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

Whether you've got an original Apple Watch, the new Apple Watch Series 2 or sports-centric Apple Watch Nike+, your smartwatch is primed for a pimping. Aside from some great Apple Watch accessories, there's nothing that changes a watch's look quite like a new strap or band.

Sure, you've probably got your eye on one or two of Apple's own Apple Watch straps, but you've probably been put off by the prices. Don't worry though, there's a mass of third party bands up for grabs. They look the part and are far cheaper than their official counterparts.

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.

TOMS Artisan Black Diamond

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

When you think desireble Apple Watch straps, your mind probably doesn't jump straight to shoemakers. TOMS, however, has put its mastery of canvas to wrist-pimping good use, and the Black Diamond Artisan model is the pick of its bunch.

Crafted from hard-wearing woven fabric, the Artisan band is finished with a supple leather back for a comfortable fit on wrists between 130-180mm. Stainless steel accents and a rounded buckle finish the look. Not only does this strap look slick, it's also being used to do some good in the world. For every strap sold, TOMS is donating a solar light to a child in a developing country.

$75, toms.com

Pad & Quill Field Strap

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

This is the sort of watch strap Bear Grylls would wear, but don't let that put you off. Pairing water-resistant Cordura fabric with full grain leather accents, its hard-wearing canvas build will stand up to whatever you can throw at it, day after day after day. Pairing substance with style, it looks effortlessly cool too, and is comfortable to wear all day without issue. It's available exclusively for the 42mm Apple Watch only.

$99.95, padandquill.com

Olixar Elegant Stainless Steel Strap

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

Apple's Milanese Loop strap was the headline-grabber on day one and it still looks pretty good 18 months on. The official model is expensive though. Fortunately, this chainlike inspired style doesn't have to break the bank, with this affordable imitation offering similar smarts at just a fraction of the price.

Compatible with all Apple Watch models, the buckle is easily adjusted to fit any sized wrist with the metal links impressively robust. The fastening clasp can be a little fiddly at first, but you'll quickly get used to its double latch mechanism.

£19.99, olixar.com

Baseus Genuine Leather Strap

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

Like the watch itself, this full grain genuine leather strap is elegantly understated. Simple yet stylish, its thick black leather strap is beautifully supple, quickly conforming to the contours of your wrist. A mass of strap notches ensure a comfortable, secure fit for all wrist sizes. Finished with a big, boxy stainless steel metal buckle finishes off the look that could pass for anywhere between business smart and rock show ready.

£12.99, baseus.com | Amazon

LoveBlue Genuine Leather Loop Bracelet

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

If you don't like bulky metal buckles that rub on your desk as you type, you might want to consider this strap. Like Apple's own Leather Loop offering, LoveBlue's Genuine Leather Loop ditches traditional fastenings, favouring instead a magnetic clasp. It's compatible with both the 38mm and 42mm watches, and while the quilted leather is a little stiff at first, it quickly softens up for a snug fit.

£8.88 | Amazon

Elobeth Soft Sports Bracelet

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

Despite being one of the best looking bands it makes, Apple is refusing to sell the Apple Watch Nike+ sports strap without the watch itself. That doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the Nike look and feel on your existing Apple Wearable though. This convincing copy gives the appearance of owning the Nike+ edition, while bringing all the same waterproof, run-loving benefits. Yes, it's a little thinner and less robust than the official unit, but it still wears nicely and is comfortable to exercise in.

£14.88| Amazon

Spigen Rugged Strap

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

The best Apple Watch straps aren't just about elegance and finesse. Sometimes you need a strap that's rough, tough and up for a fight. That's the Spigen Rugged Strap you'll be after then. Perfect for those with an outdoors lifestyle, it takes the run-friendly, waterproof ways of Apple's standard Sports strap and cranks it up to 11. The 42mm strap has a pin and tuck buckle that offers a secure fit and a knock-resistant finish. It's pretty big and bulky, but whether you're walking up a mountain or throwing yourself off one, it's tough enough to keep your watch safe.

$39.99, spigen.co.uk | Amazon

Casetify Looney Tunes Party All Over

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

Your Apple Watch doesn't have to be a stuffy, serious affair. If you're the sort who's still rocking the Micky or Minnie Mouse watch faces, chances are you're after something a little more fun on the strap front than just another carbon-copy leather option. If you really want to wear your cartoon-loving ways with pride, you need Casetify's, Bugs, Daffy and Taz-rocking Party All Over Looney Tunes band.

Available for both the 38mm and 42mm watches, the bright, vibrant strap is made from durable polycarbonate. Offering a surprisingly soft, comfortable fit, the sweat resistant band is finished with a cool, matte black stainless steel buck and lugs.

$52,casetify.com

Olixar Classic Buckle Watch Band

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

Forget the stuffy, serious brown and black bands, you can have an Apple Watch strap with serious pop while still enjoying the comfortable fit and better with age looks of a leather band. Fitting both 38mm and 42mm watches, this affordable option offers a lot for a little. The rounded, metal, classic buckle gives the strap a clean, high-end feel, with the vivid red tanned leather offering something a little different to your other, understated straps.

$39.99 | Amazon

Chicago Genuine Leather Strap

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

There are plenty of nice leather Apple Watch straps out there. For the money though, this is one of our favourites. The soft, Horween leather looks effortlessly chic whatever you wear it with, and only gets better with a few scuffs and creases it will inevitably get with wear. The suede underside gives this watch one of the most comfortable fits going, while the chunky metal buckle adds to its eye-catching design.

£14.99, mobilefun.co.uk

Pugo Top Woven Nylon Strap

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

Woven nylon is the new leather, and this nylon strap is one of the nicest we've had around our wrist. Perfect for those who like the look of Apple's official Woven Nylon straps, this model fits wrist between 145-215mm. With a nylon weave wrapped around a foam core for improved comfort, the only discernible difference between this and the Apple option is that the Pugo has traded in a metal buckle for a plastic option. It still looks great though.

$39.99 | Amazon

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, southernstraps.com

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, burkleycase.com | 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.

$64.97, luxwood.com

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 | casetify.com

Pad and Quill Padded strap

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

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, padandquill.com | Etsy

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

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.

$249.00, padandquill.com

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

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 | lucrin.com

Oittm Stainless Steel Metal

If you fancy a nice stainless steel strap for your Apple Watch but can't afford the 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

26 Comments

  • Linkx1992 says:

    These 3rd party wearables look very nice. I went for a HOCO brand one. bought it from a dutch company www.alternativewatchband.com 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.

    • simplebest says:

      Really really wonderful bands list for apple watch. There are lots of new band come every month, but i love spigen and nomad most. The best design with the best price. Spigen do protective and nomad give the classic look I want. 

      And I also recommend the website which let us buy he hermes band at affordable price: https://www.lululook.com/collections/apple-watch-b...

      Hope it will do a favor and reader will love, 

    • Boris says:

      Sweet list indeed! I have happily tried the BlackForest strap, but I have to say that right now I am very much looking forward to what strapple.co is coming up with. Their crocodile strap looks so gorgeous!

      • Strapple says:

        That is so nice to hear, Boris! Also our compliments to Wareable who have managed to compose such an extensive list! Hopefully Strapple makes it to the list too, because we're super excited to announce that ...*drum roll*... our straps are available as of today!

        You can check out our collection on www.strapple.co

        We would love to hear your feedback!

      • Strapple says:

        That is so nice to hear, Boris! Also our compliments to Wareable who have managed to compose such an extensive list! Hopefully Strapple makes it to the list too, because we're super excited to announce that ...*drumroll*... our Apple Watch straps are available as of today!

        You can check out our collection on www.strapple.co

        We would love to hear your feedback!

  • 3000 says:

    I purchaed Leathersy Zen Style veg-tanned leather band in his own website www.Leathersy.com, 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 www.minordetail.com 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.

    Link: https://www.focuseak.com/products/hoco-double-tour-bracelet-leather-band-for-apple-watch

    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.

    • wearhoo says:

      This fits the Apple Watch Series 2 42mm perfectly. My daughter loves this!

  • 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.

    https://www.amazon.com/OULUOQI%C2%AE-Bracelet-Butterfly-Replacement-Stainless/dp/B01CHYHF7M/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1468571689&sr=8-7&keywords=apple+watch+link+bracelet

  • 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

    https://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Stainless-SONAMU-...

  • ballballhead says:

    http://www.eternitizzz.com

    I get one of this from the above website and the quality is awesome. Highly recommend.

  • manthans says:

    Saw about this in tabtotab.com , The black steel strap is one of the best thing you can get for cheap price, i think i will get one, even if it lasts few months, i can still get a new one for 1/10th the price. Its a nice buy. Thanks for list

  • GreatSearsino says:

    Loved the Black Diamond one towards the top! Would highly recommend checking out a company called Clockwork Synergy.

    They sell at very low prices and have a ton of the same straps I see here on this list.

  • Spage says:

    I am very impressed with my first purchase, the ottim stainless steel band. Delivery was prompt, however the presentation of the band exceeded my "you get what you paid for" expectations. The packaging was professional and the band itself is very akin to a proper stainless steel watch.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.