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Apple Watch bags prestigious design award, and it’s not even out yet

It’s not even on anyone’s wrist yet but Apple’s first ever smartwatch has already bagged a prestigious design award.

The Apple Watch was one of 75 products out of 1,624 finalists to receive the gold award at a gala event held in Munich this week for the International Forum’s annual industrial design competition.

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Helping to push the hype around the watch to a level where waverers might now be ‘accidentally’ breaking their current wrist-based timepiece in an effort to create a justifiable reason to fork out upwards of $349 for Apple’s upcoming gadget, the competition judges, all experts in the field of design, arrived at their decision after evaluating products on criteria such as workmanship, material choice, environmental friendliness, design quality, safety, brand value, ergonomics, degree of innovation, and functionality.

In comments likely to have Apple haters around the world shaking with rage, the judges described the device as “an altogether extraordinary piece of design” and “already an icon.”

Apple has recently been pushing its watch as a must-have fashion accessory, taking out a 12-page ad in this month’s Vogue.

The Apple Watch is all set for an April launch, though before that the tech titan is holding a special event in San Francisco that’ll probably involve a determined effort to push the smartwatch’s hype-o-meter all the way up to 11.

Related: Forget the Apple Watch, Pebble is far more fascinating

The International Forum’s Product Design Award has been running since 1953 and each year attracts thousands of entries across a range of categories from designers around the world.

Below is the official jury statement in full:

The idea of combining classic materials such as leather and metal with state-of-the-art technology to create a very individual fashion accessory has resulted in a delightful product offering a holistic user experience. The Apple Watch scores highly for each design detail and is an altogether extraordinary piece of design. For us, it is already an icon.

Do you think Apple’s smartwatch is fully deserving of its design award, or has the International Forum got it wrong on this one? Have your say in the comments.