The world of watches has witnessed unexpected trends and phenomena that defy logical explanation. One such phenomenon is the enduring fascination with a dog named Snoopy. Although it started as a simple cartoon character in 1950 in the comic strip “Peanuts,” Snoopy’s influence has transcended the pages and found its way into the watch world through brands like Omega, Bamford, and Seiko. And now, this iconic beagle has found a new home: the Apple Watch.
Honoring the iconic beagle in every frame of animation
Amidst the watch frenzy, where even a ‘Silver Snoopy Award’ 50th Anniversary Speedmaster can cost €18,000 in the second-hand market, Apple has taken a step forward to embrace the trend. With the update to watchOS 10, Snoopy has made its grand entrance into the world of smartwatches.
Apple has already demonstrated in the past its focus on horological history, and while its collection of customizable watch faces already included icons like Mickey Mouse, Snoopy had been a noticeable omission. That changed when Cupertino-based company partnered with Charles M. Schulz Studio to design a watch face that not only features Snoopy but is, according to many, the most detailed and charming one to date.
Paige Braddock, creative director at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, shared in a recent interview with GQ that designing an analog watch with a static character like Snoopy already presents its own challenges. But with Apple, the process was taken to the next level. They not only focused on aesthetics but managed to integrate 148 unique animations that respond to factors like local weather, time of day, and activities you engage in with the Apple Watch. This means that if you decide to go for a swim, Snoopy puts on his scuba gear and floats on your screen, and if it’s nighttime, you might find him howling at the moon.
The design of Snoopy was also a subject of much debate and consideration. The representation of this beagle has evolved since 1950, and the team ultimately chose a design inspired by the 1980s. The Apple Watch, with its aesthetic and design, became the perfect canvas that mimicked Schulz’s original comic strips. And, with its always-on display, Snoopy’s animations come to life in a truly vibrant and detailed manner.
However, it wasn’t just about featuring Snoopy on a watch. The intention was for us to really experience the animations. So, a design engine was created that would rotate certain animations every minute and another engine that would determine the best time to display them without repeating too often.
Snoopy has a special ability to connect generations. Although he is a character who has evolved over the years, he remains relevant and beloved by both those who grew up with him and by new generations who have just met him. With the addition of Snoopy to the Apple Watch, Apple pays tribute to previous collaborations and extends Schulz’s legacy even further. As Snoopy continues his adventure in this new territory, one thing is certain: his horological legacy, rooted in affection and timeless charm, will always accompany this iconic beagle.