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How to use any brand watch band on your Apple Watch

How to use any brand watch band on your Apple Watch

August 19, 2015

Many Apple Watch owners would like to have a collection of watch bands to change the look of their Apple Watches for different outfits and occasions. But Apple’s bands are pretty pricy, making it an expensive proposition. The third party Apple Watch band market is growing by the day, but it’s still limited compared to regular watch bands, and many people don’t like the options currently available. It’s very simple: all you need is a pair of adapters. These adapters are readily available online. Keep in mind that not every watch band will look right with this kind of adapter; generally leather looks better than metal link styles. Of course style is a matter of personal preference.

Botleather's Apple Watch adapter

Botleather’s Apple Watch adapter


I recently had the opportunity to try out the adapters from BotLeather on Etsy. At $22.75, it’s one of the least expensive options on Etsy. Shipping isn’t free but they ship worldwide for a reasonable fee. The adapters come in both the 38mm and 42mm size, but only in stainless steel. They attached to my band quite easily with the included screwdriver, although the screws are tiny. Of course I managed to lose one right away, but luckily the adapters shipped with one extra screw for exactly that situation. Once I got the adapter attached to the band, I was able to slide it onto and off of the watch easily, just as Apple intended. The fit is not 100 percent perfect, however. It’s very secure, and it doesn’t wiggle at all, but isn’t completely flush. You can see the slight imperfection for yourself in the photo above.




If you’re looking for a bargain, check out Luvvitt. I have not tried Luvvitt myself, but I’ve read good things about this brand. These adapters come in both stainless steel and black; both 38mm and 42mm. The stainless steel adapters are intended for the Apple Watch, but many people report being happy with using them for the Apple Watch Sport. Since the brushed aluminum adapters aren’t readily available, this is an option. For $14.99, shipped free in the U.S. for Amazon Prime members, these adapters are a bargain and a great way to build an Apple Watch band collection.

Apple Watch Sport

Sykla sells aluminum adapters to match the Sport, either with or without a band. The adapter set alone is $24.99 for the 38mm or $29.99 for the 42mm. They also sell Space Gray adapters with or without a band; adapters alone are $39.99 for the 38mm or $44.99 for the 42mm. In addition, Monowear sells bands with brushed silver colored adapters to match the Sport, but they don’t currently sell the adapters alone. I reached out to inquire as to whether they would do so. Monowear responded that they do not sell the aluminum adapters alone at this time, but they have been getting so many requests that they are considering doing so in the near future.

What Size Band?

Once you have adapters, you can choose any kind of watch band or strap you like, even using one from your personal collection. I love the idea of using regular watch bands from my favorite designers, or even picking up one from the kiosk at the mall. For the best fit, use a 22mm band for the 38mm Apple Watch. For the 42mm Apple Watch, you’ll want to use a 24mm band. You can try using a slightly smaller width band, but there will be small gaps on either side. Get creative, the options are endless.

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