Apple Watch pre-orders start 12:01AM PT/3:01AM ET/8:01AM BST!
It's almost time once more for thousands of eager Apple product buyers to smash Apple's web servers into oblivion. Yes, the Apple Watch is coming, and coming soon — preorders begin Friday morning for the West, East, and European coasts.
If you haven't yet planned your pre-order strategy, let us help you with these tips on getting your pre-order in and set without too much fuss.
Pick your style
If you're preordering at the crack of dawn, chances are you have an inkling of what you want to pick up already. If you don't, both Apple.com and the Apple Store app have detailed and thorough explanations and (in some cases) short movies of each of the Watch styles and band options you can pick up. The Apple Store app even offers a visual size representation for your wrist to help make your decision between 38 and 42 millimeters.
Before you go into pre-order, make sure you've got picks for your Series, casing, color, size, and bands. (I'd also suggest having secondary picks for bands, in case your initial combination isn't available.)
All models in Series 1 and the Sport, Steel, and Ceramic Series 2 models will ship on September 16, but if you're interested in either the Nike+ or Hermes watches, you'll be waiting a bit extra: You can pre-order either tomorrow, but the Hermes models will ship in late September, while the Nike+ version of the watch won't be available until late October..
The Apple Store app also lets you favorite specific watch combinations so that they're ready for pre-order: Just select the watch/band combination you like, then tap the heart icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
Need more help deciding which Apple Watch to get? We've got a complete guide that walks you through every possible permutation.
Know your options
When pre-orders open at 12:01AM PT/3:01AM ET/8:01AM BST, you'll have two different immediate options for getting your order in online: the Apple.com online store, and the Apple Store app.
In general, I recommend the app over the store; as fewer people seem to know of its existence as a pre-order method, it processes orders faster and experiences fewer hang-ups than the Apple.com online store.
If you're still unsure of your band/watch combination, you can visit an Apple Store: The physical stores aren't opening early, but you'll be able to visit one near you during their regular operating hours to try on an Apple Watch and make a more concrete decision there. You'll still have to place a pre-order for the Series 2 model via the app or Apple.com, however, as all initial Watch sales are being done online.
You'll be able to make same-day reservations for Apple Store appointments, so make sure you visit Apple.com/retail to make your appointment on Friday.
Check your account
If you're extra paranoid — and on pre-order night, who could blame you! — go to store.apple.com — or your local version — and log in now just to make sure your account is in good working order. You can even call your credit card company and warn them of the purchase to make sure no flags are raised when you try to check out.
Plan your escape
Once you've placed your pre-order, it's time to wait: Apple Watch will be available on September 16. That gives you plenty of time to get ready for Apple Watch's entry into your life; you can read our first impressions, brush up on what the Apple Watch can do, find out everything you need to know about Apple Watch Series 2 and, most importantly, chat with us about what kind of Apple Watch you're getting!