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Absolute Best Apple Watch Series 3 Bands

Choosing which bands you want to accompany your Apple Watch on your wrist can be slightly difficult. With new styles every season and thousands of third-party band sellers in the space, you have a ton of options and choices when it comes to picking out an Apple Watch band that suits your style and personality.

Here are our favorites bands for the Apple Watch Series 3!

Elobeth leather band cuff

Inspired by the look of equestrian fixtures, the Elobeth leather band cuff has a beautifully unique style to pair with your Apple Watch!

The band is designed from a high-quality, genuine leather, while the buckle is designed to be sturdy and secure. Regardless of whether you like something more simple or something a bit more extravagant, the Elobeth is definitely eye-catching.

If you're not a fan of the standard, classic brown color, there are a number of other options to consider, including a rich blue, red, or gray color. You can pick up the Elobeth leather band cuff for around $20.

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Nicwea modern buckle leather strap

This genuine leather strap from Nicwea looks and feels like the real deal but for a fraction of the price. For about $30, you can choose from seven color varieties. For that price, you may want to invest in a few colors!

The magnetic buckle is made of zinc alloy and the lugs that attach to the Apple Watch face are tight and secure. The leather is thin, soft, and easily mistaken at a distance or up close for the authentic article.

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UMTele Milanese-Loop-Style Watch Band

Apple's Milanese loop is one of my personal favorite styles of band you can wear around with your Apple Watch, but it's so expensive. Lucky for me (and you), there's a $20 band from UMTele that looks and feels the same!

I'm surprised by how comfortable it is, I'm surprised by how closely it resembles Apple's own Milanese Loop offerings, and I'm surprised by the build quality (given its incredibly inexpensive price tag). I've yet to have any trouble with paint or anodization flaking, the magnet offers a strong, secure connection, and the metal mesh is smooth and breathable.

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Apple Sport Band

When you buy an Apple Watch, Apple pairs the Watch with a band it feels makes your Apple Watch look best. And that holds true for the Sport Band.

It's made of a soft, supple, smooth material called fluoroelastomer and it's a beautiful shade of black. It sports a fancy pin-and-tuck closure, so you don't have to worry about the excess rubber fluoroelastomer band flapping about.

It's everything you could want in a band for a fitness wearable. It's sweat-resistant, heat-resistant, scuff-resistant, wind-resistant, frost-resistant, water-resistant … you get the idea. This is the most versatile band Apple offers — it's also one of the least expensive at only $49. It's for that reason I recommend you ditch the third-party models and pick it up directly from Apple. You're going to get a high-quality band at an inexpensive price and it's designed by the company itself! If my math is correct, I'm pretty sure that's three wins. Win, win, win!

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Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro

The maker of fine, rugged phone cases makes them for Apple Watch as well! Supcase's Unicorn Beetle Pro for Apple Watch isn't just a band, but a case as well, which fully protects your gold Apple Watch Sport.

If you need rugged protection, but still want to show off your gold (even if you can only see a little of the actual Watch case), then check out Supcase's band/case. Pricing starts around $18.

What's your favorite Apple Watch band?

Let us know what you use with your Apple Watch Series 3 by leaving a comment down below!

Luke Filipowicz
Luke Filipowicz

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

3 Comments
  • Like every iMore “Best whatever” list, it’s just a random group of bands. There’s no basis for claiming they’re the best, the absolute best, or apparently that it’s not just what came up when you searched Amazon for cheap bands.
    If you actually want to write an article about “best” bands, there are a lot of companies making bands of much higher quality than these—that leather cuff is low grade material, most of the cheap black pseudo-Milanese bands only look good for a short while then the finish starts to show wear.
    Try Pad & Quill if you want to see well-crafted third party bands. But the bigger issue is how lazy these “best of” list articles are.
  • I'm using a Leatherman Tread with Chronolinks' Apple Watch adapters and "comfort screws", and I love it. The stainless steel of the Leatherman/Chronolinks parts matches Apple's stainless steel watch very well. You have to carefully choose which tool "links" to wear, or it's too big. My setup means I'm always carrying two flat-head screwdrivers, two Phillips-head, two hex keys to suit my Scuba equipment, a box opener, and a SIM removal tool. I found that wearing a whole Leatherman Tread in addition to the watch made me feel a little silly. I change to an Apple sport band for any intense exercise. Although... am I the only person who thinks that's really awkward to put on? It almost seemed intentional, an excuse to make Apple store staff seem really "attentive" when the watches first came out, and you had to get an appointment to try one on, and let them put it on for you. I shudder to think how many people have dropped their watch because of its design.
  • Another really good watch band to check it is the "Traditional Leather Band" from Nomad leather. They build the watch bands to look more beautiful as they age. The band first started out for 150 on their website. I recently purchased it myself to 79 bucks on their site. And when you first log on to their website they offer a 10 percent off coupon that goes well with it. The band comes either with black or stainless hardware.