SB Milanese loop or SB Link

mightymouf06

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 1, 2017
36
17
Just thought i'd get the forum's opinion on these two bands. I have the S4 SBSS and wanting a band for dressier occasions. Can't decide on the Link bracelet or the milanese loop. For those that have had both or any experiences you can share would be helpful as far as the differences. Of course with money not being an option. I realize that's prolly the main difference. But as far as looks, comfort, quality... Thanks!
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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30,651
Just thought i'd get the forum's opinion on these two bands. I have the S4 SBSS and wanting a band for dressier occasions. Can't decide on the Link bracelet or the milanese loop. For those that have had both or any experiences you can share would be helpful as far as the differences. Of course with money not being an option. I realize that's prolly the main difference. But as far as looks, comfort, quality... Thanks!
I don’t care for that Milanese loop, just because I don’t think it’s nearly as classy as the link bracelet. One thing you have to use caution with the Milanese loop-more specifically, the space black Milanese loop can scratch the Apple Watch because of the DLC coating. Something else to consider, when the Milanese loop is not on your wrist, it folds flat, you have to make sure you set the watch on its side, otherwise if it comes in a contact, it can scratch the watch.

Back to the link bracelet. It’s thin, fairly light weight, and the removable links are an ingenious design by Apple. The Milanese loop is significantly more expensive than the Milanese loop, I do think the price tag is justified once you physically get a chance to handle the link bracelet, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.
 

wchigo

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2015
458
207
One's a lot more expensive than the other, lol.

To be more serious, I've had experiences with the regular SS ML and LB on my Series 0, not the Space Black, but I think it's still applicable. Personally, I really like the classy look of the LB and that was my preferred option, but I really couldn't justify the cost personally. The other thing is that I am currently based in a very humid and hot climate, so my wrist can very easily expand and contract based on if I'm indoors in a well air-conditioned location, or outside, or what have you. Therefore in many instances, my LB either fits fine outdoors (I like to wear it a little loose) and not as well outdoors (tighter than I'd like), or it'd feel fine outdoors and way too loose when indoors. Sure, the links are easy to add and remove, but I don't want to be doing that several times a day.

Eventually I tried the Milanese Loop, but ended up returning that because, again, I like to wear my watches loose and I think the watch sliding up and down on my arm caused irritation. I eventually settled on the Leather Loop, as it still looked dressy and was easy to re-adjust on the fly, similar to the ML.

Fast forward to a month ago and I purchased the new 44m SS with ML. I'm wearing it a bit tighter than I would my Leather Loop, so it doesn't slide around as much, and I've had much better results with far less skin irritation. I really do like the look, and it goes well with my uniform as I wear a suit for work.

tl;dr

Looks: Both look classy, with the Milanese Loop maybe being a bit more modern, with the Link being a bit more classic. I like both, maybe leaning more towards the Link, whereas my girlfriend much prefers the look of the Loop.

Comfort: Loop is more lightweight, whereas the Link will definitely add some heft. Both are comfortable, but I have had instances where both tugged on my arm hair a bit. I'd say they're fairly equal, unless you live in a climate similar to stated above.

Quality: Both are high quality, and you can't really go wrong with either.

Back to the link bracelet. It’s thin, fairly light weight, and the removable links are an ingenious design by Apple. The Milanese loop is significantly more expensive than the Milanese loop, I do think the price tag is justified once you physically get a chance to handle the link bracelet, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.
Oops?
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,380
30,651
One's a lot more expensive than the other, lol. Oops?
Indeed. As an owner of the space black link and regular stainless link, it’s over $1000 just for those two bands alone. The reality is, most can’t justify the price point for those two bands, and that’s completely understandable, however; for those who actually have experience with the link bands, realize how elegant they really are in terms of the simplicity with the removable links and how comforting it is on the wrist without feeling to ‘weighty’. In my opinion, I think the link bands are Apples ‘best’ bands that they manufacture, it’s just the price point that is not within reach for most budgets with a tech watch.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,506
364
I have used both the Milanese loop, link stainless and link black stainless.

1. Milanese loop. Had to return it within days. The magnet was not strong enough to keep the band tight so I had to keep adjusting it. Don't know why I had this problem since I haven't seen any other similar reports.

2. Stainless link. Had this for a year. Loved the fact that I didn't have to worry about it getting loose and falling off my wrist. This was after a scary incident with a Garmin watch band which broke when I was hauling a suitcase in a subway station. Luckily I realized it had happened and was able to retrieve the watch from the floor. The downside, besides the cost of course, was that the scratches on the band really bothered me and I wasn't interested in taking the effort to remove them.

3. Stainless black link. Have had this one for 2 or 3 generations now and love it. Scratches don't show. They are there, but since you have to work at seeing them they don't bother me. Only downside is that the coating has worn off on the edge side of some of the links. Think this may be due to my keeping it on a hard surface (marble) watch charger.
 

mightymouf06

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 1, 2017
36
17
Thanks for everyone's input.. I think at the end of the day, i really can't justify the $300 difference between the milanese loop and the link. Maybe i can find a SB link on ebay that's cheaper but still a genuine product. I do believe that you get what you pay for in terms of quality. So i think i'll settle for the SB Milanese loop for now and shop around for a nice quality Link.
 

twanj

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2015
495
372
Pompano Beach, FL
I have never tried the Link on, but I like the Milanese Loop a lot. Like the Sport Loops, it's infinitely adjustable during the day if you want a tight or loose fit.

There's a thread on here about someone on eBay selling "real" SB Link & others for cheaper ($150).
 

twanj

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2015
495
372
Pompano Beach, FL
I have the Space Black Milanese Loop & SB Link Bracelet.

They are both really nice. The Link Bracelet is kinda cool because you put it on & forget it - there's no adjusting. I mean you can add/remove links, but you wouldn't adjust as much as you might with another band.

Link Bracelet of course is thick & sturdy, & perhaps people notice it more because it's not that common. Makes the Watch look more traditional & less like a toy (but I like the fun toy aspect).

As you know, retail price you could buy 9 different Sport Band or Sport Loops. Bit excessive.
 
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twanj

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2015
495
372
Pompano Beach, FL
@twanj - thanks for the in depth review. I opted to go for the Milanese loop to match my SBSS 44mm AW. Mainly due to the price. Here are some pics.
Looks great! Glad I could help. I think you'll enjoy it. Definitely nice to have that option. Like I've said in other threads, I think having the different types (sport bands & loops, Milanese loop, etc) are good to have the variety. I just can't get myself to try the woven nylon or leather ones with buckles.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,755
506
Hawaii, USA
Even if finances motivated the decision, I think you made the right choice.

I have both, and tend to use the Milanese loop more... a lot more. Living in a tropical climate, there are a few factors at play:
1) The Milanese loop is cooler. You don't necessarily feel it until the Watch shifts on your arm; if you're wearing the link bracelet, you'll feel an uncomfortable heat coming from the band. The Milanese loop doesn't have this issue.

2) The Milanese loop is easily and infinitely adjustable. I don't have an underlying health condition, but I'd find that the link bracelet either felt too tight or too loose on my arm, seemingly depending on how warm and humid it was, and how much time I had spent in air conditioning. (I was also working 28-hour shifts with fair regularity at that time, which may have had something to do with it...) I never had issues with the Milanese loop loosening on its own, but realized that I was adjusting how loose or tight it was multiple times throughout the day for my own comfort. The ability to resize the link bracelet easily without tools was brilliant design on Apple's part, I agree, but you won't be making that adjustment more than once per day... and even then, hopefully you wouldn't need to adjust it that often! (I'm currently living in a place with winter, and have reverted to the link bracelet; the issues with it feeling loose or tight during the day are gone. May have just been a tropical issue for me.)

3) By appearance, the link bracelet looks more substantial. Don't psychoanalyze me for this, but there have been times when I'd temporarily be working closely with a colleague who either had a Watch with a link bracelet, or wore a traditional watch with a thick metal band, and it made the Milanese loop feel insignificant by comparison. I'd usually switch over to the link bracelet around those times. However, the space black link bracelet - despite looking wonderful up close - can give people other impressions. One person remarked to me that they thought the space black link bracelet was plastic, instead of metal. In certain lighting and from certain angles it does have a plastic-like appearance. In other words, just because it's Apple's most expensive band doesn't mean everyone will realize that they're looking at anodized stainless steel with a diamond-like coating - some people will evidently think it's a cheap plastic bracelet! This is unlikely to be the case with the standard "silver" stainless steel link bracelet. I'd still consider using the space black link bracelet as a more formal band, but be aware that some might not appreciate it... and I still think the space black Milanese loop looks pretty classy.

Either option is a definite step up from the bands that come with the watch.

Ah, and one thing the Milanese loop has over the link bracelet? The way it sparkles in a subtle way. Even though I've had it for years now, I still get enjoyment from admiring the Milanese loop in subtle lighting, slowly rotating my wrist to have the band catch the lighting at different angles.

(For what it's worth, my space black Milanese loop was the only one I bought from Apple; my space black link bracelet, stainless steel link bracelet, and stainless steel Milanese loop were all bought second-hand through eBay. It's a risk, but careful inspection reveals them all to be genuine or, at worst, grey market... and I saved quite a bit that way. It can take a long time to get what you're looking for and at a decent price, but if you're patient you'll probably get it. Good luck!)
 
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