Apple Watch: Choosing The Right Watch Band

Apple Watch: Choosing The Right Watch Band

With the Apple Watch finally on the market, many potential buyers are trying to decide between the new device’s numerous watch band options. Why are there so many? What exactly is the difference between them?

Sport Band

When customers purchase a new Apple Watch from Apple.com or an official Apple store, they are given a choice between several official Apple-branded wrist bands. The most basic and the most affordable is the Apple Sport Band.

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The Sport Band is a fairly simple strap, made out of a a rubber-like fluoroelastomer material. The primary benefit of this band is that it behaves well with a sweaty wrist. It can be worn during a workout without becoming damp or stained from moisture. It is therefore an ideal choice for anyone interested in using their Apple Watch as any kind of health/fitness accessory.

The Sport Band is by no means a “cheap” choice, in terms of quality; many customers have assured that the Apple Sport Band feels much more secure and durable than many third-party watch bands of similar design and material. However, as this band is quite sporty, and comes in mainly in very bright colors (though not exclusively), it may not offer a potent look of professionalism that is desired by some buyers.

The Sport Watch comes in green, salmon, blue, white, black and black/grey. It can be purchased online or in stores for $49. It is available for both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch.

Milanese Loop

To find its place in more of a “luxury” territory than it does with the Sport Band, the Apple Watch can also be purchased with the stainless steel-woven Milanese mesh band.

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The Milanese Loop is fashionable, but can easily be worn casual. It is comfortable and bears a magnetic closure for easy adjustment.

A couple noteworthy drawbacks to the Milanese Loops, as reported by users of the band, are, firstly, that the band has a tendency to become loose throughout the day, requiring the wearer to tighten it periodically. Secondly, due to the mesh design, the strap has pulled at the hairs on the arms of some wearers. However, as it is a high-quality mesh, the band feels more like fabric than actual metal.

Overall, the Milanese Loop is a good looking, and quite thin, band. It can be purchased for $149 and can be worn with both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch.

Classic Buckle

Made from Dutch leather, Apple’s Classic Buckle option features a traditional stainless steel buckle closure.

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The Classic Buckle is a good choice for those who are used to a traditional style watch band and are looking for a safe-bet option. This band is sure to look appropriately professional or semi-casual depending on the wearer’s intentions.

This Apple Watch band is available only in black and can be purchased for $149. It is available for both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch.

Leather Loop

Apple offers another leather band, made from Venezia leather, featuring a disguised magnetic closure.

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The Leather Loop for the Apple Watch is a very comfortable option, without any metal fittings to make contact with the wearer’s wrist. Additionally, unlike the Classic Buckle, the Leather Loop is available in blue, brown, grey and traditional black color options.

The Apple Leather Loop is also available for $149. However, it is only available for the 42mm Apple Watch.

Modern Buckle

The Modern Buckle is made of Granada leather. It is a smooth band featuring a magnetic closure.

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This band is similar to the Classic Buckle, but with an inherently modern look to it. It does without the evidence of adjustment holes or pegs and includes a very prominent silver buckle.

Like the Leather Loop band, the Modern Buckle is available in several different colors. It can be purchased in black, brown, blue or a deep off-white color, each for $249. It is only available for the 38mm Apple Watch.

Link Bracelet

Apple’s sixth and final in-house watch band is an executive-style stainless steel bracelet featuring a custom ‘butterfly’ closure.

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The Link Bracelet is by far Apple’s most expensive watch band option, priced at $449. This band is idea for those looking to proudly show off their accessories. This band is well-suited for the stainless steel Apple Watches, helping to create the often-desired illusion of a traditional timepiece.

Unlike the Milanese Loop, the Link Bracelet has been reported to be more supcebtiple to wear and scratches over time. It is not recommended for the same kind of casual use as many of the other bands, and may require considerably more care, just as a luxury watch with a similar style band might.

The Apple Link Bracelet is available for both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch.


It should be noted that all Apple Watch bands are interchangeable. While it can get a bit pricy, it is perfectly possible to purchase multiple bands and switch them out depending on the occasion. Additional bands, sold separately, are available at any official Apple Store, as well from the Apple online store.

There are many watch band options out there to choose from. It is also worth keeping in mind that certain bands may match better than others with each of the Apple Watch case options. Questions or comments regarding the Apple Watch or any of the Apple-made watch bands? Leave them in the box below!

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Amitabha is a freelance writer and editor. He studies Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology at New York University. His primary focus as part of the News for Shoppers writing team is on Apple-related news, announcements, tips and rumors. He can be found and followed on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+AmitabhaSarfati/.