Apple has updated its AppleCare+ protection plan for the Apple Watch, claiming it will replace batteries free of charge if they do not hold at least 80% of its original charge level. This changes from the original AppleCare+ plan that only addressed batteries that would not hold 50% of their original charge.
The watch is designed to maintain an 80% charge capacity through its supported 1000 charge cycles, and given that each charge should last for about a day of use, this means it should last approximately 2.5 to 3 years before needing to be replaced. However, unlike other devices, the Apple Watch battery is built to be replaceable with servicing. This will cost $79 and potentially an additional small shipping fee if your Apple Watch is not covered by AppleCare.
If you are interested in AppleCare coverage for your Apple Watch, it will cost $49, $59, and $1500 for the Sport, Standard, and Edition versions, respectively. This does not cover accidental damage, which is a separate $69, $79, and $1000 fee for each respective version of the watch. In addition, Apple offers bundled coverage for iPhones purchased with the Apple Watch, for $149, $169, and $1600 for the Sport, Standard, and Edition versions paired with an iPhone.