The Apple Watch here and this is the complete buying guide to Apple's smartwatch. We explore all the different Apple Watch sizes, models, straps, collections and combinations, plus show you how to customise your Apple Watch and get a personal design that's uniquely yours. For Apple Watch rivals, take a look at our round-up of the best smartwatches of 2015.

Update 21 March: Apple announced a price drop for the Apple Watch Sport: now £259 for the 38mm version and £299 for the 42mm. There are also new colours for Sport and Leather Bands, plus a Space Black Milanese Loop. It also launched a brand new material: the Nylon Weave. You can buy these for £39 in 7 colours: Gold/Red, Gold/Royal Blue, Royal Blue, Pink, Pearl, Scuba Blue and Black.

Apple watch buying guide: Woven Nylon straps

Apple Watch buying guide: When will the Apple Watch 2 go on sale?

If you're thinking of waiting, the second-gen Apple Watch is likely to launch late in 2016, possibly September. For more, see our Apple Watch 2 rumour roundup.

Also, you can read more about the Apple Watch specs, features and apps. 

Apple Watch buying guide: Do you have an iPhone?

Before you get too excited about getting an Apple Watch firmly strapped to your wrist you need to answer an important question: do you have an iPhone? If so, carry on reading but it not you'll need to get one to make sure the wearable gadget is nothing more than a wrist ornament. A lot of smartwatches are compatible with multiple platforms - Android and/or Windows Phone as well as iOS – but Apple is keeping it in the family with the Apple Watch.

See: Best Apple Watch charging stands.

Apple Watch buying guide: Price

Apple Watch Sport prices

PRICE DROP 38 mm stainless steel with various straps: £259 (was £299)
PRICE DROP 42 mm stainless steel with various straps: £299 (was £339)

Apple Watch prices

38 mm stainless steel with white sport band: £479
42 mm stainless steel with white sport band: £519
38 mm stainless steel with black sport band: £479
42 mm stainless steel with black sport band: £519

NEW 38 mm stainless steel with pearl woven nylon: £479
NEW 42 mm stainless steel with pearl woven nylon: £519

NEW 42 mm stainless steel with pearl woven nylon: £519

NEW 38 mm stainless steel with RED classic buckle: £559
38 mm stainless steel with black classic buckle: £559

NEW 42 mm stainless steel with MARINE BLUE classic buckle: £599
42 mm stainless steel with black classic buckle: £599

38 mm stainless steel with milanese loop: £559
42 mm stainless steel with milanese loop: £599

NEW 38 mm space black stainless steel with space black milanese loop: £599
NEW 42 mm space black stainless steel with space black milanese loop: £649

NEW 38 mm stainless steel with BLUE JAY modern buckle: £649
NEW 38 mm stainless steel with MARIGOLD modern buckle: £649
38 mm stainless steel with black modern buckle: £649
38 mm stainless steel with midnight blue modern buckle: £649
38 mm stainless steel with soft pink modern buckle: £649
38 mm stainless steel with brown modern buckle: £649

NEW 42 mm stainless steel with STORM GREY leather loop: £599
NEW 42 mm stainless steel with WHITE leather loop: £599
42 mm stainless steel with black leather loop: £599
42 mm stainless steel with bright blue leather loop: £599
42 mm stainless steel with stone leather loop: £599
42 mm stainless steel with brown leather loop: £599

38 mm stainless steel with link bracelet: £819
42 mm stainless steel with link bracelet: £859
38 mm space black with link bracelet: £899
42 mm space black with link bracelet: £949

Apple Watch Edition prices

18-carat rose gold with white sports band 38 mm: £8,000
18-carat rose gold with white sports band 42 mm: £9,500
18-carat yellow gold with black sports band 38 mm: £8,000
18-carat yellow gold with black sports band 42 mm: £9,500
18-carat rose gold with rose grey modern buckle 38 mm: £13,500
18-carat yellow gold with black classic buckle 42 mm: £12,000
18-carat yellow gold with bright red modern buckle 38 mm: £13,500
18-carat yellow gold with midnight blue classic buckle 42 mm: £12,000

Apple Watch Strap prices

Sport band: £39
Woven Nylon: £39
Milanese loop: Silver £129; Black £179
Classic Buckle: £129
Leather Loop: £129
Modern Buckle: £209
Link Bracelet: From £379

Apple Watch buying guide: Models and Combinations

Although price is probably going to have a large part to play in your decision, you need to decide which model you want based on its look and features. Most smartwatches we've seen simple come in one edition so you either buy it or you don't. However, there are three different Apple Watch models to choose from and the device comes in two different sizes: 38- and 42 mm.

Apple Watch sizes

We'll explain each one below but there's also which strap you opt for. In total there are 38 different official combinations of the Apple Watch so deciding is not going to be easy. In theory there are many more possible combinations as straps will fit models they're not sold with and third party accessory brands may make their own – there are plenty on Kickstarter. For now we're going to talk you though the 38 options which are listed on the Apple Store explaining how they compare.

Apple Watch editions

Apple Watch vs Apple Watch Sport vs Apple Watch Edition

Apple Watch

Your first option is simply called the Apple Watch. This comes in stainless steel (silver) or black stainless steel and uses a sapphire glass front. The Apple Watch 'collection' has the most available combinations with 20 on offer.

The regular Apple Watch model will be available in both sizes with various different straps types and colours – some of which are only available for the smaller 38 mm model.

In silver you'll be able to choose both sizes with a white sport band, black sport band, black classic buckle, Milanese loop and link bracelet. The black, soft pink, brown and midnight blue modern buckle will only be available for the small model and the black, stone, bright blue and light brown leather loop will be just for the larger model.

If you're interested in the black stainless steel model, it will be available in both sizes but only with the link bracelet.  

Apple Watch collection

Apple Watch Sport

Instead of stainless steel, the Apple Watch Sport model uses anodized aluminium for the casing and comes in two colours: silver and space gray. In the place of sapphire glass is strengthened Ion-X.

There are 10 combinations in the Apple Watch Sport collection and it's pretty simple with five different colours of the sport band (white, black, blue, green and pink) each available in both 38 mm and 42 mm sizes.

The only thing to note is that the space gray watch is only available with the black sport.

Apple Watch Sport collection

Apple Watch Edition

The oddly named Apple Watch Edition is the most premium of the three and will be made from 18-carat gold – either yellow or rose in colour. Apple says its twice as hard compared to regular gold and the Edition used sapphire glass like the 'regular' Apple Watch.

There are six different combinations in the Apple Watch Edition collection, all of which are very specific so here are your options.

First up is a yellow gold casing in the 38 mm size with a bright red modern buckle. A rose gold model with a white sport band will come in both sizes so that's the first three combinations.

Next is a rose gold model paired with a rose gray modern buckle which will only come in 38 mm. The last two mixtures consist of a 42 mm yellow gold Apple Watch Edition with either a black sport band or midnight blue classic buckle.

Apple Watch Edition collection

Customise your Apple Watch: Get a unique iWatch

Apple might have 38 different combinations on offer, but with a lot of people no doubt rushing out to buy the cheaper models you probably don't want to wear the same watch as everyone else. Keep in mind, then, that you can also use a service such as Casetify to customise your own Apple Watch strap, creating a design that is uniquely yours using photos from Instagram.

Customise your Apple Watch

See also: How to use an Apple Watch