Everything you need to know before buying an Apple Watch

After years of rumor and speculation about an “iWatch”, Apple’s first true wearable technology, the Apple Watch (Watch), is finally here. It is not my intention to sell you an Apple Watch, or even to sell you on the idea of an Apple Watch. Nor do I intend to convince you that you need yet another piece of personal technology to alternately amaze and distract you. Presuming that you’ve already decided to purchase one, this article will help you choose the one that is right for you, and your wallet. With three complete collections, each offering variations in size, color, and strap, there are hundreds of combinations, making this the most customizable of any product Apple has yet released. The prices reflect this, ranging from $349 on the low-end, to $17,000 for the most expensive!

The Apple Watch is available in three

The Apple Watch is available in three “Collections”

Regardless of the model you choose (or the amount you pay), all of the watches are exactly the same on the inside, containing the same electronics, the same 8GB hard drive, and have the same capabilities. The differences which affect the price are for the most part superficial. The three major factors that will determine the cost of your watch are: the size, the materials used on the outer casing, and the watchband.

The Apple Watch itself comes in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. This refers to the size of the watch face, measured diagonally like a TV screen. The size of the watch will affect the price. On the low-end the difference between the 38 and the 42 is only $50. On the high-end, the larger watch face will add $2,000 to the price. I recommend trying one on before deciding which size is best for you. Any Apple Store will be happy to accommodate you. Now that the furor has died down a bit, you shouldn’t need to make an appointment but can just walk in.

The 38mm Apple Watch Sport in Space Gray compared to the 42mm size.

The 38mm as compared to the 42mm size.

Apple has divided it’s watches into three distinct price tiers, or “Collections” defined by the materials used in the outer casing and the compatible bands. Most of these materials, from the glass used on the cheapest watch, to the gold on the most expensive, is a new substance developed by Apple. The three collections are explained, from the cheapest to the most expensive.

The Watch Sport with Silver Aluminum Case and Green Band

The Watch Sport w/ Silver Aluminum Case & Green Band

Watch Sport
Starting at $349 for the 38 mm model, the cheapest of all the Apple watches is made of an anodized aluminum, with a display protected by Ion-X glass. The watch itself comes in two colors, silver or “space gray” (a matte charcoal color). The sport band, made of a custom high-performance fluoroelastomer, comes in five colors: White, Blue, Green, Pink, and Black. The color of the watch is determined by the color of the band that you select. Choose the black band, and you get the space gray watch. All other bands come with the silver watch.

The Watch with Stainless Steel Case and Brown Leather Loop

The Watch w/ Stainless Steel Case & Brown Leather Loop

The mid-range offering is made of stainless steel with a polished sapphire crystal. It is available in two colors: steel or space black. The Apple Watch starts at $549 for the 38mm ($599 for the 42mm), and comes with the same fluoroelastomer band as the sport. Unlike the sport however, there is a choice of band styles as well as colors (20 models in all), which can cause the price to vary considerable. For example choosing the Space Black Stainless Steel Link Bracelet will add $500 to the final price.

18-Karat Gold Case with Bright Red Modern Buckle

18-Karat Gold Case with Bright Red Modern Buckle

Watch Edition
This is the top tier of Apple Watch which begins at $10,000, and is made of 18-Karat gold. This is not ordinary gold, but Apple’s own alloy which is twice as strong as regular gold, a soft metal. Apple has not only made gold stronger, but has created a patented pink hued “rose gold”. The $10,000 watch comes with the fluoroelastomer band. Other choices of band can add as much as $7,000 to the final price.

The watchband itself will affect the price of the watch more than any other factor. Apple has created six different interchangeable straps:

Stainless Steel Link Bracelet with custom Butterfly Closure

Stainless Steel Link Bracelet w/ custom Butterfly Closure

The Sport Band

The Leather Loop

The Milanese Loop

The Leather Modern Buckle

The Leather Classic Buckle

and The Stainless Steel Link Bracelet

Each of these bands is innovative in it’s own right, from the leather loop, which combines traditional materials with a revolutionary clasp design, to entirely new materials such as the fluoroelastomer sport band. I particularly like the Milanese Loop, which is made of a sort of magnetic chain mail. Although all of these are available for purchase online, I would recommend trying one on before you invest in a $7,000 watch band.

Protecting your investment with AppleCare
One more consideration when purchasing your watch is AppleCare Plus. The basic warranty for the Watch Sport covers manufacturer’s defects for one year, and provides 90 days of telephone tech-support. AppleCare Plus increases this to two years for both for only $49. This will expand the coverage beyond manufacturer’s defects to cover impact and water damage, even if you are at fault. This same coverage for the mid-range Watch is $69. The Watch Edition comes complete with a limited 2 year warranty and 2 years of tech support. $1,500 increases both to 3 years.

Apple’s Return Policy
Once you’ve purchased your Apple Watch, you can keep it for up to 14 days and still return it for a full refund. This gives you the opportunity to try it out and get a feel for it before you commit.

Money Saving Tip
When you buy online standard shipping is free, however you will be charged sales tax based on which city and state you have it shipped to. If you intend to purchase the $17K Watch Edition, sales tax alone could be more than $1,600! Some states, such as Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon, have no sales tax at all. When you buy an Apple product online or by telephone, you can arrange for an in-store pickup, sometimes on the same day, depending on availability. Therefore it may be in your best interest to purchase your watch by phone, and pick it up at an Apple Store in a neighboring city or state. You could cover your trip, and still save a considerable amount of money.

For more information on personal technology, and for classes and private lessons on the Apple Watch, and other Apple devices, visit www.gerardist.com/education

Watch the short Apple produced film “Introducing The Apple Watch” narrated by Senior Design VP, Jony Ive.

Shop for an Apple Watch online at: www.apple.com/watch/buy/

Film Review of “Lovelace” by Gerard Damiano Jr.

Note: This blog was first published as a movie review on The Rialto Report website, on August 13th, 2013, just days after the film “Lovelace” opened in New York. Visit www.therialtoreport.com an excellent resource for the oral history, audio, photo, and documentary archives from the golden age of adult film in New York, and beyond.

by Gerard Damiano Jr.
It has been said that “fact is stranger than fiction”, and in the case of Millennium Entertainment’s “Lovelace”, fact, is also infinitely more interesting. When I was asked to write this review, I confessed that it would be hard for me to look at the film strictly as cinema, without comparing it to the true events that it’s based on. As the son of director Gerard (Jerry) Damiano, the man who not only wrote and directed “Deep Throat”, but who coined the term, and who gave Linda and co-star, Harry Reems their screen names, I am very familiar with the story. I have been surrounded by it for most of my life. My sister and I were on the set of “Deep Throat” in Miami in 1972. We knew most of the people involved, some of which we remained in contact with for years. More importantly, I know my father’s version of the story. It is a story that troubled him until to the day he died. But “Lovelace” is Linda’s story, not his.

Linda and Chuck Traynor

Linda and Chuck Traynor

Linda was in an abusive relationship with Chuck Traynor.

She had a particular talent for sucking cock.

As the star of the adult film “Deep Throat”, she experienced a level of unprecedented fame and celebrity.

These are facts.

The rest of the film “Lovelace” is fiction, ranging from the plausible, to the absurd.

Amanda Seyfried, who plays the titular character, is lovely to look at, and her relationship with husband and “manager” Chuck (Peter Sarsgaard) is at the core of the film. Spoiler Alert: “Lovelace” treats us to 2 versions of their story. First a naïve Linda looks at her life through rose-colored glasses. Then we see her story again, through the blackened eyes of a victim. This device seems appropriate, as the real Linda published no less than 4 autobiographies, each telling a different story.

 Peter Sarsgaard and Amanda Seyfried as Linda and Chuck

Peter Sarsgaard and Amanda Seyfried as Linda and Chuck

In life, Chuck Traynor was a scumbag by all accounts. I would make no attempt to argue that, nor is it my intention to defend him. Their complicated dominant/submissive relationship mystified my father. When he first met Linda, she refused to be alone without Chuck. She always had to have her hands on him, touching him. It was only after a week of being treated like a movie star on the set of “Deep Throat”, that she began to assert herself independently. The full truth of what really occurred between Linda and Chuck will never be known. In their own twisted way, they may have actually loved each other. An exploration of this complex and flawed relationship would have made for a far more compelling drama. Instead, the filmmakers paint a portrait of the couple in broad strokes of black and white. Surely, the truth is rendered in shades of gray.

What we are left with is the formulaic “battered woman escapes her abuser and turns her life around” melodrama, that plays routinely on Lifetime TV. We never see the empowered Linda, who, from her rise to stardom, until the release of her 3rd book “Ordeal” in 1979, was an eloquent and outspoken advocate for Sexual Freedom. Nor do we get the sense of the positive impact that she and the film had on the culture of the time. Instead we see a helpless victim, who in the final scene of “Lovelace”, is reinvented as a Feminist Anti-Porn Crusader. We are spared her character’s evolution, which would have really given Ms. Seyfried something to work with. Mr. Sarsgaard is convincing as the manipulative Chuck, but the one-dimensional script confines him.

Sharon Stone as Linda's disapproving mother

Sharon Stone as Linda’s disapproving mother

The real star turn is by Sharon Stone, who is unrecognizable as Linda’s dowdy, disapproving mother. It is novel when a Hollywood beauty dresses down and “uglies up”, to rely on pure acting for a performance, and the critics are sure to eat this up. Adam Brody’s cursory white-bread rendition of “Throat” co-star Harry Reems is without his charm or borscht-belt shtick. James Franco, completely miscast as Hugh Hefner, misses his target completely. And the “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” appearances by Sarah Jessica Parker and Chloë Sevigny are added simply to pad the movie poster.

The opening title sequence of the original “Deep Throat” features Linda driving through North Miami Beach in Jerry’s Blue Cadillac Eldorado, a car that itself would become iconic. For years, collectors had offered to buy the infamous “Deep Throat Car” to tour auto shows, where it might be displayed next to the batmobile. The filming of this scene is recreated in “Lovelace”, but co-directors Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein choose to arbitrarily use a red car instead. Is this artistic license, or merely a lack of research? Epstein admitted to never actually seeing the film. “We watched snippets” he told Variety. A minor detail perhaps, but it leaves one wondering, how many other “Red Cadillacs” are in this film.

Before his death in 2008, my father and I were working together on what was to be his autobiography. All artistic license aside, there are a few aspects of “Lovelace” that would have him spinning in his grave. Out of respect for him, I feel obligated to set the record straight.

Chris Noth, Bobby Canavale, and Hank Azaria as Jerry

Chris Noth, Bobby Canavale, and Hank Azaria as Jerry

First off, Jerry (played by the talented and versatile Hank Azaria) is thrown in with a chorus of sniggering “wise guys”, as if they are all cut from the same cloth. In reality he was at odds with his unscrupulous backers from the very start. He was looking to finance a feature length hardcore film, something unheard of at the time. The Perainos, (who he later learned were aligned with the Colombo crime family), were in the business of making XXX “loops”, one reel silent 16mm films, intended for peepshows and stag parties. Jerry agreed to shoot some of these as a kind of audition, while the Perainos considered backing his project. Chuck brought in Linda to be featured in one of these loops. When Jerry met Linda, he found his muse. He was struck by her innocent “girl next door” sweetness and looks, and amazed by her technique. That night, on the drive home, he conceived of “Deep Throat”. Over the weekend he wrote the script around her, renaming her, “Linda Lovelace.” On Monday morning he brought Linda in to see the Perainos, and make his pitch. They were not impressed. “She’s too skinny,” “She’s got no tits” they protested. She was not their idea of a busty blonde sex symbol. But Jerry persisted. When the Perainos experienced Linda’s hidden talent first hand, they began to change their position, although still unconvinced of the title “Deep Throat”. They wanted to call the film “The Sword Swallower”. Jerry pleaded that “one day Deep Throat will be a household word”. (His delusions of grandeur turned out to be prophetic when the term “Deep Throat” made it into the dictionary). In the end, they let him make his movie, his way, while they would stick to finance and distribution.

Filming the infamous

Filming the infamous “Deep Throat” Scene.

One of the most ludicrous scenes in “Lovelace” imagines a pool party at the Voyager Inn motel, which in reality, served not only as a location for “Deep Throat”, but as a barracks for everyone involved in the production. In this unlikely scenario, cast and crew mingle with mobsters and “party girls”, while being served hors d’oeuvres off of silver trays. It is well known that “Deep Throat” was filmed for less than $23,000. Jerry would be quick to add that most of the money was spent to purchase and process the 35mm color film. The goons (with rare exception) did not visit the set. And there was no budget for champagne.

The original Deep Throat Movie Poster

The original Deep Throat Movie Poster (photos of Linda by Gerard Damiano Sr.)

The makers of “Lovelace” would have us believe that “Deep Throat” was created by a committee of the worst Italian stereotypes, who were convinced throughout the whole process, that they were going to make a fortune. The truth is that no one could have predicted the overwhelming success of “Deep Throat”. “The Industry” that they speak of in “Lovelace”, was non-existent in 1972.

In one final piece of pure fantasy, the fictional Anthony Romano (played by Chris Noth), beats Chuck with his belt, and it would seem that these mafia caricatures have set Linda free from her tormentor. Hoods cast as the heroes of Linda’s story? This is one more “Red Cadillac”, that I can only be glad my father didn’t live to see.

Linda on the Cover of Leg Show

Linda on the Cover of Leg Show Magazine January 2001

Friedman and Epstein’s morality play is cut conveniently short. We are told by title card, just before the end credits roll, that Linda spent the next 20 years fighting against porn and domestic abuse. What we are NOT told, is that Linda later denounced the Feminist movement, claiming that they had used her much in the same way that the porn industry had. She then posed for a centerfold spread in “Leg Show” magazine, having now come full circle.

Where “Deep Throat” was sold in 1972 with the premise of a woman’s quest for sexual fulfillment, audiences are lured to see “Lovelace” with the promise of seeing Hollywood A-lister Amanda Seyfried abused and degraded on film.
Once again, someone else is turning a profit, while Linda gets fucked.

Gerard Damiano and son 2007

Gerard Damiano and son in Fort Myers Florida, 2007 Photo by Ava Roeder