Link bracelet, buy genuine?

Soybomb

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 14, 2019
35
7
I'm switching into apple from Android and my Samsung gear S3. I was initially going to start small and just get an aluminum GPS watch thinking it's probably less durable but I'd rarely use LTE and keeping it cheap means I can upgrade more often. I'm starting to think about stepping up though. I'm not sure I'd get the value from LTE, really almost sure I wouldn't - but it's such a cool looking feature I kind of want to try. One thing improve with my gear S3 and metal band is that it retains some real watch look and doesn't look as much like a gadget. This leads me to wanting stainless....

I've always worn stainless link bracelet on my watches which leads to the final difficult decision, official link bracelet or 3rd party? Its $300 for the apple brand one as part of the order. It looks like there's 3rd party bands for anywhere from 25 to 125 pretty easily. Opinions seem to vary on if they're nearly as good or not. Anyone tried both and have an opinion? The quick adjust is neat but not with 200 to me.

Looks like I could pick up a ss with a sport band a couple weeks earlier too.
 

cannono

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2014
546
526
I’d say absolutely try a cheap one first. I personally got tired of the metal band look on Apple Watch so I switch between leather or silicone bands now.
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
5,165
1,689
Link bracelet from Apple is so well done but why don't try Milanese first? It's only $99 now.
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
684
748
The difference is far into diminishing returns territory, so unless you've got money to burn, it's not worth spending hugely more.
 
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Soybomb

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 14, 2019
35
7
Link bracelet from Apple is so well done but why don't try Milanese first? It's only $99 now.
They look great but I've tried to love that style band a couple times in the past and there's just too much arm hair pulling.
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The difference is far into diminishing returns territory, so unless you've got money to burn, it's not worth spending hugely more.
Good to know, thanks, have you tried any brands to have a favorite?
 

douglasf13

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2010
1,601
782
I’ve been wearing my link bracelet for four years without issue, so it’s worth get the real deal to me. I think it’s one of the great watch bracelet designs ever, so I’m ok with spending money on the real thing, which is still relative peanuts compared to bracelets from Swiss watch makers.
 

AidenL

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2013
419
208
Ireland
I’ve been wearing my link bracelet for four years without issue, so it’s worth get the real deal to me. I think it’s one of the great watch bracelet designs ever, so I’m ok with spending money on the real thing, which is still relative peanuts compared to bracelets from Swiss watch makers.
I agree also, love my original link.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
31,558
31,858
I’ve owned the regular and black stainless link bracelet. Awesome ingenuity with the removable links and it’s incredibly thin & light, and the clasp never failed on me. I will say there is some competition that can replicate the link band closely, but the craftsmanship with Apples is outstanding, but it comes at a price, but that’s what you pay for something like the link band.
 
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M.Rizk

macrumors 6502a
Apr 20, 2015
538
237
If you did not get the watch yet consider checking Amazon (if in the US) as it is offering a $50 discount on most Apple Watch variants (including some with the Milanese loop).
 

ZEEN0j

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2014
1,526
685
I bought the link bracelet maybe 2 months ago. I’ve had a steel watch the past 4 years (s0 now s4). I’ve always wanted it but the price made me hesitant. I realized I kept buying third party (other designs) link bracelets when I know I really just wanted the Apple one. Finally bought it and love it. I rotate that and a saddle brown leather band mostly. Love the look.

Buy it and return it before 14 days if you don’t like it.
 

btrach144

macrumors 68000
Aug 28, 2015
1,659
3,683
I’ve been wearing my link bracelet for four years without issue, so it’s worth get the real deal to me. I think it’s one of the great watch bracelet designs ever, so I’m ok with spending money on the real thing, which is still relative peanuts compared to bracelets from Swiss watch makers.
I agree also, love my original link.
I have a knock off link bracelet. It's been my favorite band for the last two years. I've been thinking about buying a genuine one from Apple.

How has your genuine link bracelet held up? My knock off certainly shows some wear and one of the clasps is slightly bent. Just curious if the extra $325 is worth it over my knock off.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
31,558
31,858
My link bracelet has held up very well, the black stainless link bracelet shows some scratches, but it also does have a DLC coating on it for those who didn’t know that. My recommendation would be the regular 316 L stainless bracelet, the scratches will blend in much easier versus the black link.
 
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danmart

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2015
1,222
677
Lancs, UK
I bought the very first Space Black Watch and later gifted it to my Dad when I upgraded. The link band has been worn every day for over four years and has maybe two marks on it, nothing I would class as even a scratch.

Now, neither of us are brick layers but even so, I would have little concern over the longevity of the band. I had switched to the SB Milanese loop, but last year decided I really liked the link so I bought a new one for myself.
 

CWallace

macrumors 604
Aug 17, 2007
6,809
2,715
Seattle, WA
I started with a third-party link bracelet for my SB SS S4 and it was fine, but then I found a thread about a seller on eBay ( chargerstore ) selling genuine Apple Watch bands for a significant discount. I purchased the Space Black Link Bracelet from him for $250 (vs. $450 Apple retail) and it was flawless and is now my favorite band.
 

AidenL

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2013
419
208
Ireland
I have a knock off link bracelet. It's been my favorite band for the last two years. I've been thinking about buying a genuine one from Apple.

How has your genuine link bracelet held up? My knock off certainly shows some wear and one of the clasps is slightly bent. Just curious if the extra $325 is worth it over my knock off.
Held up really well. I bought some polishing cloths from ebay which are suitable for brushed stainless. It looks as new today.
- - Post merged: - -

I started with a third-party link bracelet for my SB SS S4 and it was fine, but then I found a thread about a seller on eBay ( chargerstore ) selling genuine Apple Watch bands for a significant discount. I purchased the Space Black Link Bracelet from him for $250 (vs. $450 Apple retail) and it was flawless and is now my favorite band.
I bought from that seller also.
 
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dannyyankou

macrumors G3
Mar 2, 2012
8,736
13,067
Scarsdale, NY
I think it’s a little overpriced, but it’s really good quality. I don’t regret buying it (been a day 1 owner), but maybe it should be $100 cheaper lol
 

Karnicopia

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
430
247
I agree it’s expensive but I’ve been able to use the band on every watch since series 0 so I feel like I got good value out of it and it still looks and works great. It’s my favorite band and the one I usually have on the watch so it also prevents me from buying a lot of bands that I’d rarely use and invest in one band I really love and use often. I started out with a mix of bands but over time I’ve ended up only really using the link and a few sport bands so it probably actually saves me some money there because I don’t really even keep track of new bands. Haven’t even bought a band in about 3 years so while the cost is high the link works in so many situations and I like it so much I feel it’s worth it.
 

itsmemuffins

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2010
3,126
1,179
I’ve bought many 3rd party link bracelet and they don’t really come close to the original. The finish on the black ones doesn’t match the watch at all. The stainless is easier to match.

Also I’ve had problems with claps and links on the third party ones.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,871
447
One thing to lookout for with link bracelets is their weight. The Apple stainless and black seem weightless next to the link bracelet I have on my Garmin.
 

ledzepfan1981

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2015
356
41
I ordered my Series 0 Watch SS on day one with a Milanese band not knowing that there would be third party bands. Really wish I had just bought the cheapest band and bought a third party Milanese, because my dad has one and there isn’t that much difference in quality, especially for the price (his third party Milanese was £12).
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
31,558
31,858
I ordered my Series 0 Watch SS on day one with a Milanese band not knowing that there would be third party bands. Really wish I had just bought the cheapest band and bought a third party Milanese, because my dad has one and there isn’t that much difference in quality, especially for the price (his third party Milanese was £12).
Look closer. I can tell you right now there is a difference between Apples genuine Milanese band compared to third parties. For one, the magnets are not nearly as strong as Apples are on the Milanese loop, and most/if not all third-party Milanese loop’s will start to discolor sooner. You ‘get exactly what you pay for’, and a third-party Milanese loop might resemble Apples, but the quality standards is not there.
 

ledzepfan1981

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2015
356
41
Look closer. I can tell you right now there is a difference between Apples genuine Milanese band compared to third parties. For one, the magnets are not nearly as strong as Apples are on the Milanese loop, and most/if not all third-party Milanese loop’s will start to discolor sooner. You ‘get exactly what you pay for’, and a third-party Milanese loop might resemble Apples, but the quality standards is not there.
That’s why I said it was good ‘for the price’!
 

tdar

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2003
1,016
486
Alpharetta GA.
The Apple link is very well done and high quality. It's also very expensive. Too expensive in my opinion. So I use a link from Amazon (they have several) ,and I have had one for 3 years now. It's real stainless,and is well made. I bought a new one for my new AW s5 yesterday. $12.
 

perezr10

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2014
1,087
429
Monroe, Louisiana
If you buy an aftermarket Link Bracelet get silver and not black. The knockoff black ones lose their color much easier than Apple’s. Then it looks tacky to have a scratched up black metal band.