A Space Gray Apple Watch Sport with a black Milanese Band.

I've been wearing a Space Gray Apple Watch since launch day. I can remember thinking, "That's the one I have to have," when Apple revealed the uniquely colored aluminum case. What I didn't know at the time was that by choosing a unique color, I was limiting my choice of bands by quite a bit. Many of Apple's bands feature stainless steel lugs that pair quite well with the Stainless Steel Apple Watch (which is to be expected) and the Silver Aluminum Apple Watch.

Since then, I've come across a clever way to significantly increase your band options: color-matched lugs. If you decided to stand out from the crowd with a unique case color (space gray, rose gold, or gold), you can swap out the clashing stainless steel lugs on your Apple Watch bands with lugs created specifically for your case color.

How to replace the lugs on your Apple Watch bands to match your space grey, gold, or rose gold casing!

I still hold that the Space Gray Apple Watch is a better-looking watch than its Silver Aluminum sister (and arguably better-looking than the gold and rose gold options). And when paired with the right band, it really shines. Here are the best bands for the Space Gray Apple Watch!

Black Sport Band

See at Apple

My Space Gray Apple Watch shipped with a Black Sport Band — that's the closest thing you're going to get to a blessing from Jony Ive himself. 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 Black 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. Oh, did I mention it's super smooth and soft? It's super smooth and soft.

Of note: 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. It's for that reason I recommend you ditch the third-party models and pick it up directly from Apple. You can grab this band from Apple for $49. 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!

Gray Sport Band

See at Apple

Just like the Black Sport Band, the Space Gray Apple Watch can ship with the Gray Sport Band. It's an excellent pairing for the dark gray tones of the Space Gray Apple Watch and offers all the same features you get from the black one — it's sweat resistant, heat resistant, scuff resistant, wind resistant, frost resistant, water resistant, etc.

It'll cost you the same as the Black Sport Band. You can pick it up from Apple for $49.

Cosmos Blue Leather Loop

See at Apple

Talk about a good-lookin' band! Back when Apple still offered it (I'm sad to see it go), the Black Leather Loop was the first band I purchased. Because of the included Black Sport Band, I knew how well dark colors went with the graphite-gray color of my Watch. I also knew that I had only one gripe about the Black Sport Band: It could stand to be a tiny bit more adjustable.

If you're looking for an endlessly adjustable band, the Leather Loop (in any color) is a great band. If you're looking for and endlessly adjustable band that'll pair perfectly with your Space Gray Apple Watch, the Cosmos Blue Leather Loop is a must-have.

The band is made up of a bunch of magnets, cordoned off into little segments. You simply slide one end of the band into a metal loop on the other end of the band and pull to adjust. I love this band because it grows and shrinks with me throughout the day.

You: Wait, what?!

Me: I said it grows and shrinks with me throughout the day.

You: You grow and shrink throughout the day?

Me: Yeah, and so do you! As your body heats and cools and your blood flow changes throughout the day, your skin expands and contracts. Those factors (and loads more) can make the size of your wrist vary slightly.

You: Oh. Wish you hadn't told me that.

The Leather Loop's magnets are strong enough to keep your Watch in place but have just enough give to let your band adjust as needed. As the name would suggest, it's a leather band. It's absorbent, it has a great, steadfast color that has aged nicely (i.e. no exposed magnets, but it has softened over time). You can pick one up from Apple for $149.

Midnight Blue Woven Nylon

See at Apple

While I personally think the best-looking band for your Space Gray Apple Watch is a black band, that doesn't mean you can't have some alternative, colorful bands to compliment it. And boy, howdy, the Space Gray color looks damn good with a nice blue band.

I was thrilled to see Apple release a more, uh, subdued style for its Woven Nylon Bands. I have the Black Woven Nylon Band — yep, another black band — and I love it, but I've been gradually adding a little bit of color to my collection. I'm not fond of many of the Woven Nylon Bands Apple offers (the colors aren't for me), but this one absolutely shines with the Space Gray Apple Watch.

If you're not wearing a fluoroelastomer Sport Band for your workouts, the $49 Woven Nylon is the next best thing. Heck, it's even more breathable than the Sport Band. It's got a classic look and feel, and it's incredibly comfortable to wear.

Product Red Sport Band

See at Apple

This is some advanced color rocking, so make sure you're prepared to catch eyes while you're out in public. The Product Red Sport Band comes in a bright and beautiful red fluoroelastomer, and it's a striking companion for the subtle gray color of your Space Gray Apple Watch.

It's very Sith … if you're into that kind of thing.

The Product Red Sport Band carries all the same benefits of the Black Sport Band with a more pronounced look. It's the evening companion to your everyday carry, the stiletto heels to your flats, the blazer to your T-shirt and jeans.

Also, by purchasing the $49 Product Red Sport Band you're contributing to (RED), an organization focused on creating an AIDS-free world.

EOSO 3-in-1 Leather Bands: Single Tour, Double Tour, Cuff

See at Amazon

My colleagues Rene Ritchie and Serenity Caldwell have been known to flaunt their Apple Watch Hermès bands. Put simply, they are easily the best-looking Watch bands Apple offers. I was particularly enamored of the Apple Watch Hermès Cuff, but Apple no longer offers the band. Lucky for me (and now you!), EOSO has a 3-in-1 offering that resembles the Hermès line from Apple.

Normally I wouldn't recommend bands with metal lugs, because (in my humble opinion) the stainless steel lugs clash with the Space Gray Apple Watch case. However, the EOSO cuff looks superb with the Space Gray Apple Watch — not only because the steel lugs are mostly obscured by the band, but becasue of the way the black cuff surrounds the Watch. It's a subtle and sophisticated look that's also, frankly, a little badass. Black on gray on black is a good look, and the thick cuff makes it that much better.

I have to admit: My love for the EOSO cuff made it easier for me to appreciate the two other bands in the $30 3-in-1 offering. The Double Tour is a unique look that turns your Apple Watch into more of a piece of jewelry. The Single Tour is a simple, understated leather watch band — you can't really go wrong with that! Ultimately, the EOSO 3-in-1 is a great offering, because it lets you try out a bunch of different looks and it comes in loads of different colors.

What's on your wrist?

Do you have an Apple Watch? Is it a Space Gray model? I'm curious to hear what bands you've found look best with the graphite-gray color. Gimme a shout!

Updated June 2018: We have removed the BRG Milanese-Loop-Style Watch Band from the list because it's no longer available.

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