I’ve been wearing a Space Gray Apple Watch since launch day. I can remember thinking, “That’s the one I have to have,” when Apple revealed the uniquely colored aluminum case. What I didn’t know at the time was that by choosing a unique color, I was limiting my choice of bands by quite a bit. Many of Apple’s bands feature stainless steel lugs that pair quite well with the Stainless Steel Apple Watch (which is to be expected) and the Silver Aluminum Apple Watch.
Since then, I’ve come across a clever way to significantly increase your band options: color-matched lugs. If you decided to stand out from the crowd with a unique case color (space gray, rose gold, or gold), you can swap out the clashing stainless steel lugs on your Apple Watch bands with lugs created specifically for your case color.
I still hold that the Space Gray Apple Watch is a better-looking watch than its Silver Aluminum sister (and arguably better-looking than the gold and rose gold options). And when paired with the right band, it really shines. Here are the best bands for the Space Gray Apple Watch!
Black Sport Band
My Space Gray Apple Watch shipped with a Black Sport Band — that’s the closest thing you’re going to get to a blessing from Jony Ive himself. When you buy an Apple Watch, Apple pairs the Watch with a band it feels makes your Apple Watch look best. And that holds true for the Black Sport Band.
It’s made of a soft, supple, smooth material called fluoroelastomer and it’s a beautiful shade of black. It sports a fancy pin-and-tuck closure, so you don’t have to worry about the excess
rubber fluoroelastomer band flapping about. Oh, did I mention it’s super smooth and soft? It’s super smooth and soft.
Of note: It’s everything you could want in a band for a fitness wearable. It’s sweat resistant, heat resistant, scuff resistant, wind resistant, frost resistant, water resistant … you get the idea. This is the most versatile band Apple offers — it’s also one of the least expensive. It’s for that reason I recommend you ditch the third-party models and pick it up directly from Apple. You can grab this band from Apple for $49. You’re going to get a high-quality band at an inexpensive price and it’s designed by the company itself! If my math is correct, I’m pretty sure that’s three wins. Win, win, win!
Gray Sport Band
Just like the Black Sport Band, the Space Gray Apple Watch can ship with the Gray Sport Band. It’s an excellent pairing for the dark gray tones of the Space Gray Apple Watch and offers all the same features you get from the black one — it’s sweat resistant, heat resistant, scuff resistant, wind resistant, frost resistant, water resistant, etc.
It’ll cost you the same as the Black Sport Band. You can pick it up from Apple for $49.
Cosmos Blue Leather Loop
Talk about a good-lookin’ band! Back when Apple still offered it (I’m sad to see it go), the Black Leather Loop was the first band I purchased. Because of the included Black Sport Band, I knew how well dark colors went with the graphite-gray color of my Watch. I also knew that I had only one gripe about the Black Sport Band: It could stand to be a tiny bit more adjustable. If you’re looking for an endlessly adjustable band, the Leather Loop (in any color) is a great band. If you’re looking for and endlessly adjustable band that’ll pair perfectly with your Space Gray Apple Watch, the Cosmos Blue Leather Loop is a must-have.
The band is made up of a bunch of magnets, cordoned off into little segments. You simply slide one end of the band into a metal loop on the other end of the band and pull to adjust. I love this band because it grows and shrinks with me throughout the day.
You: Wait, what?!
Me: I said it grows and shrinks with me throughout the day.
You: You grow and shrink throughout the day?
Me: Yeah, and so do you! As your body heats and cools and your blood flow changes throughout the day, your skin expands and contracts. Those factors (and loads more) can make the size of your wrist vary slightly.
You: Oh. Wish you hadn’t told me that.
The Leather Loop’s magnets are strong enough to keep your Watch in place but have just enough give to let your band adjust as needed. As the name would suggest, it’s a leather band. It’s absorbent, it has a great, steadfast color that has aged nicely (i.e. no exposed magnets, but it has softened over time). You can pick one up from Apple for $149.
Midnight Blue Woven Nylon
While I personally think the best-looking band for your Space Gray Apple Watch is a black band, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some alternative, colorful bands to compliment it. And boy, howdy, the Space Gray color looks damn good with a nice blue band.
I was thrilled to see Apple release a more, uh, subdued style for its Woven Nylon Bands. I have the Black Woven Nylon Band — yep, another black band — and I love it, but I’ve been gradually adding a little bit of color to my collection. I’m not fond of many of the Woven Nylon Bands Apple offers (the colors aren’t for me), but this one absolutely shines with the Space Gray Apple Watch.
If you’re not wearing a fluoroelastomer Sport Band for your workouts, the $49 Woven Nylon is the next best thing. Heck, it’s even more breathable than the Sport Band. It’s got a classic look and feel, and it’s incredibly comfortable to wear.
Product Red Sport Band
This is some advanced color rocking, so make sure you’re prepared to catch eyes while you’re out in public. The Product Red Sport Band comes in a bright and beautiful red fluoroelastomer, and it’s a striking companion for the subtle gray color of your Space Gray Apple Watch. It’s very Sith … if you’re into that kind of thing.
The Product Red Sport Band carries all the same benefits of the Black Sport Band with a more pronounced look. It’s the evening companion to your everyday carry, the stiletto heels to your flats, the blazer to your T-shirt and jeans.
Also, by purchasing the $49 Product Red Sport Band you’re contributing to (RED), an organization focused on creating an AIDS-free world.
BRG Milanese-Loop-Style Watch Band
Apple’s not the only one making bands for its Apple Watch! In fact, you’re likely to find some unique, better-matched bands for the Space Gray Apple Watch outside of the Apple Store.
I’m wearing a third-party black milanese band at this very moment. I’m surprised by how comfortable it is, I’m surprised by how closely it resembles Apple’s own Milanese Loop offerings, and I’m surprised by the build quality (given its incredibly inexpensive price tag). I’ve yet to have any trouble with paint or annodization flaking, the magnet offers a strong, secure connection, and the metal mesh is smooth and breathable.
It’s worth noting the lugs (the parts of the band that slide into the Apple Watch case) are a little darker than the Space Gray Apple Watch, so if you’re looking for an exact match, this won’t be a good option for you. As you can probably tell, however, I’d argue a black-band-Space-Gray combo looks way better than any sort of fully Space Gray option. You can pick up the BRG Milanese-Loop-Style band for about $17 from Amazon.
EOSO 3-in-1 Leather Bands: Single Tour, Double Tour, Cuff
My colleagues Rene Ritchie and Serenity Caldwell have been known to flaunt their Apple Watch Hermès bands. Put simply, they are easily the best-looking Watch bands Apple offers. I was particularly enamored of the Apple Watch Hermès Cuff, but Apple no longer offers the band. Lucky for me (and now you!), EOSO has a 3-in-1 offering that resembles the Hermès line from Apple.
Normally I wouldn’t recommend bands with metal lugs, because (in my humble opinion) the stainless steel lugs clash with the Space Gray Apple Watch case. However, the EOSO cuff looks superb with the Space Gray Apple Watch — not only because the steel lugs are mostly obscured by the band, but becasue of the way the black cuff surrounds the Watch. It’s a subtle and sophisticated look that’s also, frankly, a little badass. Black on gray on black is a good look, and the thick cuff makes it that much better.
I have to admit: My love for the EOSO cuff made it easier for me to appreciate the two other bands in the $29 3-in-1 offering. The Double Tour is a unique look that turns your Apple Watch into more of a piece of jewelry. The Single Tour is a simple, understated leather watch band — you can’t really go wrong with that! Ultimately, the EOSO 3-in-1 is a great offering, because it lets you try out a bunch of different looks and it comes in loads of different colors.
What’s on your wrist?
Do you have an Apple Watch? Is it a Space Gray model? I’m curious to hear what bands you’ve found look best with the graphite-gray color. Gimme a shout!
Updated January 2018: Added new Apple Watch bands that pair really well with the Space Gray Apple Watch.