Apple Watch

  • New Lowry Apple Watch Bands and a Nod to Legacy

    twin-city-street-car

    The historic warehouse that is home to the Pad & Quill World Headquarters sits on a bend of the Mississippi River. About a quarter mile upstream, the Mighty Miss is spanned by the Lowry Bridge. It is named after Mr. Thomas Lowry, an entrepreneurial transportation visionary. He owned the SOO Line Railroad and a network of public transit cable cars that wove through the city and beyond, expanding to land that was, as of then, undeveloped. Mr. PQ rode the cable cars to court Mrs. PQ, so essentially, without Mr. Lowry, there would be no Pad & Quill. Without the Mississippi River and the rails, there would have been limited expansion of the Midwest, as these were the chief means of transport for farm goods, flour and iron. They allowed local merchants to distribute their goods across the nation and around the world. Continue reading

  • Apple, Purveyor of Fine Jewelry? Hermes says Yes.

    This week, Apple partnered with luxury brand Hermes, for three tremendously gorgeous, albeit absurdly expensive leather Apple Watches. Apple will be showcasing them in their stores. This is a move that they are very equipped for since their stores already exhibit a strong jewelry store vibe, with glass accents, and bright lighting that makes everything shimmer and seem worth the cost. This move confirms what many have already speculated about what the Apple Watch really is. The Apple Watch is fine jewelry. And really, that is what watches have always been about.

    Stop calling it a smart watch

    Some undiscerning press seem to be under the spell of purely technological comparisons of the Apple Watch; software specs, speed, battery life.  While those hold an undeniably important place in product evaluation, it is a bit of a red herring with the Apple Watch’s true nature. This is set forth pretty clearly in how Jony Ive himself talks about the Apple Watch. In an interview, when asked if he thought the Millennial market, a market that has never used watches, would jump on the product, he simply responded with a nonchalant shrug saying, “I don’t know,” and then went on to clarify that Apple’s only intent was to make a more personal product, since it is on your wrist. He made it clear that Apple is not out to compete with other watch makers, be they smart watches or not. He knows the iPhone is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else, and that technology is what the Apple Watch is really showcasing.

    This plays into a very interesting psychological aspect of how we all tick, as social psychologist Sam Gosling explains. He has extensively studied why people keep the objects they do around them or even on them, as with the Apple Watch. It falls into two categories: 1. conscious identity claims and 2. feeling regulators. Feeling regulators are the items around your house or office desk that make you feel good when you look at them throughout the day, maybe pictures of loved ones, souvenirs from a trip with awesome memories attached. They are soothing. Conscious identity claims are pieces that shout who we are to others, i.e. the sports team stuff, the artwork on walls, even tattoos. They are an integral part of expressing parts of ourselves, our identity. So when Jony Ive says that the wrist is a great place to put things, he knows that you are making his product an identity claim. It’s advertising, both for Apple, and for you as a high end consumer of a great product and the message it sends to be wearing it.

    Think Status, Not Tech

    Watches have often meandered in their long and strenuous history of development. Typically speaking they have always moved from starting out large and loud, to small and understated. The Swiss miniaturized watches into a pocket and after awhile, every respectable gentleman had the “conscious identity claim” of a pocket watch. Fast-forward a century or two, and watches fell out of general essential use in favor of the cell phone first, and then the smartphone.  But it didn’t disappear. The market for watches limped on, and even picked up some steam with celebrity endorsements (hello Airport Duty-Free shops). This is because the watch industry has always used incredible craftsmanship to forge their products and provide value. Maybe Casio cheapened things a bit, but not much. By and large that market is thriving. Watches continue to be a part of how identity is conveyed. Because it is jewelry.

    While the smartwatch industry finds its footing, Apple is going to sit back and capitalize on the great technology they already have, and more so on the status symbol that the Apple Watch is. With the interchangeable band system, now with some really cool leather bands for the Apple Watch, Apple is telling you to find something that fits your persona, that showcases who you are, but most importantly keeps them center stage.

  • Today my name is Jezebel

    Whenever Siri sasses me, as she is frequently wont to do, my rejoinder is inevitably that of Linus, as spoken to his femme fatale, in A Charlie Brown Christmas, “Jezebel was the evil wife of king Ahab in the Old Testament. In II Kings, it says that her servants threw her out the window and she landed on her head.”

    Just as Linus’ new love interest was intent on keeping him guessing, so Siri Apple Watch changes identities faster then Ilsa Faust in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.  (Loved this character!)  Last week, Siri and her Activity Watch app went all in as psychotic personal trainer.  Mr. PQ and I took some much-needed time away, reviving ourselves in the brilliant, blue-sky town of Breckenridge, CO.  While Apple Watch granted me 9 minutes of heart pounding exercise for 2 hours of bear climbing up a bowl with a 40 percent grade, Mr. PQ was gifted 40 minutes just for ambling down the street to the local coffee shop.  12 minutes for a 3-hour rigorous ascent of Baldy Mountain, while Mr. PQ received 10 minutes for commuting up the jeep trail.  She keeps this up and she will not be getting an upgrade to her wardrobe compliments of our new Pad & Quill Apple Watch Bands.

    Who will be getting an upgrade is my new Pad & Quill Backpack.  We humped our haversacks over miles of rock and trail, ascending to the highest chairlift in North America, and they performed sublimely.  My PQ backpack is now to be named my Favorite Daypack for Adventures.  While I generally carry a Camelbak trail running pack, I was very happy with how my Pad & Quill pack performed in rucking my hydration and nutrition in addition to extra layers and sundries up and down the mountain trails.  While not suitable for a multi day trail excursion (we are working on accessories to enhance that ability) I was pleased with the overall balance and adjustability of this pack.  Unlike its nylon/synthetic counterpart, this leather and wax canvas creation will not be worn out by years of rugged use, weather, and the occasional tumble down a cliff.  A good backpack is an investment, and my field research tells me this one is worth every dime.

    Siri on the other hand…..

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • The Classic Apple Watch Bands by Pad & Quill

    Mr. PQ has always been quite the fashion guru, his wardrobe giving render to the colorful spectrum of his personality.  So, when Apple announced the release of Apple Watch he knew he must have one and he knew it needed to be accessorized with an ample array of Apple watch bands.  Not unlike the Swatch Watch phenomenon of the ‘80’s, Mr. PQ would like nothing better then to sport 5 or 6 Apple Watches on his wrist, each with a unique band, although his simple sophistication mandates he wear only one watch at a time.

    Problematically, once he acquired the gorgeous Milanese Loop and the Stainless Steel Link band (claiming business expense...), in addition to the black Sport Band that accompanied his original purchase, he felt he had run into a dead end.  Being all about full grain leather and artisan design, sadly, the Apple leather band offerings did not rise to his level of discriminating taste.  Thankfully, his hopes and dreams were not to be dashed upon the rubbage pile of knock offs and inferior craftsmanship, because we know artisans trained in the art of Italian Leather craft. So we turned to Victorio, a 4th generation Italian leather tannery artisan who uses  legendary soft-tumbled method to transform full grain American Steer hides into a luxury leather watch band that will hug your wrist with pliable comfort, while being as rugged and durable as your active life demands.

    thumbnail 7 Apple Watch Band in British Tan with polished black hardware
    Thumbnail 1 42mm Apple Watch Band in Chocolate Brown leather
    38mm Apple Watch band in Whiskey leather 38mm Apple Watch band in Whiskey leather

    The mark of a fine leather watch band is that in short time you no longer notice its existence.  No pinching, no rubbing, the Pad & Quill leather Apple Watch bands will love your wrist as much as you love your watch.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

     

  • Poop and the Apple Watch Bands

    “Mom, there’s an app that let’s you track your poop, you can even categorize it by type.  What stinks though is that they have nowhere to report the smell.”  An ironic pun there and one of the many things I’ve learned from my kids this summer. I’ve also learned, that, “dirt is a natural way to keep your hair clean; it absorbs the oils.”  Never mind the mud slick on your scalp.

    Our US Women’s National Team won the World Cup, taking home the gold and not much else, hopefully FIFA will address that whole pay inequity thing before my grand babies begin to play the Beautiful Game, I look forward to many more July’s with no voice.

    We have launched our new line of leather backpacks and leather briefcases.  Very timely as we set off to explore everything from the north shore of Minnesota to the fourteeners of Colorado.  One of the many great things about owning your own company is that you can make backpacks that perfectly suit your own lifestyle.  Then you get to spend a weekend shooting video and you get to thank god that you didn’t drive over Mr. PQ when the awesome photographer, Corey, keeps urging you to get a little closer to the Triumph with the FJ Cruiser.  Perched on the tailgate, Corey was intent on getting the perfectly tight shot and I was intent on not cashing in Mr. PQ’s life insurance policy.  We wed our two intents and the final product was infinitely better then this:  (either picture of the bike car or link to bike car)

    Next on the agenda, Pad & Quill leather Apple Watch bands.  Which is great because while I love my modern buckle, I also love to float my arm out the window as I drive during summer and I’ve yet to see the Apple video demonstrating the impact of 70 mile per hour wind sheer on the integrity of the Modern closure.  Perhaps Mr. Cook can test that on his Watch, because I wouldn’t need a poop app to tell me how much it would stink to watch my Watch shatter upon the toasty blacktop.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Triumph, Pratt and Backpacks

    Mr. PQ forwarded an article to me that was written by a fellow early adopter, he thought it was insightful and humorous.  The author offered some simple, straightforward advice regarding how to introduce one’s friends and coworkers to the wonder that is the Apple Watch.  As I still wrestle daily against the Activity Target of Tyranny, driven to complete all three circles every 24 hours, the haptic tapping of impatience becoming yet one more voice of “I need” and “I want” amongst a cacophony of voices, I probably am not the model spokesperson.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the breakdown of data in the Health app, and I’ve figured out how to skip around to my favorite Miranda Lambert songs while running, so yea me.  However, I can’t escape the feeling of being shackled to the modern world.  So I’ve done what so many others in captivity have done before, I’ve succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome.  That’s the only explanation I can offer for why, on a gorgeously sunny day, I sat inside watching the bulk of the keynote speech of the Apple  WWDC (World-Wide Developer Conference).  I actually caught myself “oohing” when they announced that Apple Watch would do that thing that will make the Watch operate faster.  Fantastic!  Mr. PQ and I are in a race as to who will learn a second language faster: him learning enough spanish to order his own coffee at Starbucks or me learning to speak techno-geek.  Being that he runs on caffeine, I’m guessing he might be more motivated.

    I’m highly motivated to finish my work in time to join the youngest Quill at the midnight showing of Jurassic World.  Chris Pratt is awesome, and the fact that he is riding a Triumph Bonneville while chasing dinosaurs makes him a sexy, urban hipster guy, albeit a little short on beard.  We have a busy weekend preparing for our own global release (I think that is ok to say, Pad & Quill does ship internationally) of a new line of leather and wax canvas backpacks and briefcases designed with the sexy, urban, hipster cafe racers in mind.

    Stay Tuned,

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • 38mm is Me

    It’s dainty, like me.

    If you ever want to achieve an epic eye roll from your kid, throw out a thought that is so patently absurd they can’t help but drop the full frontal eye roll.  Mr. PQ, being the Apple geek that he is, waited in the wee hours of the morning, in the virtual line that was Apple Watch pre-order, to stake our claim on the time piece(s).  In spite of my not so subtle hints, “Boy, I love the 38mm Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle” he ordered 42mm Apple Watches with a variety of bands.  Because the band and the stand are where it’s at for accessory companies like Pad and Quill.  Bless his heart, he thought Mrs. PQ wouldn’t be able to stretch her arm far enough to read the 38mm variety without her cheaters, clearly he underestimates the reach of a mother’s arms, in spite of watching The Incredibles with the Quills any number of times.  In an effort to convince him, we sojourned to our local Apple Store where I fitted myself with the Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle that I was coveting, and voila! I could read the face sans optical correction.  So, Mr. PQ jumped back into the virtual line and placed an order, and we waited.  More precisely, I waited.  It’s hard to explain when an inorganic object makes an impression on your psyche so intense that you shun all internal norms and await impatiently for the all important “announcement” text which trumpets, “your Watch is in transit”!!  While normal Apple technology releases often feel like one more shackle of constraint tying me to the modern world while screaming of my ineptitude at adaptation in all things technical, I had fallen in love with the 38mm Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle.  I can’t explain, I just know I love it.

    The Watch arrived yesterday and was unveiled by one of the Quills as we drove through an epic summer rainstorm, into downtown, to attend a fundraiser for a single mom friend with cancer, which actually doesn’t occur until next week.   (I really need to learn to read texts more carefully) Finding ourselves downtown with no where to go, we proceeded to a local eating establishment for burgers, a time to chat and a time to complete the un-packaging of Apple Watch.  The boys were impressed with the beauty of the timepiece and remarked as to how much smaller it is in comparison to the 42mm model.

    “Yes, it’s dainty, like me.”

    Cue the eye roll.  I called the older boy out, letting him know his gesture had not escaped me.

    “Mom you are not dainty.  You hike and swing an axe and have knives and camp in the wilderness and race triathlons.  It’s not a bad thing (protecting my feelings)”

    It’s not a bad thing at all son, and it doesn’t bother me even remotely that you don’t think of me as dainty, but rather you see me as strong, and comfortable in my own skin.  That’s what we want for you and your siblings.  You are a beautiful creation with your own gifts and talents that may or may not fit in with societal norms.  It’s a gift your father has given you, the courage to be yourself.

    Now go swim upstream, but give me back my Watch before you go.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

     

  • Another Apple Watch comes home

    Item One:  The youngest Quill received his Apple Watch last Friday amidst great fanfare and excitement.  I was given explicit instructions to pick him up from school, bring the Watch with all packaging intact and bring a knife to facilitate opening.  As Mr. PQ has been visiting our design folks south of the border, he requested a video and Face Time presence for the grand unveiling.  If there were any more geekdom going on in my car at that moment I believe it would have permanently smelled like Taco Bell and all night gaming sessions.  I have to admit, affection from a 14 year old boy can be hard to come by, especially when they are in the public arena, so it does this mama’s heart good to feel the haptic heart rate of my kid pulse against my wrist, and he sends it routinely and serendipitously.

    Item Two:  We will be staging a contest to see who can load more Apple Watch Apps to their watch.  The tie breaking round will consist of creative artistic expression utilized in app layout.  Mr. PQ currently has a Christmas tree of euphoria on his wrist.  Extra coupon love to those who post an Instagram of their own creations.  #applewatchart  (you need to add @PQ handle for Instagram)

    Item Three:  I cannot wait to get my hands, or in this case wrist, on the new leather straps we are designing for Apple Watch.  I love the sport band for it’s utility, but we are heading into the hell furnace that is Minnesota summer and I find the sport watch keeps my wrist sweating working out and other wise.  The supple feel of leather tanned by craftsmen who quite possibly geek out more about leather craft over generations of family members then my boys geek out about their electronics, is appealing at multiple levels.

    It’s the great thing about Apple, they keep proprietary the things they need to, while valuing what other companies bring in terms of value to their products.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Supernatural Apple Watch

    Wednesday night either is or is not the grand finale episode of the television series Supernatural, and because our teenage daughter speaks in code, I may never quite discern what prompted the flurry of texts that pulsed through my Apple Watch this afternoon. So I called.  “Mom I’m going to my friend’s house to watch the big finale of Supernatural”.  Ok that is fine, does this mean the show is ending?  “Yes, well no, well there is a season 11 but… oh mom it’s complicated.  Can you bring me…?”  Being the operational person that I am, I have learned to have the quills text me whenever they require a list of things and the list exceeds my two item memory capacity, I suggested the kid send me a list.  “Mom, it’s simple, I need my Supernatural shirt, it has wings on the back and it’s in my room.  And I need my Supernatural blanket, it’s on my bed, oh, and I need the little guy with the big black eyes on my shelf, it’s the finale so I’d better go all in.”  The stress of this request made me realize that this was the grand finale not because it was the end of the show, but it was the end of this weekly meeting of friends to watch the show as they are all headed in separate directions to college this fall.  Sentiment overwhelmed my aversion to entering my teenage children’s rooms and I initiated a hunt for the “simple” list.  The blanket was easy, because it’s big.  Digging around for the shirt underscored the reminder that I need to change my bank account password.  This kid has a lot of clothes and I believe that is a direct correlation to the fact that she knows how to transfer “gas” money into her checking account.  Daily she departs for school with a “you look cute today, where did you get that shirt?”  “Oh this? I’ve had this forever.”  It seems my daughter’s entire wardrobe pre-existed her entry upon the planet.

    “Mom, I figured out another reason I need a Apple Watch.”  Oh really, this ought to be interesting coming from our plain spoken teenage boy.  “If I had a Watch I could text you at any time during the day.  Then I could tell you my tennis match is starting, because I can’t text when I have to get on the court, then you would never miss a match.”  I like the sympathy play here, I’m just not certain it warrants a $400 watch on a 15 year old boy.

    Mr. PQ will be departing soon to meet our design partners in Mexico, with a sketch book full of ideas for Apple Watch accessories.  The Apple Watch accessory list has definitely exceeded my 2 item maximum, lot’s of great new products in the pipeline, and a shiny new whiteboard to track them all.  So, Mr. PQ is leaving, meaning for a number of days I will be completely outnumbered.  It’s a good thing Siri and I have synced our monthly cycles and we are getting along much better now.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Do you like the Apple Watch?

    “Is that an Apple Watch?”

    Yes, it is.

    “Do you like it?”

    In addition to compliments about how cute I look in my cowboy boots today, my Apple Watch is the most commented on accessory I currently own.

    Do I like it?

    My initial response is that I feel the technology is a little lost on me.  This has nothing to do with the fact that our son can rewire the space station with it and I have trouble locating the time of day.

    Do I like it?

    What I really think?

    I have decided that Apple Watch is a female; a PMS-ing female.  You can talk to her and she won’t talk back, she’s hypersensitive to how you touch her, and way too often you find yourself talking to the hand instead of her face.  There is only one solution, I need to eat more chocolate and drink more wine until it oozes from my pores and through her sensors.

    And then I need to thank her.  Because last Saturday, for the first time in my life, I locked my keys in my car, which left me staring blankly at my driver seat where my iPhone and keys lay taunting me.  Palm to forehead.  But then it occurred to me that the Apple Watch has a phone calling capability and as the NASA wannabe son was with me, we used the Watch to call Mr. PQ for help.  (Unlike Black Widow critics, I am perfectly comfortable being a damsel in distress)  Mr. PQ is not terribly accustomed to distress calls from me, and likely fell over when he noted the call was coming from the Watch.  This is the only explanation I have for why he suggested I call a locksmith.  There is a fighting chance I’d still be standing in the parking lot if it was up to me to summon help via that device.  I suggested Mr. PQ might want to make that phone call for me if he didn’t want to spend the next several nights sleeping on the couch, and that snipe has nothing to do with the Costco-size bottle of Midol currently sitting on my desk.

    He called, the locksmith arrived, and 45 seconds and $180 later my door was opened.  What a country we live in when you can make $180 an hour breaking into cars.

    On the bright side, I have figured out how to use the Watch for heart rate training and remain remarkably impressed by the health applications I foresee, just don’t ask me for the time.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

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