The Apple Watch’s new colorful straps are as divisive as ever

Two Apple Watches with new Spring color bands
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple likes to seasonally change its wardrobe of straps for the Apple Watch, and it's just done so again, with 19 colorful new options that will likely polarize opinion.

Most of the new straps 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 newer). There are also four new colors available in the Sport Band range, which is compatible with the Apple Watch 3 onwards, plus several new options in the ultra-pricey Hermès range.  

So what new colors do you have to choose from? Just 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 is really selling it to us, but it looks like a cheerful new option for those who need a silicone rubber band.

If you'd prefer a woven strap 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 force its way into our guide to the best Apple Watch bands.

We think the Apple Watch Hermès strap range (from $319 / £319 / AU$469) is way too pricey, but if you don't mind spending the equivalent of an Apple Watch 8 again on a new band to go with it, 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, you can head to the Apple Watch bands shop (opens in new tab).

Choosing a new Apple Watch strap may also soon involve more than just picking a color – some recent patents show that Apple is exploring the possibility of NFC-connected smart straps, or even one color-changing band to rule them all

Missed opportunities

Three new Apple Watch straps on an orange background

(Image credit: Apple)

There are some strong new additions to the new Apple Watch strap 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, too.

Apple hasn't added any new Sport Loop colors, which is a shame, as that's a popular band that offers a sweet spot of affordability and comfort. Still, there are six current Sport Loop options that offer a good variety of colors.

Strangely, Apple also hasn't designed any straps specifically for the Apple Watch Ultra, which arrived in September. The Watch Ultra is compatible with standard 45mm bands like the Braided Solo Loop and Solo Loop, though Apple warns that you should only use these with the Ultra for "casual, everyday wear". 

When combining 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". Apple unfortunately didn't add any new 49mm bands like the Ocean Band, Alpine Loop and Trail Loop to its collection for outdoor activities in this new range, but these are likely coming in a future refresh.

If you had your eye on one of the older Apple Watch bands – like the Succulent Solo Loop or Rainforest Braided Solo Loop – that these new arrivals have replaced, it's also worth checking your local Apple Store, as it may still carry stock.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.