Each Spring, Apple launches new Apple Watch bands, straps and loops to match the season. Spring came a little later this year, thanks to the world as it is right now. Last year, the bands came out in April (read about them here) but they’re certainly still very welcome right now when we all need something that touches on hope, renewal and deliciously bright colors.

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And the benefit of the later Spring reveal is that the Pride band (actually, there are two this year) came early.

Oh, and if you think there won’t be any more Watch straps for a while, well, there are potent rumors that a new Leather band is on its way, too.

Here’s a rundown of the new items and proper testing of the coolest, newest ones (and one favorite that launched already).

The new colors for Spring 2020

Grapefruit, Surf Blue, Cactus, Vitamin C, Neon Pink, Raspberry, Peacock and, best of all, Sunshine. There are even a few more than these, but the variety of names here is enough to inspire, no?

Apple has introduced new colors to its Sport Band ($49, £49 in the U.K.), Sport Loop ($49, £49 in the U.K.), Modern Buckle ($149, £149 in the U.K.), and Leather Loop ($99, £99 in the U.K.). And Nike and Hermès have joined in with their own new colors.

Sport Band colors

Surf Blue is a remarkable balance that manages to be both eye-catchingly bright and solidly understated. It’s something about the way it seems to almost glow in bright sunlight. Even without knowing the name, it would make you think of cresting the summer waves.

Cactus may sound like it’s a little, well, dull. In fact, I’d recommend you give it the time of day. This is a color with a subtle depth to it. There’s something reassuring about it, calming even. It’s quiet enough to be dressy and even makes me feel contemplative and thoughtful when I’m wearing it.

Grapefruit looks so good you could eat it, with the shade referring to the pink flesh of the fruit, not its yellow skin. If yellow is what you’re after, there’s already a Lemon Cream in the Sport Band range, and more to come in Sport Loops below.

Nike Sport Bands that are new are the Black/Lime Blast and Midnight Turquoise/Aurora Green, which is not a mouthful at all. But the coolest is the Pride Edition, I’d say.

Pride Edition Sport Band and Nike Sport Band 2020

This is the first time Apple has made a Pride Edition Sport Band, and the Nike Sport Band is also a first. Both are terrific. The familiar sumptuously soft rubber of the Sport Band and the secure pin-and-tuck fastening are made to feel all-new because of the Pride stripes. The Pride Edition Sport Band is the very first Sport Band that isn’t one block of color. The lines aren’t straight, you say. That’s right, it’s to match the latest Pride face on the Watch. Touch it and the colors pulse like a flag waving in the breeze.

Oh, and here’s something that speaks to Apple’s forensic attention to detail. In the packaging, the illustrations are in monochrome on every single Sport Band, no matter the color. Except this one. Here, the image is in full color, and it looks great.

Plus, and I promise I’ll move on to something else in a second, there’s another packaging detail.

See the picture of the side-on view of the Watch? The one that shows you which way to put the strap into the case? That’s normally gray in other packaging but here it’s purple. Because that’s how the strap looks like when viewed from this angle.

The Pride Edition Nike Sport Band is much more understated with the rainbow colors shining through the Nike perforations. Again, this is a first, to have more than one shade peeping through. There are six colors in the Pride flag, so the three rows each feature one color in each half of the strap.

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Sport Loop

The Sport Loop is great for activity, including swimming, because the hook-and-loop-fastening nylon weave strap is reversible.

Top of the Spring list is Sunshine, which has a fantastic bright yellow edge. The main part comes in two colors, a pale blue and an off-white. But it’s the yellow that really sings to you.

Want something brighter? Neon Lime is a dark blue, lighter blue on the other side, with a bright lime-green edging that’s very hard to miss. Or there’s Neon Pink, which matches a fpale pink with a gray reverse. The neon on the edging is a vividcolor, as you’d expect. There are two more Sport Loops: Surf Blue which has an edge similar to the Sport Band above, with deep blue and gray reversible main straps. Finally, the splendidly named Vitamin C, which is orange, unsurprisingly, along the edges, with gray and darkish brown on the strap itself.

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Nike has two new Sport Loops: Hyper Crimson/Neptune Green and World Indigo/Lime Blast, both of which are more understated than their names suggest.

Leather Modern Buckle and Leather Loop

The leather straps, unlike all the ones above, are only made in one size, that is, you can choose Modern Buckle in 40mm (it also fits the earlier 38mm) but there isn’t one that fits the larger 44mm, while the Leather Loop fits 44mm (plus the earlier 42mm) but doesn’t come in a 40mm size. band

The Modern Buckle is perhaps the slickest and most elegant of Apple’s leather bands. The smooth leather looks opulent and the new color, Deep Sea Blue, is classy and demure. Although it’s only for the 40mm and 38mm sized Watch, it comes in small, medium and large sizes to fit a variety of wrists. Unless you’re going for one of the pricier Hermès bands, these are the most luxurious of Apple’s Watch straps.

The Leather Loop attaches to itself by magnets and is very satisfying to wear. The new color is Peacock, a deftly assertive blue that looks great.

But I want to talk about my favorite, which is the mouthwateringly beautiful Meyer Lemon Leather Loop. The Venezia leather with its mottled feel is from Arzignano in Italy, Apple explains.

It’s the joy of this yellow that I love, a bright, head-turner of a color that perfectly matches the Meyer lemon after which it’s named. The Meyer lemon, and I had to look this up, is a hybrid of a citron and another hybrid of mandarin and pomelo. Look, all you need to know is it’s a dazzlingly vibrant color that is brilliant to wear.

There are also new colors for the Hermès bands, but, truth to tell, I haven’t tried these so I can merely tell you they look exquisite and they cost $339 and up. I really like the Orange Swift Leather Single Tour which has enough color to punch you in the eye. In a good way.

More bands will follow, I’m sure, perhaps including the rumored Leather magnetic band that looks sporty and more affordable. If and when they do, I’ll do my best to check them all out


Follow me on Instagram by clicking here: davidphelantech and Twitter: @davidphelan2009

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