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The iconic Speidel Twist-O-Flex bracelet for Apple Watch [Review]

Best List: Speidel Twist-O-Flex stainless steel Apple Watch band

My grandfather, who fought in World War II, wore a beautiful mechanical watch. It had an eye-catching expansion band — a stainless steel link bracelet that stretched like elastic. He always took it off to play cricket, and I remember it dangled loosely around my skinny kid’s wrist when I tried it on. He loved that watch, and so did I.

Now I’m wearing a similar expansion bracelet on my Apple Watch courtesy of Speidel, the storied watch-band maker from Providence, Rhode Island. Introduced in the late 1950s, Speidel’s Twist-O-Flex Stainless bracelets are some of the most iconic bands in all of watchmaking. Now they’re available in three finishes for the Apple Watch.

Speidel Twist-O-Flex
Speidel’s Twist-O-Flex stretches up to 5 inches, making it easy to get on and off.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

A ’50s icon updated for a 21st-century smartwatch

The Speidel brand holds an iconic place in America’s wristwatch history. Dating back to 1867, Speidel gained fame in 1959 with the introduction of the Twist-O-Flex steel bracelet.

The clever, durable design became one of the most popular and instantly recognizable watch bands of the last century. The company invested heavily in advertising. (Here’s a cheesy TV spot from the mid-’70s and an earlier one featuring a creepy turn by actor Peter Lorre.

Popularly known as the “tank track,” for obvious reasons, the Twist-O-Flex resembles Apple’s Link Bracelet, but is claspless.

Instead, the links themselves flex. The band’s mechanism resembles automobile leaf springs. The individual links stretch like springs, but naturally return to their original state. The result is a strong, durable, sweat- and water-resistant band that stretches up to 5 inches from its original size.

A classic watch band that’s comfortable and strong

I like Twist-O-Flex best for its comfort. It feels good, is easy to get on and off, and it doesn’t yank out the hairs on my arm.

It’s also a lot cheaper than Apple’s band. The Twist-O-Flex starts at $50 instead of Apple’s $450.

Made of stainless steel, the Twist-O-Flex comes in three finishes: brushed, silver and black, which matches the space gray Apple Watch.

The bands come in three sizes (small/medium, medium/large and large/extra-large) and fit both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch. They are compatible with Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3.

We’re delighted to reintroduce this modern take on a classic favorite in our Watch Store. Or you can order the bands directly using the widgets below (42mm bands only. For 38mm, please visit the store).

One thing to note: The Twist-O-Flex links can be fiddly to remove. Be sure to measure your wrist and choose the size that fits best. If you’d like to shorten the band, here are instructions for link removal (.pdf).

Price: $50 for brushed, $60 for silver and $80 for black

Buy from: Cult of Mac Watch Store

Speidel provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See Cult of Mac’s reviews policy; and check out more stuff we recommend in our Best List reviews.

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★ Customer reviews

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665 reviews
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Fantastic Watchband!

Had my eye on this watchband for a while, and finally found someone who had it in stock! Excellent fit, though a little snug (I have large wrists). Excellent quality! If you're interested in a Twist-O-Flex for your Apple Watch, definitely check it out. Only thing that would make it better is if I could add like three links to it, but again, this would be for my personal preference.

It’s beautiful

👍

Really nice case for my iPhone 12

This case looks and feels great -- and it fits the phone perfectly! It seems to give really good protection to the edges and corners. As another reviewer noted, the bottom is left open for the speakers and charging port....I don't see this as an issue, but your milage may vary.

I usually just carry my ID in the back pouch, but I think I could get a couple of credit cards in there, too. Overall, this is a pretty darned nice case for my phone.

Nice!

This is a birthday gift for my daughter who has an Apple Watch. I haven't given it to her yet since it's 4 months away (and I don't own one so I can't attest to how it fits) but it's really well made and looks terrific. She's an Apple-holic like me so I know she'll love it.

Looks like real MOP

The case is pretty, light weight and semi-flexible and has the visual depth, shine and appearance of real, black MOP. What you see in the picture is what you get in real life. It’s good looking, sophisticated and perfectly compliments my black iPhone 12 mini. I also like that it is a one piece design and that the edges of the case are slightly elevated around the face and camera openings so that you get a tiny bit of bumper protection (without the bulk of an actual secondary outer rim bumper) in case you drop it. I also like that it has a shiny finish so that, while it’s not “slippery,” it still slips in and out of my purse or pocket easily enough without dragging against any of my stuff that has a cotton lining, like some of the rubber or silicone cases tend to do. I don’t feel like I have to fight with it to get it into or out of a small space. Overall good looking, functional phone case. I like it!