Considering the reasonable MSRP of Google’s flagship phones, the premium pricing of the Pixel Watch is something of a surprise. The company’s first smartwatch starts at $350, which is $71 more than the 2022 Apple Watch SE and cheapest Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, and only $49 shy of the entry-level Apple Watch 8.
Now Google has updated its official store with accessories available for pre-order. Prices range from $30 all the way up to $200 for the most expensive strap.
The cheapest item is a spare charger for your Pixel Watch, which comes in at $30. While it charges wirelessly, the smartwatch can’t charge via any old Qi charger, so the small magnetic puck is essential.
Of course, it comes with one in the box, but a spare for the office is certainly handy, given the day-long battery can get a quick extra nine hours from 45 minutes at the charger.
Also for $30, you can get a ZAGG InvisibleShield screen protector for your Pixel Watch, which comically gets a gallery of three images, despite being entirely transparent. Google promises a “glass-like feel” which mimics the feel of the Pixel Watch’s screen while providing “maximum touch sensitivity.”
But the real money spinners for Google are the various official Pixel Watch bands for sale. With the proprietary clipping mechanism, Google clearly wants you to feel comfortable changing things up frequently, with different bands for exercise and formal wear.
At $50, the fluoroelastomer Active Band is the cheapest. It’s the plasticky one that comes with the Pixel Watch, so you should already have one color from the off, but if you want to mix things up, you can buy options in Lemongrass, Charcoal, Obsidian, Chalk or Hazel.
For $10 more at $60, you can get either a Stretch or Woven band. The former — made from recycled polyester and spandex yarns — is “soft, stretchy and cozy” and comes in Linen, Rose or Obsidian shades. The latter is made from recycled yarns for “a touch of personality while your run errands or meetings.” It’s available in Lemongrass, Coral or Ivy.
Jumping another $20 to $80 takes you to the leather bands: Crafted or Two-Tone. The former is made from luxe Italian leather suitable for formal occasions and comes in Obsidian or Ivy.
The latter is also constructed from Italian leather but, as the name suggests, comes in slightly different shades on each half of the strap. It’s not dramatically different, though, and each can still be described in a single color: Linen, Charcoal or Chalk.
That’s all that’s available to pre-order with the watch itself, but as Google already signposted, more expensive options will follow in the spring. The stainless steel mesh strap “combines grace and durability” for the price of $130. It comes in Champagne Gold, Matte Black or Polished Silver.
Then for $200 — a price so high Google suggests a $16.67-per-month one-year payment plan — there’s the Metal Links band. Available in Brushed Silver or Matte Black, it “embraces classic timepiece style” according to Google. You’d hope so, given it costs 57% of the actual Pixel Watch itself.
While Google’s proprietary strap mechanism seems like a clever innovation, one of the appealing things about smartwatches from Garmin, Samsung and others is that they use industry-standard and widely available spring-pin watch straps. That means nearly any strap is supported whether it’s designed for a smartwatch or not.
It’s not hard to see why Google (and others like Apple and Fitbit) would be keen to stick to something more proprietary, as it drives a healthy accessories income stream directly to them. The popularity or otherwise of the Pixel Watch will see how many third-party alternatives spring up in the weeks and months ahead.
Next: Check out our Google Pixel Watch vs. Apple Watch Series 8 showdown.