Which Apple Watch and strap is right for you? Series 7, Watch SE, Series 3, Nike+, Hermès or Edition? - MrLiambi's blog


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Friday, 8 October 2021

Which Apple Watch and strap is right for you? Series 7, Watch SE, Series 3, Nike+, Hermès or Edition?

The Apple Watch Series 7 is available alongside the Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Series 3. The Series 6, Series 5, Series 4, Series 2, Series 1 and original Apple Watch have all been discontinued. Luckily, all the straps remain compatible across all the generations.

With three ranges, GPS and GPS and Cellular models, two different sizes, plus all the straps that can be mixed and matched, as well as the extra Nike, Hermès and Watch Edition models, choosing the right Apple Watch for you is trickier than it first seems.

This feature explains what models are available, how much they cost and what the differences are between them all in order to find the right one for you and your budget.

You can also read our Apple Watch Series 7 vs 6 vs Watch SE vs Series 3 feature, if you want to know a more in-depth comparison between the two models.

Apple Watch Series 7


  • Sizes: 41mm, 45mm
  • Models: GPS only and GPS and Cellular
  • Material: Aluminium, Stainless Steel
  • Colours: Five aluminium, three stainless steel
  • Straps included: Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, Sport Loop, Leather Link, Milanese Loop, Leather Loop, Modern Buckle

The Apple Watch Series 7 offers all the same features as Series 3 including waterproofing and built-in GPS but it has an upgraded S7 processor with W3 wireless chip, an electrical heart sensor on the Digital Crown and a bigger display within a similar footprint to the Series 3, resulting in a bolder design.

It also comes in different size options to the Series 3 at 41mm and 45mm, and it offers an Always-On Display, built-in compass, always-on altimeter and a blood oxygen sensor, as well as a U1 chip.

There are 23 standard models available - ignoring the specialist ranges like Nike, Hermès and Watch Edition for now - we'll go into those further down.

The aluminium models come in Green, Blue, Starlight, Midnight and Product(RED) colour options with either a Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, Sport Loop or Leather Link strap as standard. There are several colours available in each, which you can read all about in the strap section below. The aluminium models also come in GPS and GPS and Cellular connectivity options.

The stainless steel models are a good chunk more expensive, and they come in Graphite, Silver and Gold colour options with Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Loop, Leather or Stainless Steel straps, with prices varying depending on your strap choice.

The Leather strap options are made up of Leather Link, Modern Buckle and Leather Loop styles, while the stainless steel straps come in a Link Bracelet and a Milanese Loop option. It's worth noting the Leather Loop is only available for the 45mm models and the Modern Buckle is only available for the 41mm models. The Stainless Steel Watch models all come with GPS and Cellular as standard, with no GPS only models.

You can of course buy an additional strap separately - we'll go into more detail about those further down - or you can use the Apple Watch Studio to create your perfect Apple Watch but you'll pay extra.

Apple Watch SE


  • Sizes: 40mm, 44mm
  • Models: GPS only and GPS and Cellular
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Colours: Three aluminium
  • Straps included: Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band, Sport Loop

The Apple Watch SE sits in between the Series 7 and the Series 3, offering the same design as the older Series 6 with the larger display, along with a number of its features, but not as streamlined a design as the Series 7 in terms of display. It has everything the Series 3 has including waterproofing and built-in GPS, but it also offers an always-on altimeter for real-time elevation tracking, a built-in compass and fall detection.

It misses out on the Always-On Display from the Series 7, as well as blood oxygen monitoring and the electrical heart rate sensor for taking an ECG, plus there aren't as many finish options as the Series 7 - 14 models instead of 23 - but otherwise, the Watch SE is a feature-packed smartwatch.

It has the S5 processor under its hood - which is a step up from the older Series 5 but a step down from the Series 7 - and it has a W2 chip. The Watch SE comes in GPS only and GPS and Cellular models and there are Nike models too.

The Watch SE is only available in aluminium and there are no leather or stainless steel straps offered as standard, though again, you can buy the straps separately or use the Apple Watch Studio to create your perfect device.


Apple Watch Series 3


  • Sizes: 38mm, 42mm
  • Models: GPS only
  • Material: Aluminium body
  • Colours: Silver, Space Grey
  • Strap included: Sport Band

The Apple Watch Series 3 offers a S3 processor, coupled with built-in GPS, a waterproof body and a barometric altimeter, all of which were added over the older Series 1 model. The S3 processor is combined with a W2 wireless chip that enables Siri to work on the Watch itself rather than passing over to your iPhone. 

There are two standard models available, both of which have an aluminium casing and there are only two colours available rather than three like the Watch SE. There are also no GPS and Cellular models available in the Series 3 so neither will work with Apple's Family Setup feature.

Your options for the Series 3 model are therefore a Silver aluminium case with a White Sport Band or a Space Grey aluminium case with a Black Sport Band.

Like the Series 7 and Watch SE models, you can buy an additional Sport Band, Solo Loop or different strap separately.

Apple Watch Nike


  • Sizes: 40mm, 41mm, 44mm, 45mm
  • Models: GPS only and GPS and Cellular
  • Material: Aluminium body only
  • Colours: Silver or Space Grey aluminium casings
  • Strap included: Nike Sport Band or Nike Sport Loop

The Apple Watch Nike is one of the special edition ranges of the Apple Watch, created in association with Nike, as you probably guessed from its name. The Nike model is available in both Series 7 and Watch SE models, with nine models in total - six for the Series 7 and three for the Watch SE.

The Series 7 Nike models have the same specifications as the Apple Watch Series 7, meaning they have the latest processor, always-on altimeter, blood oxygen sensor, U1 chip, larger display design, electric heart sensor in the Digital Crown, built-in compass and Always On Display.

The Watch SE Nike models have the same hardware as the Apple Watch Watch SE so no Always-On Display, blood oxygen monitoring or ECG, but still features like fall detection, always-on altimeter and a built-in compass. The difference between the Nike models and the standard Apple Watch models is the special Nike Sport Band or Nike Sport Loop strap rather than the plain Solo Loop, Sport Band, Braided Solo Loop or plain Sport Loop strap.

The Apple Watch Series 7 Nike models are available in 41mm and 45mm options and the Watch SE Nike models are available in 40mm and 44mm size options, but both come in GPS only and GPS and Cellular models. There are Space Grey and Silver colour options with either a Nike Sport Band or Nike Sport Loop strap for the Watch SE, and Midnight and Starlight options with a Nike Sport Band or Nike Sport Loop for the Watch Series 7.

As with Series 7 and Watch SE models, alternative straps can be bought separately for the Series 7 Nike models or Watch SE Nike models for an additional cost.

Apple Watch Hermès


  • Sizes: 41mm, 45mm (both sizes not available in all styles)
  • Models: GPS and Cellular only
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Colours: Silver or Space Black 
  • Strap included: Hermès leather strap

The Apple Watch Hermès is another of the specialist ranges, this time created in collaboration with Paris fashion brand Hermès. The collaboration was first seen on the original 2015 Apple Watch but it is now only available on the Series 7 models.

The Apple Watch Hermès models have a special Hermès watch face, leather straps handmade by the fashion company's artisans in France and the Hermès logo on the underside of the watch body, as well as on the strap. Not all models are available in both 41mm and 45mm sizes, but all offer GPS and Cellular connectivity as standard.

There are 15 Apple Watch Hermès models in total. Both the Space Black Stainless Steel model and Silver Stainless Steel model come with various strap options, including the Jumping Single Tour Strap, standard Single Tour strap and the Attelage Double Tour strap.

Prices for the Apple Watch Hermès are huge, and significantly pricier than the standard Series 7 models.

Apple Watch Edition

  • Sizes: 41mm, 45mm
  • Models: GPS and Cellular only
  • Material: Titanium
  • Colours: Brushed natural Titanium, Space Black Titanium
  • Strap included: Braided Solo Loop, Sport Loop or Leather Link

The Apple Watch Edition range introduces Titanium as a case material option. The Apple Watch Edition models are only available for the Series 7 models and they offer the same features and specifications as the Series 7 but in a different casing.

The Titanium options come in two colours of Space Black and brushed natural Titanium. The natural Titanium comes with a Braided Solo Loop or Leather Link strap - which come in different colour options. The Space Black Titanium comes with either a Solo Loop Strap or Sport Loop strap, again in different colour options.

As with the other Apple Watch models, you can use the Apple Watch Studio to select a different strap for extra, or you can buy an additional strap separately.

Apple Watch Straps

There are numerous straps available for the Apple Watch, each of which is compatible with all of the ranges.

As we mentioned above, you can buy any of the straps below separately to give you an alternative option to the strap included with the Apple Watch model you pick, or you can use the Apple Watch Studio creator to build your ideal Apple Watch. 

You'll notice the strap sizes are now 41mm and 45mm. For those with a Series 1, 2 or 3 Apple Watch, choose the 41mm size for the 38mm model and 45mm size for the 42mm models. For those with a Series 4, 5 or 6, choose the 41mm size for the 40mm model and the 45mm size for the 44mm model.

Solo Loop

The Solo Loop is made from stretchable liquid silicone rubber that has been designed for extra comfort. There are no buckles or clasps, with just a seamless loop instead. The Solo Loop comes in 19 colours, all of which are available in 41mm and 45mm size options. It comes in nine sizes, requiring you to measure your wrist to ensure the perfect fit.

The colours: English Lavender, Marigold, Dark Cherry, Clover, Chalk Pink, Abyss Blue, Starlight, Canatloupe, Northern Blue, Deep Navy, Plum, Kumquat, Ginger, Cyprus Green, Pistachio, White, Tomales Blue, Pink Citrus, Black

Sport Band


The Sport Band is made from fluoroelastomer and it is fastened with a pin and tuck closure. It comes in 12 colour options in both 41mm and 45mm size options.

The colours: English Lavender, Marigold, Dark Cherry, Clover, Abyss Blue, Midnight, Starlight, Cyprus Green, Capri Blue, Mallard Green, Product(RED), Black Unity

Braided Solo Loop

The Braided Solo Loop is made from stretchable recycled yarn interwoven with silicone threads. Like the Solo Loop, it has been designed for comfort and features no buckles or clasps. The Braided Solo Loop comes in 12 colour options, all of which come in 41mm and 45mm sizes. Like the Sport Loop, there are 9 sizes to choose from.

The colours: English Lavender, Maize, Dark Cherry, Abyss Blue, Inverness Green, Electric Orange, Charcoal, Pink Punch, Atlantic Blue, Pistachio,  Product(RED), Pride

Sport Loop


The Sport Loop Band is made from woven nylon with dense loops on the skin side for cushioning and allowing moisture to escape. It is fastened with a hook-and-loop closure for quick adjustment. The Sport Loop Band comes in 14 colours, all of which are available in 41mm and 45mm size options.

The colours: Maize/White, Pink Pomelo/Tan, Dark Cherry/Forest Green, Abyss Blue/Moss Green, Tornado/Gray, Sea Salt, Abyss, Olive, Plum, Inverness Green, Sunflower, Charcoal, Product(RED)

Nike Sport Band


The Nike Sport Band is also made from fluoroelastomer like the Sport Band, but it has compression-moulded perforations for breathability. It is fastened with a pin and tuck enclosure and there are eight colour options in both 41mm and 45mm size options.

The colours: Magic Ember/Crimson Bliss, Olive Grey/Cargo Khaki, Midnight Navy/Mystic Navy, Anthracite/Black, Pure Platinum/Black, Chlorine Blue/Green Glow, Ironstone/Black, Spruce Aura/Vapour Green

Nike Sport Loop


The Nike Sport Loop Band is made from a nylon weave with reflective thread, secured with a hook and loop fastener. There are five colour options, all of which are available in both 41mm and 45mm size options. 

The colours: Cargo Khaki, Spuce Aura, Pride, Summit White, Black

Leather Link

The Leather Link features handcrafted Roux Granada leather made in France. It wraps around the wrist and attaches with flexible molded magnets that gently flex for a secure, comfortable fit. The Leather Link comes in nine colours, all available for 41mm and 45mm size options.

The colours: Golden Brown, Dark Cherry, Sequoia Green, Midnight, Chalk, Baltic Blue, California Poppy, Saddle Brown, Black

Modern Buckle 


The Modern Buckle is made from Granada leather for a refined textured finish. It features an inner layer of Vectran weave for strength and it is fastened by magnets, though it looks like a buckle. The Modern Buckle comes in seven colours but it is only available in the 38mm/40mm/41mm size option.

The colours: Midnight, Wisteria, Chalk, Garnet, Scarlet, Pink Citrus, Saddle Brown

Hermès Jumping Single Tour

The Hermès Jumping Single Tour is crafted from nylon with a woven vibrant design. It is fastened with a buckle and it is designed to be waterproof. There are seven colours available.

The colours: Kraft/Orange, Kraft/Lime, Noir/Bleu Saphir, Orange/Rose Mexico, Kraft/Rouge de Cœur, Rouge de Cœur/Rouge H, Bleu Saphir/Orange

Hermès Leather Single Tour


The Hermès Leather Single Tour strap offers the classic Hermès design, made from smooth Barenia leather or supple Swift leather, depending on the colour and style you pick. Not all come in both 41mm and 45mm sizes though.

The Single Tour standard colours: Fauve Barénia (both sizes), Bleu Lin (41mm), Gold (41mm), Orange (40mm), Navy (41mm), Lime (41mm)

The Single Tour Attelage Swift colours: Noir (both sizes), Rouge H (45mm only), Gold (45mm only)

The Single Tour Circuit H Swift: Biscuit/Bleu Électrique, Noir/Bleu Électrique, Rouge H/Noir (41mm)

Hermès Leather Double Tour


The Hermès Leather Double Tour wraps twice around the wrist and is again made from smooth Barenia leather or supple Swift Attelage leather, depending on the colour. There are six options in total, all of which are only available for the 38mm/40mm/41mm Watch.

The Double Tour Swift Attelage colours: Bleu Lin, Rouge H, Gold, Bleu Saphir, Fauve, Noir

The Gourmette Double Tour: Fauve

Milanese Loop


The Milanese Loop is made up of smooth stainless steel mesh which wraps around your wrist and fastens magnetically. There are three colours available for both the 41mm and 45mm Watch.

The colours: Silver, Graphite, Gold

Link Bracelet


The Link Bracelet is crafted from the same 316L stainless steel as the Apple Watch case and it features over 100 components, fastened with a butterfly closure. There are two colours available for both the 38mm and 42mm Watch, though it also works with the Series 7 and Watch SE models.

The colours: Silver, Space Black

Best Apple Watch and strap combinations

Let's quickly do the maths: the cheapest Apple Watch Series 3 is the 38mm version, which ends up much cheaper than the most affordable Apple Watch Series 7, which has the same bands and aluminium case. You lose out on the bigger display, improved processor, electrical heart sensor, blood oxygen monitoring, Always On display and built-in compass though.

If you can live with the aluminium body rather than stainless steel, then the Watch SE GPS only model is slightly more expensive than the Series 3 but still cheaper than the Series 7 and you get a choice of three aluminium colours, plus a bigger display, improved processor compared to the Series 3, built-in compass and always-on altimeter so it's a great middle option, especially if you use the extra cash to smarten it up.

For example, you could get the 40mm blue Apple Watch SE and treat yourself to the Leather Link strap. You could also opt for the aluminium Series 7 and whack a Hermès Single Tour strap on it for a fashionable look without having the expense of the Hermès body. Choose the Series 3 models instead and the prices would be much lower but you sacrafice features.

Another good combination is the aluminium Space Grey Apple Watch Series 7 (45mm) with the Graphite Milanese Loop strap. The Graphite stainless steel option (45mm) costs a lot more with the Space Black Milanese Loop strap, so you save solid amount by opting for aluminium over stainless steel, and you'll get a Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, Sport Band or Sport Loop in the price too. Alternatively, you could use the Apple Watch Studio to build an aluminium case with the strap you want if you don't want the extra strap.

Source : https://www.pocket-lint.com/smartwatches/buyers-guides/apple/133135-which-apple-watch-and-strap-is-right-for-you


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