Earlier this week, Apple began shipping its latest edition of Pride band for Apple Watch. The annual installment now comes to its seventh year, delivering just a single new addition to the collection. This year bringing a greater emphasis on commemorating the month, the 2023 Pride Band really celebrates Queer joy with a fitting confetti design. Now we’re taking a hands-on look at the new offering.
A closer look at 2023’s Apple Watch Pride Band
Every year since back in 2017 when Apple first began shipping the themed Apple Watch bands for the first time, the company has appeared just before June to debut a new, colorful addition to your wearable. For 2023, Apple is back with one of its more fun additions to the collection that really highlights the celebration aspect of Pride Month.
Right out of the box, and Apple is applying the usual polish you’d expect. The theming of course lands on the Apple Watch Band itself, but the company is carrying that over to the actual packaging it ships in, too. The very first thing on the minimalistic white box that you’re greeted by upon taking out the contents is a rainbow Apple logo that complements the actual product quite well. Leave it to Apple to go all out, though that’s nothing all too new from a company who has been showing everyone else how it’s done on the Pride Month front for the better part of a decade now.
Freeing the Apple Watch Band from its recycled packaging showcases the bright new entry into the collection. It of course has the same rainbow aesthetic that comes to mind when you think of Pride and the June celebration, but does mix up the actual implementation of that.
For the first time in a couple of years, Apple is also returning back to its classic silicone band. The past two years have seen the company focus on the fabric side of its lineup. Now we’re back to the original strap that won buyers over from the early days of Apple Watch, delivering that expected premium and rubbery build that is once again taking the spotlight.
Also mixing things up from previous years, Apple is delivering a much more fun take on the whole Pride aesthetic for 2023. The new Apple Watch band of course is covered with rainbows, but in a way that is hardly as simplistic as previous iterations. Last year saw two of the Sport Loop bands hit the scene with fairly straightforward designs that wrapped the band in a single rainbow.
But now that goes out the window in favor of a design that’s inspired by confetti. The pure white band is sprinkled with color that pops out and pairs with the new Apple Watch face.
Really delivering on the point that June is supposed to be a celebration of Queer identities, the 2023 Apple Watch Pride Band sports a smattering of multi-colored specks. There’s the usual array of colors, with some notable inclusions being the light blue and pink pieces of confetti representing trans and non-binary folks being joined by brown and black motifs to represent the Black and Latin community.
Each section of the Apple Watch band is also getting its own color palette, too. The top of the strap takes on a more subdued look with some reds, yellows, and even greens present, while the bottom starts getting into the more vibrant hues. Combined, the two achieve a nice gradient that offers a more unique color palette than previous entries into the lineup.
I’d be remiss without also mentioning that on top of just releasing the Pride Bands for Apple Watch, the company also financially supports LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations. It’s not the usual deal where a portion of every order is donated, but Apple does put it’s money where it’s mouth is by supporting nonprofits of all shapes and sizes including GLSEN, Equality Federation Institute, Encircle, The National Center for Transgender Equality, The Trevor Project, and other organizations.
Available for both 41 and 45mm Apple Watch models, the latest Pride Edition band is now available for purchase. It sells for the typical $49 price tag that all of Apple’s silicone bands do, and is compatible with Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, and all previous-generation wearables.
In a time where LGBTQIA rights are as threatened and under attack as they are, it’s always refreshing to see Apple continue to tradition of launching a new Pride band. That’s even more the case knowing that the company is putting some financial support into its interest of celebrating Queer culture.
And while other years have very much been all about commemorating Pride Month, this year’s 2023 Apple Watch Band is the taking that sentiment to a while other level. Celebration really does feel like the perfect word to encapsulate this year’s debut. It goes hand in hand with all things confetti, and really feels like the perfect note for Apple to be hitting.
Queer joy is as much of an act of resistance as ever, and the new band leans into that far more than we’ve seen in the past. I’ve been buying Apple’s Pride bands since I came out years ago, and this really does feel like the first one that puts celebration at the forefront of its design.
You can order yours today from Apple’s website or over on Amazon for $49.
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