Former Apple designer drops Watch trivia on its fifth anniversary

Mariella Moon
Associate Editor
Apple Watch

Imran Chaudhri, Apple’s design lead for hardware from 1995 to 2016, dropped some details about Apple Watch’s history on its fifth anniversary. While Chaudhri is no longer with the tech giant, he shared a photo of the Watch team on launch day, as well as a reproduction of his original sketch for the home screen. “The shape of the circular icon was driven by the clock that lived in the centre of what I originally called the dock,” he tweeted.

He also revealed that Watch’s Digital Touch was originally called ET, short for electronic touch, named for “its potential as a new form of emotional connection.” In addition, the original Watch was apparently built upon a 6th-gen iPod nano strapped to wrist band. Chaudhri said he started working on it right after iOS 5 and that Steve Jobs never got to see it.

Speaking of bands, the former Apple designer explained that the mechanism for the loop watchband was based on the Velcro speedmaster straps worn by Apollo astronauts. Finally, he said he designed the device’s solar watchface to give Muslims observing Ramadan a quick way to see the position of the sun, as well as to give everyone a way to visualize the sun’s position across the sky.

The original Apple Watch went on sale five years ago and was the first brand new product released after Tim Cook took over the company. Apple has released several upgraded versions since then, with the latest one being Series 5 released last year.