Why you need to try on the Apple Watch before you buy it

I woke up early Friday morning to place my pre-order for the Apple Watch. The 38mm space grey sport with a black band would arrive between May 13 and 27.

A little over 12 hours after placing that pre-order, I cancelled it, and effectively lost my spot in line. (Apple won’t let you change your order once it’s made; you must place a separate order if you want a different Watch from the one you ordered.)

An Apple Store appointment that afternoon completely changed my mind.

Prior to Friday, I was 95% certain I wanted the smaller 38mm Watch; the 42mm model looked too big when I looked at size charts for my wrist. All my research pointed to 38mm — but no amount of research, or printing out size charts to see which model looks better on your wrist, can replace going to an actual store and trying one on for yourself.

When I visited the Apple Store in Manhattan’s Lower West Side on Friday, I was shocked to find how comfortable and attractive the 42mm model looked on my wrist compared to the smaller 38mm model I’d ordered.¬†

During the appointment, I tried two steel models with a couple of different wrist bands, including the extremely comfortable Milanese loop, before trying on the Apple Watch Sport. I tried on the 42mm model, and then the 38mm model I’d ordered.

The 38mm Watch pinched my wrist every time I flexed my hand up and down. It also looked too small on my wrist, which was surprising for me since I thought my wrists were pretty small. The Apple Store employee agreed that the 42mm model looked better — he then held up his own wrist, which was similar to mine in size, and showed how the 42mm model looked on him.

I was certain I needed to change my order seeing the size difference on my own wrist, and getting the employee’s take.¬†After talking with a few Apple Store employees, they helped me cancel my order and place a new one — I upgraded to the 42mm Sport, same colours and everything — but now I’ll be waiting until June, not May.

Waiting an extra month is no big deal at all, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to try on these watches, and get opinions from Apple’s employees, before making your purchase decision. I would have been upset if I waited until the Watch arrived to finally try it on for the first time, only to realise it’s too small and I’d be forced to wait several months to replace it.

All Apple Watch models, from the basic sport to the $US17,000 Edition, perform the same basic functions. The rest of the buying process is all about style: Which colours look best with your favourite outfits, or your complexion? Could you see yourself wearing this out, or taking it to the gym? How good does it look on you? You can’t really answer these questions without actually trying one on, which makes the Apple Store appointment so crucial.

If you’ve already placed an order for the Apple Watch — or if you ever plan on buying one — I absolutely recommend you try it before you buy it. Waiting times keep getting longer, so if you need to change your order, it’s best to do it sooner rather than later.

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