Best Apple Watch straps: Third party bands to pimp your watch for less

Apple Watch bands for dressing up, going running and everything in between
Stylish straps for your Apple Watch

There's nothing that changes any watch's look like a new strap or band, and even the Apple Watch can be given a dramatic makeover with a little customisation.

Like most Apple Watch owners you've probably coveted the official straps, and most likely balked at the price. But there are tonnes of third party bands for sale now, and the good news is they're far cheaper than the official ones.

Must read: Apple Watch Series 2 review

We're trying out as many bands as we can to really get a feel for what they're like to wear, customise and adjust, so look back for more diverse straps every month.

Southern Straps NATO strap

This woven, double layered nylon NATO number looks the business for 42mm and 38mm Apple Watches, and comes in a range of style and colour options. The adapter (available in stainless steel, grey and gold) is also stronger than we've seen on rival straps, which is all the better given the competitive price.

$25.00, | Amazon

Pad and Quill Padded strap

The Field strap uses delightful two tone effect, blending leather and cordura together for an interesting ensemble. The leather is such good quality it's a shame that it's wasted on the inside, but that effect isn't lost on your skin, and it's super comfy to wear all day. Designed for 42mm Apple Watch Series 1 & Series 2 for 130-210mm wrists, there are two colours with grey/black and brown/black options available.

$99.95, | Etsy

Burkley Watch padded leather

You can smell the leather on this delightful band, which benefits from stitching detail down the edges of the strap. The Burkley strap fits wrists measuring 145-215mm and has a classic stainless steel buckle. It takes a while for the leather to soften up, but it's a comfortable and classy looking band that injects a dose of style to your smartwatch.

$59.90, | Amazon

LuxWoods Apple Watch Band

For those looking for something different, it doesn't come much more unique than LuxWoods' range of straps. A classic link bracelet made from black ebony wood, it feels delightful, with each link smoothed and polished. What's more, it's light and comes with a high quality buckle. Word of warning, however, the adjustment is really tough and it's easy to damage the band.


Casetify Classic Lady

It's hard to ignore this muted and classy Casetify strap, which puts a more feminine spin on the classic red, white and blue. Made from a refined plastic, it's durable and offers a genuine dose of class welcome among the legions of metal chainmail and leather that dominate the third party strap market. There's also a red, white and blue Classic 1970s men's version, too.

$70 |

BlackForestAtelier Handmade Vintage

To Etsy then, where BlackForestAtelier is making some of the best-looking Apple Watch straps we've laid our eyes on thus far. These hand-made bands can be produced to be compatible with every type and size of Apple.

You get a choice of colours, leather and designs when you place your order — you also get a special screwdriver and lugs adapter to make switching straps straightforward. Based on the reviews from previous customers, these are well worth the money.

$89.90 | Etsy

Penom Mesh Milanese Loop

The official Apple Milanese Loop strap caught our attention like no other and has done the most to portray the Watch as a stylish accessory, rather than a gadget. Well, this unofficial alternative is available at Amazon for just $28 – which we'd consider an absolute steal.

$28.93 | Amazon

Pad&Quill 60 Year Luxury Lowry Cuff

A bold statement of a watch strap, the Pad&Quill leather cuff is for those who like a bit of chunk on their arm. Reminiscent of Fossil watch straps, the supple leather is top quality, which is certainly echoed with the price tag.


IVSO Leather Watch Strap

If you're looking for a comfortable real leather watch strap, but have cleared out your savings after purchasing an Apple Watch, IVSO's great value leather strap might be worth a punt. Available in red, brown or black, this classic leather strap has a stainless steel buckle and attaches using the more conventional steel needle mount; available in variants to suit either the 38mm or 42mm Apple Watch.

$12.50 | Amazon

JETech Leather Loop Strap

For those who like the feel of leather but are on the hunt for something a little different, the Leather Loop strap from JETech might just fit the bill. This unique leather strap eschews a buckle in favour of an adjustable magnetic clasp to hold the strap at your desired size, and you can choose from either black or blue colours. It is only available for the 42mm variant of the Apple Watch at present, but promises comfort and style for those with the larger of the two models.

$12.99 | Amazon

Spigen Rugged Band

If you would like to replace the silicone band on the standard Apple Watch Sport with something a little more rugged and masculine, Spigen's hybrid polymer replacement strap should definitely be on the list. Suitable for Apple's 42mm watch and retaining the "pin and tuck" buckle system, this is a solid strap for anyone who wants to preserve the sporty look without spending the earth on a strap that might not keep up with their of an athletic lifestyle.

$24.99 | Amazon

Choicecuts Horween leather strap

This Choicecuts strap uses Horween Coffee Bean Dublin leather with minimal stitching for a cleaner look. The Horween is far darker than normal leather straps, and comes with the clasps and connectors required for an instant fit. The strap is available in small (110 x 70mm), medium (120 x 80mm) and large (135 x 85mm) sizes.

$95, Etsy

Lucrin Leather

Lucrin offer a variety of sizes and colours in their leather band range, so you can pick one to suit your sartorial style and your 38mm or 42mm Apple Watch casing. Your first choice is between a Classic or a more refined Elegance design, then there's a choice of leathers — smooth, granulated, goat, real ostrich — and then you can go about picking from one of the 30 different colour options. They're not cheap but they look the part.

$167.99 |

Oittm Stainless Steel Metal

If you fancy a nice stainless steel strap for your Apple Watch but can't afford the $449 asking price of the official link bracelet, try these cheaper alternatives for Oittm. We can't vouch personally for how good they are but there are hundreds of reviews online attesting to their quality. The straps come with a folding clasp and there's a choice of colours for both the 38mm and the 42mm models — you can even get a gold finish if you want.

$22.99 | Amazon

Gorillatronics silicone strap

Silicone bands are great for sporty types, but Apple's are a little too expensive to have different colour options for different outfits. Gorillatronics' straps come in a range of hues and at $13 a pop you can grab a bunch for the same price as a single official band.

$13 | Amazon


  • Linkx1992 says:

    These 3rd party wearables look very nice. I went for a HOCO brand one. bought it from a dutch company I was very pleased with the quality I got for the price I paid. I got a chirurgic steel(l316) strap usually called stainless steel strap. 

  • Tim007 says:

    wow..nice collections

    really helpful buying guide.

  • 3000 says:

    I purchaed Leathersy Zen Style veg-tanned leather band in his own website, it is convenient for guest checkout also, if you do not want to fill too many of the forms for the register. I am happy with the quality and the fast delivery. 

  • BounmySombath says:

    i think the apple watches look great and versatile but i certainly don't have the new iphone, also the matching Apple watch but the reason why i love apple so much is that they're more of a diverse company, they also have the research kit for medical research, and the Duke University medical center app for autism, plus i was thinking out loud to myself like Android doesn't do that at all and never talk about diversity at all but Apple in the other hand is that they do, and the CEO of Apple Tim Cook talked about privacy on his 2016 March event that i watched on YouTube and he said that him and his team respects that.

  • MrMinorDetail says:

    It's hard to find an Apple Watch strap that is decent quality and can stylishly meet the black and stainless steel case colours. Very helpful review.. we will have to sample some from here to see if the quality is decent. We are looking for a boutique and masculine range to suit at but only the very best quality. Thanks and looking forward to your Apple Watch 2 review as soon as it is released! MrMinorDetail

  • Frannbug says:

    A useful list of alternatives, thank you!

    Btw., I have to point out that leather is 'tanned, tawed or otherwise do dressed skin', according to the dictionary. It can't be made of vegetables or plastic or anything else! Speaking as someone who was once sold a 'leather' piano stool which turned out to be made of the most horrible, unabsorbent plastic, I think too many manufacturers are relaxing the definition these days and passing off cheaper materials as leather. Had they called it something else I might have been tempted to try Leathersy's offering; but if they are dishonest about their product's materials how can you trust them?

    • Bingo-handjob says:

      Frannbug - you're right. Leather must be 'tanned'. In the case of Leathersy's product, its tanned in a solution of vegetable matter, making it vegetable tanned leather. I don't think leathersy are being dishonest in any way here.

  • katherine says:

    Awesome list of apple watch bands. The Moko and JETech bands are really good and worth the price. But for Apple watch hermes band, I would recommend hoco hermes bands, which features 3in1 style.


    I get the brown color and offers nice leather touch feeling.

    We should admit that third party bands from casetify, monoweardesig, etc all features high quality and beautiful design.

    Take a look.

  • Jisoncase says:

    I like this genuine leather watch band, high- grade leather, soft to wear, take a look:

    You just can not find the same kind of leather from other seller, top notch quality.

    I bought one for my 38mm iwatch and this one is for my dad.


  • Dorafragrance90 says:

    OULUOQI link bracelet knock off: The links are very easy to take out, you just use your finger to hit the button, wiggle it a little bit and it pops off. Very easy to adjust without any problem.

    Most importantly and why this band is set apart, unlike many 3rd party Apple Watch bands, this one is fairly scratch resistant so far, which was very important for me. I have tried several black 3rd party bands and most of them scratch so easily that they end up looking like garbage within a week. I have banged this one a couple of times now and it so far stood up to the test.
    The clasp and closing mechanism is identical to the original Apple band as well.

  • SouthernStraps says:

    What about our NATO straps for Apple Watch?  They're of a far higher build quality than the Nyloon band for Apple Watch and it's $10 cheaper!

    Please do check us out!

    Southern Straps

  • cestasol9 says:

    best watch

  • njcruz137 says:

    anyone find the nike band clones yet???????

  • Zbahow says:

    Good to look for alternative to Apple wrist. Just to let people know about the black stainless steel band, retail for 750$. Got it as a present about 6 month ago, I exchange it lately for the third time cause it lose his colour, wanted a credit because I really think it's a piece of crap and was poorly design, make me look like a successful hobo after a month. Customer service can't do anything for me better than exchange it again. So I'll go every month get a new band, really strange business decision and desapointing from Apple. until know I really appreciate their products and service was part of of it.

  • Cbronson says:

    Really useful buying guide

  • TJJ says:

    Wow, just killer job on this post you guys. Actually got a lot out of this. Really appreciate the effort. Thanks.

  • CGD says:

    Great job with comments! I recently got a new band with my new apple watch 2, a bit expensive but reasonable considering it's Italian leather. Awesome quality

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