When Apple first introduced the Apple Watch, a common concern was whether the new smartwatch would support unofficial bands from third parties. This was especially concerning once it became obvious that bands made by Apple were going to cost as much as $549.
I'm okay with paying a premium for most Apple products, but to hand over that much cash for a single watch band? That's just insanity. And thankfully, it's optional. Because the Apple Watch is not locked down to a propriety, this means that it's compatible with a wide variety of bands, official and unofficial.
While my Apple Watch band collection isn't exactly impressive, below are a few bands that I've picked up along the way. And for a fraction of what Apple would normally charge, the bands aren't bad at all.
OULUOQI 42mm Magnetic Milanese Loop (Gold)
Beginning with my favorite Apple Watch accessory, the OULUOQI 42mm Magnetic Milanese Loop is a beautifully crafted band that is both stylish and functional. Available in a variety of colors (I prefer gold), this is the band that I have to recommend for anyone who is looking to improve the overall look of their Apple Watch.
Costing just $16, you have to wonder... How does the quality compare to Apple's take on the Milanese Loop? Honestly, I haven't used the official band, so I couldn't tell you. However, I can say with confidence that you will not be disappointed. Because the band is magnetic, this means that you can quickly and easily adjust it at any moment. And that's why I love it so much.
Penom 42mm Magnetic Milanese Loop (Black)
Continuing with my obsession over magnetic bands, the Penom 42mm Magnetic Milanese Loop is exactly like the band I just mentioned — except this one is black. It matches the space gray version of the Apple Watch very well, giving off that stealth look that seems to be in nowadays.
As of this writing, the band is selling for about $14. Compare that to Apple's Milanese Loop and you'll quickly realize how much money you are truly saving. Sure, the black material tends to fade over time on this particular band, but you are still getting one heck of a deal. And besides, it doesn't hurt to buy a few at a time. Just saying.
OULUOQI 42mm Magnetic Leather Loop (White)
While this is my least favorite band, I still need to mention the OULUOQI 42mm Magnetic Leather Loop. Personally, I'm not a fan of how this band looks on my wrist, but I can still recommend it based on quality alone. The leather feels nice to the touch and it gives off a classy vibe, especially if you decide to go with the white version like I did.
Perhaps this band goes best with the Apple Watch that has a stainless steel finish, but I just wasn't feeling it with my space gray model. Regardless, if you're looking for a quality leather band, paying less than $20 is more than worth it. A variety of color options are available.
With the Apple Watch still being a fairly new product category, it's safe to say that my band shopping spree is far from done. Be sure to keep an eye on David's Things for anything that I decide to buy.
Do you have any specific band recommendations? If so, please let me know in the comments right below.