A Look at Third-Party Bands for Apple Watch

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With two sizes, three models and dozens of bands to choose from, the Apple Watch is easily the most personable -- and fashionable -- product that Apple has ever released. But if the Classic Buckle, Milanese Loop or Stainless Steel Link Bracelet are too costly or don't match with your fashion style, or you are simply looking to mix things up, look no further than the wide range of third-party bands available online.

Apple Watch Box

Seville Classics Bamboo Drawer Organizer from Costco (via msink)

In the absence of official third-party bands, several users have shared pictures of their unofficial bands in the popular The Great "Third Party Band/Strap" Thread within the MacRumors discussion forums. Most third-party bands are sold through Amazon, eBay or Etsy and generally cost considerably less than those sold by Apple, and all you need to get started are Apple Watch adapters.

Apple Watch Band Adapters

Apple Watch AdapterTo use a third-party band with your Apple Watch, you will need to fasten both ends of the band to an Apple Watch adapter, a tiny metal part with a slide-and-lock mechanism. These adapters can be purchased from Amazon or eBay, generally for less than $20 a pair, and allow for essentially any regular wristwatch band to be used with the Apple Watch.

If you already have a Classic Buckle or Modern Buckle, however, you can use the adapters from those bands to connect standard wristwatch bands to your Apple Watch. In the video below, Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy walks through the process of using the parts in the Classic Buckle band to connect a 22mm third-party watch band to the Apple Watch.


Given that unscrewing an Apple Watch adapter from the Classic Buckle or Modern Buckle requires using an uncommon pentalobe screwdriver, ordering adapters from Amazon or eBay is probably the easier option of the two. Regardless of which method you choose, the next step is the fun part: ordering a third-party band.

Apple Watch Third-Party Bands

MacRumors members have been experimenting with and sharing photos of third-party bands in the discussion forums, and we've rounded up some of the popular choices among our readers below. Keep in mind that many band sellers include adapters/lugs for free with your purchase, but ensure that you choose the right size depending if you have a 38mm or 42mm Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Brown Band
Name: Handmade Vintage Leather Strap
Description: 20-24mm brown vintage leather strap with a stainless buckle. Includes lugs adapter for 38mm or 42mm Apple Watch.
Product Link/Price: Etsy ($89.90 + $6 shipping)
Submitted By: iBighouse

AW Diver Strap
Name: Diver Strap
Description: 24mm black PVC rubber strap with red stitching and removable stainless buckle. Available in multiple stitching colors.
Product Link/Price: eBay ($16 + $6 shipping)
Submitted By: CarlJ

Poetic Apple Watch Bands
Name: Poetic Modern Band
Description: A flexible and shock-resistant TPU band available in a variety of bright colors for the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch.
Product Link/Price: Amazon ($14.95 + $4.95 shipping)
Submitted By: Jmona

Hoco Apple Watch
Name: HOCO Stainless Steel Classic Buckles
Description: Aftermarket stainless steel link bracelets in silver, space gray, rose gold and yellow gold for the 38mm or 42mm Apple Watch.
Product Link/Price: eBay ($47.12 + free shipping)
Submitted By: StarJr.

NATO Bands Apple Watch
Name: NATO G10 Military Nylon Watch Strap
Description: 18-24mm two-piece nylon strap for Apple Watch in black, grey, olive green or "James Bond" black/grey.
Product Link/Price: eBay ($17 + $3 shipping)
Submitted By: taff2003

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
69 months ago
I'm still waiting for some as nice as the first party bands.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago
Those HOCO ones look sweet
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago

50 shades of ugly.

The ones from BlackForestAtelier on Etsy ('https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackForestAtelier') are mostly gorgeous in my opinion.



















Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago
I wish someone would just create a 1 to 1 copy of Apple's sport band that doesn't cost $50.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Free-Shipping-Silicone-Strap-Bracelet-Fitness-Sport-Band-Replacement-for-Apple-Watch-38-42MM/32367156200.html

This looks shady.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago

I'm still waiting for some as nice as the first party bands.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-Free-Shipping-Silicone-Strap-Bracelet-Fitness-Sport-Band-Replacement-for-Apple-Watch-38-42MM/32367156200.html
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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