My obsession with the Apple Watch continues as I try and understand the complexity of this product. I’ve been looking at the gallery for the Apple Watch and here are some initial observations regarding the bands.
First, look at the sports bands. Notice how they are a solid color all way through, even to area where it slides into the watch case itself. What this tells me is that the sports bands are, for the most part, designed to look good on all versions of the Apple Watch. There’s only two slight differences as far as I can tell and that’s in the metal accents that are available in gold and space grey for the Apple Watch Edition (gold) and the Space Grey Apple Watch Sport.
Putting those two differences aside, it appears that the Apple Watch Sport is really designed to be used with the sport bands. This basically means you have 5 colors to chose from.
Next, let’s look at the stainless steel Apple Watch, otherwise known as “Apple Watch.” Take a look at the bands very closely and you’ll notice something very interesting.
See it? The “hinge” where it connects to the watch is polished to match the watch case. What this means is that while the bands may fit on other models like the Apple Watch Sport, it certainly won’t look good because you’ll have a polished band on an otherwise matte aluminum case. In fact, from the looks of it, it appears that there are at least 6 bands that are specifically built for just the stainless steel version. And remember, as I mentioned above, this doesn’t include the sport bands or the Leather Loop versions which could technically go on the Apple Watch Sport but are not ideal. All in all, if you purchase a stainless steel Apple Watch (non space gray) in either 38mm or 42mm, you’ll be able to interchange 14 different bands and have them all look good. No other models have this much flexibility. Clearly this is Apple’s flagship model.
Here are all the models that will work and look good on the stainless steel Apple Watch:
Black Classic Buckle
Soft Pink Modern Buckle
Brown Modern Buckle
Midnight Blue Modern Buckle
Stone Leather Loop
Bright Blue Leather Loop
Light Brown Leather Loop
Stainless Steel Link Bracelet
Finally, the gold Apple Watch, otherwise known as the “Apple Watch Edition”, has taken some cues from the stainless steel Apple Watch and adopted some bands that have gold ends to match the gold case it clips into.
These bands include:
Bright Red Modern Buckle (exclusive to Apple Watch Edition)
Rose Grey Modern Buckle (exclusive to Apple Watch Edition)
Midnight Blue Classic Buckle
In addition to these bands, there are also two sport bands that have matching gold accents (black and white). This makes sense as gold accents on pink, green or blue would look pretty bad.
In total, it appears that if you buy the gold Apple Watch, you’ll only have 5 bands to choose from, especially if you want a strap that matches.
Quick pricing thoughts
Many have speculated on the price of these watches and while we can be pretty sure that the Apple Watch Sport is the version that starts at $349, I’m most interested in seeing how Apple prices the stainless steel Apple Watch. Why? Because with 14 bands to choose from, Apple could price this watch aggressively knowing that buyers may choose to buy several bands. If the sport band costs $80 and the Link Bracelet costs $300, between those two alone you’re already bringing in close to $400 in revenue. And that’s before we get into the possibility of a MFAW (Made for Apple Watch) license program that could bring even more revenue for Apple through 3rd party straps.
This is going to be super interesting.
Side Note: If you’re interested in hearing me talk more about this, feel free to subscribe to my new podcast, Resolve, where I get deep into topics like this. In fact, the first episode will be up this week where I talk to well-known watch reviewer and founder of A Blog To Watch, Ariel Adams. He’s been writing about watches and has had some private time with the Apple Watch.