Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

How to detect fake versus genuine authentic OEM Apple bands

Status
The first post of this thread is a WikiPost and can be edited by anyone with the appropiate permissions. Your edits will be public.

eghrtjykjth

Suspended
Aug 29, 2016
1
1
Why would anyone spend 3 times as much money on original bands that look and act exactly the same as the fake one?? I have one original that came with my watch and all the others are fake and I literally can’t tell the difference. The melanese loop one costs 10x more and that is just ridiculous.
 

jamieinoc

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2020
583
1,559
Why would anyone spend 3 times as much money on original bands that look and act exactly the same as the fake one?? I have one original that came with my watch and all the others are fake and I literally can’t tell the difference. The melanese loop one costs 10x more and that is just ridiculous.
They do not look and act exactly the same. The fake ones are of poor build quality and subpar materials, particularly the sport bands which are made of silicone instead of the fluoroelastomer used in the genuine bands. There is no question that between the build quality of the real vs. fake bands, real wins every time.
 
Last edited:

MacDevil7334

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2011
1,630
2,775
Austin TX
Are we talking about fakes here-that is bands purporting to be made by Apple- or third party?
Nothing wrong with buying third party and I have several sports bands which seem to be just as good as he Apple ones at a fraction of the price.
Also a really nice leather strap that fits perfectly.
I think the watch is great but Apple charge way too much for their straps.
Way, way too much.
This is meant to help folks tell genuine bands apart from those that are purporting to be genuine but are not. You’re absolutely right that there are plenty of high quality 3rd party bands out there (especially when it comes to leather) that are completely up front about not being OEM. Definitely nothing wrong with going with a 3rd party band if you feel it meets your needs. This thread is meant to help people looking to buy genuine bands assess listings on places like eBay and Mercari.
 

geekymcfly

macrumors member
May 9, 2013
41
42
Maryland
They do not look and act exactly the same. The fake ones are of poor build quality and subpar materials, particularly the sport bands which are made of silicone instead of the fluoroelastomer used in the genuine bands. There is no question that between the build quality of the real vs. fake bands, real wins every time.

But they all hold the component snug on the wrist. Real or fake it doesn’t matter and someone who cares that much might need more to worry about than real/fake bands.
 

WitchDoktor

macrumors member
Sep 29, 2020
68
196
Thanks for this post! I wonder if the Hermès bands can be included. I know 99% of the very cheap "Hermes" bands on the auction sites are knockoffs and it's obvious, but I have seen a few listings of obvious fakes for $300 or more.
 

risenphoenixkai

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2008
158
229
Regarding the link bracelet, are these 100% definite, guaranteed markers that the band is genuine?

  • "316L Stainless Steel" is engraved on the inside of the clasp.
  • 38mm or 42mm is engraved in a circle on the inside of the clasp.
I've seen one listed on TradeMe (NZ's version of eBay) that's offered at about 1/3 the price of new-from-Apple and has these markings, but I'm still skeptical.

Direct link to the listing for the band - anyone have any feedback on this after viewing the photos?
 

MacDevil7334

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2011
1,630
2,775
Austin TX
Regarding the link bracelet, are these 100% definite, guaranteed markers that the band is genuine?

  • "316L Stainless Steel" is engraved on the inside of the clasp.
  • 38mm or 42mm is engraved in a circle on the inside of the clasp.
I've seen one listed on TradeMe (NZ's version of eBay) that's offered at about 1/3 the price of new-from-Apple and has these markings, but I'm still skeptical.

Direct link to the listing for the band - anyone have any feedback on this after viewing the photos?
Looks genuine. Has the right markings and comes in a genuine Apple box. Looks like it was manufactured in 2015 or 2016 before Apple stopped shipping it’s nicer bands in plastic boxes.
 

zilchfox

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2015
51
77
Atlanta, GA
Good thread. Also I just wanted to say that I've had multiple positive experiences buying new yet genuine/OEM bands from the user "chargerstore" on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/usr/chargerstore

They sell... literally thousands of bands, but I've never seen a fake band on their page (and he takes photos of everything, no stock images). Like for example, if you wanted the original Green Sport band from the Series 0 Apple Watch, well... there's even a listing for that, too: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-O...094179?hash=item5d91dc53a3:g:KawAAOSwHBZdZkEJ

Also an excellent source to find rare/old/discontinued bands at a good price, that are technically new, but not with the boxes.
 
Last edited:

FenC

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2016
691
1,463
Wellington, New Zealand
Regarding the link bracelet, are these 100% definite, guaranteed markers that the band is genuine?

  • "316L Stainless Steel" is engraved on the inside of the clasp.
  • 38mm or 42mm is engraved in a circle on the inside of the clasp.
I've seen one listed on TradeMe (NZ's version of eBay) that's offered at about 1/3 the price of new-from-Apple and has these markings, but I'm still skeptical.

Direct link to the listing for the band - anyone have any feedback on this after viewing the photos?

High end Apple Watch stuff is worth nothing on Trademe. Unfortunately hardly any of it comes up, but when I see it I often buy it. I certainly didn’t see that listing and I would have given some thought to bidding if I had, because I agree with @MacDevil7334 that it looks genuine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CodeRaven and twanj

FenC

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2016
691
1,463
Wellington, New Zealand
Good thread. Also I just wanted to say that I've had multiple positive experiences buying new yet genuine/OEM bands from the user "chargerstore" on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/usr/chargerstore

They sell... literally thousands of bands, but I've never seen a fake band on their page (and he takes photos of everything, no stock images). Like for example, if you wanted the original Green Sport band from the Series 0 Apple Watch, well... there's even a listing for that, too: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-O...094179?hash=item5d91dc53a3:g:KawAAOSwHBZdZkEJ

Also an excellent source to find rare/old/discontinued bands at a good price, that are technically new, but not with the boxes.
Yup, lots and lots of us in what we call the main thread are regular and repeat customers of Chargie. I’ve said before that I actually think he sets the market values to a degree. Some people of course ask wildly more and some people undersell, but I think his finger is on the pulse with what is getting rare and how much a ‘true’ value is. No boxes with most of his listings is the only downside for some of the purists.
 

risenphoenixkai

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2008
158
229
High end Apple Watch stuff is worth nothing on Trademe. Unfortunately hardly any of it comes up, but when I see it I often buy it. I certainly didn’t see that listing and I would have given some thought to bidding if I had, because I agree with @MacDevil7334 that it looks genuine.

I snapped it up myself. I agree with both of you; it ticks too many of the boxes to be a fake, and I’ve wanted a genuine Space Black link bracelet for years.

I guess next week I’ll get to see how well it pairs with graphite stainless steel…
 

FenC

macrumors 6502a
Oct 5, 2016
691
1,463
Wellington, New Zealand
I snapped it up myself. I agree with both of you; it ticks too many of the boxes to be a fake, and I’ve wanted a genuine Space Black link bracelet for years.

I guess next week I’ll get to see how well it pairs with graphite stainless steel…
Nice one. I didn’t see it so I didn’t bid against you but I might have if I had done.

Keen to see pics. I think it’ll look terrible in which case I’ll give you money back on the link to go with my SBSS S5 :D

I very nearly bought a graphite S6. PB had one available for pick up on 22nd Sep even in Welly (the worst PB in the country for stock items I think). Analysis paralysis and I let it go.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CodeRaven and twanj

T.j.p.

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2015
33
17
Business
This thread contains guidelines and pictures for helping people determine if a band is a genuine OEM Apple band or a


Link Bracelet
There are quite a few knockoff link bracelets floating around out there because Apple's version is so expensive. It is pretty easy to spot the fakes though.

Signs the band is Genuine AppleSigns the band is a Fake
  • The links are removed with buttons on the inside of the band. No tools are needed.
    • NOTE: Some third party link bracelets use this button mechanism. Look for other markings as well before deciding your band is genuine.
  • The face of the links is brushed. The sides of the links are polished like the stainless steel watches.
  • "316L Stainless Steel" is engraved on the inside of the clasp.
  • 38mm or 42mm is engraved in a circle on the inside of the clasp.
  • "Assembled in China" is stamped on one lug edge.
  • Newer link bracelets have a serial number in the lug but older ones do not.
  • Only offered in Silver and Space Black
  • Links must be removed with a tool.
  • The sides of the links are matte/brushed rather than polished.
  • No markings on the band.
  • Offered in other colors like gold.

There are also, produced for celebrities, solid gold Apple Link Bracelets. Apple gave to a few actors, actresses spirts figures, etc. To the best of my knowledge they were never offered for sale. But a few Apple Gold Edition watches sported them out in the wild.

 

ryuworks

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2007
158
190
Singapore
Why do the moderators not come in to stop posts that have nothing to do with the topic, especially when some of the other threads are heavily moderated? Some of the posts here are akin to walking into an Apple Store and screaming “Mac sucks PC rocks you guys are all ********s!”.
 

crawfish963

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2010
791
990
Texas
Yup, lots and lots of us in what we call the main thread are regular and repeat customers of Chargie. I’ve said before that I actually think he sets the market values to a degree. Some people of course ask wildly more and some people undersell, but I think his finger is on the pulse with what is getting rare and how much a ‘true’ value is. No boxes with most of his listings is the only downside for some of the purists.

Glad to see this because I just dropped $300 on some leather classic buckle bands from that store.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twanj and FenC

risenphoenixkai

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2008
158
229
Keen to see pics. I think it’ll look terrible in which case I’ll give you money back on the link to go with my SBSS S5 :D

8837A7DA-0653-4E72-9CCD-02DEBEE61570.jpeg

I think I might keep it.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.