Apple now offers an all-new category of Apple Watch designed for outdoor adventurers and extreme sports enthusiasts: Apple Watch Ultra. The new laptop is larger, more durable and more robust than any model released by Apple in the past. It even comes with new sturdy Apple Watch straps to match the more adventurous design.
However, its 49mm size probably has you asking at least one obvious question: will my existing Apple Watch straps work with the Apple Watch Ultra?
Fortunately, the short answer to this question is “yes”. All straps designed for previous Apple Watch 42mm, 44mm and 45mm models will fit the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra. However, if you choose an Apple Watch Ultra for the purpose it was designed for, the answer is a bit more nuanced.
Although the older Apple Watch bands fit fine on the larger Apple Watch, they may not look quite right. The Apple Watch Ultra is Apple’s biggest size jump ever. Many older watch straps will likely appear undersized and out of place relative to its considerable bulk.
Apple Watch bands from series 0 to series 8
Apple has done a commendable job of maintaining band compatibility across its entire line of Apple Watch models. A watch strap purchased for the original Apple Watch from 2014 can still be used with this year’s Apple Watch Series 8 and even the Apple Watch Ultra.
Apple Watch bands have always only come in two standard widths: small and large. The small straps fit all 38mm, 40mm, and 41mm Apple Watch models, while the larger straps fit the 42mm, 44mm, and 45mm models, as well as the Apple Watch Ultra from 49mm.
For the first few years after its release, the Apple Watch was only available in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm. However, in 2018 Apple released the Apple Watch Series 4 in larger 40mm and 44mm sizes, causing many to worry that they would have to buy new straps if they wanted to upgrade to Apple’s latest wearable. .
However, even though the screen size of each Apple Watch Series 4 model has increased by 4mm compared to its respective predecessor, the Apple Watch case has only increased by 0.7mm on the smaller one. Apple Watch and 1.6mm on the larger model. Tape media spacing remained the same,
When Apple increased the screen size of the Apple Watch again with the Series 7 in 2021, it changed the width of the wearable even less. The 45mm Apple Watch Series 7 is the same 38mm width as the Series 4 to Series 6 models, while the smaller 41mm Series 7 has only grown a single millimeter in this direction. This year’s Apple Watch Series 8 has the same physical dimensions as its predecessor.
With such small increases, Apple or third-party manufacturers didn’t even need to retrofit their watch straps. The total difference in width between the first-generation Apple Watch and this year’s Series 8 is 1.7mm on the smaller 41mm model or 1.6mm for the larger 45mm version. The original Apple Watch bands don’t look out of place on an Apple Watch Series 8.
Enter the Apple Watch Ultra
The Apple Watch Ultra is an entirely different beast. The 49mm screen is accompanied by a 44mm wide case, which is a 6mm increase over the Apple Watch Series 8. That’s about a quarter inch of extra width.
Despite this increase, Apple has carefully positioned the brackets to fit existing Apple Watch bands without issue. Still, the Apple Watch Ultra is a juggernaut compared to previous models. It’s not only wider, it’s also 3.7mm thicker. A standard Apple Watch strap will likely make the Apple Watch Ultra more prominent and out of place on your wrist.
There’s a reason the Apple Watch Ultra comes with entirely new and unique Apple Watch bands. As their names suggest, the Alpine Loop, Trail Loop and Ocean Band are designed for rugged outdoor living: climbing, hiking and diving. The Ocean Loop is even designed to fit over a wetsuit.
The Apple Watch Ultra makes a statement, but chances are you will Wrong statement if you try to wear it with a band designed for a standard Apple Watch. Just because you box don’t mean you should. The Apple Watch Ultra is a tool for those who plan to undertake serious and demanding outdoor activities. Don’t settle for a weak standard Apple Watch band; choose a band that reflects the adventurous lifestyle that Apple’s high-end wearable was designed for.