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Jony Ive explains why designing the Apple Watch was insanely difficult

Published Sep 17th, 2014 6:30PM EDT
Apple Watch Design Story
Image: Apple Inc.

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Even though Apple was late to announce its first smartwatch compared to its rivals and its Apple Watch will hit stores only at some point next year, the company has been working on its wrist gadget for quite a long time, a new Bloomberg Businessweek profile on Apple reveals.

FROM EARLIER: The smartest thing you’ll read about the Apple Watch and Apple’s future

Apple’s design guru Jony Ive explained some of the design story of the Apple Watch, telling the publication that Apple Watch development started three years ago in his lab, shortly after Steve Jobs passed away and before “’wearables’ became a word in Silicon Valley.”

“It’s probably one of the most difficult projects I have ever worked on,” the top Apple designer revealed, because of the complex engineering, “the need for new physical interactions between the watch and the human body,” and because the device apparently looks more like the past than the future.

To learn as many things about watches as possible, Apple invited watch historians to Cupertino to speak about the “philosophy of instruments for measuring time,” as explained by French author Dominique Fléchon.

Ive “immersed himself in horological history,” the publication explains, as the exec looked at how clocks were transformed into wearable devices in time. “What was interesting is that it took centuries to find the wrist and then it didn’t go anywhere else,” Ive said. “I would argue the wrist is the right place for the technology.”

After all this time though, Apple is still not ready to sell the device in stores, as it’s still refining the product. The full Bloomberg Businessweek profile, including hits an Apple exec took at competing wearable devices, is available at the source link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.