The Apple Watch has always been a curious device to me, and one that I’ve ultimately never been able to commit to for a variety of reasons. Sure, I’ll pop it on for activities here and there, but I find it’s most useful when worn all day every day, and when push comes to shove, I’ll snag a more traditional (if less smart) watch from my watchbox every time. The Apple Watch is comfortable, practical, and easy to use. There’s nothing wrong with it, but there’s never been anything about it that caused the watch enthusiast in me to sit up and take notice. That changed last month when the Apple Watch Ultra was revealed. Here was a gnarly, purpose built device that hit some of the same sweet spots as many of the other over-engineered tool watches I enjoy wearing. It was the first smart device that appealed to the same sensibilities that I find so endearing about tool watches.
I’ll start off with an admission: I am not an ultra caliber athlete. I don’t run ultra marathons in the desert, I don’t go spelunking, I don’t dive, and I’m not a mountaineer. I do run, and on occasion hike, climb (in a gym), and swim, but I do so in what you might call a casual manner. A perfect lifestyle for the regular Apple Watch, no doubt. However, I don’t feel the need to track my every activity and movement each day (unless I’m testing such things, of course). Seeing my pace each mile can take a bit of the fun out of it. I know there are many people who rely on these tools every day and use them for motivation and training purposes, and to them I tip my cap.