Future Tense

You Can Get an Apple Watch for $349 … or $17,000

Wrist swag.

Screencap from Apple

Apple announced in September that it was making a smartwatch. The company said that the watch would have a custom interface, special navigation knob, and numerous band options. And now it’s all here and ready to debut on April 24. (Preorders start April 10.) But do you want to pay $17,000 for it?

OK, you don’t have to pay that much, but that’s the top price of the premium gold option, called the Apple Watch Edition. If you’re looking for something on the scale of hundreds of dollars instead of thousands, the company is offering the Apple Watch Sport (starting at $349) and the flagship Apple Watch (starting at $549). All of these watches come in two sizes, 38 mm or 42 mm; have different case colors to choose from; and have swappable bands. Depending on the band you choose, the standard Apple Watch can easily reach $1,000.

Apple claims that the watches will have about 18 hours of battery life, and they’ll charge using a special MagSafe cable. As Apple previewed in September, users will navigate through the menus of the watch using a special knob that both physically turns and is touch-sensitive. In Monday’s demo, Apple’s vice president of technology, Kevin Lynch, received a phone call on his watch, drew and sent a picture, streamed video, requested an Uber, replied to a text message, browsed Instagram, and remotely opened a garage door. The watch lets you know when you’ve been doing too much sitting, can track heart rate, and is also Apple Pay–enabled, so you can buy a smoothie when you’re done with your jog. Or, you know, whatever.

It’s hard to think of the Apple Watch as a serious piece of technology, because Apple seems to be cultivating an image of the device as a sensational experiment. But that’s probably just to heighten its appeal. When something seems both risky and awesome, that’s when it’s cool enough to buy.