Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to Apple Watch and specifically its Digital Crown. Apple instructs Apple Watch users how to use the Digital Crown. It could be used to click or double-click to perform a specific function. Apple makes no mention of another option as of September 19, 2017. A newly published Apple patent application published today describes advancing the Digital Crown to accept 'Force Touch' to perform functions in a future instead of just clicking on the crown.
Apple specifically notes that "When force is exerted on the force-detecting input structure 101 [the digital crown], the electronic device 100 [Apple Watch] may ascertain or measure the force. Generally, the electronic device 100 [Apple Watch] may interpret different amounts of force as different inputs.
The crown may include one or more force sensors positioned in the input mechanism that may be used to determine an amount of force applied to the crown. In this way, the crown may be used to receive a variety of different inputs from the user."
It's clear that Apple isn't describing clicking the Digital Crown and they wouldn't be applying for such a simpleton patent years after Apple Watch was introduced.
Yet considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time and it could end up being a function that Apple passes on or can't make work.
For now, Apple is describing force touch beyond the display and into its Digital Crown and we'll have to wait and see if it becomes a reality in the not-too-distant future.