New Apple Watch buyers face limited band selection

You may have to buy your preferred Apple Watch band as a separate accessory.

apple watch sport white band
Credit: Apple

When I decided to buy an Apple Watch Series 2, I knew exactly which model I wanted: rose gold with the pink and midnight woven nylon band. It was a combination Apple highlighted on its website, but I wasn’t sure how many the store would keep in stock. Luckily, I snagged one of the few remaining at the SoHo Apple Store and wear it almost every day. Unfortunately, Apple has decided to stop making its watches so customizable in the box.

The rose gold Apple Watch Series 2 with pink and midnight woven nylon band is no longer a combination you can buy on Apple.com. In fact, you can’t choose a nylon band alongside your aluminum or stainless steel watch at all anymore. Your choices are a Sport band, a Milanese loop, or an ultra-expensive Hermès leather band.

The changing inventory, first noticed by AppleInsider, could be due to limited demand for specific combinations of case and band. But one of the great things about the Apple Watch is its personalization, and being able to choose the exact finish and band type right out of the box went a long way toward making that buying decision even more personal.

Now you’re limited to four Sport band colors—pink, blue, white, and black—with your new 38mm or 42mm Series 2 watch, and just one Milanese loop, the silver option. Sure, you can customize your stainless steel Apple Watch with an Hermès leather band, but that’ll drive the price way up—the cheapest Hermés-and-watch combo is $1149. Why not allow people to choose a cheaper Apple-made leather option out of the box instead?

apple watch inventory Apple

Apple Watch buyers used to have so many options.

Accessories have huge revenue-driving potential, and Apple just released new watch bands in a variety of colors and styles that will tempt many watch owners to stock up (myself included). That wide range of options likely makes inventory management tougher, so it makes sense that Apple would simplify the combinations it stocks as it adds more bands as stand-alone accessories. But it’s a bummer that new Apple Watch buyers won’t be able to get that truly customized experience. After all, that’s what the watch was supposed to be all about.

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