Apple currently only sells two Apple Watches, the brand new Series 5 and the 2-year-old Series 3, but there are so many options to choose from in that lineup that it can seem overwhelming. The Series 5 is the best smartwatch you can buy, but the Series 3 is also a solid value for the money.
Add the fact that you can still snag a Series 4 at third-party retailers like Best Buy and Amazon and, well, we understand your confusion.
Read on for a breakdown of how much each watch costs, and to see what extras like LTE or a fancier band will add to the total.
Apple Watch Series 5 (from $399)
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The newest Apple Watch 5 is also the best one you can buy. It’s also the most expensive, starting at $399 for the 40-millimeter aluminum model and $429 for the 44-mm version. Tack an extra $100 to the total if you want LTE connectivity on your watch (and then an extra $10 a month to your wireless plan for watch data).
If you want a stainless steel watch, that’ll cost you $699 (40-mm) or $749 (44-mm). That seems like a big price jump over the aluminum version, but the stainless steel watches come with cellular connectivity — you can’t choose a more affordable option without LTE. Adding a Milanese loop band to the stainless steel watch adds $50 to the total. Buying the 44-mm stainless steel model with a leather loop band also adds $50 — this combination isn’t available for the 40-mm version.
Apple also sells a Nike edition of the Series 5, which starts at $399 for the 40-mm model but includes a Nike sport band, which is perforated to allow sweat to evaporate from the wrist while working out.
Feeling super fancy? There are three special edition Series 5 models to choose from this year, including a titanium version in brushed or space black for $799 and a white ceramic model, which starts at $1,299 for the 40-mm model. Both come with LTE.
Apple also partnered with classic fashion house Hermès again this year for a lineup of stainless steel Series 5 models with single- or double-tour leather bands. Those watches have designer price tags to match: $1,249 for the 40-mm model with the single-tour band and $1,399 for the 40-mm version with the double-tour band.
Apple’s Watch Studio lets you customize which band comes with your new watch, which is a change from years past, when you were limited to whatever combinations the company had in stock. You can also buy every band separately, which means you can pick up the cheapest Series 5 with a fluoroelastomer sport band or a nylon loop and then buy a more premium strap later.
Apple Watch Series 4 (from $379)
Apple no longer sells the Apple Watch Series 4 on its website, because the Series 5 has all of the same features and then some. But third-party retailers are still carrying last year’s model at a discount: $349 for the 40-mm aluminum model with GPS and $379 for the 44-mm version. A 40-mm Series 4 with cellular connectivity will cost you $419.99 on Amazon.
We expect prices on the Series 4 to drop even further when Black Friday deals pop up, so bookmark our Apple Watch Black Friday deals page for all the latest discounts.
Apple Watch Series 3 (from $199)
Apple slashed the price of the Apple Watch Series 3 when it took the wraps off the Series 5. The older watch comes in two sizes, the $199 38-mm and $229 42-mm. Like the Series 5, you’ll have to spend an extra $100 for LTE connectivity.
Unlike the Series 5, there are no other finishes aside from aluminum available in the Series 3 lineup, which simplifies your choice of options. You can select from silver and space gray and, like the Series 5, you can pick which band you want to match with your watch when you buy.
Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 (from $170)
You might be able to score a deal on a now-ancient (by consumer tech standards) Apple Watch Series 1 or 2 by snagging a refurbished model on Amazon or Best Buy, scouring eBay or buying one off a friend, but we recommend a Series 3 or later for the best smartwatch experience.