Apple’s rumoured Watch redesign could make existing bands obsolete

A new rumour says that Apple's 2024 Apple Watch range, including the anniversary Apple Watch X, will no longer be compatible with existing watch bands

Apple Watch Series 9 review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

One of the things I like best about my Apple Watch Series 9 is that all my existing Apple Watch bands work with it, so depending on where I'm going, what I'm wearing and how I'm feeling I can swap between a neutral sand, a summery orange, an eye-popping (PRODUCT)RED or one of my pride bands. But a new rumour suggests that that particular joy may be ending in 2024 as Apple redesigns the Apple Watch range.

The latest rumour comes via Kosutami, who previously leaked the existence of FineWoven bands but who has also predicted products that didn't appear, such as braided iPhone 15 USB-C cables and coloured MagSafe chargers. Kosutami says that this time, "it's 100% accurate" and "if you have old bands now, just sell it".

Will you be saying bye-bye to existing bands?

Maybe not. First and foremost, the next Apple Watch isn't due until late 2024, so there's still time for Apple to experiment with different options – including sticking with the status quo. But more importantly, this rumour is uncorroborated and a little bit sketchy.

Despite Kosutami's apparent certainty, there are a lot of blurry bits here. It's unclear whether this new rumour is based on new information or if it's just re-stating the previous suggestions that the Apple Watch X was getting a new band connector with a magnetic attachment; commenters on X have asked Kosutami to elaborate, but so far haven't been given any more information or even hints. 

As with the previous watch band rumour, it's also unclear whether if Apple does change the band connections it'll do it for the entire Apple Watch range – which for 2024 means at the very least the tenth generation Apple Watch and the third generation Apple Watch Ultra, with possibly a new Apple Watch SE too – or just the tenth anniversary special edition. I hope it's that last option because good quality Apple Watch bands don't come cheap.

If Apple does indeed change the bands, it might annoy some of its higher spending customers: if I'd dropped nearly £300 on a Hermès knit band or £400 on a Space Black Link Bracelet this year I'd be pretty miffed if it wasn't going to be compatible with the 2024 Apple Watch. Then again, maybe the people who spend that much on watch straps can afford not to care. 

The next generation Apple Watch is expected to launch in Autumn 2024 and we'll no doubt see lots more leaks and rumours well before then: if Apple is changing its straps, it's just a matter of time before a third party manufacturer leaks all the details.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (