I’ve been waiting for the fabled iWatch/iBand for the last 2 years, and finally, Watch is no longer a figment of my imagination, but a reality! Yep, I’m that guy who’s been repeatedly saying “iWant it and iWant it now!” and with April just around the corner, I’m finding it harder and harder to hide my excitement. For those who don’t have the dates already programmed and synced to all your devices, the Watch will be available for pre-order on April 10th and “available” April 24th - I’m using quotes around available as the availability will most likely be limited.
The watch will come in three finishes, Aluminum (Sport), Stainless Steel (Watch), and Gold (Edition). There will be a large variety of bands available, ranging from the rubberized & colorful sport ones, classic leather and stainless steel links. Aside from the material of the watch and band. Hardware and software will be exactly the same on all the watches, but with three models available, there’s one bound to fit your personal style and needs. So without further ado, let's take look at what makes theses watches tick.
The Sport model is made with anodized aluminum and Ion-X glass and will be available in silver or space grey. The Sport Band is fluoroelastomer (aka durable, resistant to water/heat/oils, elastic - rubber type material), will come in two sizes (small/medium & medium/large) and in a variety of bright & vibrant colors. Other bands will be available at launch so you are not tied down to one band. The only caveat is the black band. That is only available with the Space Grey version of the watch. Pricing starts at $349 for the 38mm version an tops at $399 for the 42mm version.
The Watch is made of stainless steel and has a sapphire crystal display, making this model a more polished, distinctive, and scratch resistant choice. Two finishes are available (Stainless Steel & Space Black stainless steel), and comes with one band. Don’t worry, there will be multiple band options available if you want something a bit more classy. The pricing for the Watch starts at $549 for the 38mm and $599 for the 42mm with a Sport Band. If you’re not a fan of the Sport Band and want a leather loop or the classic buckle, be prepared to pay some serious cash ($699 & up). There is a catch here too. Remember the Space Black model that I mentioned before? That only comes with the Space Black Link Band and will cost you $1049 for the 38mm or $1099 for the 42mm.
The Edition model comes with the same Sapphire glass but is made with enhanced 18k gold. The Edition comes in Yellow or Rose gold and will run you a pretty penny, starting at $10,000 and maxing out at $17,000. The bands for the Edition are only available to purchase with the Edition model. Other bands from Apple will fit the Edition and will be available for purchase.
We can easily eliminate the Edition right off the bat. I don't have that kind of money for a watch. The stainless steel version looks beautiful and I like it; however I absolutley love the Space Black stainless steel. Ponying up $1100 on a first generation product that will most likely be replaced in a year is a hard pill to swallow. Don't get me wrong, I would drop the money for it in a heart beat but there are other things going on that are more important right now.
That brings me to the Sport model. I will be pre-ordering the 42mm Space Grey version of the Watch the second it goes live, sight unseen and with out it coming near my wrist. I think the Space Grey looks nice and it will match my iPhone. I may eventually pick up the black leather loop band, an additional $149. I also like the Milanese Loop but I want to see that in person first. I will also be grabbing an additional cord to charge my watch, another $29.
I said a while back on the iOSDocked podcast that $500 was my max for the watch. Let's do some math. The $399 for the watch, $29 for an additional cable and $59 for Apple Care would put me at $487 pre-tax. Add $35 for taxes and I’m at $522, $22 over budget so the additional band may have to wait a little while. I can't see spending over $1300 on a first generation watch, for the one I want, especially since I don't know what the full use case for it will be. Maybe after they work the bugs/kinks out and I see just how much of an impact it has on my day-to-day life, I’ll contemplate spending that kind of money. Maybe. In the mean time, let me know what version you’ll be getting - are you going to try before you buy or just buy sight unseen like I am? I want to know your thoughts and feelings, so leave them for me in the comments or on Twitter!
UPDATED ON 4/6 TO REFELECT APPLE CARE PRICE FOR THE SPORT MODEL