I own two very nice watches.

Tag Heuer Aquaracer automatic and Apple Watche

Tag Heuer Aquaracer automatic and Apple Watch

The first is a Tag Heuer automatic that I bought six years ago and had, until recently, worn every day. It looks the way a watch is supposed to look, requires no batteries, and is waterproof to 1000 feet (because over-engineering).

The second is an Apple Watch that I bought just a couple of months ago. I’ve worn it almost every day since. It’s the nice, stainless steel version, but with the basic “sport” band. It’s not waterproof but can probably be worn in the shower (I don’t).

I love the Tag. I love its design, construction, feel, everything. I beat on it without fear of scratches or breakage. It should last the rest of my life. And again, it doesn’t require batteries of any kind.

I like the Apple Watch, but I don’t love it. It feels good for the most part. I will probably buy a nicer band at some point, but the actual watch is solid, smooth, and substantial. It doesn’t feel nearly as hardy as the Tag, and I don’t dare wear it near dirt or water.

I don’t like Apple Watch’s square face. A few square-faced watches are attractive to me. Apple’s isn’t one of them. Watches are round, and projecting a round, digital face onto a square device doesn’t help.

Battery life is another issue. The Apple Watch’s battery life is darn good for a smart watch but terrible for a watch I wish to wear every day. If I don’t charge it overnight, I can’t wear it the next day. Blech. In fact, forgetting to charge the Watch has forced me to wear the automatic a few times, each time reminding me how much I like the Tag.

But the Apple Watch is smart. Being smart is, of course, a significant advantage over a simple automatic watch. The problem is, Apple Watch doesn’t work very well. The worst thing is that the face doesn’t always come on when I expect it to, which reduces its value as an actual watch. Twisting my arm around and finally giving up and tapping the face isn’t great. And forget trying to talk on it all Dick Tracy style. That never works well.

Other problems are minor but annoying. One is that apps take too long to launch and connect. I don’t even bother using Runkeeper on the Watch since it’s faster to pull out the phone and launch the app. It shouldn’t be. I have no idea how the Health and Activity apps are supposed to work together. I “start a workout” and walk a couple of brisk miles, but that somehow doesn’t count toward my Activity goal. This makes no sense to me. Dismissing notifications is a hit or miss affair. I force-press to “dismiss all” and sometimes it works, sometimes not.

And after everything, I suspect that the Apple Watch will feel outdated in a year or two. The Tag Heuer is more, ahem, timeless.

There are lots of things I love about the Apple Watch. Having my next appointment and the current temperature right there on the Watch face is great. I love that notifications are now all silent and I can quickly determine whether I need to pull out my phone or not. Always-on fitness and heart rate tracking is nice.

I love the idea and potential of the Apple Watch, but don’t love the actual Watch.