Silver, gold, rose gold, space gray, space black, or the all new ceramic white — here's how to pick the perfect Apple Watch color for you!
Updated April, 2017: Freshly updated for anyone and everyone considering an Apple Watch purchase now that spring is here and there's outdoor fitness fun to be had.
Apple Watch is the first major tech product to truly blur the lines with fashion. That's because watches have never just been about telling time. They've been about making a statement. As much gadget as jewelry, we don't carry them — we wear them. And that means the color you pick is about as personal a decision as you can make.
If you're on the fence about which finish to get, here's what you need to consider!
- Band lines
- Discoloration doubts
- Withstanding wear
- Coolness concerns
- Who should get silver?
- Who should get gold or rose gold?
- Who should get space gray or space black?
- Who should get ceramic white?
Most Apple Watch bands have polished stainless steel lugs. There are a few exceptions, including the Sport, Woven Nylon, and Loop lines that have lugs matching the band color, and there are third-party options for switching lug colors after you buy. But the vast majority of Apple Watch bands only truly match the stainless steel Apple Watch.
There's probably some weird supply chain and store stocking match that led Apple to that decision, and as much as most of us would like a variety of lug colors to choose from on every band, that's not currently the world we live in.
The lack of perfectly matching lugs bothers some people. A lot. Others, not at all. I've used and worn almost every color Apple Watch over the past few years and I fall somewhere in the middle. It irks me when the lugs don't match, but it's not a deal-breaker for bands that I love.
Even so, silver stainless steel is the finish I've stuck with the most and for this very reason.
If you want your Apple Watch to blend seamlessly into the widest range of bands possible, go with stainless steel.
If you don't care how you pair, or you only ever buy bands with colored lugs, go for whichever finish you like.
No matter which Apple Watch finish you get, one thing you don't have to worry about is discoloration. The silver Apple Watch finishes are coated aluminum and stainless steel, and those colors aren't going anywhere.
The Edition is white, but it's white ceramic. While that's new for Apple, white ceramic isn't new for watches. I've been wearing one for months and it's still as pristine as fresh-fallen snow.
Likewise, all the space grays, silvers, golds, and rose golds we've tested over the last couple of years have all kept their colors exactly.
- If you're worried about an Apple Watch with a white or light finish staining or discoloring or the dark finishes fading, don't be. They're all fine.
Most Apple Watches have anodized aluminum finishes. That includes the silver, space gray, gold, rose gold, and Nike+. Apple's anodization manages to be tougher than most without looking gloppy. They are metal, though and can be scratched and chipped.
On the silver Apple Watches, small scratches have less contrast, which makes them harder to see, depending on the lighting. Gold and rose gold Watches are somewhere in the middle. Space Gray has a higher contrast, so scratches are a bit more noticeable.
The polished stainless steel is far tougher and also makes scratches hard to see. The space black has a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating that's about as tough as it gets. I've sometimes seen what I thought were scratches on my space black Apple Watch only to realize it was some other metal or concrete the watch scratched off. Yeah.
Ceramic is likewise incredibly resistant to scratches and scrapes. Even tougher than stainless steel.
- If you hate the look of scratches, silver aluminum, stainless steel, or ceramics are your best bet.
- If you don't mind — or even love — the look of worn tech, go Millennium Falcon and get whatever color you like.
How much bling is your wrist thing? For some, even gadget jewelry like watches is best kept understated. That's where the silver aluminum or polished stainless steel comes in. They're elegant but not too fussy about it.
Space gray is even more chill. Dark but not too dark. It's space black that's full on blackout. It's so trendy it borders on classic at this point, but, especially with the OLED display on Apple Watch, it really works.
Gold and rose gold put the fashion in front of the tech. Neither are in-your-face bold gold or ruby rose. The yellow is more champagne and the rose is basically pink. Both get and deserve attention.
The white ceramic is a different beast. In some light, in brief glances, it can be mistaken for silver. On closer examination, though, it's clearly white. Not 1970s belt white either. High-end horology white.
- If you don't want to draw attention, stick to silver aluminum or polished stainless steel.
- If you want to be different but not too daring, space gray or space black.
- If bling is your thing, so is gold or rose gold.
- If you want to stand out without shouting out, go ceramic white.
Who should get the silver aluminum or polished stainless steel Apple Watch?
If you want a color that isn't so dark but still doesn't call a lot of attention to itself and that doesn't show scuffs and scrapes as much, that matches the most lugs and lets the bands be the stars, then go with the silver aluminum or polished stainless steel Apple Watch.
Who should get the space gray or space black Apple Watch?
If you want a color that makes the Apple Watch display melt away, that will never be too bright or distracting, and in the case of the space black, is full-on "blackout" and will scratch most of the universe before it gets scratched, stick with the spaces.
Who should get the gold or rose gold Apple Watch?
If you like the luxury look, think watches really should be jewelry, don't mind the middle ground when it comes to how wear and tear shows, and want a little dazzle on your wrist, get the gold or rose gold Apple Watch.
Who should get the white Apple Watch?
If you want a look that really stands out without looking like it's trying to stand out, that's incredibly scratch-resistant, or you're just hankering for something new and don't mind paying for the privilege, get the white ceramic Apple Watch Edition.
If you're still not sure about which color you should get, jump into our Apple Watch forums and the best community on the web will happily help you out.
At the end of the day, the only real answer is this — get the color you like best. Nothing else matters. Just close your eyes, picture your Apple Watch on your wrist, and focus down on the color you're picturing. Then buy that. Try it out. And remember: You have two weeks to exchange it if you change your mind.
Once you've decided, tell me — which one are you getting?