Why You Might Not Want to Buy a Third-Party Watch Band (Yet)

by James A. Martin on May 16, 2015

in Apple Watch Accessories

I’m tempted to buy a third-party band to pimp out my Apple Watch. But I’m holding off for now, for two reasons.

1. Last week, Apple announced watch band technical specifications for accessory makers. Specifically, Apple detailed band design guidelines and lug profiles.

Apple Watch third party band guidelines

The band design guidelines offer specifics for “compatibility with Apple Watch heart rate sensors.” This is the main reason why I’m holding off for now on third-party bands. I want to make sure that whatever I do buy will not interfere with the watch’s ability to read my heart rate.

Of course, it will take a while before accessory makers can develop bands that Apple will officially sanction. And it doesn’t mean that the third-party bands already announced, such as those from Casetify, will interfere with Apple Watch heart rate sensors.

Casetify Apple Watch band

2. Fashion brands are bound to release some cool Apple Watch bands in the reasonably near future. Burberry is one obvious choice. The British fashion brand makes watches. And its former CEO, Angela Ahrendts, is now Apple’s Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores.

Burberry watch Apple Watch

While we wait for these bands to materialize, check out Cult of Mac’s gallery of what some fashion houses like Chanel might do with an Apple Watch band.

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