Moto 360 leather and steel

The official steel band for the Moto 360 looks decent, but so do alternatives

Ever since we got our first up-close look at the Moto 360 — the first round Android Wear smartwatch — we've pretty much been in love with it. And we're not alone. We're also not alone in that while the Horween leather straps that come with it are great, we very much wanted to see what the official stainless steel bands would do. We just wanted metal on our wrists.

So we waited for the $80 bracelets to arrive. In the meantime we made do. Some third-party bracelets fit the round body. Some didn't. Some of us cannibalized the Pebble Steel, with surprisingly good results.

Today, we've got the official steel band on the Moto 360. Here's what's up.

The first thing you'll notice when you get the stainless steel bracelet for your Moto 360 is that there aren't any real instructions for putting it on your watch. Well, there's one single instruction.

Your watch band is custom designed for your Moto 360. Using standard off-the-shelf watch bands, especially metal bands, may cause significant damage to your watch. Your watch band should only be replaced by an authorized repair facility or a skilled watch repair service.

I am neither an authorized repair facility nor a watch repair service. I have, however, changed out the 22mm straps on the LG G Watch, ASUS ZenWatch and others. Putting the stainless steel band on the Moto 360 isn't quite as simple as using a spring bar tool on the pins and then putting everything back. There are plastic spacers that provide support for where the band meets the body. There are tiny spacers that fit into the links themselves, should you need to resize them. (I did.) There's the potential for scratching the $80 bracelet, if you're not careful.

It is, however, possible for you to change the straps on your own. I did it. You can do it. But don't be afraid to go to a jeweler for help.

Moto 360 stainless steel bracelet

Once the bracelet's on, there's the matter of fit, and taste. I've surprisingly gotten into these things. And watches, of course, are very personal accessories. What I've found is this:

  • I'm not a big fan of the butterfly clasp that's on the Motorola band. It gives a more seamless look when it's on your arm, but it's not as easy to close as deployment clasps.
  • The links definitely are heavier and feel more premium than the Pebble Steel bracelet.
  • I'm not crazy about how it looks where the band meets the body. It just doesn't look as clean as when the wider band disappears into curve, as both the leather straps and Pebble Steel bracelet do.
  • I highly suggest spending a few bucks on some basic tools if you plan on trying to swap out the bracelet yourself. (Amazon links to follow.)

Caveats aside, I'm still pretty happy with this bracelet. I have better ones that cost as much. I actually was pretty happy with the Pebble bracelet on the 360. But if you're wanting to go the official route, this bracelet should serve you well.

Where to buy ...

  • Moto 360 stainless steel band: $79.99 from Motorola | Amazon
  • Spring bar tool: $6.49 from Amazon
  • Link pin remover: $9 from Amazon
  • Link remover hammer: $8.27 from Amazon