I have owned and worn my Apple watch for a year. A year of filling rings, of learning to live with rings and the want to fill them. Have I learned anything? Will there be another year?

My watch a year ago My watch a year ago

The watch a year ago. Darn, I miss that shirt.

My watch a year later My watch a year later

Most of what I wrote after one hundred days remains completely valid. Not least when it comes to the watch as an accessory and object I enjoy in and of itself. I still regularly swap bands, and I enjoy switching to a pleasingly minimal and stylish watch face whenever I am not looking at the activity face to keep track of my rings. I feel Watchos 5 (which was just released) has given it another boost: everything feels a little bit snappier and my gradually increasing trouble swiping sideways vanished completely.


Side scratches on the watch Side scratches on the watch

After being through a year, the watch has some dignified bruises to show for it. I am not sure how I managed to scratch it right between the crown and the button, but it clearly was easy. My prime suspects for picking up scratches and dents are a move it has been through, along with two holiday weeks where I spent some time with it in swimming pools and the ocean. I was nervous, but of course it handled the water without a problem. Even so, I still take it off before I step into the shower.

Those rings though

Yeah, I can not stop filling them. Which is, still, I think, mostly a good thing. I consider more activities "valid" exercise, and feel can feel good about filling my rings whether it is from carrying moving boxes all day, a few long bike rides, or a classic run in the forest.

But, I also very much game the system to fill the red ring reliably. The way my mind works, if I have a task to accomplish in a day, I will feel much more relaxed if I get it done by any means necessary first. Then I can relax and do it better if needed. That means I start indoor walking activities whenever possible (reasonable, semi-reasonable, or kinda-reasonable-if-you-squint) until the ring fills for the day. Then I may well do other activities which would fill the ring up by themselves, but my habit firmly remains to get the box ticked as soon as possible, whenever possible.

On the plus side, I feel no guilt about it. Gaming a system and feeling guilty about it sounds about as bad as it could get. Instead, I feel it is a poorly designed system which has made me find ways to not get as caught up in it as it wants me to be.

What I really should do is of course stop. Ignore the rings, relax and live a somewhat more relaxed life instead, letting the watch track what I do instead of letting it push me to do things. But it does work. It does motivate me, and even if I despise its stupidity I feel good about getting to set my own terms by gaming the system.

I am clearly thinking in circles here. Time to move on.

Moving on

One thing is for sure: I have not tired of the watch. I will keep wearing it, and if it broke down today I would most likely get a series 4 right away.