Isn’t it wonderful to have the option to change your Apple Watch bands at will? Just change the bands and watch face; that way, you can hit the gym and stroll into a meeting afterwards, looking classy as ever.
To make this possible, Apple doesn’t use standard watch bands. Apple designers created a special type of slotted lug attachment and spring-loaded buttons on the straps that lock in place.
Holding the band release button lets you slide the old band out, and slide in the new one. But there’s a catch (literally)—you’ve got to have the right bands for your Apple Watch and do the swap properly to avoid damage.
Apple Watch Band Compatibility Guide
There have been 7 iterations of the Apple Watch so far, with several generations and countless Editions between them.
Apple has tried to make the bands compatible with the watch body through its generations, which is good news if you are a collector. However, there are changes in sizing and styling that you need to consider.
Apple Watch Strap Sizes
|Apple Watch Generation||Case/Lug Size|
|1st Generation||Two versions, 38mm and 42mm|
|Series 1, 2, and 3||Two versions, 38mm and 42mm|
|Apple Watch SE||Two versions, 40mm and 44mm|
|Series 4, 5, and 6||Two versions, 40mm and 44mm|
All third-party Apple Watch straps have to be compatible with this system as well. Our collection at BluShark Straps is crafted to the exact standards that fit just as well as the official Apple bands.
How to Change Bands on Your Apple Watch: Step-By-Step Guide
1. Place Your Watch On a Soft Surface
Place a soft microfiber cloth or paper towel on top of a flat, clean surface, then put your Apple Watch face down onto it to prevent scratches on the watch face.
Open the bracelet where possible. This may not be possible with the closed Sport Loop and Sport Band, but these are flexible enough to work with as-is.
If you have a Link Bracelet, there will be a quick-release button on a few of the links that you can press to separate it into two parts. Push down on this button and pull the links apart.
2. Press the Band Release Buttons and Hold
You will see two oval release buttons near the channels where the bands attach. They hold the band in place, and pushing on them releases it so that you can slide it out. The two band release buttons are marked E on the image below.
You can use your fingernails or any thin sharp object to press and hold the buttons individually.
3. Slide the Band Across To Remove It
While pressing the band release button, gently slide one side of the band out of the channels in either direction. Repeat the same process for the other side as well.
4. Get Your New Apple Watch Band and Position it Carefully
Your new band should be compatible with the case width of your Apple Watch. Apple confirms that the 38mm and 40mm bands are interchangeable, as are 42mm and 44mm cases. However, it’s always best to match the case width exactly if you can.
With the underside of the band facing you, position the band near each of the channels. It often doesn’t matter in what order you do that, but try to match the original positioning of the old bands.
If you are replacing the band with a new one, it should come in two pieces. If not, open the closure mechanisms to free the two ends and enable you to slide the bands into place. Again, this doesn’t apply to closed bands such as the Sport Loop.
5. Slide the New Band Into the Channels
Slide the new band into place one side at a time. You will hear a click when the band locksinto place, especially with the metal bands. Give the band a slight tug to ensure that it is locked in place.
If you have trouble removing or restoring a band, try tilting it slightly to match the angle of the channels. If all else fails, here is a novel but risky solution you can attempt.
Official Apple Watch Band Options to Choose From
There are currently six standard designs of official Apple Watch bands available. These all have different wrist size specifications and aesthetics, so it's worth taking a moment to ensure that you have the right one.
|Apple Watch Band||Case Size||Wrist Size Specifications|
|The Leather Loop||44 mm||
|The Milanese Loop||40 mm and 44 mm||
|The Link Bracelet||38 mm and 42 mm||
|The Modern Buckle||40 mm||
|The Leather Link||40 mm and 44 mm||
|The Sport Band||40 mm and 44 mm||
And yes, these straps are also a wonderful gift idea for Apple lovers.
Buy Affordable Apple Watch Bands
The official Apple Watch bands command official Apple prices, so it makes sense to buy compatible bands from third-party manufacturers instead.
However, you can’t trust any but the best quality third-party sellers. You don’t want to see your $700 Series 6 drowning in a lake while fishing, do you?
At BluShark Straps, we handcraft luxury Apple Watch Bands from materials such as Cordura, leather, canvas, and nylon to fit all the Apple Watch models. Explore our collections today to find a world of choice and affordability like you haven’t experienced before.