Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Buying and trying on an Apple Watch

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.


Last night at midnight1 I opened the Apple Store app2 and ordered an Apple Watch. After much dithering I decided on the space gray Sport, for a couple of reasons.

One of them was that I decided I didn’t want to pay $700 for a watch when I’m only seven months out from leaving the world of full-time employment. Another was that I really liked the look of the space gray and the black band. It just felt more like me than a shinier stainless-steel watch, though I reserved the right to change my mind (and order) later.

Last night I also made an appointment to try on the Apple Watch at my local Apple Store this morning, and I’ve just returned from there3. I tried on the very Apple Watch model that I ordered last night, and you know what? It was really, really nice. It didn’t feel big, it didn’t feel heavy, and I really liked how the space gray aluminum and black watch face looked together. Even the black rubber—sorry, fluoroelastomer, my mistake—band felt soft and pliable, not rough and cheap like other watch bands I’ve worn. My late-night decision-making skills were validated!

Then I took the watch off and, even after only a couple of minutes of wearing it, I could feel the dampness of sweat on my wrist. Major ick factor for me. This is why I usually wear (and yes, wear out) leather watch bands: they breathe. So I tried on two leather bands, the classic buckle and the leather loop.

I don’t know what to think about the leather loop. By all rights it should be a more comfortable fit, since it doesn’t use anything as archaic as sticking a metal pin through loops—it adheres entirely by a magnet in the end of the band. And yet, it just didn’t work for me. It seemed hard to put on, and I didn’t like the bulkiness of the point where the band loops around itself.

But I was impressed by the look and feel of the classic buckle. Not only is it a basic leather strap—the kind I’ve used on almost every watch I’ve worn since I was in my early twenties—but it’s a nice leather strap. I especially appreciate the metal pin, which is flat and wide, giving it more surface area to grab on to the rectangular sizing holes punched into the strap. It’s a style I’m comfortable with. I’m probably going to buy this band.

If you live near an Apple Store that’s offering the Apple Watch try-on service, you should definitely check it out. I’d recommend going in with specific models and bands that you want to try on, because the appointments are quite short. But for a product like this, getting some actual try-on experience is absolutely worth it.

  1. I’m fortunate to live in the Cupertino time zone, so I didn’t have to get up at a ridiculous hour. 
  2. Pro tip: When Apple’s having a big online pre-order, always order via the iOS app. Last night the app was once again live before the web store went live, and with Apple Pay it’s even faster to place orders. Dangerously fast. 
  3. I realize that, unlike most of you, I’ve tried the Apple Watch on twice before, at Apple media events. But the in-store experience was slightly less insane than the post-event press area. 

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