Apple sent out its media invitations for a March 9 event in San Francisco -- widely expected to be the official debut of the company's first wearable device, the Apple Watch.

The company's invites always come with a cryptic one-liner, which in this case was "Spring Forward" -- a phrase that certainly suggests the watch is to be the star of the show.

Apple first announced that it was developing a watch last fall, after months of speculation that the tech giant was going to wade into the market. The watches Apple had on display in October were early prototypes, showing off a few features such as the ability to receive calls, send and receive messages and track fitness stats when the watch is paired with a phone.

The Apple Watch will start at $349 and will come in three main varieties -- a sport watch, a mid-tier watch and a luxury gold watch. The company hasn't made any announcement about how expensive that top-tier watch will be, though analysts expect it will be in the thousands.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in the company's latest earnings call that the watch will begin shipping in April.

It may seem that Apple is actually a latecomer to the wearables market; Samsung, after all, has already released multiple generations of its smart watches. But the market is still fairly wide open. Canalys reported last month that just 720,000 wearable devices running Android Wear -- Google's wearable technology operating system -- shipped in 2013.

"All eyes are now on Apple, which will reveal further details about the Apple Watch prior to its release in April. The product will dramatically grow the market for smart bands and wearables overall," the analysis firm said in a release.