Six months after the Apple Watch launched, there are dozens if not hundreds of different third-party band options on the market, allowing users to customize their watches with looks beyond what Apple offers. Xistwear has created a line of stretchy stainless steel Apple Watch bands in a range of colors that look great with the Apple Watch and can be purchased for less than Apple's own metal bands, plus it offers matching bracelets.

xistwearbandmain
The Xistwear Apple Watch has a neutral look that's neither overly feminine or overly masculine, making it suitable for all wearers. Aesthetically, this is a simple but classic-looking link-style band that is understated enough to match well with a range of different outfits. All of the bands are stainless steel, but some have a colored plating. The following color options are available:

38mm - Black, Rose Gold, Silver, Yellow Gold

42mm - Gunmetal, Navy, Silver, Yellow Gold

Bands for the 42mm Apple Watch are 24mm wide, while bands designed for the smaller 38mm Apple Watch are 22mm wide. The 42mm bands are available in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large, able to fit wrists from 146mm to 210mm.

xistwearbandonwrist
38mm bands are available in Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Large, to fit wrists from 130mm to 190mm. I have a wrist that's about 135mm, so I ordered the extra small, and it fits very well. All of the bands are actually elastic stretch bands, allowing them some wiggle room to fit on different-sized wrists. My band is snug on my wrist, but slips on easily and stretches if my wrist swells slightly during the day due to heat or exercise.

xistwearbandlinks
Xistwear recommends measuring a wrist with a measuring tape and matching the circumference to its size chart. While there are a wide range of wrist sizes covered, the company says to size up when in between sizes, because any jeweler is able to remove links from the watch band for a better fit.

xistwearbandstretched
The stretchiness of the band makes it comfortable to wear even for long periods of time, even during exercise and sleep, but it does have a tendency to get caught on hair and skin. I occasionally got my band stuck in my hair when putting it in a ponytail or brushing it, and while I don't have much arm hair, I imagine someone who does could have issues with this band. It also pinched my skin from time to time when I put it on, and every so often I got a mild pinch just during daily wear, but this was just a minor annoyance.

xistwearbandonwrist2
I appreciated the elastic band because it made the Apple Watch easy to get on and off and it eliminated the need for a buckle, which I've found gets in the way of typing and other tasks with other bands. The build quality on the watch was nice, but it did scratch easily. I wound up with several scratches on the underside of my band.

xistwearbandscratches
Xistwear's Apple Watch bands connect like most third-party bands, using adapters that slide into the slots on the Apple Watch. Xistwear's adapters snap into place perfectly, but you do need to get them lined up at just the right angle or they can be difficult to insert. They also make the Xistwear band slightly harder to remove than Apple's own bands, but not by much.

xistwearbandadapter
Color wise, the stainless steel adapters that shipped with the stainless steel Xistwear band I tested were a perfect match. The finish is the same and there's no color discrepancy between the Apple Watch and the adapter, which I was impressed with. I have other third-party Apple Watch bands and the finish is not always a good match.

xistwearadaptercloseup2
Adapters that ship with the Xistwear bands only come in shiny stainless steel, so they're not going to match the aluminum Apple Watch Sport or the black stainless steel Apple Watch, which is a major downside. I expect most people won't want to wear a band with adapters that don't match their watch, so I would only recommend the Xistwear bands to those who don't have a stainless steel Apple Watch.

I did not test the Xistwear Apple Watch band with one of the accompanying bracelets, but I would caution against wearing anything that has the potential to rub against the Apple Watch, especially the stainless steel version. When I first got my Apple Watch I wore it with a small gold bracelet, which ended up scratching it quite badly. I'm not sure the Xistwear bracelets would do the same, but I'd recommend being careful with something that could result in damage.

Bottom Line

As someone with a smaller than average wrist size, I appreciated both the size options Xistwear offers and the stretchiness of the band. The Xistwear band fits my wrist a lot better than other bands, and the well-fitted band makes the Xistwear look nice on my wrist. I received quite a few compliments on my watch band during the time that I tested it.

The Xistwear is also comfortable for all-day wear because it stretches slightly, and even though I normally don't care for the feel of metal bands, the Xistwear never bothered me. At $125, the Xistwear isn't cheap, and I wasn't thrilled with the way it scratched from daily use.

xistwearadaptercloseup
That said, the scratches don't detract too much from the overall aesthetic, and I had few other complaints about the watch band. I would caution those with a lot of arm hair against the Xistwear, as the stretch band will catch hair in between the links.

Xistwear only ships these watches with stainless steel adapters, which means they're only really suitable for the stainless steel Apple Watch. If you have a black stainless steel Apple Watch or an Apple Watch Sport, I'd look elsewhere for a band.

Pros:

  • Can fit a wide range of wrist sizes well
  • Matching bracelets available
  • Well-fitted with elastic band
  • Adapters match well with stainless steel Apple Watch

Cons:

  • Adapters only come in shiny stainless steel
  • Scratches easily
  • Pinches hair and skin
  • Expensive

How to Buy

Xistwear's Apple Watch bands can be purchased from the Xistwear website for $125. The matching bracelets are priced at $60. From now until October 9, customers can get a 20 percent off discount on purchases using the code XISTOS2.

Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

KindredMAC Avatar
73 months ago
Absolutely HATE this styles of bands. The arm hair ripper-putter is what I have called them since puberty.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
christarp Avatar
73 months ago
That's gonna be a hair puller..
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
73 months ago
I had one of these stretchy bands for a short time in my teens. I couldn't stand all of the hair it pulled out. For me, the milanese loop is the perfect watch band. It's easily adjustable, the magnetic latch stays put for the most part, it looks good with anything, and never pulls my hair. Even old link bands on my previous watches would sometimes pull my hair. If I ever do any work outside or go swimming I just put on the sport band and a cheap clear bumper case.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
modemthug Avatar
73 months ago
lol no it doesn't it's ugly as hell
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nozuka Avatar
73 months ago
this looks cheap to me...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wlossw Avatar
73 months ago
cons: Pinches hair and skin? Lol no thanks.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
airtag 1

AirTag Anti-Stalking Measures 'Just Aren't Sufficient' Says Washington Post Report

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:03 pm PDT by
The safeguards that Apple built into AirTags to prevent them from being used to track someone "just aren't sufficient," The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler said today in a report investigating how AirTags can be used for covert stalking. Fowler planted an AirTag on himself and teamed up with a colleague to be pretend stalked, and he came to the conclusion that the AirTags are a "new means...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

Wednesday May 5, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries. With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial...
precision finding developer mode

AirTag Precision Finding Interface Includes Hidden 'Developer Mode'

Thursday May 6, 2021 1:32 am PDT by
A frustrated AirTag owner has inadvertently discovered the existence of a hidden "developer mode" in the on-screen interface that Find My displays when the Precision Finding feature is activated to help locate one of Apple's item trackers. Precision Finding is a feature that provides users with specific on-screen directions for finding a nearby AirTag. iPhones with a U1 chip, which includes ...