Apple Watch Series 2 Hermes

The Apple Watch Series 3 is coming, and coming soon — preorders are available now for the West, East, and European coasts. Though the latest models will be in stock and in stores on September 22, there's no guarantee your local retailer will have the exact model and style you want. Preorder shipping times have slipped to a few weeks in most cases, but to make sure you get exactly what you want, you can order now and have it in your hands in a few weeks.

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

Apple Watch Series 2 Hermes

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 42mm casing sizes.

Before you go into pre-order, make sure you've got picks for which Series 3 Apple Watch you want, along with your size, casing, color, and bands. All Series 3 models — both GPS-only and GPS + Cellular — will ship after September 22 (estimated shipping times are between two - three weeks right now). If you're interested in a Series 1 watch, you can buy that right now; there's no pre-order process.

The Apple Store app even lets you favorite specific watch combinations so that they're ready for purchase when you are: 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

There are a few different options for preordering: You can buy through Apple online at apple.com or through the Apple Store app. You can also preorder the Series 3 Cellular + GPS from a participating cellular carrier, like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

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 unsure of your band/watch combination, you can visit an Apple Store where 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.

Check your Apple account

If you're unsure of your Apple account standing, 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 in stores on September 22, and shipping time for preorders have slipped to two to three weeks later. 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 3 and, most importantly, chat with us about what kind of Apple Watch you're getting!

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