New uses for an old Apple Watch

You've taken the plunge and upgraded to a new Apple Watch Series 3. Now what are you going to do with your old Apple Watch? You could sell it, but you won't get much for it in resale value. You could, instead keep it and make something useful out of it for your daily life. If you're planning on keeping your old Apple Watch, for sentimental or other reasons, here are a few ideas.

Keeping tabs on others

Apple Wach

You may have a family member who could use your old Apple Watch ... and you think it would be a great idea that they use it, both for their benefit and yours. Maybe you have a teenage son or daughter you'd like to be able to contact without having to endure the, "Oh, my phone was on mute," comeback (if you know what we mean and we think you do). The Apple Watch can also be used as a timer for kids that have trouble focusing and work better with incremental tasks. It's so easy to use (it even has a watch face complication) that your little might be able to set and reset timers without needing your help. Ditto on alarms attached to reminders. In all of these cases, a tap on the wrist from the Apple Watch's Taptic Engine is a great attention-getter.

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Apple Watch bands

Actually, meant to say leave the watch, take the band, but I just love that line from The Godfather, so I had to get it in here somehow. This approach works if you know you're going to buy a new watch, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. If you like your band—especially if it was an expensive one, such as the stainless steel Milanese loop—buy the new Apple Watch with the least expensive band. When the new watch arrives, swap in your favored band, and use the old Watch with or without the new band for a different purpose.

Day Watch, Night Watch

Two Apple Watches

There's an old saying that someone with one watch always knows what time it is, but someone with two watches is never sure. Fortunately, since every Apple Watch uses precision Sratum One-level Network Time Servers, someone with two Apple Watches always knows what time it is.

Though your Series 3 won't have nearly as much battery life problems, even the latest and greatest Apple Watch can struggle to make it through the day on a single charge, particularly if the day includes a workout (or two). If you have two Apple Watch devices, you've always got a backup. Thankfully, Apple added the ability in iOS 9.3 to pair multiple Apple Watches with one iPhone and automatically switch between them. Suppose you want to do sleep tracking on an on-going basis. Wear your night watch while your day watch charges. Want to have a lightweight aluminum watch for workouts, but a heavier stainless steel one for more formal occasions? Two watches solves that problem.

Kitchen Timer

An Apple Watch can set a timer for you, but what if you need two? Use your old Watch to time the cinnamon rolls and your new one to keep five-minute eggs from turning into hard-boiled eggs. Yum!


Nightstand mode on Apple Watch

Repurpose your old Apple Watch as a permanent nightstand clock by connecting it to power and turning it on its side, digital crown facing up.

From the wrist to the arm

Drop your old Apple Watch into an Actionsleeve, a product which promises improved heart rate tracking through a band that wraps around your upper arm. It also keeps your Apple Watch out of harm's way during sports like kickboxing.

Safety blinker

watchOS 4 includes a flashlight feature. If you run at night, strap an Apple Watch on each arm, turn on the flashlight on each (perhaps either the flashing white or red variety) to help alert motorists to your presence.

Mount it on your bike

Attach your old Apple Watch to your bike's handlebars and use its GPS to track your route (if it's a Series 2) or store music to listen to while you ride. You can also strap a flashing Apple Watch (see the safety blinker idea above) to the front or rear of your bike.

Wear it a different way

Thanks to accessories from Bucardo, you can attach your old Apple Watch to a chain necklace, dangle a charm from the other end, and turn on a Photos or Motion watch face to create a new fashion accessory. Add a cover to create a locket or pocket watch.

What did you do?

Have you repurposed your old Apple Watch in an interesting way? Tell us in the comments below.

Mike Matthews

Mike Matthews is a writer at He has used Apple products all the way back to the Apple II+. He appreciates no longer having to launch apps by loading them from a cassette tape recorder.