In fact, one of the coolest things about the Cartier Santos is not only the quick-release system that frees the band from the watch but the hidden buttons that also allow you to resize the steel bracelet itself! (Video shows a 2018 Santos, but nevertheless)
Regardless of who got it right first, I do hope that Apple's watch strap system becomes more ubiquitous in the watch world. Oftentimes watches are over-engineered for their 99% use case of casual wear in order to fulfill some fantasy of diving in the Caribbean or scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro, and so therefore many are screwed or fastened in some way that makes adjusting them a pain without tiny little tools and a clean surface.
You can buy all kinds of knockoff (and surprisingly high-quality) straps on Amazon, for $50 or less (many of mine were about $15).
Apple, on the other hand, charges eye-watering prices for fairly basic straps.
All that said, the last few years, I've just been getting the stainless steel variants of the Watch (I currently have an 8), and use a metal band that I got for about $25.
The Apple version of a similar band is ... slightly more expensive .
I get it, they got bands and ecosystem and everything, but making it sound like no one swapped bands pre apple is a stretch
Or maybe 3rd party bands are only viable in the low cost side of the market, and apple just owns the high side.
Hmmm... what's this little springy thing on my Garmin watch? Oh! check that out! I can replace the bands!
Apple makes cool stuff, I even have some of it, but stop suckin' their butts.
Although Apple has a history of simplifying and popularising various things, I thinks it's a bit of an overstatement. Could it be that people were influenced by marketing and "fashionable" image of various bands that they began collecting and switching them as desired?
For me at least, a few of my older watches and smartwatches had an option to change bands, though I never used them. With my first and current AW 7 I only used this "feature" to first change the default band and after that only recently once my previous one got worn out.
I think a more natural orientation of the screen is slightly more down on the wrist.
Why do companies brag about this sort of thing? That's not something to be proud of. Hell, in my state, that would be a workplace violation (one mandatory day of rest every 7 days, and I believe mandatory minimum rest between shifts, 10 hours I think?)
That 24/7 nonsense with sleeping bags on the floor wasn't to get that one slot perfect....it was to get the slot perfect on an unrealistic schedule set by management.
I do have a "pin" tool which makes it easy, but I'd rather buy a simple tool then buy into an expensive closed ecosystem.
I've always thought that the apple design adds a LOT of size to the watch head with the way they intrude inside the case. If they didn't do that and had the standard horns/lugs that every other watch has the watch head could be smaller. Also occurs to me that might be a desired result though so they can have a bigger display.