The 21st-century has seen the timeless wristwatch receive a major high-tech upgrade. Smartwatches have surged in popularity in recent years, and many of the smartwatch brands, like Apple, Samsung and Fossil, allow for interchangeable watch bands. But this raises the question: what are some of the best smartwatch bands? Well, look no further.
Smartwatch bands enable people to personalize their smartwatch to the next degree. One day you might be feeling like wearing a stainless steel link band, while the next day you could be feeling a water-resistant silicone band. Each day is different, and the best smartwatch bands allow room for variety and expression.
In this post we’ll cover:
- The brief history of the smartwatch
- Different types of smartwatch straps
- The best smartwatch bands for men in 2020
History of the Smartwatch
Smartwatches have been around longer than you think. While they are currently used to keep us up-to-date with our Twitter feed, emails and text messages, this form of high-tech wrist-gear has been around since the 1980s. In 1982, a Japanese company released the very first TV watch. The Seiko TV Watch received 82 channels and lasted for about five hours on AA batteries. That’s pretty impressive. But it came at a pretty sizable price tag — no surprise there. It went for $495, which is approximately $1,315.18 today.
In 1994, the same company introduced what they called the MessageWatch, which allowed for voice mail services and even could give a bit of basic information about sports, stocks, weather and news. The watch was reasonably priced at $80, but you had to also pay an $8.95 monthly paging fee. But it was in 2003 when Bill Gates introduced Microsoft SPOT software and partnered with several well-known watch brands, that the term “smartwatch” really kicked into high gear.
Of course, the world changed when Apple arrived in the smartwatch scene in 2015, and mid-tier watch brands like Fossil (which once reigned supreme atop the wristwatch marketplace) have been forced to adapt or abandon ship.
Variety of Bands
Smartwatches have reached an all-time high in popularity and our society’s attachment to technology doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Now that there are so many different smartwatches out there, that makes for a ton of different types of bands to choose from:
- stainless steel link bands
- silicone bands
- canvas bands
- leather bands
- waterproof bands
- mesh bands
To help sort through the large selection of smartwatch wearables, here are some of the best smartwatch bands that will level-up your style in 2020.
1. Longvadon Caiman Series
These sharp showstoppers are available in a variety of strap and hardware color combinations. The butterfly closure is a signature of high-end watches and is available in rose gold, silver or midnight black metal. The crocodile embossed straps are crafted in high-quality leather, and the inside is lined with bovine suede, providing extra soft comfort. You can nab straps in whiskey brown, mahogany, navy blue or midnight black. There are two sizes to choose from, and they’re compatible with the 38mm, 40mm, 42mm, or 44mm Apple Watch. The best part, however, is that these bands elevate your smartwatch with an elegant aesthetic for under $100.
2. Nomad Sport Strap
Sometimes we go to pretty wild places, like the mountains, the lake, or, let’s face it, maybe just the fridge, but regardless of where our adventures take us, you want peace of mind that your wrist-gear is safely locked down. This durable silicone sport strap from Nomad offers smooth comfort, but don’t let that fool you. The hypoallergenic band, which is compatible with the 42mm and 44mm Apple Watch, is built to withstand rough and rugged conditions. Pop this band on your smartwatch before a jog or hike, and you’ll be good to go.
3. iiteeology Stainless Steel Band
BEST UNDER $25
It’s not only important to match your watch strap with your smartwatch . . . it’s downright necessary. If you’ve got a black titanium smartwatch and you’re trying to pair it with a gold band, then you, my friend, are mixing metals, and that’s a crime in the fashion world. But don’t sweat. If you want a stainless steel band (at a bargain price for that matter), these polished metal bands will do the trick. They’re compatible with a 42mm or 44mm Apple Watch and come in a range of color options, from space gray to silver and even rose gold, to match your smartwatch perfectly.
4. Hermès Single Tour Deployment Buckle
The legacy fashion house teamed up with Apple in 2015 to bring the official Hermès X Apple collab. Naturally, the heritage fashion brand launched a line of straps to go along with their branded smartwatches, but you don’t need an Hermès exclusive smartwatch to rock one out. The straps also work on Apple’s regular series smartwatches as well. With two sizes available, they fit the 38mm, 40mm, 42mm or 44mm Apple Watch. They have a couple of patterns to choose from, but this solid light brown calfskin band with a polished silver deployment buckle really hits the mark.
5. Shinola Aniline Leather Watch Strap
The Aniline leather strap is neatly crafted out of hand-sewn leather and keeps things simple in its design, which is why this is a great everyday band. It’s available in black leather and features a polished silver-plated buckle. The strap will fit a 42mm or 44mm Apple Watch, series 3 and up. It’s a timeless looking strap that will keep your tech looking sharp for years to come.
6. Barton Canvas Watch Band
The Barton Canvas strap doesn’t work with the Apple Watch, but it is compatible with a slew of other smartwatch brands, like Fossil, Samsung and Nokia. The cotton-canvas straps are available in 11 different colors, including green, autumn orange, black, blue or red. It’s made from a breathable canvas material, and embroidered edges add durability. If you get them a little dirty, don’t fret. These are machine washable, and at an affordable $21 price tag, it’s easy to throw a few different colors in your cart.
7. Ritche Silicone Watch Band
Some of the best smartwatch bands are made of silicone, and it’s no surprise that the trend has taken off. Silicone is super comfortable and formable while also being stylish and durable. But most silicone smartwatch straps typically look the same. Enter the Ritche Silicone Watch Band. What sets this one apart is the geometric pattern carved into the band. The sweat-resistant strap is available in a variety of colors and can be worn with the Samsung family of smartwatches, among others.
8. Bandini Stainless Steel Mesh Watch Band
Customization is the name of the game for the Bandini Stainless Steel Mesh Band. The attached clasp is completely adjustable, allowing you to make the strap fit the exact size of your wrist without having to worry about removing a link or two every time. It’s available in black, gold, rose gold or silver. This interchangeable smartwatch strap is compatible with a number of smartwatch brands, including Samsung, Fossil and Ticwatch.
9. Coach Apple Watch Strap
BEST COLORED LEATHER
Feeling a little funky, but don’t want to go completely off the fashion ledge? Go with a little colored leather from Coach nonetheless. The quality band is made of glove-tanned leather and features a space gray buckle. The established fashion house offers 42mm Apple Watch straps in traditional colors like brown or black, and even white, but they also have this olive green option, which they call “fatigue,” that perfectly stands out.