iWatch: Coming soon

Top timekeeping brands better watch out: Apple and Jony Ive are coming to get you

IT’S long been rumoured that an Apple watch is in the pipeline, and now we have the first piece of tangible evidence. Earlier this month, the tech giant sought a trademark for “iWatch” at the Japan Patent Office. It would be unwise to read too much into the move – it’s common practice for companies to register cautionary protective trademarks and it’s always ill-advised to try and second guess Apple – but it does seem to indicate that Apple’s entry into the watch market is more a question of “when” than “if”.

The company is in need of a new blockbuster release to make up for dipping demand for iPhones. New chief executive Tim Cook will be hoping that the iWatch – the first major product launch since the death of Steve Jobs – will help reassert Apple’s authority after a 40 per cent fall in its share price since September.

Sir Jony Ive, himself a big watch fan, is said to be personally leading a team of 100 engineers who are working er... around the clock, to complete the timepiece. Such a big team is a departure for a company which normally prefers to work in small, secretive clusters. As usual, though, all design plans have been successfully kept completely under wraps.

Here we present how the iWatch might look, as envisioned by designers from around the world.

Federico Ciccarese
Above: Cool? Sure. Practical? Perhaps not. This sci-fi contraption is halfway between an iPhone and an iWatch

Below: the iSiri can tell you the time when you ask for it

Antonio De Rosa
This iWatch is designed for the iOS operating system

Anders Kjellberg
You can talk to your friends on Facetime using the webcam on this iWatch

Yrving Torrealba
Even the designers at Apple would struggle to make this completely see-through watch

Martin Hajek
The smart leather strap would make for a fashionable iWatch

Nickolay Lamm
Lamm based his design on Apple patent filings