The problem was noted in several reviews of the new smartwatch. The Verge said, "While writing my review of the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE capabilities, I experienced notable connectivity issues. The new Watch appeared to try to connect to unknown WiFi networks instead of connecting to cellular, when I was out and about without my phone. Within the first couple days of experiencing this, Apple replaced my first review unit with a second one, but that one proved to be problematic, too."
The WSJ also reported a similar experience calling the device "Untethered... and Unreliable".
Most worryingly, my colleague Geoffrey Fowler and I experienced cellular connectivity issues on three separate pre-production models, in two different states, on two different 4G LTE carriers.
Apple is blaming connectivity problems on a bug which causes the Apple Watch to try to connect to unauthenticated Wi-Fi Networks.
Here's their statement provided to The Verge:
“We have discovered that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular,” an Apple spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We are investigating a fix for a future software release.”
Hopefully this gets resolved soon! Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.