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All you need to know from 6 Series of Apple Watch to Apple Watch Bands

December 23, 2020 8 min read

strapcode-watch-bands, Apple-Watch-Bands-LTE-Series-6

Braided Solo Loop watch bands demo on the 6th generations of the Apple Watch

As even the birds know, the Apple watch is a synonym for a top-notch smartwatch line. It integrates with iOS and other Apple gadgets and usually incorporates wireless communication services and health and fitness-oriented apps. The first Apple watch was introduced in 2015 and almost instantly became the best selling smartwatch on the planet. There are a total of 6 series of Apple watches so far and each has been released with improved hardware and software functions. Although the first watch was introduced in April 2015, each following series has been released in September in subsequent years.

The maker’s goal of the Apple watch was to benefit the iPhone with additional functions and free the people from their phones. Its maker, Kevin Lynch (currently a vice president of tech at Apple Inc. and ex-CTO of Adobe Systems) said its purpose was to minimize the time people spend looking at their phone screens and to provide a more human way of online engagement. Apple watch operates in sync with other iOS devices, such as iPhone or iPad, but can be separately used for some communication services or audio streaming, for example. These options mainly depend on the model and installed software version, though.

 Apple-watches-all-6-generations-016 generations of the Apple Watch, image source : Apple.com


The Apple Watch Series

The first generation of the Apple watch released in 2015 is usually referred to as Series 0. It uses the single-core S1 system-on-chip and relies on iPhone for location services. It contains a heart rate sensor, 8 GB of storage and provides haptic feedback when notifications are received. Besides the option to use iPhone’s resources when it comes to music storage, users can store up to 2 GB of music and 75 MB of photos. Software support for this generation ended with watchOS 4.3.2. version.

The second generation of the Apple watch released in September 2016 contains two models, both with dual-core Apple S2 processor, usually referred to as Series 1 and Series 2. The first one is the Apple S1P with GPS removed (lower starting price) and the other, Apple S2 SIPs is with a GPS, brighter display and a water-resistance of 50 meters. Both models require at least an iPhone 5 with iOS 10 or later. The “Series 1” model was made only in Aluminium cases, while the “Series 2” model is made in both anodized Aluminium and stainless steel version. Both models were released in September 2016, with watchOS 3 and were supported up to watchOS 6.

The third generation of Apple watches was released in September 2017 and run by the dual-core S3 processor. The Bluetooth is upgraded from 4.0 on older models to 4.2 version, as well as the RAM size. This is the first generation of Apple watches that includes Siri as well as cellular connectivity (by using the same mobile number as paired iPhone). As of September 2020, the third generation of the Apple watch is available with WiFi and GPS options. Current models of this generation have watchOS 7 and require an iPhone 6 or later with at least iOS 14 installed on it.

The Apple Watch Series 4 (the fourth generation of the Apple watch) was released in September 2018, during the Apple Special Event in Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. It features a dual-core Apple S4 processor, 16GB of storage, a larger display than the Series 3 and a new electrical heart rate sensor approved by the FDA (the first consumer device approved by the FDA, too) and supported by American Heart Association. Besides other hardware and design improvements, the Apple watch 4 can also detect falls and contact emergency services unless the user cancels the call.

The fifth generation of the Apple watch or, simply, Series 5, was also revealed during Apple Special Event, but in September 2019, alongside iPhone 11. It features the advanced Apple S5 processor, 32 GB of storage and an always-on display with an energy-saving LTPO OLED screen. But even with the addition of the compass function, International Emergency Calling in over 150 countries, the series has been discontinued in September 2020 due to “not having many upgrades from the Series 4”, with the release of the Series 7. The series contained ceramic and titanium models in Natural and Black versions.

The Apple Watch Series 6 (the sixth generation) was released in September 2020, during the Time Flies Apple Event. It features the great Apple S6 processor, a brighter always-on display, an ECG app, a blood oxygen app and an always-on altimeter.

Each series has multiple variants in terms of color, size and casing material, plus there are some co-branded versions with Nike and other brands.


Apple watch fitness

As we already mentioned, the Apple watch is the only watch whose fitness features were recognized by the FDA and American Heart Association. Due to its precise sensors and fitness app, not only that its wearer gets plenty of options to track and improve her/his fitness state, but the Apple watch can help predict strokes and warn about many other health issues, based on its wearer physical statistics. Besides the stock (preinstalled) apps, there are many other Apple fitness apps that users can add. Besides a variety of Apple watch fitness trackers for runners, swimmers, walkers, etc., one can also track other things such as macros and calorie intake, sleep quality (such as Pillow app), meditation habits, etc.

Customize Workouts and Fitness Goals on Apple Watch, Paracord apple watch band

When it comes to activity tracking, some of the most praised apps out there are Runkeeper GPS Running Tracker, Zombies, Run!, Seven - 7 Minute Workout, Aaptiv Audio Fitness, and others.

Regarding best Apple watch macro trackers, there are some honorable mentions, especially if you want to lose weight: MyFitnessPal, Foodvisor Calorie Counter, My Water Balance, Lifesum Diet & Macro Tracker, MealPrepPro Meal Prep Planner, Lose It! Calorie Counter, Carb Manager, Zero Fasting Tracker, etc.

When it comes to the best Apple watch for fitness, of course, the Series 6 had the best equipment to date, but you won’t go wrong by purchasing a Series 5 or Series 4 watch either.


The Apple Watch Case Sizes

The Apple watches come in several case sizes, which is important to know in case you want to replace your watch band. Hence, Apple watches from Series 1m Series 2 and Series 3 come in 38mm and 42mm cases, which means they fit apple watch bands of 38mm and 42mmm depending on the model you chose. Apple watch Series 4, Series 5 and Series 6 are slightly wider (but thinner!) and come in 40mm and 44mm cases, meaning you ought to choose Apple watch replacement bands of 40mm and 44mm, depending on whether you chose the smaller or the larger model.

Comparing four size of Apple watch case and display, image source : michaelkummer.com


The Apple Watch Band Sizes

Based on the information above, we see that the Apple watch band size isn’t universal, but rather specific for each series. In other words, each series comes in two case sizes, which determines the size of the band. So whether you’re looking for Apple watch 3 bands or Apple watch 5 bands, the most important thing to know is the case size of your Apple watch model. There are many Apple watch replacement bands out there, from Apple’s official offer to eBay listings, but the only guidance for you, besides your personal taste should be the exact size of your model’s case, so look for that info on each item description as it doesn’t matter if you get yourself the best Apple watch band on the planet if it doesn’t fit your case.

Aside from that, it is also good to know that Apple watch bands come with a variety of buckles. We’ll mention only the most common types, such as a classic buckle, a modern buckle (quick release), a leather loop, a Milanese loop, a link bracelet (butterfly closure) and a Sport loop (hook and loop).


The Apple Watch Band Materials

As the Apple watch is, from its very start, the most popular smartwatch brand on the planet, there are plenty of options when it comes to styles, shapes and materials the Apple watch replacement bands are made of. So, for example, you can dress your Apple watch with a metal or a leather band, elastic or Velcro band, etc. In the pictures below you can see a stainless steel Apple watch replacement band, perfectly fitting its gadget, as well as a mesh Apple watch band:

Stainless steel Apple watch band

Mesh Apple watch band

When it comes to stainless steel or metal watch bands for the Apple watches, there are plenty of options from classic over mesh to a wide variety of shapes and colors. Silver, Black, Black Matte, Gold and Rose gold Apple watch bands never get out of fashion and fit nicely into every outfit and occasion.

Gunny Handmade Apple watch leather strap

On the more stylish and, let’s say, serious side of things, there are leather bands and that’s where the choice is even larger; Caiman leather, alligator leather and cow leather are just some of the materials in use. Top that with a variety of colors to choose from and you get plenty of choices.

Paracord apple watch band

Other materials in use are, just to mention some, denim (Japanese denim Apple watch bands being super-popular), elastic materials (liquid silicone rubber is the most popular, commonly called Elastic Apple watch bands), rope (paracord Apple watch bands) and many types of fabric (scrunchie and camo Apple watch bands popular among teens, as well as Velcro apple watch bands popular among active people, etc.).

Pic shows how to swap apple watch band with its unique sliding mechanism

All Apple watch bands have a simple (sliding) replacement mechanism. But there are also magnetic Apple watch bands that make changing your band a no-brainer. These are not really convenient if your daily schedule includes a lot of physical activities, but can be handy when you lack time and you want to dress your watch differently for a fancy occasion.

For the fashionistas out there, there are also designer apple watch bands.


Apple watch x Other brands

When it comes to collaborations between Apple watch and other brands, or better said designer apple watch bands, as they are, mostly, the branded part, the two most famous hits are surely Nike Apple watches and Apple watch Hermès editions. Surely, you can hit Etsy for some custom (Monogram) Apple watch bands, or search Amazon for more fashionable options, as are, for example, popular beaded Apple watch bands but if you’re more into the high fashion and recognized brands, then this is the part for you.

Apple Watch Series 5 Hermes

2020 Pride Edition Nike Apple watch band, image source:reddit

When it comes to Hermès Apple watch bands, this brand has been restyling the Apple watch ever since its beginning hence you can find the Hermès edition in every Apple watch series. These may be the most popular apple watch bands for women, but there are also irresistible options for men too.

Apple watch series 5 Hermes on Handmade watch band

Aside from Hermès, the Nike Apple watch band may be the most popular brand of Apple watch bands, as this collab lives on many sport-devoted wrists ever since Apple watch Series 2 and is designed for active wearers.

For the two collabs above, it is important to say that the watches in these special editions are also designed to fit the designated bands in terms of style, but can also be purchased separately.

More than that, we need to look at the Lagos and Tory Burch apple watch bands, plus the Coach Apple watch straps, which are another gorgeous example of collaboration. The high searching column of Louis Vuitton (Supreme x Louis Vuitton Apple watch bands being quite a hit) and Gucci apple watch bands. Although the two brands do not officially publish their Apple bands, fans did the collabs with an unlimited imagination.

Apple watch collaborations with brands : Hermes, Lagos, Tory Burch, and Coach (image source from brands’ original)

If you lack inspiration, check Strapcode’s collection of the Apple watch replacement bands here.


Written by M.H. , image sources as noted 


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