The Apple Watch Series 4 is coming, and coming soon — on September 14, that is! Though the latest models will be in stock and in stores on September 21, there's no guarantee your local retailer will have the exact model and style you want. That's why preordering is key!

If you haven't yet planned your pre-order strategy, let us help you with these tips on getting your pre-order in and set without too much fuss.

Preorder at Apple

Pick your style

Both Apple.com and the Apple Store app have detailed and thorough explanations and (in some cases) short movies of each of the Watch styles and band options you can pick up.

Before you go into pre-order, make sure you've got picks for the particular Series 4 Apple Watch you want, along with your size (40mm or 44mm), color (space gray, silver, and gold), and bands. The Apple Watch Series 4 will ship on September 21.

Know your options

There are a few different options for preordering: You can buy through Apple online at apple.com or through the Apple Store app. You can also preorder the Series 4 in both 40mm and 44mm sizes from a participating cellular carrier, like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

In general, I recommend the app over the store; as fewer people seem to know of its existence as a pre-order method, it processes orders faster and experiences fewer hang-ups than the Apple.com online store.

If you're unsure of your band/watch combination, you can visit an Apple Store where you'll be able to visit one near you during their regular operating hours to try on an Apple Watch and make a more concrete decision there.

Check your Apple account

If you're unsure of your Apple account standing, go to store.apple.com — or your local version — and log in now just to make sure your account is in good working order. You can even call your credit card company and warn them of the purchase to make sure no flags are raised when you try to check out.

Plan your escape

Once you've placed your pre-order, it's time to wait: Apple Watch will be available in stores on September 21, and shipping time for preorders have slipped to two to three weeks later. That gives you plenty of time to get ready for Apple Watch's entry into your life; you can brush up on what the Apple Watch can do and find out everything you need to know about Apple Watch Series 4, and most importantly, chat with us about what kind of Apple Watch you're getting!

Updated September 2018: Updated for the Apple Watch Series 4.

Serenity Caldwell contributed to an earlier version of this guide.

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