1. ITV Report

Apple Watch unveiled in UK stores

Apple watches on display Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Apple Watch customers can try on the new smartwatch in stores for the first time today as pre-orders for the product open in the UK.

Visitors to Apple stores in the UK will be able to try on the wearable device by appointment before pre-ordering one of the three Watch collection which goes on sale on April 24.

Starting at £299 but going up to more than £13,000, Apple's first wearable device comes with a Digital Touch feature that enables users to send vibrations to other wearers, as well as transmit their heartbeat to another user also via vibrations.

The Watch also tracks movement and features Apple's voice-based assistant, Siri, and can be used to make contactless payments.

A man studies a cabinet full of the new Apple Watches at the Covent Garden store Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The 18-karat gold alloy Apple Watch Edition, that starts at £8,000, will only be available to try on in selected Apple stores.

A special Apple Watch Store is also opening within Selfridges on Oxford Street.

We are excited to welcome customers and introduce them to Apple Watch, our most personal device yet.

Based on the tremendous interest from people visiting our stores, as well as the number of customers who have gone to the Apple Online Store to mark their favourite Apple Watch ahead of availability, we expect that strong customer demand will exceed our supply at launch.

– Angela Ahrendts, Apple's head of retail and online stores

The new device faces stiff competition from rival companies including Tag Heuer who announced a premium smartwatch last month.

Samsung also already have several smartwatches on the market, and the crowd-funded Pebble Time smartwatch has recently become the most heavily-backed item ever on crowd-sourcing website, Kickstarter.