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Inside Apple Watch launches around the world (pictures)

We popped along to Apple stores and other retailers around the world to see how fans are getting to grips with the new wearable device -- and how Apple is selling it.

Andrew Lanxon
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Expertise Processors | Semiconductors | Web browsers | Quantum computing | Supercomputers | AI | 3D printing | Drones | Computer science | Physics | Programming | Materials science | USB | UWB | Android | Digital photography | Science Credentials
  • Shankland covered the tech industry for more than 25 years and was a science writer for five years before that. He has deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and more.
Andrew Lanxon
Stephen Shankland
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1 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Welcome to Selfridges in London, where Apple has setup a shop-in-a-shop to show off its new Watch.

This is just one of the Apple Stores around the world that today will be letting customers in to take their first look at the shiny new wearable.

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2 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

The Galeries Lafayette in Paris has more plenty of traditional luxury watches, but Apple showed off its bright flexible bands for the Apple Watch Sport at the a high-end Parisian department store. The Sport model costs $350 for the model with a 38mm screen and $400 for a 42mm model in the US.

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3 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

To try an Apple Watch, prospective customers must book an appointment for a one-on-one fitting and product tour. This customer is in Paris.

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4 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Unless you booked an appointment, you can only look at the array of Apple Watch options under a glass case. These customers are in the Apple store near the Paris Opera.

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5 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

The Apple Watch took the four central tables in Apple's Paris store.

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6 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

The Apple Watch display at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris occupied prime retail territory: four bays beneath the building's glass atrium.

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7 of 46 Sarah Tew/CNET

Just before it opened, a small group gathered outside Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York.

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8 of 46 Sarah Tew/CNET

Once the doors opened, potential customers swept down the spiral staircase into the store.

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9 of 46 Mariel Myers/CNET

Apple CEO Tim Cook clearly enjoyed the moment as he stopped by the Apple Store in Palo Alto, Calif., amid Apple Watch browsers.

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10 of 46 Shara Tibken/CNET

Cook  takes a moment to pose for a photo with a shopper.

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11 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Although the Watch will be on display at all Apple Stores, Selfridges is the only non-Apple shop in the UK where it can be seen.

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12 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Long tables are filled with Watches at Selfridge's in London.

​Apple arranged its Apple Watch Sport bands in a pattern that resembles the progress bars in the Apple Watch fitness app.
13 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple arranged its Apple Watch Sport bands in a pattern that resembles the progress bars in the Apple Watch fitness app.

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14 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

A view of the the Galeries Lafayette, a Parisian department store where Apple started selling its new watch.

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15 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Interestingly, Apple has positioned its mini-shop in the watch and jewellery section of Selfridges, rather than the technology section.

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16 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It's clearly hoping to position the Apple Watch as a competitor to normal watches, rather than as a gadget.

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17 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The butterfly window display looked lovely.

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18 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

This is one of the tables where you'll be able to see the watch and try one on.

When it's time to try on a watch, a salesperson unlocks a drawer filled with different Apple Watch models.​
19 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

When it's time to try on a watch, a salesperson unlocks a drawer filled with different Apple Watch models.

​This stand lets people try Apple Watch features, with a display synchronized with the watch activity to explain what's going on. The watches prospective customers try wearing only run a preset sequence of demonstration apps.
20 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

This stand lets people try Apple Watch features, with a display synchronized with the watch activity to explain what's going on. The watches prospective customers try wearing only run a preset sequence of demonstration apps.

​Apple Watches are tucked in a locked drawer that's only opened during a fitting made by appointment.
21 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple Watches are tucked in a locked drawer that's only opened during a fitting made by appointment.

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22 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

An Apple assistant will take you through a fitting.

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23 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

I tried the Milaneese loop strap. It was very comfy.

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24 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

In typical Apple fashion, the first customers were applauded inside in Covent Garden.

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25 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

In case anyone missed the tiny smartwatches on display, a huge Apple Watch advertisement showed customers at the Galeries Lafayette department store what to look for.

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26 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Is the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition worth the price? A prospective customer takes a close look at the top-end gold-housed model at the Galeries Lafayette, a high-end Parisian department store.

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27 of 46 Sarah Tew/CNET

Display tables of watches await buyers in New York.

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28 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

And here's Apple's Covent Garden store in central London.

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29 of 46 Sarah Tew/CNET

The drawer also charges the watches.

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30 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

An iPad is built into this display to show information about the watches.

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31 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

They're trapped behind glass most of the time.

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32 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition are all available to see.

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33 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Starbucks was getting in on the excitement by setting up a little coffee stand outside the store. I'm not sure if this was official.

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34 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

A prospective customer tries an Apple Watch during a one-on-one fitting appointment at the Galeries Lafayette, a high-end Parisian department store.

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35 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Most of the Apple presence at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris was devoted to the Apple Watch, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus got a table at the far end. Customers showed much more interest in the Watch.

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36 of 46 Sarah Tew/CNET

A customer tries on a Watch in New York.

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37 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

All the Watches are stored in a secure drawer until needed.

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38 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Don't worry, you probably won't be filmed by media crews when you go in.

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39 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

For both the public and many of the media in London, it was the first time seeing the Watch in the flesh.

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40 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Slipping the Watch on.

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41 of 46 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Polishing before fitting.

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42 of 46 Sarah Tew/CNET

As the day goes on the Fifth Avenue store begins to fill up.

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43 of 46 Gabriel Sama/CNET

At the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco, the line before the doors opened on Apple Watch day was modest indeed compared to the throngs seen for iPhone launches.

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44 of 46 Gabriel Sama/CNET

Customers can't leave today with an Apple Watch, but they can take a picture to remember the moment by.

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45 of 46 Gabriel Sama/CNET

So many variations to ponder.

​A visitor looks at Apple Watch models at a Paris Apple store.
46 of 46 Stephen Shankland/CNET

A visitor looks at Apple Watch models at a Paris Apple store.

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