Refresh Your Apple Watch Look in 3 Simple Band Change Steps

Chances are you spent more time deciding between an aluminum Midnight case with a Starlight sport band and a graphite stainless steel model with an abyss blue leather link band than anything else you’ve purchased recently. With so much attention lavished selecting that perfect Apple Watch box combination, have you ever stopped to consider changing it up after purchase?

You’re not alone.

While Apple doesn’t report exact sales figures, analysts estimate over 30 million Apple Watches were sold last year alone thanks to the Series 7 release and new watchOS 8 software rollout. From recreational runners tracking weekend workouts to executives checking notifications during meetings, Apple Watch dominates over 50% of the global smartwatch market.

And every one of those 30 million Apple Watch owners has the ability to customize their Watch even further after purchase by simply changing bands whenever the mood strikes.

A Smart History Lesson on Changing Bands

Believe it or not, interchangeable bands date all the way back to the first Apple Watch release in April 2015. While limited to Apple’s own fluoroelastomer sport bands or premium leather and metal offerings initially, the market rapidly expanded to address comfort, allergy, and style needs.

Today you can deck out your Watch with everything from handcrafted wood bands to repurposed vintage fabrics to high-end designer collaborations. There are even entire companies dedicated exclusively to accessories for the Apple Watch!

3 Key Reasons You Should Change Your Apple Watch Band

What prompts someone to change up their band after going through so much effort to choose one in the first place? Here are the top three motivators:

1. Comfort

As versatile as Apple’s proprietary bands may be, comfort often tops the list of reasons people swap out their original band. Our wrists come in different shapes, sizes, and sensitivities requiring an equally personalized fit.

Certain materials breathe and flex better for exercise and outdoor adventures while others offer a more polished look for the office. See how the most popular Apple Watch band materials stack up when it comes to comfort:

Band MaterialDurabilityBreathabilityFlexibilityWater Resistance
Fluoroelastomer Sport⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Stainless Steel⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

(5 stars = highest rating; 1 star = lowest rating)

Clearly band material plays a significant role in overall wearing comfort on the wrist. Don’t settle for an poorly matched band — your wrist will thank you!

2. Allergies

Skin sensitivities are another major motivator for band changes. Rashes, redness, swelling and general irritation can put a real damper on Apple Watch ownership. The likely culprit? Nickel, a common metal used in everything from jewelry to smartwatches.

In fact, nickel allergies impact over 17% of women and 3% of men according to the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Thankfully, switching to a hypoallergenic Apple Watch band can provide relief. Brands like Twelve South offer nickel-free leather bands while Pad & Quill creates Apple Watch straps made of American full-grain leather or a latent-free linen/resin composite.

3. Style

Lastly, we all know just how personal style can be. Your preferences likely fluctuate whether subtly from season to season or more dramatically as new trends emerge. What better way to keep your Look current than refreshing your entire vibe just by changing Apple Watch bands?!

Swap out shades according to your outfit, the seasons or even your mood. Seek out unique designer collaborations and funky limited edition finds from boutique band purveyors. Express yourself!

“I have different bands for working out, wearing to work, going out on the weekends and lounging around the house,” says Mia L., avid Apple Watch collector and band switcher-upper. “It allows me to quickly customize my entire look. I don’t have tens of thousands to spend on luxury timepieces so this is my affordable way to have options.”

Step By Step Apple Watch Band Change Instructions

Intrigued to try a new band style? You’re in luck! Switching bands takes just minutes once you get the basics down. Just follow these three simple steps:

Step 1: Turn Over Your Apple Watch

Flipping your Apple Watch face down exposes the release buttons underneath.

The first step is to simply flip over your watch to expose the backside with digital crown facing down and release buttons peeking out on the top left and right edges.

Step 2: Press In On the Release Button While Sliding Out the Band

This part can be tricky! Use one hand to press the release button down firmly while the other hand slides the band out. You really need to apply pressure to that tiny button to disengage the locking mechanism.

At the same time, gently wiggle and slide the end of the band horizontally away from the case until it’s freed. Repeat on the other side to remove completely.

Step 3: Align Your New Band and Click into Place

The last step is to simply slide your new band into place, aligning the ends with the release button slots. You’ll likely hear a faint click letting you know lugs on the new band have securely locked into place.

For peace of mind, give the band a gentle sideways tug on both ends, checking that resistance keeps it from sliding right back out. Confirm your stylish new accessory is good to go! Then flip over your Watch and voila ✨

Check out this excellent step-by-step band change tutorial for visual guidance if needed.

Apple Watch with new band

Image Credit: iMore

Additional Apple Watch Band Change Considerations

While the basics stay the same across all Apple Watch generations and models, there are small fitting adjustments between band types and sizes:

Band Sizes: Bands sized for Apple Watch 38/40/41mm cases are interchangeable as are 42/44/45mm bands.

Kids Bands: Consider third party child bands for tiny wrists as Apple doesn’t offer official kids sizes.

Long Bands: Apple’s current XL band maxes out at 245 mm; look into alternatives if you need longer.

Ultra Bands: Good news! Any bands fitting 44mm/45mm models will work with the new oversized 49mm Ultra.

Apple Watch Case Size1st Gen (S0/S1)Series 2/3Series 4/5/6/SESeries 7Ultra (S8)

Have More Apple Watch Band Questions?

Here I‘ll tackle some frequently asked band changing questions:

Are the bands compatible across all Apple Watch sizes?

  • For the most part, yes! Just pay attention to matching case sizes. Bands for 38/40/41mm cases are interchangeable. And 42/44/45/49mm bands will also fit across models.

Do Apple Watch bands for kids exist?

  • Apple doesn‘t offer specific "kids size" bands. But their smaller 38mm and 40mm often fit young kids best. You can also find cute kid-focused fabric bands from independent sellers.

Is there a right or wrong way I have to slide the bands out?

  • Nope, bands can be removed by sliding horizontally either left or right. Just be sure to press the release buttons first!

What if my wrist is larger than their biggest band option?

  • Many third party sellers offer extended length bands well over Apple‘s current 245mm max for larger wrists. Lots of great options are out there!

I hope this guide gave you confidence to breathe new life into your Apple Watch by swapping bands. Summed up in three easy steps, you can change bands to match any outfit or mood. Have fun with self-expression through smartwatch personalization!

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