One aspect of the Apple Watch that caught the eyes, and derision, of many was the price of the various watch bands that Apple offers to add a sense of originality and personality to the experience. It was, and is, a crucial aspect of owning any watch and so Apple went for it with a series of cleverly designed straps that retail for what many consider to be far too high a price.
The cleverness of the new bands has been praised by many, but they are not as original as you may think. Cult of Mac covered the various bands here and as you will see, Marc Newson appears to have used very similar designs in past watches.
Anyway, that is not the point of this article because the main premise here is that Apple is charging extraordinarily high prices for the Apple Watch bands and this has given others the opportunity to create replicas at much lower prices. Here are some good examples-
The Sport Band
£39 from Apple and £6.99 from eBay (saving £32.01)
Obviously these eBay bands will not use the same material as the original, but in the real world I suspect that few will worry about that.
£129 from Apple and £6.99 from eBay (saving £122.01)
Again, these bands are likely to be of lesser quality than the Apple ones, but a price difference of more than 94% is almost impossible to ignore and I can say from experience that the slim eBay band is actually quite impressive. I own one and it looks good and works exactly as any other milanese band should.
£129 from Apple and £13.94 from eBay (saving £115.06)
You can choose from a vast range of leather-look bands for the Apple Watch on eBay and they range from £5 to £50. For a unique look, these make a lot more sense.
£129 from Apple and £22.90 from eBay (saving £106.10)
Possibly the strap that is closest to the quality that Apple is offering. The fact is that the official Apple strap does not feel like leather at all, but instead offers a sense of plastic that has been softened in a factory. This one is a no-brainer.
£209 from Apple and £19.79 from eBay (saving £189.21)
It’s a little more difficult to find bands that exactly replicate the Modern Buckle on eBay, but they are available and cost significantly less. Of all the official bands, this is the one I have the most trouble with in understanding how the price was calculated.
£379 from Apple and £79.99 on eBay (saving £299.01)
I have chosen the most expensive option on eBay for the Link Bracelet because it offers the same clasp and a near identical look to the official version. A price difference of £300 is hard to ignore.
Untimately, Apple has tried to create a luxury mini-market in watch bands and it is likely one that will pay off handsomely. For every band the company sells, the margins must be huge and if you want to buy in to the sense of luxury and kudos they offer then go for it. What I don’t get is that the Apple Watch is a mass market product and so there is no real sense of owning something unique, special or individual. And with that thought I am convinced that the eBay bands make much more sense that spending a fortune on the originals.