Though the Apple Watch comes in several different materials, finishes, and sizes, they mostly look the same: like squarish river stones. And since nobody wants to be wearing the exact same thing as everybody else, the solution is personalization through screen options and straps to reflect the wearer's own taste and identity. And the bands are where things get fun and interesting.
Even from a watch enthusiast's perspective, the quality and innovation of Apple Watch bands is impressive. Apple learned from the traditional watch industry in a number of ways but created its own interesting and user-friendly fastening systems and other solutions. The brand's own proprietary attachment system makes strap-changing easy, but it means that Apple Watch bands are a closed ecosystem and not compatible with traditional watches or straps.
The brand has also offered enough options that one's own watch truly can feel personalized, but with plentiful third-party options as well, the world of Apple Watch bands is almost as vast as that of traditional watch straps. From sporty silicone to Hermès leather to metal bracelets of various kinds and much more, there's a lot to choose from. Here are some great options to start with.
The Milanese loop, with its magnetic closing system, is an Apple Watch classic. It's available in a couple finishes including silver, gold-toned and a new one in graphite.
We can attest that Barton's Elite Silone straps are comfortable and that they've got a fresh look on the wrist, particularly in Flatwater Blue.
By not buying a functionally inferior and far more expensive mechanical watch, the money you saved could go to a strap made from some of the best leather in the world.
The Apple Watch doesn't have traditional lugs through which to thread a one-piece NATO strap. But you can get the look with a two-piece nylon band in a classic style from Clockwork Synergy.
Switch to this for workouts, or just to look sporty.
New for 2020, the Solo Loop is made from stretchy "liquid silicone rubber" and slips on and off the wrist without the typical bulk and clutter of traditional clasps.
The Pride Edition of the Nike Sport band adds some color and meaning to your strap choice.
A traditional style in leather from one of our favorite makers of traditional watch straps.
The classic Speidel Twist-O-Flex from the 1950s! It expands to slide off and on without a buckle and probably holds some nostalgia for a lot of people.
A padded French leather band offers comfort and style, and it fastens magnetically for an ideal fit. The Leather Loop offers the same style with a different fastening system.
The stretchy, single-piece Solo Loop also comes in a braided textile version make from 100% recycled materials.
You might be surprised how classic an Apple Watch can feel when on the a high-quality leather like this one from Shinola.
Something a bit unique for your Apple Watch is this specially designed steel bracelet by Hong Kong-based Juuk. Other finishes and designs are worth checking out as well.
Pricey, but this is probably the best way to wear an Apple Watch if you like the feel of a sturdy steel bracelet. Comes in silver or black.