The Apple Watch didn't receive a hardware update, but it was the subject of a number of other big announcements at today's Special Event keynote from Apple. On the software front, it was revealed that watchOS 2 would be released to the public next Wednesday, September 16. Apple also took the time to unveil a number of new watch bands, new variations in each of the Apple Watch collections, and a partnership with Hermès to deliver a fourth Apple Watch collection.
watchOS 2 Available Wednesday, September 16
Apple today announced that watchOS 2, which was first previewed at WWDC in June, will be available for all Apple Watch owners next Wednesday, September 16. The big new features in watchOS 2 include the ability for third-party apps to run natively on the Apple Watch, support for third-party complications on the watch face and Time Travel which lets you see what's coming up and what happened in the past on your complications. There's also support for responding to emails by dictation in Mail, new colors for messages sent with Digital Touch and a whole lot more.
“Our customers love Apple Watch and tell us its incredible health and fitness features are having a huge impact on their lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of Operations. “We’re excited to expand Apple Watch’s functionality with watchOS 2 and offer even more personal choice with beautiful new styles and colors.”
New Apple Watch Sport Colors
The Apple Watch Sport was previously available in Silver and Space Gray Aluminum cases, but Apple has today announced new models which are available in Rose Gold Aluminum and Gold Aluminum. These new models start at the same $349 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model.
Availability: These new models are available from today.
New Apple Watch Bands
The selection of Apple Watch Sport Bands was significantly expanded today and you can see the entire Sport Band range in the image above. There are a number of new bands which vary from new vibrant colors to more neutral bands such as the lavender. One of the new bands is the (PRODUCT)RED Sport Band, with proceeds going to the Global Fund to fight AIDS.
The Classic Buckle has also been revamped and now comes in black or saddle brown, and is made from calf leather. The old design of the Classic Buckle was made from Dutch leather.
You can view all of Apple's watch bands here.
Availability: These new bands are available from today.
New Apple Watch Collections
Apple's press release details the new Apple Watch collections available, featuring some of the new bands listed above:
- Apple Watch Sport’s lightweight anodized aluminum case now comes in two new beautiful colors, gold aluminum and rose gold aluminum paired with high-performance fluoroelastomer Sport Bands in lavender, antique white, stone and midnight blue.
- Apple Watch Sport silver aluminum is now available with new orange or blue Sport Bands.
- The stainless steel Apple Watch collection offers a variety of new bands including a two-toned Classic Buckle in black or saddle brown.
- The Apple Watch space black stainless steel case is now available with a black Sport Band.
- Apple Watch Edition now includes an 18-karat rose gold case with a midnight blue Classic Buckle.
You can view every Apple Watch collection here.
Availability: These new Apple Watch collections are available from today.
Apple Watch Hermès Collection
Apple has partnered with fashion brand Hermès to introduce the new Apple Watch Hermès Collection featuring the stainless steel Apple Watch and "finely crafted leather bands" from Hermès.
“Apple and Hermès make very different products, but they reflect the deep appreciation of quality design,” said Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer. “Both companies are motivated by a sincere pursuit of excellence and the desire to create something that is not compromised. Apple Watch Hermès is a true testament to that belief.”
Hermès have made three different bands for the Apple Watch Hermès Collection; a Single Tour, Double Tour and a Cuff. It isn't clear whether these bands will also be available for purchase seperately, but that doesn't appear to be the case at launch.
“At Hermès, we strive to provide our clients with elegant, creative and functional objects for their everyday lives,” said Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès’ executive vice president in charge of artistic direction. “What more contemporary and relevant expression of this principle could there be than this collaboration with Apple. We are strongly united by the same deeply held ideas and principles. I see it as the establishment of an alliance in excellence; like horse and carriage, a perfect team.”
Custom Hermès Watch Face
Customers who purchase the Apple Watch Hermès collection will be able to use a custom watch face, inspired by the Clipper, Cape Cod and Espace Hermès watches, including the one shown above.
Apple hasn't revealed the prices for all 10 variations in the Apple Watch Hermès Collection, but some prices have been published:
- $1,100 (US) for the 38 mm stainless steel case with the Single Tour
- $1,150 (US) for the 42 mm stainless steel case with the Single Tour
- $1,250 (US) for the 38 mm stainless steel case with the Double Tour
- $1,500 (US) for the 42 mm stainless steel case with the Cuff
The Apple Watch Hermès Collection will go on sale on October 5 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and the US. They will be available for purchase in select Apple retail stores, select Hermès stores, specialty stores and department stores.
You can learn more about the Apple Watch Hermès Collection here.