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Which Watch? How to pick the Apple Watch that's right for you

Leah Yamshon | March 12, 2015
Do you like the aluminum look? Do you want your Watch band to match your Watch case? Do you have $10,000? These are just a few things to consider when selecting your first Apple Watch.

Picking an Apple Watch isn't like picking out your next iPhone--forget about focusing on specs and storage size. Instead, you'll be looking at alloys (aluminum, stainless steel, or solid gold?), style (sporty, classic, or bling-bling?), and price ($349, $549, or the cost of iPad Air 2's for you and 19 friends?) The Apple Watch is unchartered territory, but we're here to help you navigate. Here are some things to consider before you pre-order your Apple Watch on April 10. 

The Watch itself
Under the hood, the Apple Watch hardware is exactly the same. The only differences between the three models are cosmetic ones, so if you opt for a $10,000 Edition, it will function just the same as a $349 Sport (more on price in a little bit). The storage and battery life is the same across the board: You'll get 8GB of storage (Apple says you'll be limited to 2GB of music storage and 75MB for photos within the Photos app) and up to 18 hours of battery life on a single charge.

A big criticism of smartwatches so far has been on size: The ginormous faces of some of these watches look ridiculous on a smaller wrist (namely, women's wrists). That's why Apple made two size options for the Apple Watch: 38mm and 42mm. You can see what each of these look like on your own wrist within the Apple Store app on your iPhone--the app shows their actual sizes. Once you're on the Apple Watch landing page within the app, go to Learn more > View pricing > Compare case sizes

Bands on the run
Most of the watch bands come with different size options, but don't pick your favorite band until you've measured your wrist: Some bands are limited to one case size, and others only cover a limited range. (I like the Leather Loop, but my wrist is 146mm around--and the Leather Loop isn't available for the 38mm case, which is my preferred size--so I'll have to pick a different band. Bummer.) Apple has a comprehensive sizing guide, so keep that in mind when picking your band and case.

Here's a breakdown:

Modern Buckle: Sorry, dudes--the Modern Buckle is only available for the 38mm version, in three sizes:

  • Small: Fits wrists 135mm to 150mm
  • Medium: Fits wrists 145mm to 165mm
  • Large: Fits wrists 160mm to 180mm 

Leather Loop: ...and sorry, ladies, the Leather Loop is only available for the 42mm version, in two sizes:

  • Medium: Fits wrists 150mm to 185mm
  • Large: Fits wrists 180mm to 210mm

Milanese Loop: The Milanese Loop is a one-size-fits-all situation, with a wide range for each of the case models.

  • 38mm: Fits wrists 130mm to 180mm
  • 42mm: Fits wrists 150mm to 200mm


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