushes notifications to me, which work just as well on previous models. And the (first-party) apps I do use, like timers, and the workout app, all run basically the same.

Perhaps a better watch app narrative would’ve been strong enough incentive for me to have upgraded sooner, and maybe I’m unintentionally highlighting the flaws of the the Apple Watch as an app platform moreso than the Series Zero’s durability and Apple’s commitment to keeping it in good working order.

Regardless, Apple produced a wearable device in 2015 that I still personally deemed worthy of putting on each morning in 2018. If that’s not worth taking a break from our keyboard or USB-C grievances to accredit, I’m not sure what is.