Apple starts taking pre-orders for the Apple Watch today. It seemed appropriate to pen a few thoughts given the infrequency with which Apple releases new product categories.
I haven't personally handled an Apple Watch, but recently a slew of reviews were released from embargo (John Gruber's is here). It seems clear that the Apple Watch is the best-in-class smart watch. If you are a power user of your iPhone, the Apple Watch seems to be reasonably good at helping you quickly triage notifications.
Will the Apple Watch be adopted by fashionable people around the world? For people who like to be on top of every important notification, and also want to look good doing it, the Apple Watch will work nicely. It clears what I think the minimum bar is - it doesn't look ridiculous to wear, and depending on the band can look quite nice. The hardware looks exquisite, and will surely get thinner and lighter over time.
I do believe there is a large segment of people who do not want an endless stream of notifications on the wrist, but who do want some of the functionality of the Apple Watch. These are people who love their Rolexes and Patek Philippes, but would also like to have some of the smart features available on smart phones (e.g., health and fitness monitoring or Apple Pay) available on the wrist. This is essentially an Apple version of the Disney Magic Band (some background from Wired here).
My ideal Apple Watch takes away the watch face, and leaves some of the other functionality so that it can still be used as an identity band. Imagine using a Rolex for your watch face, plus a new Apple Watch "Nano" for use at airports, public transportation, hotels, restaurants, shops, and around the home. If we're really dreaming, imagine using Siri as the user interface and personal assistant, rather than the watch face, to deal with notifications (e.g., "Hey Siri, are there any important emails or texts that I missed?"). In other words, what I want as my Apple Watch is really a smart Silly Bandz or Livestrong bracelet.