Apple Watch now the number-one selling watch in the world

While the world swooned over Apple's announcement of the company's new iPhone X smartphone – what with its sci-fi facial scanner and no home button (what!) – there was another part of the keynote that sounded clear as a bell across the world: Apple Watch is now the number-one selling watch in the world, recently ousting Rolex for pole position.

That's right. In 2016, Rolex made $4.5 billion in sales; while Apple made $6 billion in Apple Watch sales. Not bad for a smartwatch that was deemed by many as 'dead in the water' when it first launched.

Of course, details about profit margin, device success (droves of the first Apple Watch ended up on ebay) or company profitability are nary to be found. Apple has always played its cards close to its chest, and Apple Watch is no different.

Neither the company nor Tim Cook have talked sales figures with Watch, opting for a more nebulous appraisal of the new device's success. After all, Watch is Cook's darling product; leaving it open for any more scrutiny than is absolutely necessary could also leave the man open to doubt.

The point is, a tech company famous for personal computers and smart gadgets stole the number-one spot from a company that has been making watches for more than a century. Today's announcements point to a number of reasons why this luxury smartwatch has stormed ahead of the competition.

Third time lucky

While Apple Watch Series 3 looks mostly the same on the outside – aside from the red edge of the crown – the interior tech has been upgraded substantially; the major enhancement being built-in cellular connectivity and an altimeter.

Connecting via LTE (data) to your chosen network gives Watch users the opportunity to leave their smartphone behind entirely. If you're into water sports but need to remain connected, this is the upgrade you've been waiting for. Indeed, Apple's demo of the new Watch encompassed an Apple employee paddle boarding in the middle of a lake while talking on the new smartwatch.

If you prefer powder to water, the ability to track your elevation on the slopes will improve your stat tracking no end, thanks to the new altimeter. Naturally, this will also monitor steps and flights of stairs climbed, so overall it's a win regardless of your chosen fitness pursuit.

Smart looks

Naturally, there are a number of aesthetic updates for Watch as well: say hello to new Hermès Watch bands and a new ceramic finish!


Racing fans will enjoy the new Noir Gala Leather Single Tour Rallye band, while those with their sea legs can make a statement with the Marine Gala Leather Single Tour Éperon d'Or band. Of course, the simple elegance of the new Indigo Swift leather Double Tour cannot be passed.

Along with a plethora of new Sports and Woven Nylon bands, new Nike+ options and a new Sport Loop band, you'll feel completely giddy with the choices you now have.

The standard Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS and cellular) starts at $559; Apple Watch Hermès starts at $1619; while the new Apple Watch Edition grey ceramic will set you back a tasty $1829. These models will be available from 22 September.

Watch. Apple Watch.

Can we expect James Bond to start wearing Apple Watch on his (or her – we have a female Dr Who now, so anything is possible) wrist? Considering the master spy has worn all manner of high-tech Rolex or Omega timepieces, it's likely, in time.

For now, the improvements found in Series 3 present every reason to give Apple Watch a go, or to even upgrade from a previous model if the addition of LTE or an altimeter would substantially lift your game.