Note: non-travel post; this post contains some affiliate links.

Earlier this year, I wrote a piece on why I decided to invest in an Apple Watch Series 3.  The major game changer on the Series 3 was the addition of cellular connectivity over the earlier editions. It was a right purchase for me then, and it still holds true today.

Which is the Best Apple Watch Bands?

Generally, I’m not big on device accessories – I usually just buy the basics. For example, when it comes to the phone, I’d get screen protector and a phone case.  In fact, I used the Tech21 wallet case for years until it finally broke.

Of course, Apple designed the watch in such a way that you can change watch bands with ease.  While my watch comes with a black aluminum case sports band, I knew I wanted something different.  I also wasn’t interested in the Apple’s $49 price tag for most of their bands or the styles.

a black watch with a cartoon on it

The default Apple Watch’s Aluminum Case Sport Band


Watch Band Criteria

My criteria is relatively simple:  a loop band with magnetic clasp, priced competitively and with color options.  I came across more than a handful of recommendations on the Milanese Loop Band with Magnetic Clasp (at about $10) and decided to spring for it in rose gold color. It comes with the band and a protective watch case.  I really like the style and color (the picture doesn’t do it justice).  While alternatives, such as a leather band are quite appealing, I’m not a big fan of dealing with watch buckles and clasps.

a group of smart watches

Gold on the left, rose gold in the middle, crimson red on the right.


Of course, you also get what you paid for.  The band material rusted over time and there’s also some discoloration.  I decided to get a few replacements.

a close up of a watch

Rusty and some discoloration

Being a creature of habit, I decided to get two more Milanese bands except in different colors.  The red band has a surprisingly nice, rich color but it also draws attention to the watch.  The gold band is similar to the rose gold, and it is inconspicuous enough to wear for most occasions.


a group of watch bands

Replacement options

a red watch with a cartoon character on it


a smart watch with a cartoon character on it



Finally, I decided to buy a Nylon Strap Sport Loop Band just to see how it looks without a case. Maybe I’ve already gotten used to the comfort of the Milanese watch bands, but strangely, I find that I like the protective case around the watch.  Without it, the watch looks like a sloppy, toy watch.

a smart watch on a white surface

Do You Own Multiple Watch Bands?

I don’t know how many watch bands the average person has.  But, considering that I had not been a watch-wearing kind of gal, it feels oddly strange to suddenly find myself in the position of owning more replacement watch bands than I’ll probably ever need.  Oh, I hate you, Apple, for making it so easy to swap bands.

Are Watch Bands Compatible with Apple 4 Series

We’ll see what Apple has in store for the Apple Watch Series 4.  Nobody knows at this point.  Hopefully, for those people who are planning to upgrade, I hope the watch bands are still compatible.

So, there we have it.  A lot of it has to do with personal style.  If someone is looking for a watch band, I’d still recommend Milanese Loop Band with Magnetic Clasp.  That would still be my first pick.


Are you using the default Apple Watch band, or have you found a better alternative?  Is there one that you would highly recommend?