Get the Milanese Loop Watchband Without the Milan Price

I tried the Apple Watch Sport band for several months, but I'm not a fan. It was a great way to get the most affordable version of the Apple Watch, without stepping up to the stainless steel model which offers more band choices. My preference was the Milanese Loop. Thanks to the magnetic closure, it is infinitely adjustable and I find it to be more comfortable and breathable than the Sport band. But I wasn't prepared to shell out $150 just for a band.

Black Milanese Loop

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Fortunately, on Amazon there are a variety of China-based sellers offering clones of the Milanese Loop band. I ordered one, for about $40, and was pleasantly surprised. People compliment me all the time and say "Oh, you got the more expensive model!" The magnet is strong, which had been a worry of mine. I wouldn't want to have it to come undone and have my $400 watch slip off my wrist. Since the Milanese Loop from Apple and from these third parties is stainless steel, it's shinier than the brushed aluminum of the Apple Watch Sport model, so there is a little bit of a mismatch.

Speaking of mismatch, the design tolerances are not perfect, so the band adapter is not quite as flush with the watch as Apple's band is, but it's okay. It's not correct to say these are clones because some vendors offer enhancements that Apple doesn't. You can get a Milanese Loop band in gold, rose gold, or black in addition to stainless steel. I would be careful about those, however, because I've read reviews that the color can come off and that would be a shame.

Unfortunately, I cannot link to the exact model I purchased, as the vendor took the store down. I reached out and they said my shipment was fine but they were not happy with the quality of subsequent deliveries and didn't want to disappoint customers. That's a refreshing and noble attitude, but it does point to the inconsistency when ordering from such a supplier. It worked out well for me, but buyer beware. And be sure you are not getting a "Milanese" band that does not use a magnet closure, as several traditional clasp-based Milanese bands are for sale on Amazon. Here's an example, which I cannot vouch for, but they have good reviews.

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.