Apple likes to change its wardrobe of bands for the Apple Watch seasonally, and it just did it again, with 19 colorful new options that are likely to polarize opinion.
Most of the new bands are in Apple’s Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop ranges, which are compatible with the Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Ultra, and Apple Watch 4 (or later). There are also four new colors available in the Sport Band range, which is compatible with the Apple Watch 3 and above, plus several new options in the ultra-pricey Hermès range.
So which new colors should you choose from? Like the iPhone 14, the Solo Loop ($49 / £49 / AU$69) is now available in Canary Yellow, along with Purple Fog, Olive and Sprout Green. We’re not sure the latter’s name really sells it to us, but it seems like a cheerful new option for those who need a silicone rubber strap.
If you prefer a woven belt made from a mix of recycled yarn and silicone threads, the Braided Solo Loop ($99 / £99 / AU$149) might be for you. And it’s now available in Purple Fog, Olive and Bright Orange, the latter of which we think could make its way onto our guide to the best Apple Watch bands.
We think the Apple Watch Hermès band range (from $319 / £319 / AU$469) is far too pricey, but if you don’t mind spending the equivalent of an Apple Watch 8 again on a new band, then the range has been expanded with eight new options.
These include the green Bambou Swift Leather Single Tour (also available in a Double Tour that wraps twice around your wrist) and the Orange/Blanc Swift Leather Casaque Double Tour. To see the full range, visit the Apple Watch bands store (opens in new tab).
There are some strong new additions to the new Apple Watch band range, with our picks being the new Purple Fog and Bright Orange versions of the Braided Solo Loop. But there are also some missed opportunities.
Apple hasn’t added any new Sport Loop colors, which is a shame because that’s a popular band that offers good value and comfort. Still, there are currently six Sport Loop options that offer a wide variety of colors.
Oddly enough, Apple also hasn’t designed any bands specifically for the Apple Watch Ultra, which arrived in September. The Watch Ultra is compatible with standard 45mm bands such as the Braided Solo Loop and Solo Loop, though Apple warns that you should only use it with the Ultra for “casual, everyday wear”.
When pairing a 45mm band with the Ultra, Apple also says you “may need to use a smaller size than you’re used to due to the larger case size of Apple Watch Ultra”. Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t added new 49mm bands like the Ocean Band, Alpine Loop, and Trail Loop to its outdoor activity collection in this new range, but they’re likely to come in a future refresh.
If you’ve had your eye on any of the older Apple Watch bands – such as the Succulent Solo Loop or Rainforest Braided Solo Loop – that have been replaced by these new arrivals, it’s also worth checking your local Apple Store, as these may still have stock.