I HAD to buy the Apple-brand Milanese Loop watch band with my very early 42mm stainless steel Apple Watch, because everything else was just too damned small for my wrist.
I immediately disliked it, because it would loosen every time I flexed my wrist (the magnet isn’t strong enough). This would cause the Watch to demand my password four or five times a day. That got old.
I now own eighteen NON-Apple watchbands (including Sting Ray, Alligator and Antique Baseball-Glove leather, with actual baseball-style stitching), and I’m quite happy not to pay Apple’s obscene prices. I buy the widely-available, Generation Two adapters on eBay or Amazon, and attach them to the straps, bracelets and bands, found everywhere on the Internet.
If you have the smaller 38mm Apple Watch, you want the “22mm” adapters and watch bands.
If you have the larger 42mm Apple Watch, you want the “24mm” adapters and watch bands.
My Favorite Stainless Steel Watch Band (at the moment)
My favorite? Save $450 by not getting Apple’s stainless-steel bracelet (and don’t buy the newly-announced extenders that Apple recently offered). Sure, you can adjust the length of Apple’s bracelet without using tools. HOW MANY TIMES WILL YOU DO THIS? Instead, buy one of these glorious bracelets, made from 316L stainless steel. As soon as I bought mine and attached it, I was smitten.
Here’s a tip: If you get a black, PVD-coated stainless steel bracelet, make SURE that you get a black adapter to match at the link above. It looks GREAT with the black screen on the silvery, stainless Watch.
I watched a video on Youtube that told me how to shorten the band myself by popping out pins, and soon had an EXACT match for the size of my wrist. Or, you can just bring it to any jeweler’s and have them adjust it for you, while you wait.
The Shark Mesh Watch Band
It’s made of the same mesh that shark-repelling diver suits are made of. It costs $26.99 as of October 2015, and I LOVE it.
The only drawback? You will have to drop it off at your jeweler’s to have some segments removed, so that it will fit your wrist. They have to be CUT off, using a tiny cutting-disk. I did it myself, but it wasn’t fun.
Additional info: I have rather hairy wrists, as you can see. I have NEVER had any style of watch-band listed here snag and yank the hairs during wear. Those darned Speidel Twist-O-Flex watch bands from the 1960’s and later have a lot to answer for!
The Rice-Grain Watch Band
I got mine here. It’s not as super-high-quality as the previous watch bands (what do you expect for thirty bucks?), but it’s a pleasant alternative. I do NOT recommend adjusting the number of links yourself. It tends to bend too easily at the ends during the process. I regret having done it myself.