When I decided to get an Apple Watch I spent wayyy too long lamenting over what color watch to get. When you buy an Apple watch you need to choose what color Watch to get as well as what kind of band to get with it. You can of course replace the band, but you’re locked into the color of the watch itself. This was my main hangup but after a lot of research, I finally was able to make a choice on what to get.
I recommend buying 3rd party bands for your second band as they are much cheaper. You’ll want to take into consideration the type or types of bands that you will wear with it, and to be honest some watch combinations can completely clash! But before choosing a color watch let’s first try and narrow down the choices as much as we can.
Which size Watch should you get?
The watches are available in either 41mm or 45mm sizes (for $30 more). This translates to diagonal screen sizes of 1.69″ and 1.90″, respectively. I use the 45mm one and appreciate the larger screen, making it easier to see info at a glance. However, for those with smaller wrists, the larger watch might look kind of odd. For reference, I’m a 6ft tall man with average-sized hands and wrists. It’s also worth mentioning that when you buy a band, it is designed for one size or the other, which usually means that the length of the band is shorter or longer for the two sizes.
Which case material to get?
The first thing you might notice is that the price range on Apple Watches varies wildly. This is due to the different materials available on the watch case itself, as well as the premium watch bands. Let’s start with cases: You can get three materials for the case:
- Aluminum: starting at $399 – Green, blue, midnight, or starlight. Slightly matte
- Stainless Steel: starting at $699 – Silver, gold, or graphite. Shiny
- Titanium: starting at $799 – Space black titanium or natural titanium. Shiny
Now that you’ve seen the options, I want you to look at the pricing again in case you didn’t notice. Yes, stainless steel is $300 more and titanium is $400 more than aluminum. I honestly can’t think of a reason that this would be worthwhile, no matter how much you may like the looks of them. This is especially true for me since the aluminum cases look really good! Starlight looks great with gold negating the gold stainless option, and the midnight aluminum despite being a dark blue pairs really well with lots of stainless steel and darker metal bands.
To drive this point further, an Apple Watch is not going to be collectible like a Rolex might. How much is your old iPhone 5s worth? This is strictly a depreciating asset, so adding cost to it isn’t the best use of money, especially since you will probably want a new one in a few years. If the idea of buying a new one every few/several years sounds stupid, get a non-smartwatch.
Now that this is settled, let’s talk about the aluminum case options. I think that the green and blue are interesting and definitely look nice with some specific colored bands. However, I find that those colors are less adaptable in terms of the ways you can make them look with different bands. I find the other options to look a little more mature; something that looks good in the office, with a suit, or just with a regular outfit for a night on the town.
I used Apple’s very helpful watch studio to experiment with different bands and watch colors below. They make it so that you can preview any watch type with all of their watch bands. This can give you a basic idea of how you want to style it, even though the bands are limited to only what Apple has. You should definitely play around with it if and see what you like.
Here are my top picks:
Midnight is actually a very dark blue, I think darker looking than you might gather when looking at photos online. In fact, I very rarely notice that it’s blue unless it is paired with specific bands. Midnight replaces the space gray that was on the Apple Watch 6, which initially I was disappointed with when I found out. However, I ended up getting it and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Here are some examples from Apple:
Here’s what I think of midnight:
- The dark color blends in well with the screen itself, much in the way that an iPhone screen blends in with the black bezel. This makes midnight a good option for those who want a sleek look.
- It can be great for contrasting or similar colors. For instance, the dark blue of the case can look good with a tan band, or instead just matching it with the same midnight color band
- It pairs well with dark metal bands. The blue matches great with dark silver or black metal bands. I wear mine frequently with a black stainless band and it looks great.
Here are some examples:
All images gathered from Apple.com
Starlight is a really interesting color, and I think more of a statement. It is a mix of silver and rose gold, and matches well with either of those colors or many others. I sometimes wish I bought this color!
Here’s what I think of starlight:
- The light color makes it so that it does not have that blending of the case and screen I mentioned before
- It looks really good with some darker colors. For instance, a blue band helps bring out the subtle rose gold color which is a great combo.
- It pairs well with gold metal bands. Unfortunately, I think it looks a little off with light silver bands, but it looks good with graphite-type colors.
- Some say that this is a more feminine watch, but I find that ridiculous. It looks great on anyone and can really shine with the right band!
Here are some examples:
All images gathered from Apple.com
What about the watch bands?
I think it’s best to pick the color case based on the different bands you could see yourself using with it in the future. Once you’ve decided which color case you want, you have to actually pick a band to go with it.
All of the bands above were examples that only Apple offers. I did this because obviously if you’re buying a watch you need to choose a band to go with it! But what about your second band? This is where things can get fun, as 3rd party bands are much cheaper and there are tons of options. Plus, It’s always good to have multiple bands. For instance, I use my sport band when doing outdoorsy things such as swimming or hiking. Then I use my cheap metal band (which doesn’t look cheap) the rest of time.
If you’re buying an Apple Watch, don’t get an expensive band to go with it. That means no metal or leather or anything like that. Much like how buying a stainless or titanium case, buying a leather or metal band can add hundreds to your cost, so I don’t think it’s worth it. Get the best looking cheap band, either a port loop or sport band.
If you’re interested in the sport loop you might want to get that with your new watch, since the dupes of it aren’t as good as the sport band dupes are.
Buying an Apple Watch is a big investment, and when you buy something this expensive you don’t want to have regrets afterward. You also don’t want to get duped into spending lots of unnecessary extra money on status materials and bands, especially with much cheaper options available. Check out some of those cheaper bands on here to complete your watch and give you some options!