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Apple Watch bands in all styles for all sizes!

When Apple Watch was announced, I listened to prominent women in tech like Christina Warren, Serenity Caldwell, and Joanna Stern talk about how excited they were that Apple made a smartwatch with a smaller face option. These women have small, "feminine" wrists, so a giant 42mm face would look stupid on them. Hooray for 38mm options! Hooray for girly smartwatches that fit smaller wrists! Hooray for Apple "getting" it!

Here's the thing—not all women have dainty wrists. Not all men have large ones. Personally, I seem to have slightly larger wrists than your average man—maybe because I'm nearly six feet tall; maybe because I type 110+ WPM; maybe because I've put together too much Ikea furniture in my lifetime. Maybe because not all people are shaped and sized alike.

And while we're at it, not all women were born biologically female. Not everyone wants to be saddled with lesser battery life or drawing canvas size or tiny touch target accessibility as a tradeoff for a "feminine" or "dainty" look. And, most frustratingly, many people don't want to compromise on fashion in order to fit our preferred smartwatch face size.

Apple launched its watch with a seemingly diverse lineup of case sizes, metal finishes, and band choices. Like many consumers, I'm most interested in leather band options. There are three different types of leather watch band—something for everyone, right?

Not exactly. In case you've never noticed the lack of diversity in Apple's lineup, let's take a look at all the leather band offerings and their respective compatibilities.

We'll start at the more accessible leather band price point, the stainless steel "Watch" watch. The black Classic Buckle leather band is available across both face sizes. Yay! If you want a basic, boring, unremarkable-looking leather band, with a familiar buckle resembling that of a non-smartwatch, Apple has your back! Lucky you.

But if you like the Modern Buckle, in Black, Midnight Blue (navy), Soft Pink, or Brown, you're only going to be able to enjoy those if you went with a 38mm case. Not a single Modern Buckle band is available for the larger case size.

And what about that Leather Loop option? Personally, it's not my favorite look, but I still think anyone who likes it should be able to buy it. However, whether you like your Leather Loop in Brown, Stone, Navy, or Black, you're stuck with a 42mm case size if you want that band option.

Even the way these leather band options are displayed on Apple's website reads as gendered "women's" and "men's" models, particularly where the color options differ.

Let's look next at the elusive Edition lineup. In my opinion, the most delectable band options are found here—Red and Rose Gray Modern Buckles. Mmmm. Guess what size these fit? Yep, 38mm only. (I, for one, would gladly shell out the $249 for a standalone band with a buckle mismatched to my case metal, if only it meant I could rock Rose Gray or Red leather on my wrist. But, as we've established, I'd never go down a case size, so I don't get to make this bad financial decision.)

What if you're the sort of rich person who likes an understated look? What if you want a top-quality 38mm gold case with a non-smartwatch-style leather band, say, a Classic Buckle? Tough luck: the Classic Buckle with gold hardware, in Midnight Blue or Black, is only available to fit the 42mm case size.

Poor rich men who conform to Apple's gendered case size expectations, but yearn for the more entertaining color palette of the "ladies'" models. I wish you freedom from boring black and navy.

I get that this is an early launch and that many third-party options haven't hit the market yet. I get that I (a cisgendered, flashy-fashioned woman who happens to have bigger-than-average wrists) am currently stuck with bands made for men/unisex sizes—yes, even though women's clothing, shoe, and accessory lines from other companies fit me just fine. I get that Apple is breaking ground by offering some stuff that fits smaller wrists at all, which hasn't historically been an option in the smartwatch product category.

But Apple can do more. Apple can nudge this already complicated SKU lineup into an ever so slightly more complicated lineup, which better caters to a more diverse range of customers. Even if adding more SKUs slightly decreases the margins in this product category, I suspect Apple can take the hit—especially if the change yields a higher customer satisfaction rating. After all, if the product takes off and more kids start wearing Apple Watches, we'll need to see more diverse size compatibility options anyway.

Taking this band lineup from "complicated but lacking" to "slightly more complicated but far more diverse" would be a huge step. I'm hoping that when the Apple Watch is updated, we see a band lineup that has none of these gendered-feeling size and color restrictions.

Free yourself from boring watch band territory! Brightly colored leather Editions for all! Now we all just have to get rich before then!

32 Comments
  • it might be nice but with all the reports of lackluster interest in the watch i don't see it happening.
  • You trust all those 'reports'?
  • when you have many reports from across the board it gets harder and harder to say that they are all wrong. another sign that they may hold water is that apple isn't out bragging from the roof tops as to just how popular their new watch is. but i see all the usual fanboys are lining up to throw me under the bus and hoot and holler about their favorite money sink. i love my watch, not everyone will.
  • My son wanted to play in the Apple store so I was sitting there for about 30 minutes. I know this is not a big pool to get info on but I saw them sell at least 5 watches in just that short of time and I am seeing more and more people wearing them so I think they are doing better than what is being reported.
  • I think having watches available to buy in store is a big deal. People want to be able to go into the store and walk out with a watch. My guess is they were heavily supply constrained initially so did the online only route. Now with supply/demand more in balance then can get it in more stores.
  • No, when you see reports across the board it gets harder and harder to say that websites haven't realised what clickbait it is to say the richest company in the world is doomed. "Apple Sells 80 million iPhones in December Quarter" - 10 likes
    "Apple Watch sells below the Most Bullish Estimate on Wall Street" - 1200 likes. It's as simple as that.
  • go look at the shelves at Best Buy covered in third party bands, stands and even chargers for the watch
  • Ha Ha Ha... The reports. Sure.
  • so much criticism for a first edition product, lol... the 3rd party bands I have seen out are nice but I will hold off... next edition or so has my name on it... can't wait for them to go round
  • I believe this is the first post I've seen by Virginia and I'm looking forward to more! But....what ever happened to Ally?! I miss her reviews....
  • Ally moved on to new adventures. You can still find her on Twitter @iMuggle.
  • Dang! And no goodbye hugs?! Wrote some of the best product shootouts, that's for sure...
  • I'm looking forward to more watchband options of all kinds -- maybe as soon as this Fall, when WatchOS 2 is released, ahead of the holiday rush? A girl can dream ...
  • That's my hope too! At least give us some of those sweet rumored bands in different colors in time for the holidays, right? :)
  • What a bunch of PC crap. All this gender stuff is so ridiculous and irritating. A company's job is to make a profit from selling its products and services. It can't do that by trying to please every single taste preference out there. In particular this has never been Apple's modus operandi. Stereotypes are out there for a reason. It's because they generally apply to a large portion of the population. The "average " female has smaller wrists and tends to like more "feminine " looking styles. The "average" male tends to have larger wrists and favor more "masculine" styles. Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone. We are all individuals. If you are trying to make a new product that will appeal to the largest number of people it makes sense to pay attention to the average and not the outliers. And why when we read an article pertaining to anything about gender do we have to be reminded that not all women were born female... Talk about an outlier bunch of PC drivel. Sent from the iMore App
  • Replace "PC" with the words "simple human respect" and see how it reads. Because that's all empathy and compassion really are, religious, social, familial, and even personal. Disrespect for others is ultimately disrespect for ourselves, and we all deserve respect.
  • Specious claims about the nature of political correctness aside; this article is more about some ill-conceived idea that a product marketed as an object of fashion should be more inclusive, when fashion by its nature wants to be exclusive.
  • You finally said something I agree with :D Do Canadians eat cookies? Here's a cookie Rene Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • Rene, I do apologize for the tone of my comment. Re-reading it, it was very harsh. I don't think you can substitute basic respect for PC though. Political correctness stems from a notion that you somehow should be able to go through life and never be offended. I do stand by my main point though that as a company Apple has to make the bands in the styles and sizes they feel will sell the most and be the most profitable. They will never please every and trying to is a fools errand. Sent from the iMore App
  • SJW screed about watch bands. Yawn.
  • I was disappointed that they didn't make the leather loop in the 38mm size. I honestly think that this one is the one that would appeal to everyone. I wanted it in black... I was also interested in the modern buckle, but every time I've checked the website, it isn't available. Apple blew it on this one.
  • Also, if you bought the space black watch, there are no bands that match except the rubber band and the black linked band.
  • I, too, have been checking daily for the availability of the Modern Buckle band. If you own a 38mm watch, you are down a band option. I am not interested in a Classic Buckle, especially since it is only available in black, and am willing to pay the hefty price of the Modern Buckle. Come on, Apple! Please make it available soon!
  • ...what is "cisgendered"? Sent from the iMore App
  • Cisgender is a word that applies to the vast majority of people, describing a person who is not transgender. If a doctor announces, “It's a girl!” in the delivery room based on the child's body and that baby grows up to identify as a woman, that person is cisgender. Googled it. :) Sent from the iMore App
  • Cis- and Trans- are prefixes borrowed from chemistry. Many molecules with a double bond or ring structure are not flat but rather have a 3-D shape. The 2 molecules are structurally the same but mirror images (look at your hands as an analogy). They are called isomers and often interact differently with other molecules because of their shape. Hence the analog to gender types. Same but different. Actually though, the Trans- in transgender arose from the Latin meaning across. Adding Cisgender to the lexicon is a very new construct and results in a retrograde definition of the Trans- prefix to match with Cis-. Sincerely, Professor Peabody
  • FYI, that $245 you'd gladly drop for a band will buy basically any android wear watch. Apple tax? Yeah. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • I wish they would sell the modem buckle separately. I have the soft pink modern buckle but I'd like it in brown and midnight blue. Sent from the iMore App
  • Eh, I like the black classic buckle. Sent from the iMore App
  • I remember so many complains here from people wishing different bands were available in the size they got, now someone says the same thing, but in reference to gender and it's wrong. Oh well, I wish they went with a standard band size, and had a quick release like the Pebble Time. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • "And while we're at it, not all women were born biologically female". That is a lie. Every woman who has ever existed and who will ever exist were born a woman. Likewise for men. (Mark 10:5-9). Now about the watch and watch bands. There is no need to feel insecure about getting the larger watch. It's not like a bunch of people will be coming up to you and saying "why is your watch do big". As far as the bands are concerned it would be nice that all bands were available in both sizes. Sent from the iMore App
  • Are we playing spot the Christian that can't help shoving his or her archaic values into the public eye? If so, I think I just won. Welp, if you've looked at another woman that you're not married to I suggest you go poke out that eye. Matthew 5:27-30
    "27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever hlooks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell." It's the new testament, so you can't pull the "The old testament isn't relevant anymore" Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.