Jony Ive defends Apple Watch production

Can something that’s been manufactured in its millions ever deserve the term ‘craftsmanship’ in relation to its design and build? According to Apple’s design wiz Jony Ive, it most certainly can.

Defending the upcoming Apple Watch and its mainstream production methods, Ive has looked to put the world straight on what the term – usually associated with quality, precision and reliability – really means in a design sense.

Speaking at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference (via Vogue), Ive claimed that ‘craftsmanship’ is not just about how a device has been pieced together before heading out to retailers, but how its concept has been designed and enhanced to best suit a certain set of needs.

“It’s not so much about things being touched personally – there are many ways to craft something,” the iPhone, iPad and iMac guru stated.

He added: “It’s easy to assume that just because you make something in small volumes, not using many tools, that there is integrity and care – that is a false assumption.

“For the Watch we developed our own gold because we loved how it felt. It’s that love of the material that drives so much of what we do.”

Renowned industry designer Marc Newson echoed Ive’s comments, stating: “We’re not just designing in our heads and then on a computer.

“Machines for us are like tools for the craftsman, we all use something – you can’t drill holes with your fingers. Whether it’s a knife, a needle or a machine, we all need the help of a device.”

Ive was also keen to defend the Apple Watch’s place in the market, suggesting it will sit alongside luxury watches, not look to kill them off.

“We all loved our watches, but saw that they wrist was a fabulous place for technology, so there were different motivations [compared with the iPhone].”

He added: “I don’t know how we can compare the old watches we know, with the functionality and the capability of the Apple Watch.

With the watch it is the first time that we can assume someone has something intimately connected with them for most of the day – you can’t do that with the phone, so it opens up new ways of communication.”

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The Apple Watch is set to be formally released this Friday, April 24, although the Moto 360 rival will not be available for in store purchases on day one.

Despite the wearable’s mass-market production techniques, Apple has struggled to meet demand due to low yield rates. As a result, even pre-orders are facing delays of up to two months.

It is currently unclear when the watch will be available on store shelves.