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Older Straps might not work with the Apple Watch Pro

It would be a first if it were true.

Users have always been able to use earlier watch bands with subsequent generations of the Apple Watch, despite the fact that Apple has expanded the size of the device over time. That might alter shortly. Apple’s upcoming rugged smartwatch, the so-called Pro, may not work with current straps, according to leaker UnclePan, who was first noticed by MacRumors.

Because of how little the Apple Watch’s design has changed, Apple has been able to effortlessly retain compatibility up until now. Each Apple Watch model is available in two sizes, one of which is 4mm smaller than the other. For instance, the original watch was offered in 38mm and 42mm sizes up until the Series 3 model.

With the Series 4, which expanded the cases to 40mm and 44mm, that changed. With the Series 7, Apple increased the size to 41mm and 45mm. It’s 3mm over seven years, and unless customers were switching from a smaller watch to a larger one, at no point did that call for them to purchase new straps.

The Pro, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, will be “a fair bit bigger than the standard Apple Watch” and might only appeal to a specific market. As of now, it appears that the Pro will have a two-inch display encased in a 47 mm chassis. If this turns out to be the case, that bigger display might be to blame. It can be challenging to imagine 38mm, 40mm, or 41mm Apple Watch straps fitting a 47mm watch. That is an important 6–9mm increase.

Other changes to the design might also be necessary. The Pro will have a new appearance that Gurman described as “an development of the present rectangular design.” This “evolution” may have required Apple to alter the way the straps fasten to the case for a more snug fit or increased longevity.

Older bands should work with the Apple Watch Pro, but given the larger size of the new watch, they might not fit or appear as seamless. — Mark Gurman on August 29, 2022 (@markgurman).

However, it’s unclear if everyone who upgrades to the Pro will require new straps. It’s quite likely that you won’t need to change unless you’re switching from the Pro to the smaller model. If you own a 42mm, 44mm, or 45mm Apple Watch, the case size is only growing by 2 to 5 millimetres, which isn’t by much compared to previous increases. It might not fit as well or look as good, as Gurman speculates.

In any event, you ought to treat this information with caution. (Recall the supposed flat edges revamp for the Series 7 that never materialized?) However, given that this is a brand-new wearable category, it wouldn’t be unexpected if Apple decided to make a distinct break with watches that were released before to the Pro. The most important conclusion to draw from all of these speculations is that Apple is getting ready to make some significant changes to its watch lineup. We’ll learn more about these changes during next week’s “Far out” event.

Older bands should work with the Apple Watch Pro, but given the larger size of the new watch, they might not fit or appear as seamless. 29 August 2022, Mark Gurman (@markgurman)

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