The last place I want to try on an Apple Watch is in an Apple store

Technically Incorrect: Rumors suggest Apple may redesign its stores to accommodate its new watch. But can the normally noisy, crowded Apple store really be the ideal place to try on a "personal" product?

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Is this the sort of place you want to buy a watch? Lev Taydakov; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Once I had an iPhone, I realized I didn't need a watch.

Now Apple is telling me that the perfect complement for my iPhone is a watch, perhaps even one with a Mickey Mouse face on it.

I confess to feeling a touch confused.

Still, I've always thought I could use a little jewelry, given that the wedding ring has been a long time coming and is always delayed somewhere south of It's Your Own Fault.

So I'm prepared to slip on an Apple Watch, just to see if it engenders fancy feelings. Then I tell myself I might have to do that in an Apple store, and my sinuses begin to twitch.

Rare is the Apple store that isn't crowded and echoing with the cacophony of a thousand voices wondering aloud if they really need Apple Care. Rare is the Apple store where you don't have to push past mesmerized adults and children checking their e-mail and typing "XHPFHTUTUUC" on shiny new products.

And rare is the Apple store where there aren't many people irritatedly loafing around, desperate to be the next in line for the Genius Bar.

Is this the sort of place to try on what Apple says is its most personal product ever?

The Apple store is as personal as a Moroccan bazaar. Can it possibly engender the emotional stillness required for a customer to ask themselves: "Does my arm look big with this?"

A recent New Yorker profile of Apple's head of design, Jony Ive, intimated that the stores would enjoy a redesign in order to welcome the Apple Watch.

The profile noted: "The new spaces will surely become a more natural setting for vitrines filled with gold (and perhaps less welcoming, at least in some corners, to tourists and truants)."

There was even the suggestion that there would be a VIP area, where watch-browsers could be separated from the ever-maddening crowds. Perhaps they'll rope off a tiny area of each Apple store and pour Cristal to make you feel so special.

But if I can remember the times when I used to buy watches, I always bought them in places where I had time and space to stare self-indulgently at my wrist. I never felt hurried. Any sales pressure was always Tiffany-subtle.

Could an Apple store ever deliver that, without perhaps having a glassed-in, soundproof booth? Or would it still be too much like trying to make a baby at an orgy?

As my colleagues Dara Kerr and Shara Tibken reported, the watch will also be available in department stores and boutiques. Only select ones, of course. None of the grubby kind. Those select locations may surely offer a buying experience that feels more personal, more serene.

It's Apple very success that has made its stores feel like a challenge on "Survivor."

But if you're going to get personal with me, you have to make me feel a certain calm intimacy.

The Apple store is the place I rush into to buy yet another cable after the last one frayed. Can it possibly be the place that I'll feel good buying a piece of jewelry that's supposed to make me a little prettier?