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Original poster
Nov 25, 2019
A friend gave me a tan leather band from his 42mm series 3, wondering if it will work on my 38mm face?
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macrumors Penryn
Sep 21, 2012
In the middle of several books.
The logical thing to have done, is to put the band on the watch, so that you could see for yourself, that the band is longer than the band slot. And thus, it overhangs on the end.

You could have answered your own question.

You really need the right size band. Thank your friend and return the band to him.
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macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2017
Pittsburgh, PA
Nice friend of yours but sorry, it will not work. Previous versions of the watch which are 38mm only work with either those marked as 38 or bands made for the same size of 40. Same is true for the 42, they will work with the 44 and vice versa

Apple Watch 0-3 were/are offered in 38 or 42mm

Apple Watch 4-5 are offered in 40 or 44

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Feb 23, 2004
San Diego, CA, USA
To be clear, the attachment mechanism for the bands is universal between all Apple watches released thus far (and likely far into the future), so yes, it will fit - it will attach securely and connect and disconnect easily. But the watches and bands are available in two basic sizes, effectively (though not called) "small" (38 or 40mm), and "large" (42 or 44mm). Bands from either will fit the other, but will not look right. A "small" band in a "large" watch will look a little too narrow, while a "large" band in a "small" watch will overhang the sides and just look wrong. I'm sure there are people who do it, but I wouldn't recommend it.


Original poster
Nov 25, 2019
I haven’t tried it yet. I think I may be able to get used to this sport band it came with, it is just kinda a pain to put on in the mornings. It might get easier the more it is used.


macrumors member
Aug 22, 2008
The edges of the 42mm band will stick out slightly on a 38 and 40mm watch. I tried my 42/44mm sports band on my mom’s 40mm and the edges stuck out just a bit. However, the band does lock in place if you don’t mind the edges sticking out.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2019
London, UK
Upgrading from a 42mm S2 to a 40mm S5, I can confirm 42mm bands do work on 38/40mm watches. It won't look pretty tho as a couple millimeters of lugs will stick out on either sides.
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