The strap on the Apple Watch is easy to change, and buying a different one is a great way to personalize your watch. Build a collection, and you’ll have an Apple Watch to suit every occasion and type of attire. Apple makes its own straps, but many are very expensive. As beautiful as they are, there’s no need to be limited to Apple’s range of replacement bands, regardless of how much you have to spend.
Now that the Apple Watch Series 4 is here, we think it’s not only the best smartwatch, but the best device Apple currently makes — and there has never been a better time to get one. Once it’s on your wrist, take a look through our list of our favorite straps and bands, and start making it your own. Don’t worry, all the straps will fit your Apple Watch, Apple Watch Series 2, and Apple Watch Series 3 as well.
Our favorite third-party straps
Nomad Modern Strap ($60)
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 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.
Suigeneric Mountain ($35)
The only brand offering hand-waxed cotton watch bands for the Apple Watch is Suigeneric, and they’re a real treat. We’ve worn the Mountain version for a few weeks, and it has only gotten better with age. The strap is thick but pliant, and made from 100 percent cotton. It didn’t make us sweat, even wearing it for an afternoon in boiling hot Rome, Italy. It’s also long enough for most wrists, and the clasp and loops don’t rub or catch hair. Most of all though, it looks fantastic, with designs truly unlike others. Excellent value for money, and we love the unusual designs available. Mountain became our favorite, but we also like the Tiger Camo model. Suigeneric only offers the strap in 42mm and with black hardware, which looked best with a space grey watch, but was also acceptable with aluminum.
Meridio Suede Band (80 euros/$98)
Tired of the usual old leather bands and silicone straps for your Apple Watch? Take a look at Meridio’s suede straps, which are suitably different than other straps 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. We’re especially fond of the ocean-floor blue color version, made for a 38mm Apple Watch, seen in our pictures.
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 and 42mm 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 ($50)
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’s 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 Watch.
Burkley 3-in-1 Double Tour/Cuff/Band ($130)
If you’ve lusted after a Double Tour strap for your Apple Watch, but don’t want to splash out on a Hermès iconic model, then take a look at Burkley’s version. The Double Tour strap is actually part of a three-piece set, which comes with a standard leather band and a cuff-style strap. It’s possible to mix and match the set to make a Double Tour Cuff strap, too, so it offers plenty of versatility. Burkley’s genuine leather is soft but does take a while to break in, meaning the Double Tour gets more comfortable over time. It’s $130 for the set, which is a good value for three leather straps. It’s currently available in several colors and for both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch.
Burkley Holo Strap ($100)
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 Burkley logo, which is stamped directly on the strap loop. It also comes in one of several colors and is available for the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch.
Native Union Active Strap ($100)
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 hypo-allergenic 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 ($25)
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 or 42mm sizes. Let down slightly by the strap loop, which sometimes pinched wrist hairs.
Nyloon Watch Band ($39)
Nyloon’s nylon watch band 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 ($60)
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 ($70)
This multicolor strap adds a bit of fun to 38mm Apple Watch cases. The pastel stripes and stainless steel buckles can be easily dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Pad & Quill Field Strap ($100)
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.