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I have an iPhone and an Apple Watch. For my elderly mother I want to buy a second Apple Watch, with LTE. This is in case she falls or something else happens and she has to call for help.

However she doesn't have an iPhone and I want to avoid buying an iPhone just for the Watch, since it won't get used at all. Can I associate the second Watch with my own iPhone, but make it use a different Apple ID which I create for my mother?

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Apple has a setup guide for precisely this: Set up an Apple Watch for a family member

Since watchOS 7, you can set up Apple Watch for a family member using a new/separate Apple ID joined to the same Family Sharing group as your primary Apple ID. Choose ‘Set Up for a Family Member’ when prompted in the Watch app to begin the setup process.

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  • Perfect, I have already setup family sharing and the like, but didn't know this existed!
    – Arne
    Dec 12, 2020 at 11:57
  • Great question @Arne and superb answer. You would think that no, this cannot be done based on years of (one person) = (one account) = (one phone) and how the watch is tied to one specific phone, but there is progress from Apple on accounts and services.
    – bmike
    Dec 12, 2020 at 13:54
  • Note if you use this process - some Apple Watch features won't work in this case (as of Sep 2021): "Apple Pay using a credit, debit or transport card in the Wallet app is not available with Family Setup. The following features and apps are not available: irregular heart rhythm notifications, ECG, Cycle Tracking, Sleep, Blood Oxygen, Podcasts, Remote, News, Home and Shortcuts." Sep 6, 2021 at 15:40

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