Hands on with Apple Watch!

The Apple Watch doesn't ship until 2015 but I've already had a chance to try it on and see it in action. With 38mm and 42mm screen size options, standard, sport, and edition collections, you can customize both software and hardware to suit your own fashion sense, including up to solid 18K gold and rose hold bodies and dancing Mickey Mouse clock faces. So, what's it like?

It's new. The digital crown allows for zoom, scroll, and Home access without having to cover the small screen with big fingers. Water resistant but not waterproof — think rain or shower not swimming or diving — it can run both WatchKit actionable notifications and glance widgets and, coming later, native apps as well. There are dedicated fitness and workout apps, and pin-code and skin-contact secured Apple Pay integration as well. There's Siri for voice control, and you can even use the Apple Watch to control your Apple TV!

It's still very early. It works with — and requires — an iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus. (Think of Apple Watch as a shuttle craft to your iPhone's starship, capable of a few things but not everything on its own. At least not yet.) But that means it could work for hundreds of millions of people.

How many people who wear traditional watches will be willing to switch to an Apple Watch? How many people who don't wear watches will be willing to start? Will it be an Apple TV sized business? An iPad sized business? Will Apple update it yearly like the iPhone or every few years like the iPod touch or Apple TV?

So many questions! For now all I know is I want one. It's first generation but it's also first of a kind. Not an iPhone scaled down, not iOS on your wrist, but Watch OS specifically for you to wear. We'll have to charge it every night using a fancy new MagSafe inductive plug, but you get a bright screen and tethering to iPhone for Wi-Fi and cellular for your trouble.

Apple Watch starts at $349 but the gold plated version will likely be quite a bit more. We'll have to wait to find out how much exactly until next spring. But I know that I want one now. How about you?

Rene Ritchie

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.