Apple Watch this week picked up one of Red Dot's 2015 Best of the Best awards for product design, entering into a newly-created "Watches" category even though the device is only shipping to the public on April 24.
The only other watch to claim a Best of the Best title was the MB&F HM6 Space Pirate, a strictly time-telling piece that displays its inner workings in five separate domes rather than under one unified glass element. Only 50 units are being made, at a cost of $230,000 each.
Red Dot's criteria judges products according to qualities like functionality, ergonomics, durability, "ecological compatibility," and "symbolic and emotional content." In all 81 Best of the Best winners were announced this week, though a gala ceremony is only taking place June 29 at the Aalto-Theater in Essen, Germany.
For Apple the title may be useful in marketing, since Red Dot holders are allowed to place a logo on packages and in advertising material. Winners also get their products displayed in the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen for a year.
Apple products have won Red Dot awards in the past. Last year the company took home an award for the current-generation Mac Pro, which was actually released in December 2013.
Marketing for the Apple Watch has heavily emphasized its design. The campaign has included things like promotional diary by model Christy Turlington Burns, and a continuing series of spreads in fashion magazines. Apple has also relied on more familiar strategy of offering up designers and executives for media interviews.