Third-Party Apple Watch Bands May Be Coming Soon Following Launch of New Guidelines

Apple today debuted a new developer site (via Macotakara) titled "Creating Bands for Apple Watch", which includes band design guidelines for third-party companies looking to make bands for the Apple Watch. The design guidelines include requirements for the bands to achieve Apple certification in the new Made for Apple Watch program, which is similar to the already established Made for iPhone program.

applewatchbands

Apple Watch bands are easily changed with simple release buttons and lugs that secure the band to the Apple Watch case. When creating your custom bands, refer to the band design guidelines and lug profile. Apple Watch lugs will be available soon through the Made for Apple Watch program.

Firstly, the bands must integrate with the two lugs that mate with the Apple Watch Band Interface. They also should not integrate magnetic chargers and the lug latch must never be jammed while in an extended position. Bands also cannot prevent a user's skin from maintaining direct contact with the Watch's heart rate sensors or general back area. The band themselves must also compensate for any potential shifting or dimensional changes in material.

Apple also has recommendations for the materials that lugs and lug latches should be made of, with the lugs being made out of a specific silicone, nylon or stainless steel while lug latches are recommended to be made out of either nylon or stainless steel. Other requirements for band materials include compliance with applicable environmental regulations in regions where bands are intended to be sold.

Finally, Apple has physical requirements for what the bands for Apple Watch are not allowed to do, which include not obstructing Apple Watch hardware items like the mic or speaker, the charging pad, the antenna, and the heart rate sensors. They also cannot extend beyond the sensor windows, cover the glass or interfere with the Digital Crown or Force Touch.

While the Apple Watch only launched a little over a week ago and many early adopters have yet to receive their new devices, interest in third-party bands has been growing, with some using parts from the Classic Buckle to make their own custom bands. The guidelines for the Made for Apple Watch program are now available, and it's likely the first official third-party bands could be seen in the coming months.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

federico0212 Avatar
118 months ago
Just like how Apple charges $350+ for an $89 watch, I cannot belive they have the nerve to charge $50+ for a 10 cent plastic band.

I like how you actually believe it costs $89.

Sure it costs that much in parts, the same way a $20k car costs about $11000 to build.
But do you know the insane amount of engineering behind? In a car, the factory, all the testing, design, etc.

Here on the watch, writing an entirely new OS, CREATING THE ABSOLUTELY TINY S1 chip which is an insane feat, an A5 chip with all other parts in one tiny square, the almost impossible to curve sapphire machines they now own, the amount of testing and marketing, the training, dude, this goes well above $89 bucks.
There's a whole lot more value than parts in new products.
Apple didn't spend the last 4 years building 89 dollar watches and it's now selling them to get them back.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iCore24 Avatar
118 months ago
Honestly Apple's Link and Milanese bands are one of the best in the watch industry. The link clasp folds as thin as the whole body, and the Milanese's magnet latch is great. But I really could not pull the trigger for a $150 leather band. I got the Milanese and Sport Band, all I need is a nice $50 leather band.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Natzoo Avatar
118 months ago
glad i went with the sports band with my watch
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
118 months ago
The cheap cases you are making fun of are made at the same factories your "expensive" case is. It all comes from China. My Jetech case cost me like 10 bucks and it's one of the best cases I've owned and I've had all the "good" ones.
It's nice that you got lucky, but no. There really are some amazingly awful cases out there.

My friend got a $10 iPhone 6 case that looks a lot like my Spigen case but his wobbles and shifts around like they never actually had an iPhone 6 before making it. There's enough of a gap to slip a penny in. The front edges stick out unevenly so you can tell which side of the phone you're touching based on exactly how much the case is raised from the screen. I could honestly have made a better case with Saran Wrap and scotch tape.

Again, I'm glad you got lucky. But advising people to just buy any old thing off the internet because it's "all from China" is not good advice.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
troy14 Avatar
118 months ago
Well shoot, this makes me rethink that $149 leather band purchase...
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jjlannoo Avatar
118 months ago
Just like how Apple charges $350+ for an $89 watch, I cannot belive they have the nerve to charge $50+ for a 10 cent plastic band.

Amazing ignorance on display here. Please don't vote or reproduce.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)