The Apple Watch Series 4 arguably stole the show at Apple’s media event earlier this month. Sure, the iPhone XS models are respectable upgrades, and sure, the iPhone XR clearly offers a lot of bang for the buck, but the next-gen Apple Watch was by all accounts a show-stopper. With the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple redesigned its popular wearable on the inside and out. Aside from some significant improvements in terms of processing power, the Apple Watch Series 4 features a significantly larger display, a number of health-tracking improvements — including ECG support, haptic feedback on the digital crown, and much more.
As Apple noted during its keynote, the Apple Watch Series 4 display boasts a viewing area that’s more than 30% larger than its predecessors. In turn, Apple’s new wearable incorporates a number of new watch faces that take advantage of the extra screen real estate, including fire, water, and vapor watch faces that are almost hypnotic when seen in action. What’s particularly interesting about these watch faces, though perhaps not all that surprising, is that Apple constructed specially designed rigs and used advanced cameras so that they could record the motion of fire, water, and vapor and subsequently turn the footage into realistic animations. Whereas most other companies might have used CGI to yield the animations, Apple went the extra mile as to make the animations true to life.
Now was all of this necessary? Arguably not. After all, it’s not like Apple needs to conduct brand new testing in order to study the movement of fire. Still, it speaks to Apple’s obsession with sweating every last detail.
Incidentally, a video highlighting the process by which Apple recorded its fire, water, and vapor imagery surfaced late last week. Per usual, it’s a fascinating look behind Apple’s notoriously steel curtain as well as a reminder of all the behind the scenes work that even goes into seemingly minor features.
“It’s more of a story about the design team,” Apple’s Alan Dye told Cool Hunting. “We could have done this digitally, but we shot this all in a studio. It’s so indicative of how the design team works—bringing our best and varied talents together to create these faces.”
The full video can be seen below.