27 best Apple Watch faces – how to get and customize watch faces

Need some inspiration? Give your watch a facelift with these top picks
Best Apple Watch faces
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Everyone wants to get their Apple Watch looking its best – and cool watch faces and complications are the easiest place to start.

Apple has always been selective about watch faces and has taken a less-is-more approach. But in watchOS 8, Apple showed watch faces some love with its new Portrait faces and bringing your own photos more into play.

But the selection of Apple Watch faces is now pretty big – and with first and third party complications, there's plenty of customization on offer.

Read on for our top Apple Watch faces, and we explain how you can customize everything to your taste.

Best Apple Watch faces in 2021

There are now tons of Apple Watch faces on offer, and the great thing is how customizable they all are. Below, we've highlighted our top picks, but make sure to play around with the complications on each and have a good crop of options in your on-watch library that you can switch between when you get bored.

1. Contour (Series 7 only)

27 best Apple Watch faces – how to get and customize watch faces

One of the new faces added with the arrival of the Watch Series 7 and unique to that model, Contour is made to show off that more curvy case look of Apple's latest smartwatch. You have the option to have the font displayed flat on the screen or to match the curves of the Watch case. You can also adjust background colour and there's a special Pride version as well and is a welcome addition to Apple's growing collection of slick faces.

  • Customisable: Background color
  • Complications: Yes

2. Portraits (watchOS 8)

27 best Apple Watch faces – how to get and customize watch faces

Portraits was a headline new feature in watchOS 8 and it does work on older Watches (Series 4 or later) letting you bring more dynamic looking portrait pics to your watch face. You can pick from classic, modern or rounded designs with complication support at the top and bottom of the watch face. You can also tinker with font colors too to make the time and complications stand out too.

  • Customisable: Style
  • Complications: Yes

3. Modular Duo (Series 7 only)

27 best Apple Watch faces – how to get and customize watch faces

The other big new face addition that landed with Watch Series 7, Modular Duo takes full advantage of the extra screen state on Apple's latest. You can add up to three complications and adjust the color of those complications and font, but we think the multicolor look is the standout option here.

  • Customisable: Font and color
  • Complications: Three

4. Astronomy (watchOS 8)

27 best Apple Watch faces – how to get and customize watch faces

For space lovers, Astronomy comes let you view put an earth, moon or solar system view on your Watch face with room for complications at the top and the bottom of the face. You can also twist the crown to interact with it letting you see information like the next full moon. It's a really charming option that we have a lot of time for.

  • Customisable: View
  • Complications: Yes

5. Fire and Water

27 best Apple Watch faces – how to get and customize watch faces

Fire and Water is an animated face option that really shines on Apple's Retina display. You can pick from a rectangle or circle dial with room for up to three complications. You can go all in with fire or water or have the best of both worlds and see them side-by-side.

  • Customisable: Dial shape
  • Complications: Yes

6. GMT (watchOS 7)

GMT watch face watchOS 7

The first of a slew of new watch faces dropped in the watchOS 7 update, GMT enables you to set a secondary timezone. The colours can be totally customised, although we like the Rolex vibes of the default. And there's space for four complications in the corners.

  • Customisable: Color of dial
  • Complications: Yes

7. Artist (watchOS 7)

Artist watch face watchOS 7

Commissioned from artist Geoff McFetridge, the Artist watch face shows faces that subtly show the time as the eyes and nose. Tap the screen to change and customize the face shown, and the always-on Series 5, Series 6 and Series 7 will show the outline of drawing when powered down. It's abstract, but a very unique look.

  • Customisable: Tap to change the face
  • Complications: No

8. Memoji (watchOS 7)

Memoji watch face watchOS 7

It was always going to happen. If you have a Memoji set up on your iPhone you can port him/her/they onto your Apple Watch. However, you can have one of the now familiar stock Memoji characters if you fancy. You can also customize the small info panel at the bottom.

  • Customisable: Change character or use your personal Memoji
  • Complications: Yes

9. Stripes (watchOS 7)

Stripes watch face watchOS 7

  • Customisable: Yes (colours/numbers of stripes/direction of stripes)
  • Complications: No

These stripes are almost infinitely customizable, with the number of stripes, colours, angles, direction all up for discussion. You can have them as a square or inset circle with corner complications, between 2-9 stripes, and pick the color of each individual stripe. We went for the classic football strip look above, but this is one of the most personal Apple Watch faces going.

10. Count up (watchOS 7)

Count Up watch face watchOS 7

One for the track runners (possibly), Count Up puts stopwatch functionality straight onto the watch face. Tap the screen to start a timer, which will be shown on the watch face itself. Sadly it doesn't store laps as the design sort of suggests, but you do get four complication spots on the edge and can change the color of the ring.

  • Customisable: Change color of dial
  • Complications: Yes

11. Typograph (watchOS 7)

Typograph watch face watchOS 7

Another abstract and classy watch face, Typograph shows the time written out in an edgy font with an analogue dial in the center. You can change between a host of fonts, switch to a more classic dial, go for numerals instead of digits and change the color. There are no complications available.

  • Customisable: Change typeface and color
  • Complications: No

12. Chronograph Pro (watchOS 7)

Chronograph watch face watchOS 7

The Chronograph Pro shows a tachymeter by default, which is used for measuring speed. However, you can change to different dials including 60, 30, 6 and 3 second timers, which you start by tapping the dial and hitting the green button.

  • Customisable: Color and timescale
  • Complications: Yes

13. Infograph

Infograph

  • Customisable: Color
  • Complications: Yes

For those obsessed with complications, the Infograph has been sent from watch face heaven – and it's our pick for the best Apple Watch face you can use.

It can support up to eight complications, with the four in the corner able to make use of the redesigned Series 4 and Series 5 display to show extra information – check out the weather in the top-right with current, minimum and maximum temperatures on show.

The middle offers shortcuts to common apps as well, such as Activity and Music, but, in truth, you can cut these any way you want.

14. Meridian

Meridian

Meridian was added to the Apple Watch Face Gallery with watchOS 6, and has already cemented its place in our high esteem, narrowly missing out on our top slot.

It offers a great blend of design and function, with a clean, bold analog look that's augmented by the option of four complications in the middle of the dial.

You can't get quite as much information on there as you can on the Infograph face, but, then again, you might just want to keep things simple.

  • Customisable: Color and style
  • Complications: Yes

15. Modular Compact

Modular compact

Another data-heavy option is the new Modular Compact face, which can pack in reams of information.

With six complication spots, the three icons at the bottom can be changed to common contacts, to enable you to make calls straight from the Watch.

Corner complications are out, but you can make use of the middle modular unit, which can even include boarding passes from Quantas, heart rate data and Citymapper commuting alerts.

  • Customisable: Color; analogue/digital
  • Complications: Yes

16. Breathe

Breathe

The Breathe watch face apes the design of the app, using the same animations. You can pollute the tranquility with complications if you wish, although it does ruin the calm.

Tap on the watch face and you'll jump straight to the Breathe app for a guided session. This one's certainly good for those who are keen to get some mindfulness in their day.

  • Customisable: Multiple styles
  • Complications: Yes

17. Gradient

Gradient

New with watchOS 6, Gradient offers a gorgeous, clean look with the benefit of bold colors. If you're rocking a Series 5 or Series 6, it will invert itself to a darker mode when your wrist is down, too.

You can choose the color that best augments your look, so if you're wearing a bold outfit Gradient's a great option to take it a step further.

  • Customisable: Color and gradient
  • Complications: Yes

18. Pride

Pride 2021

For those attending a Pride event – or looking to show some LGBTQ+ support – the Pride watch face is what you need. Apple has launched a new version every year, and the 2021 version (pictured above) will launch via a watchOS update. This year's version also adds more colors to celebrate a wider spectrum.

It's minimalist, but tapping on-screen prompts lush animations that wobble and warp those rainbow lines really pleasingly. You can adjust the single complication as well, as a nice bonus.

And if you prefer a previous years' Pride design you can long press and hit Customize to cycle through them all.

  • Customisable: Choose previous years styles
  • Complications: Yes

19. Activity

Activity

You're looking to lose some weight and want to track your activity and calories on your journey.

That's why we've got the Workout complication up top ready for your next workout, a heart rate complication on the other side so you can check in on your vitals and the Lose It! complication down at the bottom letting you know how you're doing on the food front.

The digital activity face is the centerpiece here, so you can easily keep track of your beloved rings, calories burned, exercise minutes and stand hours.

  • Customisable: Color/time format
  • Complications: Yes

20. Solar Dial

Solar Dial

Another new design from watchOS 6, Solar Dial is a pretty flashy face with a real practical side.

The face has complications in each corner, for your choice of details, and features a prominent and striking solar measure that lets you know when you can expect sunset where you are, alongside the time.

You can also tap the watch to see the length of daylight, which is really useful if you're planning anything outdoorsy, such as if you want to squeeze in a run after work.

  • Customisable: Digital/analogue
  • Complications: Yes

21. Siri

Siri

If you're looking for an assistant to be proactive about your day and what you need to get done, you're not going to find a better watch face.

The Siri complication sits up at the top, so if you need to get something done and don't have your iPhone around, it'll handle it. Below, you'll see a carousel of guidance, notifications and more.

  • Customisable: Color
  • Complications: Yes

22. Simple

Simple

If you're in Apple's ecosystem, that might also include some smart home tech, which is why we've added the HomeKit complication, while you've also got quick access to Remote if you want to control your Apple TV. And of course, don't forget a handy timer. Home sweet home.

  • Customisable: Style/color
  • Complications: Yes

23. Mickey Mouse

Mickey

Just let loose and click on Mickey, he'll tell you the time. Don't be afraid to swap in the Toy Story gang if you prefer some Pixar, by the way.

Get the weather from the sarcastic Carrot, use Magic Guide for theme park ride times, and hatch your Pokemon with Pokemon Go – all at the same time. See also Minnie Mouse and Toy Story.

  • Customisable: Mickey or Mini
  • Complications: Yes

24. Numerals

Numerals

You don't need much. You're simple – but classy. You just want the time and date, and you want it in the sleekest way possible. Take on the Numerals watch face, get a nice calm color going, and then strut your stuff.

  • Customisable: Color
  • Complications: Yes

25. Unity

Unity watch face

Released in February 2021 for Black History Month, the Unity watch face is inspired by the Pan-African flag.

You can customize the color mix, and it's also designed to be paired up with a limited edition Apple Watch strap released for the event.

The Unity watch face is made for Apple Watch Series 6 and later and that includes the SE. You'll need to be on watch OS 7.3 or later to get it too.

  • Customisable: Color
  • Complications: Yes

26. Kaleidoscope

Kalaidoscope

If you're looking to calm yourself, or even want to zone out, your best bet is the Kaleidoscope face.

Head to the Watch companion app and choose your own picture, then choose a design (we've got Radial here) and get your own custom piece of art on your wrist.

We've gone with the Breathe and Heart Rate complications up at the top, so you're just a tap away from total zen at all times.

  • Customisable: Color/style
  • Complications: Yes

27. Photos

Photos

Smartphone cameras have gotten pretty damn good, meaning that every so often you'll take a picture that's so good you'll want to look at it a lot.

That's what this face is for. We've also gone with a simple calendar complication below that, but you can get rid of that if you'd prefer to have your view less obstructed.

  • Customisable: Change photo
  • Complications: Yes

Download watch faces with Facer

Download watch faces with Facer

Below we're going to go through our favorite Apple Watch faces that come built into the Apple Watch.

But if you want to take customization up to the next level then Facer has added new faces for Apple Watch, with options from the likes of NASA, Star Trek and Tetris.

Read our full guide to using Facer for Apple Watch to get started.

How to change Apple Watch faces

How do you change faces on Apple Watch?

To change the Apple Watch face on your smartwatch force touch (long press) the screen to access the face gallery. From here you can scroll through your favourites, or press the + icon to access the full gallery.

When you select one it's added to your favorites, which you can cycle through simply by sliding the watch face left or right.

You can also access the full selection in the Apple Watch companion app, where the full Face Gallery is available to add selections to your watch manually.

More Apple Watch guides