Choosing your Apple Watch: Which size and material are right for you?

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited March 2015
Fashion and customization are cornerstones of the new Apple Watch, and as a result the company has put forth no fewer than a dozen different combinations of case material, color, and size. AppleInsider breaks down the choices to help you decide which one to buy.


Size: 38MM vs. 42MM

Each Apple Watch model comes in a choice of two case sizes: 38 millimeters and 42 millimeters. Those measurements mark the height of the case from lug to lug, but do not include the lugs, which are built into Apple's straps.

The display is slightly larger and the case slightly wider on the 42-millimeter variant and Apple says that the larger version "typically experiences longer battery life," but the two are otherwise outwardly identical. In the Sport and Watch collections, the cost difference between the two is just $50, and there is no specific price difference for Edition models, which vary widely in cost.

That leaves the choice down to personal preference, and there are a couple of resources to help you make your decision. Since you won't be able to try one on in an Apple Store until April 10 -- the same day that preorders begin -- the Apple Store app contains actual-size renderings of each case.


If you don't already have it, the Apple Store app is available on the App Store. Previews are accessed by opening the app, selecting a Watch family, tapping "View Pricing" in the upper-right hand corner, and then tapping "Compare case sizes" in the center of the screen.

For a more visceral wrist sizing, you could also download this printable comparison designed by photographer Ryan P. Mac. Printing it at 100 percent, or normal size, will yield two actual-size mockups that can be cut out and compared.

Material: Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel vs. 18-Karat Gold

Each of the three Watch families is distinguished by the material they're made of. The Sport versions are aluminum, the Watch collection is stainless steel, and the Edition models are 18-karat gold.

Sport is offered in silver or space gray aluminum, with no price difference between the two. The stainless steel Watch comes in traditional silver or space black steel, though the latter is only available in a $1,049 38-millimeter or $1,099 42-millimeter configuration. Edition models are available in yellow or rose gold, again with no difference in cost when comparing similar bundled bands.

Aesthetics (and cost) aside, your choice of case material has some very real implications: each one is heavier than the last.

The 38-millimeter Sport weighs in at 25 grams, and the 48-millimeter variant is 30 grams. Those numbers increase to 40 grams and 50 grams, respectively, for the Watch collection and 55 grams and 69 grams for the gold Edition models.

That means that the 42-millimeter Edition is more than twice as heavy as its Sport counterpart. Even the more modest stainless steel Watch is over 60 percent heavier, possibly making the choice easier for those who prefer lighter watches -- and these weights vary even more when adding in straps, which we'll cover later today.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 90
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,607member
    42mm Sport with $149 Blue Leather Loop Band (the bands are interchangeable, so this shouldn't be an issue). The "rubber" bands are just hideous and child-like IMHO.
  • Reply 2 of 90

    I think Apple are marketing this watch primarily to women; hence, the interview with the model early on. 

     

    As someone else astutely pointed out here, they tend to keep their phones in their handbags, so are more likely to find a use for the watch. For us men, who keep it in our pockets, there is less to be gained. I'm happy pulling my phone out of my pocket.

     

    The question is: for how long will these women keep interested? My guess is that they will become frustrated by the tiny screen size, and they will resort to getting their phone out anyway. What if you get a text from someone about meeting and you want to look at a map? Do you really want to scroll around a 1" screen? No. You want to look at it on your phone, because it’s so much easier and more pleasant to do so. Repeat for endless scenarios.

     

    I see this watch as a niche fitness device and no more; hence, the marathon video.

  • Reply 3 of 90
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member

    Stainless Steel with black sport band for day to day use. I will get a leather band for certain occasions but still deciding though.

  • Reply 4 of 90

    Oh Crap.  I just loaded up the Apple Store app on my iPhone, and realized that the Canadian prices are substantially higher than the American prices.  The cheapest model starts at $449 in Canada.  And the 42mm Sport starts at $519.

     

    I really want one, and I'd probably go with the cheapest possible model. I'm thinking the 38mm Space Grey.  But it's a hundred dollars more up here in the North than I've been dreaming about all night since watching the presentation yesterday. Damn.

  • Reply 5 of 90
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,614member
    What will be very interesting to watch (!) is how soon third party bands, patents be damned, come available. And of course, how Apple responds. Then, when version 2 comes out next year, surely Apple will be "forced" to redsign the case slightly so you'll need new a new band.
  • Reply 6 of 90
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post



    42mm Sport with $149 Blue Leather Loop Band (the bands are interchangeable, so this shouldn't be an issue). The "rubber" bands are just hideous and child-like IMHO.



    I couldn't imagine exercising in anything other than the "rubber" band, hideous or not.

  • Reply 7 of 90
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,322member
    sog35 wrote: »
    Another lackluster effort by our resident troll.

    Seriously Benny pick up your game.  Your trolling has been really weak recently.

    I bet he also said iPhone in white was for women too.
  • Reply 8 of 90
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    gregnacu wrote: »
    Oh Crap.  I just loaded up the Apple Store app on my iPhone, and realized that the Canadian prices are substantially higher than the American prices.  The cheapest model starts at $449 in Canada.  And the 42mm Sport starts at $519.

    I really want one, and I'd probably go with the cheapest possible model. I'm thinking the 38mm Space Grey.  But it's a hundred dollars more up here in the North than I've been dreaming about all night since watching the presentation yesterday. Damn.

    Time to plan a trip to the US.
  • Reply 9 of 90
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,774member
    The dollar is strong right now vs the canadian dollar.
  • Reply 10 of 90
    mrboba1mrboba1 Posts: 276member

    So it is true that any band will work with the sport watches? That's good news. I'll go to a store to see what I think before I decide what I would do.

     

    I don't even know which size would look better on my wrist (185 mm around)

  • Reply 11 of 90
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gregnacu View Post

     

    Oh Crap.  I just loaded up the Apple Store app on my iPhone, and realized that the Canadian prices are substantially higher than the American prices.  The cheapest model starts at $449 in Canada.  And the 42mm Sport starts at $519.


     

    Yeah, Apple has made it's $:£ exchange rate worse again too. Used to be $349 = £279, now it's £299. 

     

    I'll wait until I'm in the states next to pick up one of the fancier bands.

  • Reply 12 of 90
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,636member

    I would be fine with the Sport but would only consider the leather band. By the time you add $149 on to the sport model, I might as well get the stainless with the leather band.

  • Reply 13 of 90
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,544member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    I bet he also said iPhone in white was for women too. He seems to have some seriously deep problems with his self image and probably his sexuality too. image



    Bibi Frost is not aware that there are other places on this planet, he lives in a self-contained bubble that knows nothing but Western Christian holidays and white people.

     

    He's not aware that people in Asian countries highly prize white as a color for consumer electronics, just as he cannot fathom the gift-giving impact of Lunar New Year.

     

    Frosty the Blowhard really cannot see the forest for the trees.

     

    And yes, I agree that he frequently demonstrates major shortcomings about his own adequacy.

  • Reply 14 of 90
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,817member
    I think Apple are marketing this watch primarily to women; hence, the interview with the model early on. 

    As someone else astutely pointed out here, they tend to keep their phones in their handbags, so are more likely to find a use for the watch. For us men, who keep it in our pockets, there is less to be gained. I'm happy pulling my phone out of my pocket.

    The question is: for how long will these women keep interested? My guess is that they will become frustrated by the tiny screen size, and they will resort to getting their phone out anyway. What if you get a text from someone about meeting and you want to look at a map? Do you really want to scroll around a 1" screen? No. You want to look at it on your phone, because it’s so much easier and more pleasant to do so. Repeat for endless scenarios.

    I see this watch as a niche fitness device and no more; hence, the marathon video.

    Nice scenario. What if both your hands are busy and you can't put things down to take your phone out of your pocket?
  • Reply 15 of 90
    Quote: "and there is no financial distinction for Edition models."

    You missed some info. The 38 mm Edition is $10k, while the 42mm is $12k. Somehow adding a different band choice can cost and additional $5k, as their most expensive Edition Watch is $17k. I guess I'll only get one of those. Yikes.

    It's a bit insane though that changing bands on the stainless watch can add almost $500. How does a watch band cost more than the Sport Watch? There are some great bands, but I'll stick with the sport until Watch 2 comes out at half the thickness and new bands next year.
  • Reply 16 of 90
    qvakqvak Posts: 86member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gregnacu View Post

     

    Oh Crap.  I just loaded up the Apple Store app on my iPhone, and realized that the Canadian prices are substantially higher than the American prices.  The cheapest model starts at $449 in Canada.  And the 42mm Sport starts at $519.

     

    I really want one, and I'd probably go with the cheapest possible model. I'm thinking the 38mm Space Grey.  But it's a hundred dollars more up here in the North than I've been dreaming about all night since watching the presentation yesterday. Damn.


     

    Prices have been adjusted for the weak canadian dollar. Best bet is to go in-person to a no-sales-tax state and pay either cash or with a no forex fee credit card like Amazon's Visa.

     

    But then, you have to make sure the hassle is worth it vs just paying GST and PST

  • Reply 17 of 90
    qvakqvak Posts: 86member

    Honestly really wish there was a metal band option for the Sport. From the photos it looks like the metal band is a matte finish so maybe not necessarily incompatible with the finish of the Sport.....but why would you buy the Sport and then put a band that's more expensive than the base watch on it.

     

    We will need to wait for chinese watch bands maybe.

     

    I know it's not comparable but a few people I know are looking at the time steel now since it has a metal band included for $250.

     

    Me, I will bite the bullet eventually, Stainless with the metal band

  • Reply 18 of 90
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

     



    Bibi Frost is not aware that there are other places on this planet, he lives in a self-contained bubble that knows nothing but Western Christian holidays and white people.


     

    Which is remarkable as he claims to live in the most multicultural city on Earth!

  • Reply 19 of 90
    qvakqvak Posts: 86member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post

     

     

    Which is remarkable as he claims to live in the most multicultural city on Earth!


     

    What city is that? Because this is the typical resident wherever that may be.

     

  • Reply 20 of 90
    aaronjaaronj Posts: 1,595member

    I really never would have considered the white until I saw it at the event yesterday.  I thought it really looked good on Tim.  And I'm almost for sure going to get the Loop, and use the white one for playing golf, or for just a change of pace every once in a while.  

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