Technology: Best Apple Watch band in 2021

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The Apple Watch took the tech world by storm when it debuted. It set the standard for the market on smartwatch technology. The seemingly endless features make it a coveted accessory among many. However, as much as the Apple Watch itself is something of a tech marvel, the customizability of this wrist wear makes it that much more amazing.

a hand holding a cellphone © ZDNet

If you're already an Apple Watch owner, you've probably spent a good amount of time looking for the perfect band to go with it.

Of course, it all comes down to personality. Some people appreciate the simplicity and are content to wear the Apple Watch just as they bought it -- right out of the box. Some prefer to show their unique style, while others prefer utility and performance. One quick search will show you that there are more than enough options for everyone.

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Let's explore some of the best Apple Watch bands available on the market.

Case-Mate: Metal Linked band

The subtle stunner

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The simple and subtle design of this Apple Watch band makes it a stainless-steel stunner. It sports a two-toned finish, with polished inner links contrasted with black matte outer links. This band works in any environment, business or casual. A butterfly-style clasp completes the sleek and sophisticated look.

  • Compatible: Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2, Series 3, Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, and SE | For 42mm or 44mm Apple Watches | Fits 160mm to 210mm wrists | Lifetime Warranty

$19 at Amazon

Apple Sport band

The Tried and True

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As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The Apple Sport band continues to be a favorite even after third-party imitators flooded the market. Made from high-performance fluoroelastomer, this band will last a long time. But an elegant look remains without affecting functionality or durability. It sports 12 different color options for the fashion-conscious among us. When you still want to look good at the gym, this band does the trick.

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  • Compatible: Apple Watches | Most bands match Apple Watch Series 3 or newer cases of the same size. For Series 3, the 40mm band works with the 38mm case; the 44mm band works with the 42mm case | S/M or M/L length

$49 at Apple

Kades: Stainless steel band

The classy and timeless look

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The silver stainless steel look of this Kades band is timeless (well, you know what I mean). It features a classy, brushed finish look that never goes out of style, making you look great for that business meeting. The butterfly clasp locks firmly in place, creating a seamless look.

  • Compatible: Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, and SE | For 42mm or 44mm Apple Watches | Fits 145mm-200mm wrists | One-year warranty

$22 at Amazon

Nomad: Rugged strap

Time to get rugged

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This Nomad watch band will make you want to scale the nearest mountain. Well, maybe. With a ribbed design, this waterproof band is where modern met rugged. It is constructed of a durable antimicrobial fluoroelastomer, giving you all-day comfort while taking on the elements. Stainless steel lugs and buckle make sure it isn't going anywhere once you strap it on. Nomad bands remain some of the best on the market.

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  • Compatible: Designed for Series 6 and SE and all previous versions | For 42mm/44mm and 40mm/38mm | Fits 150mm-210mm wrists

$49 at Nomad

Southern Straps: Red, white, and blue nylon

A patriotic choice for summer

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Southern Straps handcrafts this nylon strap in California from parts sourced worldwide and fashioned with a single nylon piece. Pegged spring bars allow for changeability in the future if your watch size changes. Being confident in their work, this nylon band comes with a five-year warranty. This band offers a perfect look for summer.

  • Compatible: Designed for all Apple Watches Series | For 42mm/44mm – 38mm | Fits 140mm-250mm wrists | Five-year warranty

$59 at Southern Straps

Casetify: Gold floral meadows on black

Let April showers bring gold flowers

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Casetify is at it again. Made to be a head-turner, this vibrant Gold Floral Meadows band looks great with any case color. The band has a water-resistant and sweat-resistant finish on the outside and soft, interior leather lining inside, using cruelty-free vegan leather. If you are in the mood for style, this band is for you.

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  • Compatible: Designed for all Apple Watches Series | For 42mm/44mm-38mm | Fits 140mm-250mm wrists

$52 at Casetify

Monowear: Nylon Active band

Lightweight comfort

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The Nylon Active band from Monowear is an excellent choice if you want a nice, lightweight option that doesn't compromise style. It is made from lightweight nylon and comes in two color options: Olive and black. It comes with stainless steel adapter options that should match most Apple Watch finishes. This band is perfect for those that like exploring the great outdoors and want to bring comfort along.

  • Compatible: Apple Watch Series 5 and newer | 42mm-44mm and 38mm-40mm | Fits wrist sizes 160mm-210mm

$32 at Monowear

Apple: 40mm Gold Milanese Loop

For an elegant look

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Fashioned with a 19th century Milan design in mind, this Apple band screams elegance. The gold, stainless-steel mesh wraps smoothly around your wrist, and its magnetic feature allows you to make adjustments if the need should arise. The beautiful, gold stainless steel finish is sure to get noticed.

  • Compatible: Designed for all Apple Watches Series | For 44mm-40mm | Fits 130mm-180mm wrists

$84 at Amazon $99 at Adorama $99 at Apple

Leather and Designer Apple Watch Bands

Let's look at a few of the top leather and designer Apple Watch bands that deserve a place on your wrist

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WsC Defiant in Light Brown

Leather luxury

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The WsC Defiant in Light Brown is sophistication on your wrist. It's made with the finest quality leather and complemented and lined with soft nubuck. Though the stainless-steel deployment clasp is smooth, you will have a hard time wanting to take this band off because it looks so good. If light brown isn't your thing, the WsC Defiant comes in five other options: Black, Dark Brown, Brown/White, Black/White and Pink Edition ($103.50)

  • Compatible: Designed for all Apple Watches Series | For 44mm-38mm | Fits 140mm-205mm wrists

$88 at The Watch Strap

Coach: Apple Watch strap with wild beast print

Unleash the beautiful beast

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Coach makes the Apple Watch strap with wild beast print. Made with refined calf leather, this band by Coach puts designer sophistication on your wrist. The beautifully crafted camouflage-inspired wild beast is sure to make heads turn. It is made exclusively for the 38mm Apple Watch.

  • Compatible: For Apple Watches Series | 38mm only

$150 at Coach

Kate Spade: 38/40mm Apple Watch bracelet

Chic, meet wrist

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Kate Spade New York designs this beautiful Apple Watch Rose Gold bracelet. Made from polished, Rose Gold-colored stainless steel, this bracelet brings chic to a whole new level with its adorable spade links. It also comes in silver.

  • Compatible: For Apple Watches Series 6 | 38mm/40mm

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$118 at Nordstrom

Pad and Quill: Cafe Cuff bands for Apple Watch

Strength and leather

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Inspired by English motorcycles, this leather band by Pad and Quill is a high-quality, rugged wrist cuff. Proudly made with strong, full-grain USA leather hides and held together with UV-resistant marine-grade stitching. The Cafe Cuff is perfect for those who want a rugged look without sacrificing style. It comes in two leather color options: Whiskey and Chestnut.

  • Compatible: Fits all generation Apple Watches, including 2020 Series 6 and SE | 42mm/44mm | Fits wrist sizes 125mm-215mm |  25-year leather warranty and 30-day money-back promise

$119 at Pad and Quill

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