How to Choose the Right Apple Watch Band Size

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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After spending hours looking at the wide variety of Apple Watch band options, you've probably narrowed it down to just a few different models. One aspect you may not have thought through entirely, however, is what size band you need.

Apple is going to allow users to try on the wrist-worn device at its retail stores starting April 10. That is, however, the same day pre-orders become available, so if you don't want to risk your favorite model selling out before you have a chance to try one on, you can use Apple's sizing guide [PDF]. We also have a few suggestions to help you figure out which band is right for you.

Not all Apple Watch bands are available in every size and not all bands are available with every model. For example, the Classic Buckle is the only band that goes as small as 125 mm (4.92 inches). It is also the only band that goes as large as 215 mm (8.46 inches). Some bands are also available with only some casing sizes, as the Modern Buckle is compatible only with 38 mm casings and the Leather Loop is compatible only with 42 mm models.

Below is a rundown of what bands in which sizes are available with each casing (excluding the gold Apple Watch Edition). When looking at the band sizes below, keep in mind that the average woman's wrist is between 140 mm (5.5 inches) and 170 mm (6.7 inches) and the average man's wrist is between 165 mm (6.5 inches) and 195 mm (7.8 inches).

Modern Buckle

Case size 38 mm

Small fits wrist circumference 5.3-5.9 inches (135-150 mm)
Medium fits wrist circumference 5.7-6.5 inches (145-165 mm)
Large fits wrist circumference 6.3-7.1 inches (160-180 mm)

Case size 42 mm

None Available


Leather Loop

Case size 38 mm

None Available

Case size 42 mm

Medium fits wrist circumference 5.9-7.3 inches (150-185 mm)
Large fits wrist circumference 7.1-8.3 inches (180-210 mm)


Milanese Loop

Case Size 38 mm

Small/Medium fits wrist circumference 5.1-7.1 inches (130-180 mm)

Case size 42 mm

Medium/Large fits wrist circumference 5.9-7.9 inches (150-200 mm)


Link Bracelet

Case size 38 mm

Small/Medium fits wrist circumference 5.3-7.7 inches (135-195 mm)

Case size 42 mm

Medium/Large fits wrist circumference 5.9-8.07 inches (140-205 mm)


Classic Buckle

Case size 38 mm

Small/Medium fits wrist circumference 4.9-7.9 inches (125-200 mm)

Case size 42 mm

Medium/Large fits wrist circumference 5.7-8.5 inches (145-215 mm)


Sport Band

*Watch and standalone band pack each come with both S/M and M/L bands.

Case size 38 mm

Small/Medium fits wrist circumference 5.1-7.1 inches (130-180 mm)
Medium/Large fits wrist circumference 5.9-7.9 inches (150-200 mm)

Case Size 42 mm

Small/Medium fits wrist circumference 5.5-7.3 inches (140-185 mm)
Medium/Large fits wrist circumference 6.3-8.3 inches (160-210 mm)

Getting Your Band Size

The first thing you should do is measure your wrist. Using a cloth tape measure (or a string measured with a standard ruler), you'll typically want to wrap your left wrist if you are right-handed or your right wrist if you are left-handed.

Wrist preference for watches is, however, purely a personal thing, so feel free to use whichever wrist feels more comfortable to you. The Apple Watch has settings to allow it to be used on either the left or right wrist, although positioning of the Digital Crown and side button will be reversed depending on orientation.

Most cloth tape measures are based on inches, not millimeters, so you may want to convert your measurement. One inch is equal to 25.4 mm, so if your wrist is seven inches in circumference, multiply by 25.4 to get 177.8 mm. Or, you can reference our conversion guide above.

Choosing a Band

Taking a seven-inch wrist as the model, you can see that the Modern Buckle might not be a comfortable fit. Although the large size covers wrist of up to 7.1 inches, you won't have any room for weight changes or slight puffing at night (or while going on long walks).

If your wrist measures seven inches in circumference, you may want to avoid the 38 mm case for all models except the Link Bracelet, Classic Buckle, and Sport Band.

If your wrist measures more than eight inches in circumference, your options for the 38 mm case are even more limited, and the Sport Band would be your best option.

In the reverse, a smaller wrist, say one that measures 5.5 inches in circumference, might find some of the 42 mm models to be a bit too loose. The Sport Band would be the best options for someone with a 5.5-inch wrist looking for a 42 mm casing, although you would probably find the Classic Buckle to fit fairly well since it is only 0.16 of an inch larger. While a slightly larger band is easier to get used to than a slightly smaller band, the Apple Watch needs to be worn snugly so the sensor on the back of the device can accurately pick up the user's heart rate.

Considering all of the different band/casing combinations and available band sizes should give you a good start on picking the right Apple Watch band ahead of the pre-order launch. With any luck, your favorite option won't sell out.

The first round of pre-orders for the Apple Watch will be available in nine countries starting April 10, both online and in Apple retail stores. The wrist-worn device will launch across those countries on April 24. Prices start at $349 for the aluminum Apple Watch Sport model, $549 for the stainless steel Apple Watch model, and $10,000 for the gold Apple Watch Edition Model. Starting April 10, you will also be able to make a reservation or stop by an Apple retail store to try on the Apple Watch and place pre-orders.

Article Link: How to Choose the Right Apple Watch Band Size
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,605
2,854
I am a guy and I realize modern buckle is for women. But I really dig its magnetic closure. It's too bad the closure isn't available with any of the 42mm leather bands.
 

netsped

macrumors 6502
Jul 8, 2008
267
277
Well, I guess I'm stuck with either the leather loop or the classic buckle. For the price of the 42mm watch with one of those straps, I was planning on buying the milanese loop.

Damn you 210mm wrist. Maybe they'll offer more band sizes in version 2.

Oh, so tempting but now I guess I'll wait one more year.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,249
2,802
Well, I guess I'm stuck with either the leather loop or the classic buckle. For the price of the 42mm watch with one of those straps, I was planning on buying the milanese loop.

Damn you 210mm wrist. Maybe they'll offer more band sizes in version 2.

Oh, so tempting but now I guess I'll wait one more year.
You could do the sport band as well it looks like.

Looks like I'm at @ 203mm so my options are limited in some areas too. The sport band looks like it would be the better fit here. Not interested in leather not paying for metal so sport band it is/would be. Still not 100% sure but most likely will purchase.
 

TonyC28

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2009
1,763
5,322
USA
I wish there was a way to try it on before pre-orders start. This guide is useful info but it's something I really want to try on before ordering.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,605
2,854
I wish there was a way to try it on before pre-orders start. This guide is useful info but it's something I really want to try on before ordering.
I think that may be what Apple want all along. Stepping in to the store and trying out different bands, etc., increases upscale potential.

I am planning on preordering on day 1 (42mm aluminum space gray) but make an appointment to visit the store to try out different configurations in person.
 

irfaanfaki

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2013
95
0
Really disappointed that there is no 38mm leather loop. I have very skinny wrists and was hoping to get a 38mm watch with a black leather loop.
 

KieranDotW

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2012
623
68
Canada
Waiting for the MRA's to come out the woodwork...

Men with bigger wrists have to buy bigger watches? DISCRIMINATION!
 

Locoboof

macrumors 65816
Jun 8, 2008
1,177
158
Bay Area,Cali
Step 1: Go to an Apple store near you.

Step 2: Try it on.



Angry pre-orderers incoming...

But the problem is. If pre-orders start at 12:01am 4/10/15 (let's say) but by the time I get to a store to try it on after work (5pm) all pre-orders could be gone potentially. Right?

I'm pre-ordering one 42mm stainless steel with leather band and another stainless 38mm for the fiancé.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,746
4,420
Waiting for the MRA's to come out the woodwork...

Men with bigger wrists have to buy bigger watches? DISCRIMINATION!
Nah, my wrists are smaller than those of most girls, I think. It's more like large person discrimination than a gender based discrimination, so it wouldn't be an MRA, I don't think.
 

Trik

macrumors 6502
Jan 18, 2011
321
718
Washington, DC
I like to wear my watch a little loose around my wrist but I have a feeling that I cannot do that and expect an accurate reading of my heart rate. I'll definitely have to go and try it on to find out...
 

Onimusha370

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2010
544
101
145mm wrist here, torn between the 38/42mm SS with Milanese loop. The 42mm band seems to be 150mm+ so I guess my decisions sort of made for me now :/
 

bronksy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2006
525
199
London
sorry - but you get 2 bands in the box no?

I've chosen my 'favourite' watch in the apple store app on my phone.

The summary says 'fits 140-210mm wrists'

No option to chose the strap.

I assume there's 2 straps in each box - if you look at the store page for the separate straps there's 2 per box.
 

DavidTheExpert

macrumors regular
Apr 20, 2012
199
349
Thanks again Lory Gil for posting this completely unnecessary article for no other reason than to capture the inevitable search traffic closer to the launch date. 100% of this information is already available on Apple's website, except for the wonderfully helpful tips on how to convert inches to millimeters. Thanks so much for that tidbit.
 

ttss6

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2014
333
58
California
I just stick with the base stainless steel  Watch black rubber band. It's free if I buy them with the watch and later on once supply catches up with demand and the Apple stores are no longer busy I'll consider the Milanese loop and classic buckle.
 

dfs

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2008
330
153
California
Yes, but...

Note that the cost of the metal link bracelet band is four hundred bucks!!! This tells me that we're about to be hit by an avalanche of third-party alternatives, reasonably priced and probably a good deal more attractive than Apple's offerings.
 
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