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 pick up, here's what you need to consider!

Bands and lugs

Most individual Apple Watch bands have polished stainless steel lugs. There are a few exceptions: The Sport, Woven Nylon, Sport Loop, and Leather Loop options all have lugs matching their band color, while the Ceramic bands come with ceramic lugs. There are also third-party options for switching lug colors after you buy, or lugs you can purchase to DIY up your own Apple Watch band. But on the whole, Apple Watch band lugs primarily match the stainless steel Apple Watch.

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.

Discoloration doubts

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 a white Edition for months and it's still as pristine as fresh-fallen snow.

Likewise, all the space grays, silvers, and golds we've tested over the last couple of years have all kept their colors exactly — and we expect the gray ceramic to do the same.

Bottom line: 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 fine.

Withstanding wear

The base-price Apple Watch options (Series 1, GPS-only Series 3, GPS + Cellular aluminum Series 3, and all the Nike+ models) offer anodized aluminum finishes in silver, space gray, and gold. Apple's anodization manages to be tougher than most, without looking gloppy. That said, aluminum is metal and can be scratched and chipped.

Small scratches have less contrast on silver anodized aluminum, which makes them harder to see depending on lighting. Gold is somewhere in the middle, while space gray has a higher contrast, so scratches are a bit more noticeable.

The mid-range GPS + Cellular Series 3 and Hermès watches come in polished stainless steel (and space black stainless steel) options. Polished stainless steel is far tougher than aluminum, and also makes scratches hard to see, while the space black steel option 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.

You can get surface scratches on steel, but they're easily buffed out.

Ceramic and gray ceramic are both likewise incredibly resistant to scratches and scrapes — even tougher (and lighter on the wrist) than stainless steel.

If you hate the look of scratches, you're going to want to look at stainless steel, ceramic, or silver anodized aluminum. If you don't mind — or even love — the look of worn tech, go full Millennium Falcon and get whatever color you like.

Coolness concerns

How much bling is your wrist thing? Some prefer their gadget jewelry understated, with silver aluminum or polished stainless steel providing an elegant but not too fussy look. Space gray aluminum and ceramic is even more chill: Dark, but not too dark.

It's the space black that's full on blackout: It's so trendy it borders on classic at this point, but especially when paired with the OLED display on Apple Watch, it really works.

The Series 1 and 3's slightly copper gold color puts fashion in front of tech. It's not in-your-face bold gold or ruby rose, but rather an understated, slightly rosy gold aluminum.

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 too much attention to your wrist, stick to silver aluminum or polished stainless steel. If you want to be different but not too daring, try space gray or space black. If bling is your thing, so is gold. And 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 dark but doesn't call a lot of attention to itself and doesn't scream scuffs and scrapes, these are your colors. The aluminum and polished stainless steel watches will match (or closely match) most lugs and lets the bands be the stars.

See at Apple


Who should get the space gray aluminum, grey ceramic, 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.

See at Apple


Who should get the gold aluminum Apple Watch?

If you like the luxury look, think watches should be more like 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 aluminum Apple Watch.

See at Apple


Who should get the white ceramic Apple Watch?

If you want a look that really stands out without trying too hard, that's incredibly scratch-resistant, or you're just hankering for something bold and don't mind paying for the privilege, get the white ceramic Apple Watch Edition.

See at Apple


Still undecided?

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 your own gut. 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?

Updated September 2017: Updated for Apple Watch Series 3.

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