According to Apple's marketing materials, the Apple Watch is good for three things: keeping time, keeping in touch, and keeping in shape. It mirrors the three primary functions of the original iPhone (phone, touchscreen iPod, internet communicator) — but, like the iPhone, developers will be making apps that make it so much more than that.
For now, though, none of that really matters, because of one simple fact: every Apple Watch will function the same way. They'll be identical. This is new for Apple, which has always offered more storage space or a larger screen or some other type of added functionality in its product lineups. Good, better, and best — at increasing price points.
There's absolutely nothing that the $17,000 watch can do that the $350 version cannot, other than appear more expensive. From my place as an "Apple Expert," which includes making recommendations to friends and colleagues, this makes my job really easy.
If, after watching the videos and reading articles, you own an iPhone and want to take advantage of all the cool features (timekeeping, fitness, communication, etc.) that the Apple Watch has to offer, buy whichever one you think looks nice. If you have a big wrist, get the 42mm version — if you have a small one, get the 38mm.
At the end of the day, the difference between the aluminum and steel versions is likely to be fairly minimal, especially to an early adopter who will probably buy Version 2.0 or Version 3.0 when it comes out next year or the year after that. The sapphire glass on the Apple Watch will be a bit more durable than the one found on the Apple Watch Sport, but I doubt it'll be enough to matter to most people.
It really all comes down to fashion and whether you care about watches. If you're the type of person who has a $50 Timex, but you still want an Apple Watch, get the Sport version with whatever band you like.
If you already have a collection of $500-$2500 watches, pick up the standard Apple Watch and a handful of bands so that it fits in wherever you want to wear it.
However, if you already have several $10,000-plus watches, and you like to show off (and have the wallet to go with it), pick up the Apple Watch Edition in whatever version strikes your fancy. I happen to think the versions with the sport band look incredible with the gold fastening pin, but I don't have $10k to spend on a watch right now, so I'll be admiring it from afar.
I'm looking forward to buying an couple Apple Watches (a 38mm white Sport for my wife, and a 42mm black Sport for myself). Honestly, I recommend buying whichever one strikes your fancy. Since they all offer the same features, the aesthetic decision is entirely up to you.
Which Apple Watch are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments below.
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Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.