The 10 Best Apple Watch Bands
This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in January of 2017. While every edition of the Apple Watch comes packaged with a decent band, it can be replaced and, in many cases, upgraded. We've found a wide range of third-party options that are suitable for men and women, are durable, look great, and won't cost an arm and a leg, like many of the branded choices do. Whether you want something refined or sporty, you can find it here. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 20, 2020:
To keep up with changing trends and emerging styles, we ended up removing four items from our list in favor of fresh options. When the Mkeke Vintage 38 became unavailable, we took the opportunity to bring on something stylish and lightweight, and so added the Light House Fashion Resin. This vibrant selection is ideal for people who hate having something heavy on their wrists and comes in an impressive array of color variations, with many sporting lovely pearlescent tortoiseshell designs.
We removed the Carterjett CJ3 due to persistent quality complaints, and in its place added the durable and elegant Iiteeology Link, which helped to bring about a better balance between our sporty, chic, and refined choices. Finally, we knew we needed a solid silicone band that could rival Apple's at an affordable price, and so you'll find the Tobfit Replacement. You might not get as much mileage out of these as you would the genuine Sport Band, but they offer the same pin-and-tuck closure, soft, flexible construction, and water-resistance.
With the recent release of the Series 6, we wanted to make a note on fit, as many selections on this list may not yet specify they are compatible. Although Apple has tinkered with the case size slightly over time, they have kept the same lug design every year. So many bands that are suitable for Series 3, 4, and 5 should work just fine on the 6, and even Series' older than the third.
By the by, if you're on the hunt for more handy accessories for your Apple Watch, you might want to peruse our list of sleek and convenient stands.
August 22, 2019:
Availability issues knocked both of our old mesh options — the Penom and Top4cus — out of contention, but we sought out a viable replacement in an offering from Hilimny that is both durable and easy to adjust. The new Carterjett CJ2 is just about the closest thing to a NATO strap that you're going to find for an iWatch, with strong woven canvas construction as well as steel keepers and adapter points.
Our special honors section has become home to a trio of options that are a bit on the pricey side for the standard strap market, but that offer things like incredible patterns and distinguished materials like fine leather that you might not find elsewhere.
Meridio Fluo This lineup from a noteworthy Italian manufacturer may contain the brightest colors you'll see on a wristwatch. If you like drawing attention to yourself, or you use your iWatch for nighttime athletics like biking or jogging — where visibility is a necessity — they can prove both fashionable and safe options. meridioband.com
Nyloon Custom This company offers a tremendous variety of styles with the look and feel of fabrics you might be more likely to see on a hooded sweatshirt than a person's wrist. They're undeniably fun, and surprisingly durable, making them a smart choice for anyone who wants to inject a little joy to their wardrobe. nyloon.net
Monowear Contemporary Cuff Made from a very thin and supple leather, this option is a great choice for fine watch aficionados who also want to own a piece of modern technology. Its rather original closure design is easy to use, but it may wear down after a long enough period of time, resulting in a band that can't close. monoweardesign.com
A Band Apart
The same can be said for leather bands, as they will deteriorate quickly if they get wet.
If you’re someone who likes the feel and style of a good watch, you’ve probably been that way for a while. You’ve almost certainly been wearing a watch since before the Apple watch ever came out. There are different types of watch people, however, and depending on how you like your wristwatch to look or function, you may have bought an Apple watch for a different reason than the next customer.
The decision to go with a wearable technology like an Apple watch might not come lightly. These devices often become an integral part of the lifestyle of the wearer, and many owners never take them off, at least not for any meaningful span of time. They’re waterproof, so you can wear them swimming or in the shower. They make great alarm clocks, particularly because their vibrate function can effectively wake you up without disturbing your partner, so lots of people wear them to sleep. And because they can track everything from your daily step count to your heart rate, lots of people wear them all day long.
If you know that you want to wear your Apple watch in a variety of scenarios, it’s incumbent on you to invest in a few different bands, or to find one that’s versatile enough to serve you on any occasion. For example, you may like the look of a metal band, but if you go with something inexpensive, it might not be designed for aquatic use, and a rusted watch band is both an eyesore and a health hazard.
The same can be said for leather bands, as they will deteriorate quickly if they get wet. If you know you’re going to wear your Apple watch in the shower, at the beach, or to the pool, invest in something made of nylon, stainless steel, or another material that can withstand exposure to water. Remember that this doesn’t preclude you from wearing a nice leather band to a fancy party; it just means that you need to invest in more than one band, and swap them out as needed.
Another important point of band evaluation is the clasp. Traditional clasps like overlapping bracelet snaps or buckle closures are easy to use, but the former will require some adjustments to get it to fit, and even then it might be a little imperfect around your wrist. Buckle closures are ready to go right out of the box, with no tinkering necessary. Other clasp options exist, as well, such as simple magnetic closures and stretchable bracelets. Whatever you choose, make sure it’ll fit well, especially if you’re using your Apple watch as a heart rate monitor, as a good fit will result in more accurate readings.
Style Tips For Your Apple Watch Band
While the Apple watch is, in many ways, a status symbol, it’s far from the most attractive of watch options. Part of the allure of a fine watch lies in its mystery, a curiosity borne in whoever sees it on your wrist about who makes it and what it’s capable of. With an Apple watch, all that mystery is gone save for the question of generations, so it’s up to you to find ways to make the timepiece really pop. The right watch band can easily do that, but if you pair it with the wrong outfit or other accessories, you could regret it.
While the Apple watch is, in many ways, a status symbol, it’s far from the most attractive of watch options.
It’s important to know where you’re going before you leave the house, and to let your watch band serve as either an accent piece or as a bit of streamlining for your outfit. This isn’t a simple game of color matching either, as too much matching nowadays looks rather gaudy.
For men, if you’re headed somewhere nice and you find yourself getting dressed up for the occasion, you can reach for a subtle band of dark titanium or stainless steel, or go with a leather option that will bring a touch of class to your ensemble. You could also go for something with a splash of color, especially if you’re trying to cultivate a sportier or more rebellious look than the rest of the crowd. Just make sure that it’s your only accent piece. You don’t get to wear a yellow rubber watch band and a pink ascot with your black suit. Conversely, a man can easily get away with a nice watch worn with a T-shirt and jeans to dress the whole outfit up a notch.
For women, a lot of the options out there are on the understated side, allowing you to utilize them with a wide variety of everyday outfits. Many of these don’t quite fit in for cocktail hour though, so if you’re headed out on the town, you might want to reach for something darker and more elegant.
A Brief History Of The Apple Watch
Apple certainly isn’t the first company to make a foray into the unforgiving field of wearable technology, but it is the first to have such a runaway success with the idea. Then again, the first person to take his pocket watch and strap it to his wrist certainly started a powerful trend, so maybe they’re second to the party.
After Apple executive Steve Jobs passed away in 2011, the world was anxious about the company’s direction, and whether the degree of innovation that had become synonymous with the brand would continue under the direction of Jobs’ successor, Tim Cook. Over the next few years, details began to leak out about a new product that relied on a touchscreen of approximately 1.5 inches, all while Apple had been investigating the inner workings of competitive sports watches by Nike and other brands, as well as cherrypicking experts from medical and luxury timepiece industries. The writing was on the wall: an Apple watch was imminent.
In September of 2014, Apple unveiled its first generation watch. It had many of the same features you see on the latest generation, but the newer models have gotten smaller, lighter, and much faster. In addition, Apple has outfitted its watches with independent cellular capabilities, so you can act like Dick Tracy without having your iPhone anywhere nearby.