On Wednesday, Dan Seifert published his review of the new LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style, both of which run the new Android Wear 2.0.
The Sport version, with LTE, GPS, and NFC for Android Pay, is undeniably huge. And that seems to be a bit of a problem for some in The Verge office. It also seems that LG and Google weren’t really thinking of women or anyone with small wrists at all when they designed the Sport. Even on the band’s tightest setting (which is hard to get to because the band is so stiff), this humongous watch has a tendency to flap around small wrists. But it fits me just fine. Which is a good thing because as far as I am concerned: big and bold is better. I am buying this watch the moment it goes on sale.
Why? Because I love big watches. I always have. For years, I lusted after the Breitling Emergency. Not because I needed one. I’m not a pilot. I’ve never imagined myself adrift in a rubber dingy in open ocean gripped by the frantic need to attract the attention of a passing rescue helicopter. I just wanted a Breitling Emergency watch because it was absurdly big and cool as hell. But alas, I have never got to own one; they’re just too damn expensive.
I also hankered after the wonderfully ginormous Panerai Luminors. With their brushed aluminum crown guard; minimalist numerals; and clean, simple, classic design, Panerai is another brand of large watches that I have never even come close to owning. They, too, are unashamedly expensive. Even if I could have afforded one, life’s too short to live with that kind of buyer’s remorse.
Instead I made a decision I could easily live with. I bought (and grew to love) a couple of limited-edition metal Casio G-shock watches. I can’t remember the exact models I owned but I do remember that they were both packed full of functions, none of which seemed remotely useful on dry land. But they were so big and heavy and utterly awesome I didn’t care. I wore them for years until I had finally saved up enough to buy my first (and to date only) Breitling: a second hand Chronomat. It was the best watch I had ever owned even though it wasn’t perfect; it was still a little small. So I kept saving and eventually managed to buy a very secondhand IWC Portugieser. Bigger than the Brietling, but slimmer and even more minimal, I thought that this was the watch I’d be wearing forever.
It wasn’t. Over the years, using a smartphone gradually killed my desire to wear a watch at all. Apart from special occasions, both my Breitling and IWC became largely consigned to my sock drawer and there they have remained ever since. Despite loving big, heavy (and yes, expensive) watches, I’m not remotely into “jewelry.” I’m not going to wear a watch just for the hell of it. I love well-designed, minimalist, and functional watches. They are cool tools. But it felt redundant to wear a watch and use a smartphone. It continued to feel that way right up to the moment I bought the first-generation Moto 360.
The Moto 360 appealed to me precisely because it was a well-designed tool. It complemented the functionality of my phone; it didn’t make it redundant. Was the Moto 360 perfect? Absolutely not. Firstly, it was a little small. Secondly, Android Wear was a little janky. But what the hell, I could still use my watch to turn up the volume on Google Play Music and tell the time. What’s not to love?
Despite a brief fling with the Apple Watch when it first came out (there’s no denying it’s a gorgeous piece of hardware), I have remained faithfully committed to the Moto 360 ever since. I am wearing the second-generation Moto 360 right now. Though I still think it’s a little small (and the “flat tire” on the screen is stupid) I have no real complaints. I would be more than happy to just “refresh” it with Android Wear 2.0 and just keep on keeping on had I not got to wear the LG Watch Sport earlier this week.
That experience killed the Moto 360 for me. The physical design of the LG Watch Sport is just awesome. Big is back and it’s definitely best. I don’t care that it’s cumbersome, uncomfortable, and packed full of features I don’t really need; it’s a simple perfect statement of design and intent: the intent that one day it may be truly useful.
In the meantime, I’ll be happy to wear it and wait.
Photography by James Bareham / The Verge