Most people shouldn’t buy a first-generation Apple Watch. But you aren’t most people. You’re an early adopter, a daily Gizmodo reader, a diehard who yearns for gadgets like the Apple Watch with every fiber of your being. Except, somehow, you missed one key detail: If you want to be one of the very first people to own an Apple Watch, you need to stay up damn late this evening.
Let me make this clear. The only way to make sure you get an Apple Watch on launch day — April 24th — is to pre-order one tonight at 12:01AM Pacific Time. (Yes, East Coasters: that’s 3:01AM ET.)
You cannot stand in line overnight in front of an Apple Store and expect to get one on April 24th. Apple is not allowing walk-ins for this product—you have to reserve one ahead of time. Don’t believe me? Here’s a quote from a brand-new Apple press release: “To provide the best experience and selection to as many customers as we can, we will be taking orders for Apple Watch exclusively online during the initial launch period.” (Bolding mine.)
Plus, there could be a crazy perk to ordering tonight if bleeding-edge early-adoption is your goal: the first pre-orders will get to go actually try on the Apple Watch at an Apple Store, starting tomorrow.
Besides, even if you do decide to pre-order online, you might miss out if you don’t do it right away. Ask anybody who tried to order an iPhone 6 Plus on day one. It wasn’t easy, and then there were only vague rumors that the 6 Plus might not have a lot of stock. This time, Apple is explicitly saying—again, in a press release—that it expects the Apple Watch to sell out.
That doesn’t even factor in the complication of whether you want a specific version of the watch. There weren’t even as many different versions of the iPhone 6 Plus as there are Apple Watches and bands.
Again, I’m not trying to say you should buy an Apple Watch. You probably shouldn’t. Not yet. Not if your primary goal is having a magical perfect do-it-all gadget on your wrist. But if you absolutely, positively must have an Apple Watch, if the value you get is bragging rights, or punditry, or because you review these things for a living, you’ll be up pretty damn late tonight.
Just like me.