This past Friday night, I was in a cab stuck in a bumper-to-bumper lineup on the West Side Highway. Running late to meet my photographer Matthew at a Max Mara party for the opening of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, I decided to text him. Instead of upending the order of my carefully overstuffed clutch by rummaging for my phone, I swiped my finger down the face of my watch, pressed a dictation icon, said as clearly as possible “Hey I’m running a little late…so sorry” and pressed send. “No worries at all, no rush!” came his reply a second later.
See, I had an Apple Watch. And this was just one of the many nifty features to which I was still getting accustomed, having had it strapped to my wrist for about two hours and change (the watch only became available on Friday).
I should mention from the outset that I am not a technology-obsessed person, the kind who needs the latest model of every phone, computer or tablet (I don’t even own an iPad) the second it hits the market. I’m more likely to salivate over a Miu Miu handbag than a digital device, no matter how slick. But there was something undeniably cool about those Apple Watch commercials. And I think they struck a cord in my mind: cut the theme song to “Inspector Gadget.” I had wanted to be Penny, Inspector Gadget’s brainy niece who solved every case with help from her book-cum-computer and her magical, do-everything watch. Now, at least I had her timepiece.
Of course, it’s also a style statement. “Holy crap! Is that the Apple Watch?! It looks really sexy on you, not techy at all,” said my doorman, all but ignoring my Giambattista Valli frock.
And he wasn’t the only one noticing.
“Wow, it’s so pretty, it makes me want one,” cooed one socialite.
In the elevator, a woman stared at my wrist for a good two floors before bothering to size up the rest of me. When the next morning, a lady behind me in line for coffee at Le Pain Quotidien asked, “Is that the new Apple Watch?” I started to become self-conscious about my hand up-keep. Not one for weekly manicures, I headed straight to the nail salon. Is this how newly-engaged women feel?
It’s not an undue comparison given that as soon as I entered my friend Nancy’s apartment for drinks later that evening the first thing she said after a kiss greeting was “Excuse me, what is that on your wrist?” in a tone generally reserved for blinged out left ring fingers.
We proceeded to scroll—often literally with a rotating lug on the case—through its many features, alongside her husband Eric, glasses of rose in hand. I showed off the built in heart rate monitor (which had come in handy when I used the workout app to record my exhale core sport session earlier that day), the weather features and the multitude of home screen options (I went with the modular one, which displays temperature, battery life, activity levels, and upcoming calendar events, in addition to date and time). You can designate up to twelve friends (it’s a watch, get it?) as “favorites” and send them doodles drawn with your finger or your heartbeat—assuming, that is that they also have Apple Watches.
“Why is Nancy the last one you put in?” teased Eric. Busted.
Order, it seems, matters as I learned later that night at a dance party thrown by Marjorie Gubelmann (aka DJ Mad Marj) at the meatpacking district club Gilded Lily. As I was making my way towards the dance floor, I bumped into Hanuk Hanuk, an artist and frequent party photographer.
“Oh my god! Is that the Apple Watch? It’s the first one I’ve seen on anyone!” he exclaimed, dragging me towards a corner for closer examination.
Forget being first to the altar—never my prerogative anyway. I think my Apple Watch and I will live happily ever after.
Photos: Wrist Action
The author sporting the Apple Watch.
The author’s Apple Watch.
Vanessa Lawrence at the opening of the Whitney Museum.