The Apple Watch Series 5 is a versatile device that can keep all sorts of amazing functions within easy reach. But even outside of all the great capabilities of the Apple Watch, many users love the option of being able to switch out the strap. While Apple has plenty of great default options, you don’t need to stick to just one.
Since you can easily switch out your band, you can have various styles for all occasions. We’ve gathered a variety of bands and straps with different looks and prices to add some style to your Apple Watch wearing experience
Our favorite third-party bands
Nomad Modern Strap ($44)
There are a few Nomad straps on this list, and for good reason. They’re exceptionally high quality and stylish as well. The latest from the company is a slimmer variant of its Modern Strap in a beautiful camel color targeted toward women. This vegetable-tanned leather strap comes from Horween, a reputable tannery in Chicago, and it develops a gorgeous patina the longer it’s in use. Nomad uses stainless steel on the buckles and the adapter that connects to the Apple Watch. Speaking of the watch, this strap works on the Series 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. It’s delightfully lightweight and comfortable on the wrist, and the buckle design means it’s dead simple to put on in a jiffy. The catch? It’s only available for the smaller 40mm or 38mm Apple Watch sizes.
Wiplabs Link ($70)
Metal link bracelets add a certain style to a watch, but they can often be prohibitively expensive. Not so with Wiplabs’ Link, which is a reasonable $70, yet does not cut back on quality. Made from 316L stainless steel, it is hardwearing and should be long-lasting, too, plus it comes in either matte black or silver to match your choice of watch. Adjusting metal bracelets can be a pain, but the Wiplabs Link uses spring-loaded pins that stay inside each link, so it’s simple to alter the size. We did it in five minutes with the use of a basic watch strap adjustment tool. Once it’s on, it looks superb. It’s comfortable, lightweight, and doesn’t catch hair either. The simplicity of the link design with the hidden butterfly closure means it’s not too masculine and should also suit small wrists.
Meridio Suede Band (€70/$77)
Tired of the usual old leather bands and silicone straps for your Apple Watch? Take a look at Meridio’s suede bands, which are suitably different than other bands out there, yet still neatly fit in with casual and smart outfits. The suede band, as you would expect, is soft to touch, supple, and comfortable to wear. The texture is pleasant to the touch, and there is enough of a nap on the strap for it to catch the light, and the thickness tapers off toward the tip, making it more wearable. Meridio is an Italian brand and has 10 years of experience in fashion and leather goods.
Dassari Carbon Fiber Strap ($40)
Who wants the same old strap for their Apple Watch? No one. We want to be different, and if you prefer a sporty look, then take a look at Dassari’s very cool carbon fiber-look strap. The carbon weave effect is subtle, with less shine and reflection than you may expect, making it more wearable on a daily basis. It’s matched to very soft leather and is incredibly comfortable. It’s refreshing to see the strap matched with Apple’s bar-style hardware too. The strap only comes in black but it is available for both the 38mm/42mm and the 40mm/44mm Apple Watch. The style and dark color slim down the Apple Watch a lot, so if you find many straps make the watch look too large, this does the opposite.
Nomad Sport Strap ($40)
To accompany its Rugged Strap, Nomad has introduced the Sport Strap, a silicone band with built-in lugs that extend all the way across the Watch’s body, a strong stud-and-hole fixing, and a design similar to that of Nike’s recent Apple Watch straps. Nomad’s offering is made of soft, LSR silicone, which comes in a two-tone color scheme, in either black and gray, or black and green. It is hypoallergenic and resists sweat nicely, and stays cool underneath thanks to a channel for airflow. It’s well-suited for fitness aficionados and is quite a large, statement-making strap. It costs $50, but, unfortunately, it’s only available for the 42mm/44mm Watch.
Burkley Holo Strap ($69)
Burkley’s Holo Strap is perfect for those weekends in your sports car, with the top down, headed toward the coast. Or, at the very least, those times when you’re imagining that you’re doing that. The strap’s classic styling makes it a beauty, while the soft, padded leather renders it both lightweight and comfortable. We love the little design touches, too, such as the Burkley logo, which is stamped directly on the strap loop. It also comes in one of several colors.
Native Union Active Strap ($50)
A clever mix of style and function, the Native Union Active Strap has water-resistant leather on the outside and a fluoroelastomer grip on the inside. This hypoallergenic material’s pattern also keeps sweat from building up underneath the band during exercise, while the classy leather ensures the watch is suitable for everyday wear. It’s very comfortable and extremely lightweight, too. We love the hint of yellow that peeps through, which gives the subdued color scheme some punch.
Southern Straps Nato Strap ($50)
A more textured nylon strap than the Nyloon example below, the Southern Straps band also has stitching running down each section, giving it a different look. It feels very hard-wearing, and has been double bonded and heat sealed to make sure it doesn’t just fall apart under tough conditions. We love the khaki and red version seen here, which comes with a choice of colors for the Apple Watch connectors, and in either 38mm/42mm or 42mm/44mm sizes. Let down slightly by the strap loop, which sometimes pinched wrist hairs.
Nyloon Watch Band ($39)
Nyloon’s nylon watchband feels like it’ll last a while and withstand some rough treatment, which is just what you need from this popular style. We’ve been wearing the Napier design, which comes in navy blue and red, and found it comfortable and stylish. The shiny hardware is attractive, and the Apple Watch adapter pieces have spring-loaded bars, so you can swap out the strap for another 20mm or 22m version of your own choice.
Nomad Leather Strap ($70)
Nomad’s classic leather strap received a makeover recently, losing the stitching for a sleeker, flatter look. We particularly love Nomad’s straps due to the custom-designed Watch adapters, which change the look of the Watch’s face considerably. Both the adapters and the buckle have a matte finish and also come in black, ready to match your Watch model. It’s still quite a masculine design, but less so than the previous strap. The Horween leather is wonderfully supple out of the box and needs only a few hours to bed in.
Kate Spade Leather Apple Watch Strap ($68)
Kate Spade makes a selection of straps suitable for the smaller Apple Watch models, and this is one of our favorites. The floral pattern is typical Kate Spade — fashionable, quirky, fun, and matches with trends seen elsewhere in the brand’s products. It’s made from silicone with a stainless steel clasp, ready to wear for most occasions.
Pad & Quill Field Strap ($80)
Pad & Quill’s Field Strap is an interesting take on the fabric Watch strap, combining very hard-wearing Cordura fabric with classy and comfortable leather, along with nickel hardware. The leather is stitched to the fabric on the underside, making the strap very easy to wear. Leather is also incorporated into other areas to give the band some visual excitement. The black and gray color combo is our pick, as it’s versatile enough to match most outfits and situations. Next to Nomad’s silicone strap, this is one of the most comfortable Apple Watch straps we’ve worn recently.
Official Apple Straps
Apple Nike Sport Band ($50)
The Nike Sport Band was once only available if you purchased a Nike Apple Watch, but that changed a while ago, and now these sporty, colorful straps are available to buy for any Apple Watch. The circular vents ensure you don’t get sweaty wearing the Watch, and the bright colors easily match or coordinate with your Nike sneakers. Like the Apple Sport Band, the Nike versions are so soft and flexible, they’re very comfortable to wear. The sporty style is best suited to casual outfits though. It’s available in both 40mm and 44mm sizes, and a variety of colors. Best of all, in the pack are two sizes, meaning the strap is suitable for all wrists right out of the box.
Apple Woven Nylon Straps ($50)
Apple’s nylon straps are some of the most colorful — and breathable — around. They’re made from more than 500 threads woven together in a pattern, and they’re bound by monofilaments that adhere four layers together to create a fabric-like material that’s comfortable both indoors and out. Moreover, Apple’s nylon bands come in an enormous (and growing) array of colors, including berry, Tahoe blue, orange, red, pollen, midnight blue, pearl, black, and scores of other color combinations.
Apple Sport Loop ($50)
We prefer the look and feel of the Apple Sport Loop band over the fluoroelastomer Sport Band. The nylon material is so soft, doesn’t get hot and sweaty, and the varying colors are all a lot more dramatic and eye-catching in person than in pictures. Rather than the pin and tuck system on the Sport band, the Sport Loop uses hook and eye for an infinitely adjustable fit that suits everyone. Great for the gym, office, and casual wear, it’s the Apple Watch band to choose when you first buy your Watch.
Apple Leather Loop ($99)
Italian leather makes this Apple Leather Loop band very comfortable, and wonderfully pliant. We prefer the loop method of holding the band on your wrist, as it’s much easier to get the comfort levels just right, so it’s easier to wear for longer. The texture stands out once you try one too, as does the soft quilted design. It’s expensive, but it does feel like a true quality product. This band comes in lemon yellow, black, and saddle brown.
Apple Milanese Loop ($99)
If metal is more your style, Apple has you covered. The company’s stunning Milanese Loop, a modern interpretation of a design developed in Milan at the end of the 19th century, touts a stainless-steel design, wraps around your wrist, and adjusts with the help of magnets. Apple’s Link Bracelet, meanwhile, features butterfly closure folds within the bracelet, allowing for a clean look. The onboard release button also makes it easy to add or remove links without special tools.
Apple Watch Studio
The Apple Watch Studio is a new buying plan introduced with the Series 5 Apple Watch, and it’s a great way to get the exact band and Watch combination you want first time. Instead of buying an “off the shelf” Apple Watch and strap combination, you choose each aspect yourself, including the case size and material, and the strap itself. If you want a 44mm aluminum Watch in silver with a space grey Milanese Loop strap, you can have it. It doesn’t cost any more, and it’s easy to create your own watch on Apple’s website.
More third-party bands
Ullu Apple Watch Bands ($80 plus)
This beautiful band is handcrafted from high-quality stingray leather. Available in an assortment of colors, the Ullu stingray band pairs perfectly with the larger 42mm Apple Watch case.
The Strap Smith Baseball Glove Strap ($230)
Handcrafted from vintage baseball gloves, this band is perfect for the sports enthusiast. This band is not only stylish but durable as well. If you’re more of a football fan, the Strap Smith also makes a custom football band. Just be aware you have to pay an extra $25 if you want the necessary hardware fitted to attach the strap to the watch, although at least you can choose the color to match your choice of Watch case.
Pad & Quill Lowry Leather Cuff ($99)
Renowned for its high quality, great looking leather Apple accessories, Pad & Quill makes three different straps for the Apple Watch, but we’ve singled out the Lowry Leather Cuff. Made from full-grain leather in black, chestnut, or tan colors, with hand-finished stitching and nickel buckles, the look is rugged yet classy. Suede on the underside of the strap makes it comfortable to wear. The one problem? It’s only for the 42mm/44mm Apple Watch.
Luxeora Element Band 42 Onyx ($49)
The Element Band 42 Onyx is an incredible two-toned leather band that fits 42mm/44mm Apple Watch cases. This band features a highly polished stainless steel buckle with matching lugs. The white needle stitching creates a beautiful contrast.
Form Function Form Button Stud Band ($94)
If you want something a little different, then take a look at Form Function Form’s funky Button Stud strap, which does away with any type of buckle or clasp. Instead, it has a stainless steel stud that holds a long, leather band in place. The stud and adaptor can be ordered in the color to suit your Apple Watch, just make sure you check the length to ensure the overall fit is correct. The company even provides lifetime, free size adjustments if you buy one.
Coach Apple Watch Strap with Charms ($150)
Blending traditional elegance with a hint of whimsy, the Coach Apple Watch Strap with Charms fits 42mm/44mm Apple Watch cases. The supple, hand-finished leather band looks very classy and comes with two charms attached to it, one with the iconic Coach C, and the other with the brand’s name on it.
Arrow & Board Triple Tour Strap ($79)
Apple’s partnership with fashion house Hermes popularized the double tour style strap amongst Watch owners, but picking up a genuine version is very expensive. Arrow & Board’s option is far more reasonable and comes with a split strap so it can be worn in three different ways. Made to order, it’s finished in tanned leather with hand-stitched features and a series of brass loops and a buckle to keep the strap in place.
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