I love my Apple Watch and almost everything about it. I used to collect analog wrist watches but haven’t worn one since I got my first Apple Watch back in 2015. I can only think of a couple of things I don’t love—namely, battery life and overpriced watchbands.
I can’t do anything about the former, but I’ll give you an excellent solution for the latter after a bit of watchband background.
BAW (Before Apple Watch)
Before the Apple Watch, changing your watchband was a challenge involving hand tools and tiny spring-loaded pins that attached the watchband to the watch. It was a hassle; most people only changed their analog watchband when it broke.
AAW (After Apple Watch)
Among the Apple Watch’s best features, at least in my humble opinion, is its exclusive system for quickly and easily changing your watchband without tools. It’s as safe and secure as analog watchbands attached with pins, requires no tools, and lets you change bands quickly and easily. So, while I never changed analog watchbands unless I had to, I find joy in swapping my watchband to suit my mood.
I’m a cheapskate, so even though Apple-branded watchbands ($49 to $449) are beautifully made and of the highest quality, they’re also way overpriced.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can find thousands of high-quality third-party watchbands for a fraction of the price. I’ve ordered at least a dozen from Amazon and have been satisfied with every one of them. For example, Apple’s Sport Band is made of custom high-performance fluoroelastomer and costs $49, while high-quality third-party knock-offs cost under $10 each at Amazon.com.
Buy Bands for Less
The third-party bands don’t boast fancy fluoroelastomers (they use silicone), but they still look and feel good enough for me. And I can have five third-party bands like this for the price of one similar band from Apple.
Here’s another example: I’ve always liked Apple’s link bracelets but felt their prices—$349 in silver or $449 in space black—were outrageous. While I haven’t found a third-party link bracelet just like Apple’s, I found several I consider more attractive at a fraction of the price. My favorite so far is the MioHHR Solid Stainless Steel Band, available in silver, black, and five other colors for $19.99 through Amazon. I have been wearing it for a few weeks and have received numerous compliments.
Hmmm. That means I could afford 17 for the cost of a single Apple link bracelet.
Some of my other faves include a distressed leather band from KADES ($11.99 through Amazon), a braided silicone elastic band from FnKer ($14.99), and magnetic leather bands from several vendors (under $20).
If you haven’t tried a third-party watch band with your Apple Watch, you’re in for a treat (not to mention significant savings over Apple-branded bands). In fact, you can use this link to search Amazon for all Apple Watch bands.