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msackey

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 8, 2020
2,572
2,985
So whoever said I was going to end up buying an Apple Watch Ultra, well you won the jackpot -- the imaginary jackpot, that is. :) LOL.

Yes, so I did end up buying one! The other day, I went to the Apple Store curious to see how the Ultra looks and feels like and also what the AirPods Pro 2 works like. I absolutely did not enter the Store with any inkling that I was going to want the Ultra. In fact, I thought I might want the APP2.

I have a Series 4 Watch and from what I could read online, including reviews, the Ultra has some new features but they did not seem to wow me that much. I tried on the Ultra and played around with it and I was seriously starting to think about upgrading. It took me several days to ponder over that and I did end up with an Ultra with the Alpine Loop. Recognizing that this was an indulgent purchase, I told my partner so :)

So to pay $800 for the following upgrade is quite something:
- getting a 3rd button to mark laps/segments
- better battery life
These were the 2 features that I really liked when I tested the watch, and yes, paying THAT much just for those two features is rather indulgent.

But I've also come to like additional features that I didn't have before including:
- better sleep monitoring
- additional "fun" metrics for running and other health measures like stair ascent and descent, etc.

All in all, this was truly an indulgent purchase but I suppose since I work so many dang hours, a little bit (or a lot) of indulgence is ok. Heh :)

So far, I have really enjoyed using my Ultra. I have the Alpine Loop (small) which works alright. My Series 4 has the Sports Loop which is essentially the same as the Trail Loop offered for the Ultra line with some relatively insignificant differences. I thought I could use my Sports Loop with my Ultra. Well, it does technically slot in to the Ultra and works fine, but somehow the Sports Loop I have now is too long when combined with the Ultra! The end of the tail shoots just under 1/2 an inch above the watch face. When I use the Sports Loop with the Series 4, I don't have this problem although the tail end is almost beyond the portion that it can velcro into. I guess I have small wrists.

The Trail Loop/Sports Loop probably does fit a little more comfortably because within a range, it is "infinitely" adjustable. But, it's ugly. It looks ugly.

So anyone have recommendations for third party Ultra watch bands? I know there are plenty out there but which ones are reputable? I don't want a band that suddenly breaks and the Watch falls off -- a Watch that was $800 of indulgence. =)
 

msackey

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 8, 2020
2,572
2,985
You'll want OEM.


None of them are.


You get what you pay for.
I know right? I feel safer with OEM too, but I wonder....

Yeah, I worry about the "you get what you pay for" aspect. An $800 watch is quite something to just fall on the floor if the non-OEM watch band breaks. I have heard stories about some bands separating from the end attachment (sorry, not sure what you call it), the piece that slots in to the the Watch. That is disasterous.
 

msackey

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 8, 2020
2,572
2,985
I didn’t think I would buy either.. but my local Apple Store received some stock.. I now pick up at 3:30.. lol
oh dear. We're in the same boat!

What band are you getting?

I think the orange Alpine loop looks the best, but it is hard to have it blend in with one's clothing, UNLESS you are the type whose personality doesn't mind sticking out or you have a big personality and are the kind of cool person who can sport a bright orange band and rock wearing a business suit at the same time.
 

msackey

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 8, 2020
2,572
2,985
Jerk.

Just kidding! I'm DYING to get my hands on an Ultra with orange alpine band. Congrats!
yeah, I did snag one.

After pondering a few days and putting the Watch in and out of my "shopping bag", when I was really ready to commit to it, none of the Apple stores around me had one in stock any more! I wanted to pick it up in person rather than have it delivered to my house. I only live 10 minutes from an Apple Store.

Few days later, the couple of Stores around me had them back in stock so I jumped on it. ;-) Sorry for being a "jerk". teehee. I'm sure your time will come to own this Watch. Good luck!
 

bizzwriter

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2010
73
23
Left coast...
yeah, I did snag one.

After pondering a few days and putting the Watch in and out of my "shopping bag", when I was really ready to commit to it, none of the Apple stores around me had one in stock any more! I wanted to pick it up in person rather than have it delivered to my house. I only live 10 minutes from an Apple Store.

Few days later, the couple of Stores around me had them back in stock so I jumped on it. ;-) Sorry for being a "jerk". teehee. I'm sure your time will come to own this Watch. Good luck!
Thanks! I walked into an Apple Store on launch day and they had a very limited supply in stock -- all with either the white or the yellow dive bands. Didn't like the look at all, so decided to pass. I should have bought one while I could then swapped bands down the road. Oh well...
 

DSTOFEL

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2011
993
753
….All in all, this was truly an indulgent purchase but I suppose since I work so many dang hours, a little bit (or a lot) of indulgence is ok. Heh :)…..
Heck yeah…that’s the spirit😊. Gotta live a little!!
 

Johnly

macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2022
123
228
Congratulations on a nice watch. I am with you one the “I didn’t” need it, it was a “want” purchase, but in the last week I have been pleasantly surprised at how convenient it has been. I mapped the flashlight 🔦 and it is surprisingly bright, lit the way no problem. Then we went on a huge corn maze trek, and I used the waypoints to mark territory and when we found “items” and that was fun as heck. Just not having to worry about charging it has been awesome. I look back over the week and I feel like it was a good “want” purchase.

My wife called me yesterday and we talked on the watch and the call quality is super for a watch. All I have to do is use it for a few years and it will pay for itself in functionality and convenience. Swiping messages on it compared to the 7 feels so much better. Definitely worth it when you consider it’s like an I-shock lol.
 
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mansplains

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2021
972
1,529
I think the orange Alpine loop looks the best, but it is hard to have it blend in with one's clothing, UNLESS you are the type whose personality doesn't mind sticking out or you have a big personality and are the kind of cool person who can sport a bright orange band and rock wearing a business suit at the same time.
This 100%. I love the orange alpine I have but I may get a midnight braided loop, something more neutral for when I perform concerts, bright orange is usually not acceptable concert attire! I miss the older (non hermes) leather bands, the black was great feel and shade. The new leather bands look like sausages in the right colors.. or wrong colors, rather 🤮
 

tardman91

macrumors 65816
Oct 21, 2009
1,150
353
Tampa Area, FL
I'll probably wind up getting one too to upgrade my S4. I went into the store wanting to look at the S8, but the Ultra just grabbed my attention. I hate the thought of spending $800 on one, but I like the size, and I like the flat face and the fact it's sapphire. I have little scratches all over my S4. Ultimately I think the durability is worth it for me. I'm also a big guy so the size doesn't bother me at all.
 

msackey

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 8, 2020
2,572
2,985
I'll probably wind up getting one too to upgrade my S4. I went into the store wanting to look at the S8, but the Ultra just grabbed my attention. I hate the thought of spending $800 on one, but I like the size, and I like the flat face and the fact it's sapphire. I have little scratches all over my S4. Ultimately I think the durability is worth it for me. I'm also a big guy so the size doesn't bother me at all.
Yes, looks like you might very well enjoy the Ultra!

I'm not a big person and my wrists are small too, but the size of the Ultra doesn't bother me. In fact, I love the screen size!
 

JWGold

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2017
153
199
United States
Jerk.

Just kidding! I'm DYING to get my hands on an Ultra with orange alpine band. Congrats!

I want to like the Alpine band, but I just can't get it to fit me right. It's either one loop too loose or one loop too tight, but not just right on my wrist. Of the Ultra bands, so far, the Ocean band fits me the best and is the most comfortable, but I got a Nereides Rugged strap off Amazon that's very comfortable, and the legacy OEM straps are comfortable also.
 

JWGold

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2017
153
199
United States
Indulgent is spending $450 for just a deployant clasp for an IWC or $4,000 for a replacement bracelet for a Rolex Submariner. Welcome to the world of horology (and apparently Apple products).

All in all, this was truly an indulgent purchase but I suppose since I work so many dang hours, a little bit (or a lot) of indulgence is ok. Heh
:)
 

PsykX

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2006
2,508
3,460
You'll want OEM.
None of them are.
You get what you pay for.
I am the owner of just a Series 6, but I have 5 non-OEM bands and I can say watch bands is one of the areas where Apple makes the biggest profit margins.

Some bands are made cheaper than others, most of them are just Chinese knockoffs, but I'd have to disagree based on my own personal experience. You don't have to go OEM to have nice, secure bands.
 

mikedis

macrumors 603
Dec 30, 2019
5,810
12,432
Oklahoma
I am the owner of just a Series 6, but I have 5 non-OEM bands and I can say watch bands is one of the areas where Apple makes the biggest profit margins.

Some bands are made cheaper than others, most of them are just Chinese knockoffs, but I'd have to disagree based on my own personal experience. You don't have to go OEM to have nice, secure bands.
I mean for the prices you can buy OEM bands on eBay, Mercari, OfferUp, even from stores like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Amazon through their sales, I see no reason to go for knockoffs. I've gotten OEM sport bands for less than $15 a piece, leather for $20, and even link bracelets at $80. You don't need to go OEM, sure, but if your reason is price, then you should look literally anywhere but Apple's website.
 

PsykX

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2006
2,508
3,460
I've gotten OEM sport bands for less than $15 a piece, leather for $20, and even link bracelets at $80.
I think Apple has the exclusivity when it comes to the design of the bands, I don't think the manufacturer can just sell them at a lower price on a reseller's website.

So my questions :
How is it possible that resellers sell these for a fraction of the original price on Apple's website, if Apple never has any promo on these items?
Is it because they are used?
How can you be 100% sure they are OEM ?

What I mean is : I think these are just very well made knockoffs. I bought a Milanese loop that looks exactly like what Apple has in store, but it cost $25 CAD instead of like $129 CAD.
 

msackey

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Oct 8, 2020
2,572
2,985
I want to like the Alpine band, but I just can't get it to fit me right. It's either one loop too loose or one loop too tight, but not just right on my wrist. Of the Ultra bands, so far, the Ocean band fits me the best and is the most comfortable, but I got a Nereides Rugged strap off Amazon that's very comfortable, and the legacy OEM straps are comfortable also.

Yes, that is an issue that I've heard of from other reviewers. Depending on the activity and/or time of day and/or heat, I can adjust my Alpine loop so that the hook latches on to the 5th, 6th, or 7th loop (counting from the nearest lug). Indeed, it is not as adjustable as the Trail loop which is essentially a fancy velcro strap.

Indulgent is spending $450 for just a deployant clasp for an IWC or $4,000 for a replacement bracelet for a Rolex Submariner. Welcome to the world of horology (and apparently Apple products).

Hahaha! Was chatting with an Apple Store employee and she said she bought herself a Hermes watch band for her Apple Watch to the tune of $300. I was like, silently: that much just for a band?

I am the owner of just a Series 6, but I have 5 non-OEM bands and I can say watch bands is one of the areas where Apple makes the biggest profit margins.

Some bands are made cheaper than others, most of them are just Chinese knockoffs, but I'd have to disagree based on my own personal experience. You don't have to go OEM to have nice, secure bands.

Indeed, OEM band from Apple does seem rather outrageously priced. I was ok with $49 Apple watch bands, but $100 is kinda high.
 
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