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Which Apple Watch should you choose?

Apple announced the second generation of its smartwatch in the Apple Watch Series 2 in September 2016. It arrives two years after the original was announced, and 17 months after it went on sale. Along with introducing the Series 2, Apple upgraded the original model with a new dual-core processor and called it Apple Watch Series 1, while also discontinuing the 2015 model entirely.

Luckily, all the straps remain compatible. With two main ranges, two sizes in each range, four different models in Series 2 alone, plus all the straps, choosing the right Apple Watch for you is trickier than it first seems. There are 33 standard models to pick from altogether, which thankfully is a few less than the 54 options that were available before Apple changed things up, but that’s still a fair few and that’s before you start mixing and matching by adding extra straps.

This feature aims to make it easy for you to see what models are available, how much they cost and what the differences are between them all in order to find the right one for you and your budget. You can also read our Apple Watch Series 1 vs Apple Watch Series 2 feature[1], if you want to know the more in-depth difference between the two models and last year’s model.

Apple Watch Series 1

The most affordable of the two ranges is the Apple Watch Series 1. It costs ?269 for the 38mm version and ?299 for the 42mm version.

There are six models available comprising of four aluminium body colours, 38mm or 42mm sizes and various coloured Sport Band straps that come with respective models. The Apple Watch Series 1 only comes with an aluminium body option and although a Sports Band is included in the price, you are restricted to the band Apple chooses with each model. For example, the rose gold 38mm model comes with a Pink Sand Sport Band, while the rose gold 42mm comes with a Midnight Blue Sport Band.

If you wanted a different colour Sports Band[2] or Woven Nylon strap[3] instead, you’d have to pay an extra ?49 per strap, rather than swap it out. View Apple Watch Series 1 models[4]

Apple Watch Series 2

The Apple Watch Series 2 features a different spec list to the Series 1 in that it has a different processor with built-in GPS, as well as a waterproof body. It is available in the same six models options as the Series 1, along with eight other aluminium case options[5] with Woven Nylon bands and 16 stainless steel options[6] with various straps.

The Apple Watch Series 2 aluminium models start at ?369 for the 38mm model and ?399 for the 42mm version, both of which include a Sports Band or Woven Nylon strap. The stainless steel case starts at ?549 for the 38mm size with a Sport Band. As with the Apple Watch Series 1, if you want a different strap, you’ll have to pay more.

For example, a Classic Buckle[7] rather than a Sports Band will set you back ?698 for the 38mm and ?748 for the 42mm. Top of the Apple Watch Series 2 standard range is the 42mm Space Black stainless steel case[8] with a Space Black Link Bracelet, which costs ?1049. View Apple Watch Series 2 models[9]

Apple Watch Nike+

The Apple Watch Nike+ is a special edition of the Series 2 model, created in association with Nike, as the name suggests.

There are eight models available in total, consisting of the two different sizes, two aluminium body colours and four straps. Like the aluminium Apple Watch Series 2, the Apple Watch Nike+ starts at ?369 for the 38mm model, moving up to ?399 for the 42mm. View Apple Watch Nike+ models[10]

Apple Watch Edition

The Apple Watch Edition is the most expensive of the Apple Watch models available and it comes in one finish and two sizes.

Originally, the Watch Edition consisted of 18-carat gold and rose gold models costing in the region of ?10,000 and above, but Apple has since done away with these models. In their place is a white ceramic casing that comes with a Cloud Sport Band. It costs ?1,249 for the 38mm model and ?1299 for the 42mm model.

As with the other options, you can pay extra for another strap but that puts that price up further. View Apple Watch Edition model[11]

Apple Watch Herm?s

The Apple Watch Herm?s is a specifically-designed Apple Watch Series 2 that has been created in collaboration with Paris fashion brand Herm?s. The collaboration was first seen on the original 2015 Apple Watch but it is now only available on the Series 2 model.

There are eight models to choose from and along with a special Herm?s watch face, the Apple Watch Herm?s models also feature leather straps handmade by the fashion company’s artisans in France. Each Apple Watch Herm?s has the Herm?s logo on the underside of the watch body, as well as on the strap. There is the Double Buckle Cuff model that is available for the 38mm size only, the Single Tour that comes in three colours, two of which are size specific.

Then you have the Single Tour Deployment Buckle that is for the 42mm size only, and the Double Tour that is for the 38mm model and available in two colour options. Prices for the Apple Watch Herm?s start at ?1,149 with the most expensive hitting ?1,549 so significantly pricier than the standard Series 2 models. View Watch Herm?s models[12]


There are 10 straps available for the Apple Watch, each of which is compatible with all of the ranges.

The cheapest is the fluoroelastomer Sport Band[13] and the Woven Nylon[14], both of which cost ?49. The 38mm Sport Band comes in nine colours, while 42mm comes in 11 colours. The Woven Nylon comes in 12 options and also costs ?49.

The Milanese Loop[15], which is a flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh, costs ?149 and comes in silver and Space Black. The traditional-designed Classic Buckle[16] also costs ?149 but this one comes in five colours. The Leather Loop[17] is a soft, quilted leather that conceals magnets for quick fastening and adjustment.

It comes in two colours and also costs ?149, but it is only available for the 42mm model. The alternative for the 38mm is the Modern Buckle[18] with two-piece magnetic closure that comes in two colours but it’s a little more expensive at ?249. The 316L stainless steel alloy with custom butterfly closure Link Bracelet[19] comes in Space Black for ?549 and silver for ?449, making it one of the more expensive options.

The most expensive strap is the Herm?s Double Buckle Cuff[20], which will set you back ?699 on its own, comes in three colours and is only available of the 38mm model. The Herm?s Single Tour Band[21] costs ?299 and comes in four colours for the 38mm model and three for the 42mm. The Herm?s Double Tour[22] costs ?449, is only available for the 38mm model and comes in four colours.

View Watch straps[23]

Best Apple Watch and strap combinations

Let’s quickly do the maths: the cheapest Apple Watch Series 1 is ?269 (38mm) and the cheapest strap that isn’t a Sports Band is ?49, a total of ?318. That’s ?51 cheaper than the most affordable Apple Watch Series 2, which starts at ?369 (38mm) and also has the Sports Band and aluminium case. You lose out on waterproofing and built-in GPS though.

If you can live with the aluminium body rather than stainless steel, then the Series 1 or bottom end Series 2 is cheapest route and with the choice of aluminium colours, it’s an appealing route too. For example, you could get the 38mm rose gold Apple Watch Series 2 and smarten it up with the Classic Buckle for a total of ?518. You could also opt for the aluminium Series 2 and whack a Herm?s Single Tour strap on it for a fashionable total of ?668 for the 38mm option.

Another good combination is the Space Black Apple Watch Series 2 42mm with the Space Black Link Bracelet. The body costs ?369 and the strap, costs ?549, for a total of ?918. The black stainless steel option costs a total of ?1049 with the Space Black Link Bracelet so you save around ?130 opting for aluminium over stainless steel.

Head to the gallery[24] to see all the standard available options and all the straps to see how you could mix and match.


  1. ^ read our Apple Watch Series 1 vs Apple Watch Series 2 feature (www.pocket-lint.com)
  2. ^ different colour Sports Band (www.pocket-lint.com)
  3. ^ Woven Nylon strap (www.pocket-lint.com)
  4. ^ View Apple Watch Series 1 models (www.pocket-lint.com)
  5. ^ eight other aluminium case options (www.pocket-lint.com)
  6. ^ 16 stainless steel options (www.pocket-lint.com)
  7. ^ Classic Buckle (www.pocket-lint.com)
  8. ^ 42mm Space Black stainless steel case (www.pocket-lint.com)
  9. ^ View Apple Watch Series 2 models (www.pocket-lint.com)
  10. ^ View Apple Watch Nike+ models (www.pocket-lint.com)
  11. ^ View Apple Watch Edition model (www.pocket-lint.com)
  12. ^ View Watch Herm?s models (www.pocket-lint.com)
  13. ^ Sport Band (www.pocket-lint.com)
  14. ^ Woven Nylon (www.pocket-lint.com)
  15. ^ Milanese Loop (www.pocket-lint.com)
  16. ^ Classic Buckle (www.pocket-lint.com)
  17. ^ Leather Loop (www.pocket-lint.com)
  18. ^ Modern Buckle (www.pocket-lint.com)
  19. ^ Link Bracelet (www.pocket-lint.com)
  20. ^ Herm?s Double Buckle Cuff (www.pocket-lint.com)
  21. ^ Herm?s Single Tour Band (www.pocket-lint.com)
  22. ^ Herm?s Double Tour (www.pocket-lint.com)
  23. ^ View Watch straps (www.pocket-lint.com)
  24. ^ Head to the gallery (www.pocket-lint.com)

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