Luckily, the size 4 Braided Solo Loop Apple sent with my Series 6 review unit fits me pretty much perfectly. It’s a little tight, but not uncomfortably so, and I think a size 5 it would be too loose. With that in mind, I tested Apple’s recommended methods for finding the size, and have advice on how to get the best fit for you.
Use Apple’s Printable Tool
Apple says its printable tool is the fastest and easiest way to find your band size. It appears when you go to buy a Solo Loop on its site. You need to print and cut it out, use tape to hold the wider part in place on your skin, then wrap it tightly around your wrist and note the number the arrow points to. Apple says to size down if you’re between sizes.
This process is a bit cumbersome, and I can see why people are getting it wrong. For starters, my printer cut off the end of the tool, so I wasn’t exactly sure where it was. I wound up cutting it at the end of the dotted line on the side, and it worked fine that way.
When taking your measurement, be sure to wrap it around the narrowest part of your wrist. If you place the tool too high on your arm, you’ll get the wrong size. And based on my experience, here’s the best piece of advice I can give you: Use tape to secure the wider part in place, and pull it tightly—tighter than you think you should. The actual band stretches, so you want it to be a bit snug. When I used the measurement tool, I could have easily mistaken my wrist size for a 5 if I didn’t pull tight. Even when I pulled it as much as I could, the arrow pointed to the line between 4 and 5. Moral of the story: Wrap the paper tightly and size down.
Use a Tape Measure (or Anything Else)
If you don’t have a printer, you can use Apple’s household objects tool to find your size. Basically, you use a tape measure to find the size of your wrist in inches or centimeters, then enter it on Apple’s website and it tells you your size. If you don’t have a tape measure, you can use a strip of paper. Just tape one end of the strip to your wrist, pull it tightly, mark where it overlaps, then measure that with a ruler.
I don’t have a flexible tape measure, and the paper strip method seemed like a lot of work, so I just used a phone cord and a ruler from my toolkit. Like with the printable tool, make sure to wrap whatever material you’re using around your wrist tightly. The first time I took my measurement using this method, I got 6.125 inches, which according to Apple’s site is a size 5. I tried again, pulling it tighter than the first time, and got 5.875 inches. Apple’s site says that’s a size 4, which I know fits me well.
Don’t Worry If You Get It Wrong
Meanwhile, if you do happen to get the wrong size, it’s not the end of the world. Apple will let you swap it out for another size online, without requiring you send back the entire watch (assuming you bought the strap with a new watch).
The $49 Solo Loop and the $99 Braided Solo Loop are compatible with the Apple Watch SE as well as the Series 4, Series 5, and Series 6 watches. The Solo Loop is made of liquid silicone rubber, while the Braided version is made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled yarn that is braided around a thin silicone thread.
For more Apple Watch advice, see 20 Tips Every Apple Watch Owner Should Know.