Recently I began writing full time for iPhone Life, the world’s most comprehensive online resource for mastering your iPhone. While writing an article, I found out that the correct term for watch widgets are Apple Watch complications. I found it strange that a word with a negative connotation would be used for such a cool Apple Watch feature. This was no strange marketing ploy on Apple’s part but rather a tribute to traditional watches.
Anything on a watch that doesn’t tell time is referred to as a complication. This is because it literally makes the watch more complex. It’s funny that complication seems like a negative word. Puzzles are complicated, yet we don’t see them as something negative. Yet in modern life, the word seems to leave an unpleasant taste in our mouths. But simple doesn’t always mean good. Which is something that watch makers and whoever coined the term for Apple Watch complications, is perfectly aware of.
In the early 20th century there was even a battle of sorts among watchmakers to create the most complicated watches ever. Both makers and collectors were fascinated by the micro-mechanical engineering that it took to create a more complicated watch. Any watch with three or more complications is referred to having a ‘grand complication.’ You can read more about these in Stacy Perman’s book, A Grand Complication.
“The most complicated mechanical watch was the Supercomplication, an intricate model made by watchmaker Patek Philippe & Co. It took years to design and build and included features like a full chart of the night sky at the home of the owner, Henry Graves Jr. Its creation was inspired by a watch rivalry between Graves and James Packard. Years later it set auction records, and as recently as November 2014 it sold for $24 million at auction.”Vox
Modern Apple Watch Complications
Apple Watch complications go beyond the traditional alarms, barometers, and even night sky readers. There are translators, weather apps, sleep trackers, voice recorders, water minder apps, news, and so much more! One of my favorite ones is the workout complication that allows me to tap to begin a workout. Read more about how to add a workout complication to your Apple Watch in this iPhone Life article.
Watches have been collected and prized by people for centuries. Today, our watches can be as powerful as smartphones. They can be personalized with physical add-ons including Apple Watch Bands and display covers. But they can also be customized from within. Watch faces, complications, and apps can all be used to make your Apple Watch both unique and functioning perfectly to suit your needs. Keep your eye out for more articles about Apple Watches by me and my colleagues on iPhone Life.
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