hacking Apple Watch to a cuff bracelet custom watch

OK, so here’s the problem.  I think the Apple Watch is too small (but it’s weight is “just right”!) and I dislike the bands.  In fact, I never wear “normal” watches anymore — I greatly prefer nice and wide uniform width leather cuffs.

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finished product

So I found (and ordered) this cute cheapie < $20 adapter (which as I thought, comes direct from China).  The black can chip/flake a little (it’s not anodized into the metal well), which they know/cop to — but it’s so cheap so who cares?  😉

Next I ordered a few different bands from my *favorite* watch (and fun!  also cheap!) store (I’ve rocked their watches for years now, and have fun getting different styles.  Their website is a bit slow, but they have great selection).   I settled on this (crazy cheap clearance!) item black tattoo-like watch cuff band (which nicely didn’t come with a watch I didn’t need).

My thinking was to get something at least as wide as the watch (1.5″ wide band) but would set off/partially incognito the black aluminum 42mm watch casing.  The other two bands were an even wider brown one (but it just was a bit more plain than I’d hope for, less “me”) and a 3″+ *really* wide black one (but it looked a little too S&M or something — again not really “me”).  Thankfully Nemesis was great about letting me return them in exchange for another band and watch I wanted (since I was about two weeks past the return deadline!)

So you:

  • center the watch (charger is easiest) on the back of the band (those rivets you see below hold the “snap parts” for this particular cuff — that’s a more ideal setup than a looped kind of other way to secure the watch w/ a single snap underneath — because we’re going to need to cut out a hole so the watch can touch (and basically “see” your skin)
  • trace the charger with a pen
  • cut the circle out with an xacto knife or similar
  • slide out the old watch band
  • assemble the new watch adapter (you can see it in pictures below slid and locked into the watch)
  • snap in in!

Now you can charge it through the hole nicely, and it should make good skin contact and thus stay unlocked once it’s on.

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pretty simple, trace charger with pen, then cut carefully w/ xacto knife
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showing the new hole and where the watch will snap in. you can see more closely the watch adapter very small pieces and bars locked into the watch
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charging happily through the back and new circle hole through the leather band

 

[ I happen to like also wearing the watch on my left wrist, but face on my underside of the wrist (also makes the watch more innocuous / disappears — and more of a “surprise” when you “wrist up and twist” to others 8-).  So I made my settings say the watch was on my right wrist (since the “bend up arm and twist” motion is more like the other side when you wear the watch this way. ]

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tracey pooh

i like digital video and road cycling

One thought on “hacking Apple Watch to a cuff bracelet custom watch”

  1. worth mentioning that indeed, the skin contact w/ the hole in the band was just fine in Day 1 test — watch never locked (ie: never thought I took it off after initial fastening to wrist and unlock).

    in fact, the only eventful part was crossing the few hundred feet through our work semi-concrete bunker to the bathroom, leaving phone at desk, and losing bluetooth signal to iphone. once closer again, everything reconnected and the magic continued 😎

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