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Apple Watch: These Top Designers Aren't Impressed

Apple Watch: These Top Designers Aren't Impressed
Photograph by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo

Apple has, at long last, revealed its smartwatch. It’s a fitness tracker, payment system, and technological novelty wrapped in a sleek case with an amazingly inventive user-interface: a conventional-looking knob (or crown, in timepiece parlance) a user can turn to zoom the watch face in and out without obstructing the screen.

The device might have set the hearts of gadget geeks aflutter. But was it enough to retain the company’s reputation as a leader in design? Interviews with top designers following Apple Watch’s splashy debut underscored the exquisiteness of the hardware—and the overall absence, from a design perspective, of much dazzle or surprise.