Though the Apple Watch comes in several different materials, finishes, and sizes, they largely 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.
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.
Released in 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.
A traditional style in leather from one of our favorite makers of traditional watch straps.
The Milanese loop, with its satisfying magnetic closing system, is an Apple Watch classic. It's available in a couple finishes including silver, gold-toned and graphite.
The stretchy, single-piece Solo Loop also comes in a braided textile version make from 100% recycled materials.
Celebrate pride with this colorful special edition of the standard braided Solo Loop.
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.
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.
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.