Apple Watch Designer Shares Tidbits from Smartwatch’s Development History on Fifth Anniversary

Apple Watch Original Sketch Home Screen UI

The first Apple Watch was unveiled back in 2015, and we’ve seen the company’s smartwatch grow from being quite limited to being one of the most feature-packed devices in the segment. On the occasion of the smartwatch’s fifth anniversary, one of the Apple Watch’s designer shared some interesting tidbits from the development history.

Imran Chaudhri was in the Apple Watch’s design and development team, and he shared some fun facts about the wearable device’s development. Among that information is an image of the development team captured on the launch of the first-generation Apple Watch. There is also a reproduction of an original sketch for the Apple Watch’s home screen.

Apparently, the shape of the circular icon was driven by the clock that lived in the center of the app dock. The Digital Crown on the right side of the Apple Watch gave the home screen a dimensionality, allowing users to scrub through various layers of the UI.

Apple Watch First Generation Launch Development Team Photo

The Digital Touch feature, which is available in the Messages app on the Apple Watch, was originally called E.T. (Electronic Touch) after the popular science fiction movie E.T. Apparently, Imran thought of the name as the feature had the potential of a new form of emotional touch. The drawing ink was inspired by the designer’s graffiti days. The feature was designed to communicate transmission while making it guilt-free.

He also shared a video of a watch band that was attached to a sixth-generation iPod Nano, which served as the original prototype for the Apple Watch. Imran said that he wrapped up iOS 5 and took it down to show it to the internal development team. He wanted to share what the notification center and Siri were, but he never managed to show it to Steve Jobs as he passed away just after iOS 5.

Omega Speedmaster Watch Strap

It was also mentioned in the designer’s Twitter thread that the Loop Watchband for the Apple Watch took its design inspiration from Velcro Speedmaster Straps worn by astronauts. The Butterfly watch face animation was created by Andrew Zuckerman, and it was mentioned that no butterflies were harmed to create the design and animation, and the butterfly which inspired them already dead.

Apple Watch Butterfly Watch Face Inspiration

The Solar watch face for the Apple Watch was created by Imran Chaudhri as a way for Muslims observing Ramadan to quickly see the position of the sun and for everyone to see the Sun’s relationship with the time. It is quite interesting and rare to get to see the development thought process and landmarks of successful products like the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Solar Watch Face
[Source: Twitter]