Apple Watch 41mm vs 45mm: which Series 9, Series 8, Series 7 size is for you?

If you're thinking of buying a new Apple Watch, one of the first decisions you'll need to make is which size to choose.

Since the first Apple Watch launched in 2015, there have always been two sizes to pick from. It began with 40mm and 44mm until the Series 7 models in 2021 increased these to 41mm and 45mm.

The choice mostly depends on how the Watch looks on your wrist. To help you decide which size suits you best, we've put together a helpful guide below.

Apple Watch 41mm vs. 45mm: Spec comparison

Apple Watch Series 7 Comparison Press Photo

(Image credit: Apple)

Unlike traditional watches, which measure case size horizontally, Apple measures the Apple Watch Series 9 (and all other Apple Watch models) vertically. So, that means the smaller of the two Apple Watch sizes has a height of 41mm; the larger, 45mm. Both models come with 20% more screen area and 40% thinner bezels when compared to older models like the Apple Watch Series 6.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 41mm45mm
Display area904 sq mm1143 sq mm
Display size352 x 430 pixels396 x 484 pixels pixels
Minimum weight32.0 grams38.8 grams
Maximum weight42.3 grams51.5 grams
Entry-level GPS$399$429
Entry-level Cellular$499$529

If you're used to wearing regular round watches, comparing the more rectangular design Apple Watch Series 9 may be hard to eyeball; however, Apple Watch models in the past have never felt too bulky to most people. Below, there's a visual representation so you get a better idea of what the difference may look like in practice.

Apple Watch Series 9 Case Size Comparison

(Image credit: Apple)

There are plenty of watches that far exceed the Apple Watch in size — even something as big as the 45mm model. So, even if you think you want to go with the smaller 41mm version, take the time to consider both sizes. Neither is enormous, but smaller wrists will likely find the 41mm a tad more comfortable.

Apple Watch 41mm vs. 45mm: Feel the weight

Apple Watch Series 7 models laid side by sie

(Image credit: iMore)

Remember that the Apple Watch Series 9 comes in two different finishes — aluminum and stainless steel. Each metal has a different weight, with aluminum being the lightest and stainless steel being the heaviest finish.

41mm Apple Watch weight:

  • 32.0 grams for aluminum finish
  • 42.3 grams for stainless steel finish

45mm Apple Watch weight:

  • 38.8.0 grams for aluminum finish
  • 51.5 grams for stainless steel finish

We are talking in grams here, but on a device so small, you definitely notice the difference in weight on your wrist depending on which Apple Watch Series 9 you choose. The 45mm Apple Watch will be heavier across the board, with the stainless steel version being 9.2 grams heavier than the 41mm size.

Apple Watch 41mm vs. 45mm: Band together

The Apple Watch Series 7 pictured laid on its side next to a lamp

(Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

Since Apple only offers some bands in some sizes, if you have your heart set on a specific band, you may have to be willing to go with the size that matches it.

41mm-specific bands:

  • Modern Buckle
  • Hermès Attelage Double Tour

45mm-specific bands:

  • Silver link bracelet
  • Space black bracelet
  • Hermès Attelage Single Tour
  • Hermès Single Tour Deployment Buckle

That said, you can get third-party bands that look like the real thing of almost any band you want, so it doesn't truly matter if you're looking for the best Apple Watch bands.

Apple Watch 41mm vs. 45mm: Which should you buy?

apple watch 7 silicon and fabric straps

(Image credit: Apple)

If you want the largest screen available on a regular Apple Watch and having a watch that's a little heavier (regardless of which metal you choose to get) isn't a big deal to you, then the 45mm Apple Watch Series 9 is a perfect choice.

If you want to cut down on the bulk, have a smaller wrist, or want to save a little bit of money, the 41mm Apple Watch Series 9 is the option for you. Remember, it has all the same features as its big brother; it just comes in a slightly small package.

If you are still undecided, try them both on to see how they feel and look on your wrist. You can then make the decision that works best for you.

Not sure whether your heart is set on an Apple Watch Series 9 or an Apple Watch Ultra 2? Then take a look at our best Apple Watch guide to figure out which version is right for you. 

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.