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7 stylish Apple Watch bands your wardrobe needs [Reviews]

The Apple Watch has been out for well over a year now, and it’s beginning to get a little bit long in the tooth. In addition, the second-generation wearable, which is rumored to arrive along with the iPhone 7 this September, isn’t shaping up to be a worthy upgrade just yet.

The best way to breathe new life into your Apple Watch is to customize it with some different bands and bracelets. Check out my top seven picks in the video below.

If you’d like to pick up any of the bands from the video, below there’s a list with links for each and every one.

Monowear
For classic military style, nothing beats the Monowear NATO-style strap.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Monowear Olive Nylon

If you’re into your retro military-style NATO straps Monowear produce a great alternative to Apple’s own nylon bands. Coming in six different colors, my pick of the bunch is this olive band. It’s classic and understated, and will look great with any casual get-up you’re wearing.

Price: $47.99

Buy from: Amazon

cult of mac
Give your Apple Watch G-Shock style and durability with the Supcase.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

If you’re more of a G-Shock lover, then the Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro is perfect. It’s rugged rubber and plastic construction is ideal for keeping your precious Apple Watch safe from knocks and scrapes. Rather than consisting of a separate band and case, its uniform design means there’s no chance of the case pinging off when working out.

Price: $14.99–$21.99

Buy from: Amazon

Cult of Mac
Stay classy with the Wiplabs Metal link bracelet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Wiplabs Band Link Bracelet

If you’re after a bracelet that’s more appropriate for meetings or just prefer a metal links over rubber — Apple’s offering starts at a staggering $450. Well, the Wiplabs link bracelet is an almighty competitor, looking almost identical to Apple’s metal link bracelet but coming in just short of $70. The quick-snap clasp allows for a fast and secure fit, and the link design provides breathability. It can be adjusted just like any other standard link bracelet and comes in the silver I have here or black, which is ideal for anyone with the space gray Apple Watch Sport. Best of all, it doesn’t pinch at the skin or catch those little hairs. Its smooth, slick design makes for a smart well-polished finish to any outfit.

Price: $69.99

Buy from: Amazon

sport
Save yourself more than $40 by picking up one of these sport bands.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Goodidus Soft-Silicone Sport Band

The Apple Sport bands are really nice, but they’re $49, which seems a little high for a rubber band. Amazon is full of low-cost alternatives which do the job just as well. I ordered myself a black sport band for my 42mm Apple Watch for around $8. I’ve now had it for over seven months now and it’s still perfectly fine. So I’ve got the look of the $49 Apple Watch band but saved myself $42. Any color you can imagine is available and at that price you can afford to get seven different colors for the price of the original Apple Watch band. To me, it’s a no brainer.

Price: $7.99

Buy from: Amazon

Cult of Mac
Stand out in the crowd with a custom-printed band from Casetify.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Casetify Custom Bands

For just under $40 you can create a totally personal and individual watch strap from Casetify. The straps are made from a high-performing, sweat-resistant polycarbonate material, which means they’ll last you years and the prints won’t fade if you’re wearing them while sweating. You can design your band from their website or free iOS app, allowing you to drag in your own photos and logos or Casetify’s own predesigned elements to create your design.

Price: $49

Buy from: Casetify

Monowear
The Monowear metal link band is the perfect band for when you need to suit up!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Monowear Silver Link Metal Band

If you’re like me, one metal band isn’t enough. The perfect alternative comes again from Monowear. Their sliver metal link band is a stunning stainless-steel band, which is perfect for those formal occasions. The smart style of the Monowear metal strap transforms your Apple Watch into an elegant, modern timepiece. I’ve been wearing this band on and off for almost a year and it has stood the test of time. Of course, it’s got a few scratches from general wear and tear, but still looks superb with my Apple Watch.

Price: $79.99

Buy from: Monowear

Strapley
The handmade quality of this leather band from Strapley gives your Apple Watch that luxe feeling.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Strapley Leather Band

Last on my list of awesome Apple Watch bands is the Strapley leather band. It comes in six different colors, this being the Nude leather band, which looks a little bit darker than it does on the site, but still a great complimenting shade to the Apple Watch. The leather bands are hand-cut and assembled, which really shows in the quality. These really feel like premium bands. The stitching is on point and the colors combined with the vintage-style distressing gives the strap a heritage feel. Plus Strapley offers a try-on guarantee with every strap, so it’s clear how important quality control is to them.

Price: $115

Buy from: Strapley

Cult of Mac received review units for this roundup. Read Cult of Mac’s reviews policy.

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My Thoughts on SwitchEasy PaperLike iPad Screen Protector

Lengthy product title....Yes, I ordered this screen protector based on Cult of Mac's product description that it's like writing on paper. Bottom line...it's a far better screen protector that aids "writing" with an Apple Pencil (I have the 1st gen version), greatly reduces finger prints (always good) when using the Apple Pencil, input is immediate and precise. I'm a lefty and this screen protector allows minimal effort when writing electronically. I'm not an artist so I cannot rate how this screen protector handles an artist's desires. I will say my primitive artwork (cups, objects, etc.) drawn with my iPencil are spot on and represent my vision for my coffee cups, primitive as they may be,.

Overall, I have no buyer's regrets for this purchase. However, some caveats...the application instructions are verrry sparse (A and B on two tabs, that's it). Once on, the tactile sensation is different...it has a "pebbly" like feel when you run your finger over the screen protectors surface. It's a strange sensation that always surprises me, yet, its this "pebbly" surface that allows the user to work their magic, whether writing or drawing as well as keeping fingerprints to a minimum. For use on a iPad, it works wonderfully and will capture your vision. However, this screen protector will never feel the same as writing with a fountain pen on quality paper.

Again, no buyer's remorse...just my thoughts on a quality product that works well on an iPad.

Tom

Very nice metal strap

Looks good, quality feels good as well.

Cute, yet effective protection for my AirPods Pro

This AirPods Pro case fits pretty snugly, and seems to protect my AirPods pretty well. Wireless charging through the case works great -- and it is also easy to access the Lightning charging port on the bottom. The ring for attaching to a backpack or belt loop is fairly solid. And it looks like a tiny suitcase :) Overall, it works great for me!

DISAPPOINTED

Unfortunately, the leather is beginning crack and the color is coming off with the cracking.
I have only had this watch band a short time, so I feel this should not be happening.

Good morning, Thank you for your feedback, and I apologize that you are not satisfied with your item, but it sounds like the item you received, maybe defective. If you are able to send me an image of the item we can get this issue resolved for you. My email is adel@cultofmac.com
Many thanks, Adel.

Awesome hold, super useful

First time I’ve used a 3M stick mount and it’s holding really well on the stick side, no sign it’s weakening. On the magnet side the phone never falls out, but it will slide off if you try to put a lightning cable in or pull one out from the phone while it’s mounted. That’s a real nitpick because otherwise it’s an awesome mount.