The Milanese Loop is by far the most comfortable band. It drapes around the uneven curves of your wrist like a fabric, but feels cool to the touch like a metal band. The spaces between the links breathe more than any of the other bands. It’s trivial to change the tightness of the band while you’re wearing it. In the summertime, when you’re constantly going from steaming hot weather outside into shivering cold air-conditioned offices, I expect that this is the band that will feel the most comfortable, all the time. The magnetic clasp is stronger than I expected, and has a rubber gasket around the perimeter that enhances the grip and prevents slippage. I’m happy that I chose this one for myself.
The stainless steel Link Bracelet is beautiful, and one of the most comfortable metal bands I’ve ever tried. Both styles are darker than I’d expected. The regular stainless steel absorbs the ambient color around it: your skin tone, your clothes, the room. The result is a color that is darker and more subtle than you might guess from the photos online, which are bathed in unblemished electric white light. So unless you’re Powder and live in Jony Ive’s secret prison, expect the stainless steel Link Bracelet to look grey, not silvery, in most contexts.
The Space Black Link Bracelet is just what is says: black. It looks even darker in person than it does online, again because most everyday lighting isn’t as bright as the lighting used for the product photos. Get this one if you want a black watch. Don’t get it if you’re looking for tungsten/charcoal.
The brushed texture of the Link Bracelet looks bad in constrast with the mirrored finish of the Apple Watch face. Either one separately is beautiful, but side-by-side the two textures clash like stripes and plaids. The Space Black style hides this mismatch better than the regular style. The Classic Buckle, Milanese Loop, and Modern Buckle — which have a mirror finish for the metal components – all look better in practice than the Link Bracelet.
The Leather Loop feels cheaper than it should. It doesn’t have the supple, leathery feeling I was expecting. Those ridges are cored with hard magnetic rods. The result is a feeling of a thin leather coating around hard rods, not a leather band. Your fingers make you doubt you’re even touching genuine leather. I do like how easy it is to change the tightness of the band on the fly. Cheap feelings aside, it is a comfortable band. If you like the look I would not hesistate to get it.
The Sport Band felt luxurious and satiny under my finger tips, but around my wrist it felt pretty uncomfortable. No one’s wrist is a perfect oval. There are lumps and uneven curves where tendons shoot through fat and bone. The thickness of the Sport Band means that it applies uneven pressure against your wrist bones as it is tightened. Perhaps it will break-in over time, but I imagine it could feel uncomfortable after long periods, especially in hot, sticky weather. If I owned this one I’d be constantly adjusting where the pin is lodged. Speaking of which, it’s a little fiddly getting the sport band attached with one hand – lodge pin, bend remainder, tuck in the tip, flatten the remainder – but not bad. Your mileage may very. I’m a restless, fidgety person. It’s easy to make me physically uncomfortable.
The Modern Buckle is elegant. The leather is much thinner in person than it looks online, and in a good way. If was buying one as a gift for someone with a restrained taste, this is what I’d choose.