Watch This Space For Apple Timepiece

New Zealanders wanting to get their hands on a new Apple Watch will have to head to one of nine overseas countries if they want to get their hands on the new timepiece on release.

Apple has announced that the Apple Watch will be released in nine countries on April 24, but New Zealand is not among them. Instead buyers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US will all get a chance to buy the latest Apple gear.

The wrist worn timepiece can also be used for communication and fitness tracking.

Apple promises the watch keeps time to within 50 milliseconds of the universal time standard and can be personalized with watch faces ranging from traditional analogue to faces with complications such as sunrise and sunset times, upcoming calendar events and daily activity level. There are millions of possible configurations.

If you want to use the watch for communications, you can use it to send text messages, read email and answer calls to your iPhone.

In the US, Apple Watch can be used to pay for coffee using Apple Pay, a contactless payment method similar to Visa PayWave or MasterCard PayPass.

The built in Apple Activity app will provide a snapshot of daily activity with three rings that measure active calories burned, brisk activity and how often you've stood up to take a break from sitting during the day. It will also have a built in accelerometer, heart rate sensor, GPS and Wi-Fi from your iPhone.

Apple CEO Tim Cook described the watch as a new chapter in the way people related to technology. "We think our customers are going to love it," he said. "We can't wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before."

Apple's senior vice president of Design, Jony Ive, said the Apple Watch had been conceived, designed and developed as a singular product. "Apple Watch merges hardware and software like never before," he said. "In Apple Watch, we've created three beautifully curated collections with a software architecture that together enable unparalleled personalization in a wearable device."

Apple will introduce what it is calling the Digital Crown, which enables Apple Watch wearers to scroll, zoom and navigate their timepiece without obstructing the display.

The Retina display with Force Touch can sense the difference between a tap and a press, providing a new way to quickly and easily access relevant controls.

The all-new Taptic Engine will discreetly deliver a gentle tap on your wrist whenever you receive a notification or message.

Apple Watch will be available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm, and in three distinct collections;

Apple Watch Sport, priced at $349 (US) and $399 (US) Apple Watch, available from $549 (US) to $1,099 (US) And the premium Apple Watch Edition, crafted from custom rose or yellow 18-karat gold alloys, with prices starting at $10,000 (US). Apple Watch will require an iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2. or later