How to replace an Apple Watch band

Switching bands in four simple steps

How To Change Apple Watch Bands

Apple Watch accessories: it's a multi-million dollar market in the making. Like Transformers toys surrounding a new Michael Bay blockbuster, it's inevitable, it's transparent, and it makes our bank balance want to groan. But we're still in.

Changing the band is probably the best way to customise your Apple Watch, to give it a flavour other than those you'll see in any old Apple Store.

The issue: the Apple Watch does not use a standard watch band. Where the Pebble Time can take any old 22mm strap, the Apple Watch uses a proprietary system that needs bespoke accessories. Typical Apple, in other words.

Step one: Removing the band

How to replace Apple Watch Strap

It's a remarkably simple system, though. You don't need any tools, and you can remove the band in under a minute.

First, flip your Apple Watch over. At the top and bottom of the rear, you'll see two little buttons, sitting flush with the casing.

Pressing one in releases the band on that side (there's no need to try to press both at once). Once depressed, you can simply slide that part of the strap out. It's almost too simple.

Step two: Picking a band

How to replace an Apple Watch band

The most important thing to remember when picking a new Apple Watch band is that there are different designs for the 38mm and 42mm watch sizes.

Your first instinct may be to head to the Apple Store. Sure enough, it offers a whole bunch of official Apple Watch designs, and they're certain to be incredibly well-made.

However, they certainly aren't cheap. The low-end silicone Sports Band costs £39 (US$49, AU$79): this is for a piece of rubber with a couple of bits of metal set into it.

The prices only goes up from there, to £129 (US$149, AU$229) for the (in)famous, polarising Milanese Loop band, climbing all the way up to £379 (US$449, AU$679) for the steel link band.

How to replace an Apple Watch band

Don't have a gold-plated house? Maybe it's time to try a third-party band. Despite being a proprietary system, there are already loads of Apple Watch bands out there.

At present the retailer offering the widest selection is Mobile Fun, although Expansys and Amazon's marketplace sellers also offer a bunch.

One of the cheapest ways to class-up a Sport Apple Watch is to bung a genuine leather strap on it. Baseus and Chicago make real leather bands that'll cost you just £19.99 (US$31 AU$42): a lot cheaper than the £129 of Apple's leather band.

Other ones to check out include the Baseus Milanese Loop and the sweat-busting (if not outright gorgeous) Case-Mate vented band.