How would you change clock faces on Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch comes with several clock faces built in. There's Chronograph for the classic timepiece look; Color for minimal but bright analog look; Utility, which is somewhere in-between; Simple, which is just what the name implies; and Mickey Mouse, which features an animated version of the classic Disney character. There's also Modular for digital display and maximum information; X-Large, which showcases the time in large, colorful numbers; Motion, which shows an animated butterfly, jellyfish, or flower; Solar, which tracks the sun across the sky; and Astronomy, which presents an array of planets, moons, and the Sun.

So, what would you change about them?

  • More licensed clock faces like Donald Duck an Superman.
  • More digital clock face options.
  • Curated Clock Face store (like Apple TV).
  • Open Clock Face store (like iPhone).
  • Quick app access complications (i.e. Messages, Phone).
  • Complications for third-party apps.
  • Ability to re-order clock faces.
  • Monogram on more clock faces.
  • Return of Photo (custom wallpaper) clock face.

Watch OS, despite it's similarities to iOS 8.2, is still at version 1.0. Apple is already hard at work on iOS 9 and Watch OS 2.0. Right now clock faces are in their infancy. There's no doubt Apple will keep working on the TimeKit framework and what it can do. If Apple asked what you wanted to see, what would you tell them?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Seconds for digital faces is a glaring omission for me. Also, TimeKit? Did you mean WatchKit?
  • I use only one of the current options (modular) because I want one glance options for time, date, battery, activity, weather, and calendar. All the rest of the face choices are limited.
  • Same here. Would like more digital options. 3rd party app complications as well. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'd love the ability to choose any colour you want for the "Color" chooser. :D infinitely unique.
  • Number of unread messages/emails instead of the small red dot
  • Would like some of the complications to be assignable as action buttons eg open garage door, turn on light etc. Also Rene you can already change the order of the faces by deleting all but the one you wish to have first and then create 'new' faces in the order you wish them to appear. However, my second wish would be to be able to modify faces in the phone app and that would be a suitable environment to play with their order too which I suspect is where you were coming from.
  • Still waiting (patiently) for my Apple Watch to arrive, but from everything I have seen and read there seems to be no option to remove the second hand from traditional watch faces. That is something I would add.
  • 3rd party watch faces for sure... NOT curated, NOT licensed, but true to form 3rd party watch faces. Apple is successful because of developers. No more hindering developers imaginations and expression.
  • Custom images is what I want. I don't want Apple or any 3rd party to tell me what faces I can use. I'm probably a minority but that's what I want. Sent from the iMore App
  • Simple actually has more complication options than Utility (4 vs 3). It's very odd.
  • The utility gives you one big complication at the bottom. Good for showing detailed info Sent from the iMore App
  • The faces are part of the device branding. A quick glance at existing 3rd party watch faces for other watches would quickly tell you how ugly they would be. I'll trust Apple to adjust the existing faces and add more.
  • I agree many are ugly, but what if I want a Mad Max themed watch face? What if I want a Star Wars themed face? What if I want an Atlanta Braves themed face? Kermit the frog? Fallout themed face? Julia Childs themed face? Ok that last one was weird, but do you get my point? Apple has some beautiful, simple, watch faces that are gorgeous, but I want some other beautiful ones too.
  • I wish I could add complications for some of the nicer watch faces (jellyfish and solar watch faces) I love the look of these watch faces, but I wish it gave me that ability to add calander events and temperature.
  • I agree; the butterflies are my favorite, but I want to add complications!
  • I really would love a complication that shows time to next peak tide for my location. (i.e. ^ 2:30 -- 2.5 hours to next high tide)
  • Two things: 1. Add complications to the cool animated faces like the earth or motion faces. I love the photo-realistic planet earth, but I want the weather and my activity wheel. 2. With Apple's close relationship with Disney, why can't I have Pixar characters, Marvel superheroes, or (nerd swoon) Star Wars stuff? The latter seems like the perfect watch analogue to ring tones. Who wouldn't pay $0.99 for an R2-D2 watch face?
  • David, I couldn't agree more. My Apple Watch delivers next month and my wife already has hers. As we are huge pop culture fans and having a Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Sports (Chicago Bears, Cubs, Bulls, and Blackhawks watch faces, please!?), etc., themed watch face would be absolutely wonderful. It is interesting that Tim Cook said that the Apple Watch was the most personal device Apple has ever made. Well, I cannot think of anything more personal to have on a smart watch than a watch face that caters to one's own personality, fandom, and likes. I know Moto 360 and some other non-Apple smart watches have that option but, seeing that I will be owning an Apple Watch, I would like that option on this platform as well. I am really hoping Apple lets developers come up with a multitude of watch face options. And much sooner than later. If one doesn't like this sort of "personalization" option then that's fine too...just keep using the basic Apple Watch watch face options to your heart's content. That's great too. With all of Apple's billions in cash reserves, I would like them to aggressively go out and secure licenses from movies, TV and sports to really offer the user the most personal in smart watch customizations -- the watch face. I would think the cost to secure these kinds of rights would be made up quickly as Apple Watch customers would pay $0.99, $1.99, or even $2.99 for their choice in the perfect watch face that best represents and expresses their unique personality and likes.
  • i'd like to see text based time: half past three
    twenty to five
    quitting time
    happy hour i know it skeuomorphism but what about nixe tubes?
  • That would be sweet! (checks watch)
    "Noonish! Noonish already... Man, where does the time go!?!"
  • I'd like the Activity Rings complication to display in full (three) colors — or to have that option. One color Activity Rings are typical Jonny Ive minimalism — cleaner look is prioritized over usability.
  • 3rd party clockfaces!! Sent from the iMore App
  • I understand Apple wanting to maintain a level of control over what is available, but would be nice if they could allow for curated partnerships with other firms/designers. Perhaps fashion firms/Sports franchises/other brands, where there's common interest in revenue share and widening of interest to consumers. The third party provides the brand and prices according to their particular market, Apple has a level of oversight/approval to final design to ensure its own User Experience requirements are maintained. A Nike face for the Sports watch at $50, Burberry for the Watch at $150, Rolex on the Edition at $2500.
  • I would like to see the ability of developers to make custom watch faces. I would also like to see the ability of the watch to play content from other streaming music services. It would be nice if I could put an album or playlist from Google Play Music or Spotify on the watch. They generally have to approve apps anyway and would make nice additions to "the most personal device ever".
  • I change my iPhone wallpaper with the seasons and holidays. I'd like to do that with my watch. Sent from the iMore App
  • Ability to change the color of everything on all clock faces rather than just the second hand and date on some. Or an option to add clock numbers on the color face. Sent from the iMore App
  • Allow me to ditch the stopwatch on the Chronograph!! -Scott
  • I'd like the ability to show AM/PM on digital watch faces and world time complications.
  • More interesting digital faces with complications. Maybe a redux of the modular with end to end complications from top to bottom Sent from the iMore App
  • I second several folks who have voted for a full out API for 3rd party faces. I'm sure they will have this with the next major Watch OS release. Can't wait to scroll through hundreds of $0.99 faces. However, I wonder if the biggest roadblock to this is the issue of preventing 3rd party developers from infringing on copyrighted existing watch face designs from other brands, something they would have to do a lot of vetting on since there's literally thousands of watches in the world from hundreds of manufacturers. Seems like that could be daunting.
  • 1. Custom faces. Being able to select an image would allow for a host of intersting watch faces. I would like to center the black and white Apple logo, or the original 6 color logo, even the chrome logo. The hands would be centered and moving around the logo.
    2. A complication protocol that would allow the user to control what data is displayed, giving the user complete control.
    3. An Apple-developed "design your own watch face" App. This would allow Apple to insure conformity and continuity while allow an acceptable level of customization.
  • I'm waiting for my watch to finally arrive today! The one thing I haven't found is a digital clock with seconds. That's number ONE on my list.
  • I would like to see a White background like a traditional watch...I know it may impact battery but I am will to deal with it.