On March 9th, Apple held a special event in San Francisco with a focus on pricing and availability of the upcoming Apple Watch. Up to this point there had been a great deal of speculation about the price points of the various Watch models, with estimates ranging from a few hundred dollars all the way up to several thousand. These predictions turned out to be mostly true, with the low-end Sport model starting at $350 and the high-end Edition at a whopping $10,000.
$49 – The Sport Band
Apple will also be selling bands separately, allowing purchasers to customize their new Apple Watches to better match their taste and style. There are quite a few different styles available; at the low end, you have a simple rubber Sport strap, available in a variety of colors, that will run you a fairly reasonable $49. Unfortunately, from here the prices increase rapidly.
$149 – The Classic Buckle, Leather Loop, and Milanese Loop
After the Sport band, the next option price-wise is the Classic Buckle, a standard leather band that you might find on any number of other watches. Available only in black, this band will set you back $149. While it is genuine leather, that’s still a decent chunk of money for a watch band. Also coming in at $149 are the Leather Loop and Milanese Loop bands. The Leather Loop is available in a few color choices and differs from the Classic Buckle in texture and fastening mechanism: rather than a buckle, it wraps around itself and fastens with magnets built into the band. The Milanese Loop is similar, but is made from a stainless steel mesh.
$249 – The Modern Buckle
The next step up is the Modern Buckle. This band, available in a choice of colors, is also made of leather, but differs from the Classic Buckle in fastening mechanism. The buckle here is magnetic, and simply clips together to secure the watch. The Modern Buckle will set you back a hefty $249.
$449 – The Link Bracelet
Last but not least, we have the Link Bracelet. This is your traditional stainless steel watch band, with removable links and a folding closure. The Link Bracelet has a price tag of $449. While the leather straps can be somewhat justified in their price by their designer European materials, stainless steel is stainless steel, and this band will cost you almost as much as the watch it is intended to compliment!
Fortunately, all Apple Watch bands use the same proprietary mechanism to attach to the watch casing, and it is expected that there will be a large number of third-party bands available if the handful of official offerings from Apple don’t suit your taste or budget. There are already Kickstarter campaigns for bands, and if the absurd number of accessories available for the iPhone and iPad are any indication, there will be no shortage of options for your Apple Watch.