The Apple Watch will ship this April. While we've all seen the introduction, we haven't seen everything yet. We have the broad strokes, not the fine details. Those will come soon. Still, there's more than enough to keep us content for now — especially when it comes to fantasy shopping. What sizes, materials, bands, and other options are we leaning towards?We've been thinking and talking about it so much amongst ourselves, we figured we might as well get together and hash it out in a roundtable.
And we brought friends...
Which size Apple Watch will you be getting?
Serenity: 38mm. My wrists are sad, tiny things, and I am very grateful that Apple will be offering a size that actually feels comfortable on smaller humans. (Amusingly, I tried on Andy Ihnatko's Moto 360 right before the Apple Watch event, and the circular screen was 1.2x the size of my arm. It looked like a science fiction gadget.) I'd love the bigger screen size, but I'll happily sacrifice a few rows of pixels for general wrist comfort.
Georgia: 38mm. My wrists are rather small so I feel that the 42mm would not look right on me. It isn't an easy decision as I'm partial to having more screen real-estate, but something that I will be wearing all the time needs to be comfortable and not look out of proportion.
Adam: 42mm. I'm fairly impartial when it comes to the size of watch, but I don't want something too big. So I think 42mm is the sweet spot.
Peter: I favor the larger model. I regularly wear reading glasses these days so I think a bigger display will be helpful.
Derek: Definitely the 42mm. I'm not a fan of huge watches, though even the bigger Apple Watch isn't enormous. The larger size is fine by me — I wear a Moto 360 right now and it's on the rather large side as it is.
Kevin: 42mm and I actually wish it was bigger. Apple is measuring height instead of width, which isn't how watches are usually measured.
Ally: My wrists are kind of small so I'm thinking the 38mm model is going to be my best bet as far as being comfortable is concerned.
Rene: 42mm. I've been fortunate enough to have tried on both the 38mm and 42mm size and feel I can get away with the larger model and the larger screen. Just like with the iPhone, I want the biggest window into apps and the internet that I can get.
Aluminum, stainless steel, or gold?
Serenity: I have an unhealthy obsession with the look of the rose gold/red band Edition, but I imagine I'll be going with an Apple Watch Sport for generation one. I also want to see how durable the thing is when in a gym or on skates, and something tells me taking a steel or gold watch along for the ride is a bad move.
Georgia: Aluminum for me. I know that I will want to get a second gen watch next year and it makes little sense to invest a lot of money in a watch I'll only be keeping for 12 months.
Adam: Stainless. I've never been a flashy guy, so I typically go with flat black or stainless models when I have the option.
Peter: Make mine alyoominium.
Derek: It all depends on the pricing. All we know at this point is the $349 price tag of the aluminum Apple Watch Sport. I'd like to go for the stainless steel and sapphire Apple Watch — all I have to do is compare the scuffs, nicks, and dings on my aluminum iPhone 5s to the hardy frame of my iPhone 4S to know that stainless is so much tougher — but I fear the price. I'm willing to pay for fashionable, and there have been many times where I've waited to make a purchase or spent more than was necessary because I wanted a nicer-looking or nicer-feeling version of something, but the potentially huge jump up for modestly more expensive materials gives me pause.
Kevin: Rose gold, baby!
Ally: I am leaning the most towards stainless. I've had good luck with it in the past and I like the way it looks the best.
Rene: I'm leaning towards stainless steel. Part of me thinks it'd be wise to stick with aluminum for the first generation, but the part that loves the idea of stainless steel and sapphire is pretty good at yelling at that other part to sit back down. Besides, the materials on the stainless steel model feel the most durable to me.
Which band will you get with your Apple Watch?
Serenity: Honestly? Comfort wins over style here. I'll likely either get the white or black sport band, though I tried on the midnight blue Modern Buckle band at the watch event and loved that one, so if it's available separately, I might have to snatch that one up, as well.
Georgia: Depends completely on cost, Milanese is the strap I would love to get if it isn't very costly and doesn't pinch my arm hairs (painful). If not I will get a black leather or just keep the sports band. I was going to steal one from Rene (as he will be getting a few) but he will be getting the 42mm so that plan is scrapped.
Adam: Classic buckle. I stick with the stock options on most of my watches, even if it's just a bland silicone strap. I think with the Apple Watch though, I'll step things up a half notch and go with the classic buckle (though I'd be okay with the sport band I think)
Peter: The band is unimportant to me. Honestly, I'd prefer to just wear it as a pocket watch like Boyd Crowder in Justified. But a big part of the Apple Watch's appeal is the Taptic Engine, which transmits taps and force feedback through skin contact. What's more, the Apple Watch gets biometric information through sensors on the bottom, so direct skin contact is necessary.
Derek: I'd probably go with the link bracelet. I've long had a strong affection for full metal watches, and though I do like the leather of my Moto 360, I was strongly disappointed by the metal band that Motorola finally released. Apple's metal band, however, looks like it will be a phenomenally-crafted piece of jewelry.
Kevin: Midnight blue, unless Apple surprises us with a gold link bracelet. My wallet kinda hopes they don't.
Ally: Probably the sport. I like colors and shiny things, and I spend a lot of the time at the gym these days. So the sport will probably fit my needs the best. Perhaps I'll get a classic strap at some point, but I'll start off with the sport.
Rene: I'm torn between the stainless steel link and the Milanese. The link feels like the safe choice. The Milanese feels more daring but I'm not sure I can pull it off. I'm attracted to the space gray model, but I don't think the Milanese will look great with it. (And Apple hasn't announced a space gray Milanese, at least not yet…)
Will you get additional bands, if they're sold separately?
Serenity: It depends on pricing and what's available. As I said previously, I really love the look of the midnight blue Modern Buckle, but I also need a sport band for the gym. I'm going to wait and see what Apple has planned.
Georgia: if the price is right I will buy a few bands. A sports for when I'm on the beach or training, a Milanese for when I'm going out and a leather band for comfort and work.
Adam: Possibly, but I rarely change things out on my watches, so I'd be okay just sticking with one band.
Peter: I can see the benefit of a sports band, but that's about it.
Derek: I might get one of the sport bands to swap out for when engaging in vigorous activity, but truth be told, I usually take off my watch right now when engaging in vigorous activity, and would probably do the same with an Apple Watch.
Kevin: It depends on what they offer and how they're sold. If there are multiple bands available at launch, it might be too hard to prevent that old impulse buying reflex. If they come later, I'll be calmer and better able to control myself.
Ally: Yep. I'll start with the sport and maybe get a classic later on.
Rene: I'll almost certainly get a sport band or two if they're offered separately, just for wearing out and about when I'm doing something active. And hey, if I can get both the stainless steel link and the Milanese it'll keep me from having to decide between the two.
What other accessories would you want with your Apple Watch?
Serenity: I just picked up some wireless Bluetooth headphones, so I feel set on that front; I also wouldn't mind a nice third-party charging stand like Dodocase's wooden option, if such things are available at launch.
Georgia: Does an Apple Car count?
Adam: The Apple Watch will be the other accessory. I'm don't do much music or calling on the go, so adding in headphones or anything like that won't really be necessary for me. I am curious to see if there are any fun third-party accessories, but for now I think I'll wait and see what comes up.
Peter: A fully loaded Mac Pro equipped with three Thunderbolt Displays.
Derek: I view a smartwatch like the Apple Watch as a smartphone companion. And so the vast majority of things I'll want to do with it will deal with the phone in some manner, and thus be able to manage things connected to that phone. Considering that I don't usually wear a watch or headphones when running, I don't need that. Just about the only thing I think I would want would be a proper charging stand. If I'm going to have to charge an Apple Watch every night, I want a stand that's like the one my Moto 360 has: just drop the watch into its cradle and watch it charge. Bonus points for making it compact, lightweight, and portable for traveling.
Kevin: Honestly I have pretty much everything I need, from headphones to almost every other product Apple makes. I might be interested in a third-party charging stand if any really impressive ones come out.
Ally: I feel kind of awkward requesting accessories for an accessory? Who wrote this question? It smells of Kevin...
Rene: I already have a pair of wireless Bluetooth 4.0 headphones. If I didn't, that would be top of my list. I'm waiting for some enterprising accessory maker to offer a little waterproof cover band for it, in case you want to go swimming, but I'm not holding my breath. (See what I did there?)
How much on-board storage would you want on your Apple Watch?
Serenity: As Rene noted, Apple hasn't yet announced storage options, but I'm thinking 4-8GB should be fine for an auxiliary device. A bit of music, some local Photos storage, and offline maps should be good. Although… do we think it'll have offline Enhanced Dictation software, a la the Mac? That might eat up a good portion of 4GB, so maybe I want 8GB — just to be on the safe side.
Georgia: I'd love to have 16GB just because I want to store as many pictures and as much music as possible. That might be unrealistic, though, so I'm only expecting 4-8.
Adam: I think anything over 4GB will be fine. I always managed to get by with 16GB or even 8GB phones, so I can't imagine needing much more than 4 or 8GB on my watch.
Peter: Without Apple having announced storage capacity on the watch, I have no idea what to think — or even if it'll be an important issue to consider.
Derek: Apple Watch apps are going to be small. They'll be small in function, with small visual assets, and consequently small file sizes. I'm not going to be using an Apple Watch to review photos, store and watch movies, or carry and listen to music — that's why I have a phone. 4GB should probably be plenty.
Kevin: I really just want Songza and Sonos support most of the time. If I'm out jogging without my iPhone, then 4-8GB should be plenty. (That's assuming it's easy to change up what's on the device.)
Ally: I bow down to Adam for being able to use a 16GB device of any kind. I haven't been able to do that since the iPhone 3G. For me I think the watch would depend on what's being stored on it. If it's just apps and it relies on my iPhone for music and other media types, I'd think a few GBs would be sufficient.
Rene: Apple hasn't announced any storage capacities yet, or if there'll be any storage capacities. Based on my past iPod nano and iPod shuffle use, however, I'd be fine with 4-8GB. As long as I can manage it intelligently and easily. That'd let me get music, podcasts, and audio books on and off as I go through them.
What's the maximum price you'd feel comfortable paying?
Serenity: For a non-repairable non-upgradeable watch, I top out at about $1000. I already purchase an iPhone and iPad on a regular basis; adding in anything more than $1000 to that 18 month upgrade cycle sounds painful.
Georgia: $800 is my maximum for the Sport Watch plus a few extra bands so I could change things up. Apple, please offer awesome alternative bands for the Sport Watch so I can change things up. (Since I won't be able to just steal Rene's — silly size differences!)
Adam: I think I'd top out at about $400. I'm still not totally sure I'll make the Apple Watch my full-time watch, but I see no problem adding it to my arsenal at a sub-$400 tag. Anything more than that would be a much bigger decision for me.
Peter: Even $350 is giving me the heebie jeebies. I've never owned a fitness band device and the last watch I bought cost well under $100. I'm just not a watch person.
Derek: I paid $250 for a Moto 360 without really questioning it. Before that I'd paid $200 for a Pebble Steel (but was never really happy with it), and before that I wore a stainless steel analog Skagen wrist watch that was in the neighborhood of $200 (which I loved dearly and occasionally still wear). And that's probably what will limit me to the Apple Watch Sport — I would really want the steel body, but if it costs anywhere near as much as is rumored, I just can't justify it.
Kevin: I've already pledged $10K for the Apple Watch Edition. I'll sell my Rolex Daytona if I have to!
Ally: I'm probably going to exit stage right at the $350 price point and call it a day.
Rene: See, price is the thing. At $350 the Apple Watch Sport is a no-brainer for me. I want the Apple Watch, but if it's priced too high, would I skip it for the Sport and save it for generation two? I don't know yet. My guess is it'll be under $1000 but with that link strap, not by much. Is that too much? We'll have to see.
Will you be buying immediately or will you wait and see?
Serenity: Immediately. Not only do I want to play with it and its app for work-related reasons, but I'm really bullish on the promise of the Apple Watch as a day-to-day device. I think it can cut down on a lot of unnecessary multitasking, and the apps we've heard about make me even more excited for the ones we haven't. There's a lot of potential here; whether the device is truly revolutionary or just another gadget is something that will take some time with it to discover.
Georgia: I will be waiting in line and getting my watch the first day. That might mean that I will be traveling to the US, but I have been asking for the Apple Watch for 4 years and I won't wait a day longer than I have to.
Adam: I'll be waiting a while for sure. I've been a huge Pebble fan since day one, and it will take a lot to make me adopt another device full-time. As much as I love to get in early with the latest and greatest devices, I think in the case of the Apple Watch, waiting a bit to see what comes of it is the best way to go.
Peter: I'm not convinced I need an Apple Watch any more than I'm convinced I need to replace my third-generation iPad, which still serves me well. I reserve the right to change my mind, however, especially if the Apple Watch and the Macintosh integrate well together.
Derek: I'm waiting. First there's the obvious of I want to see how it shakes out in real life once it's on the wrists of millions. But there's just something about the Apple Watch that doesn't make me go "I need one" the same way the iPhone 6 or the Moto 360 did. I suspect it's the design; the rounded square and pill-shape profile just look childish to me (though some of the fancier straps help a bit) and the bezel around the display is disappointing. There are a lot of good ideas here, and some that seem just overdone — a digital crown, a button, tapping, force tapping, and swiping? — but I don't think the first generation of Apple Watch will be for me. We'll see.
Kevin: I'll be first in line, first day they go on sale. What sense is there in being an early adopter if you don't adopt as early as legally possible?
Ally: I'm not completely sold on watches but the fitness aspects intrigue me. I've yet to find a fitness band I'm 100% happy with. Perhaps the Sport version could be it?
Rene: I'll be buying an Apple Watch the moment they go on sale. Just like with the iPhone, I knew the moment I saw it on stage, and saw what the interface could do, that I wanted it. April can't come soon enough.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.