Everyone wants to get their Apple Watch looking its best – and cool watch faces and complications are the easiest place to start.
Apple has always been selective about watch faces and has taken a less-is-more approach. But in watchOS 7, watch faces got a lot of love, with a host of brand new design options and the ability to share watch faces with others.
The amount of customization is almost limitless, with first and third party complications able to be added to most watch faces, as well as the ability to tweak design elements.
And with the latest Apple Watch featuring an always-on display, your choice is now more important than ever.
Below, we’ll be highlighting some of the top Apple Watch faces to choose from, as well as explaining complications and how you can customize everything to your taste.
How do you change faces on Apple Watch?
The easiest way to change the Apple Watch face is by sliding your finger left or right across the screen and scrolling though the different options.
If you don’t want to go through endless cycling between your favorites, however, you can also force touch the screen to add and choose from a wider library.
Be aware that this on-watch list isn’t the comprehensive list, though; you’ll have to hit the + option on the far right to add new watch faces from the catalogue.
This can also be accessed through Apple Watch companion app, where the full Face Gallery is available to add selections to your watch manually.
What are Apple Watch complications?
Complications are the tiny, customizable widgets that appear on the watch face and offer a way to personalize your Watch experience.
The great thing about complications is that they give you the information you want in an instant – say, for example, a small look at your battery level to save you from swiping to get it.
To change them, simply hit the ‘Customize’ prompt when switching between faces; this allows you to edit the colors, design elements and complications of each watch face and have them saved into the on-watch library.
Best Apple Watch faces in 2019
There are now tons of Apple Watch faces on offer, and the great thing is how customizable they all are. Below, we’ve highlighted our top picks, but make sure to play around with the complications on each and have a good crop of options in your on-watch library that you can switch between when you get bored.
1. GMT (watchOS 7)
The first of a slew of new watch faces dropped in the watchOS 7 update, GMT enables you to set a secondary timezone. The colours can be totally customised, although we like the Rolex vibes of the default. And there’s space for four complications in the corners.
2. Artist (watchOS 7)
Commissioned from artist Geoff McFetridge, the Artist watch face shows faces that subtly show the time as the eyes and nose. Tap the screen to change and customize the face shown, and the always-on Series 5 and Series 6 will show the outline of drawing when powered down. It’s abstract, but a very unique look.
3. Memoji (watchOS 7)
It was always going to happen. If you have a Memoji set up on your iPhone you can port him/her/they onto your Apple Watch. However, you can have one of the now familiar stock Memoji characters if you fancy. You can also customize the small info panel at the bottom.
4. Stripes (watchOS 7)
These stripes are almost infinitely customizable, with the number of stripes, colours, angles, direction all up for discussion. You can have them as a square or inset circle with corner complications, between 2-9 stripes, and pick the color of each individual stripe. We went for the classic football strip look above, but this is one of the most personal Apple Watch faces going.
5. Count up (watchOS 7)
One for the track runners (possibly), Count Up puts stopwatch functionality straight onto the watch face. Tap the screen to start a timer, which will be shown on the watch face itself. Sadly it doesn’t store laps as the design sort of suggests, but you do get four complication spots on the edge and can change the color of the ring.
6. Typograph (watchOS 7)
Another abstract and classy watch face, Typograph shows the time written out in an edgy font with an analogue dial in the center. You can change between a host of fonts, switch to a more classic dial, go for numerals instead of digits and change the color. There are no complications available.
7. Chronograph Pro (watchOS 7)
The Chronograph Pro shows a tachymeter by default, which is used for measuring speed. However, you can change to different dials including 60, 30, 6 and 3 second timers, which you start by tapping the dial and hitting the green button.
For those obsessed with complications, the Infograph has been sent from watch face heaven – and it’s our pick for the best Apple Watch face you can use.
It can support up to eight complications, with the four in the corner able to make use of the redesigned Series 4 and Series 5 display to show extra information – check out the weather in the top-right with current, minimum and maximum temperatures on show.
The middle offers shortcuts to common apps as well, such as Activity and Music, but, in truth, you can cut these any way you want.
Meridian was added to the Apple Watch Face Gallery with watchOS 6, and has already cemented its place in our high esteem, narrowly missing out on our top slot.
It offers a great blend of design and function, with a clean, bold analog look that’s augmented by the option of four complications in the middle of the dial.
You can’t get quite as much information on there as you can on the Infograph face, but, then again, you might just want to keep things simple.
10. Modular Compact
Another data-heavy option is the new Modular Compact face, which can pack in reams of information.
With six complication spots, the three icons at the bottom can be changed to common contacts, to enable you to make calls straight from the Watch.
Corner complications are out, but you can make use of the middle modular unit, which can even include boarding passes from Quantas, heart rate data and Citymapper commuting alerts.
The Breathe watch face apes the design of the app, using the same animations. You can pollute the tranquility with complications if you wish, although it does ruin the calm.
Tap on the watch face and you’ll jump straight to the Breathe app for a guided session. This one’s certainly good for those who are keen to get some mindfulness in their day.
New with watchOS 6, Gradient offers a gorgeous, clean look with the benefit of bold colors. If you’re rocking a Series 5, it will invert itself to a darker mode when your wrist is down, too.
You can choose the color that best augments your look, so if you’re wearing a bold outfit Gradient’s a great option to take it a step further.
For those attending a Pride event – or looking to show some LGBTQ+ support – the Pride watch face is what you need.
It’s minimalist, but tapping on-screen prompts lush animations that wobble and warp those rainbow lines really pleasingly. You can adjust the single complication as well, as a nice bonus.
You’re looking to lose some weight and want to track your activity and calories on your journey.
That’s why we’ve got the Workout complication up top ready for your next workout, a heart rate complication on the other side so you can check in on your vitals and the Lose It! complication down at the bottom letting you know how you’re doing on the food front.
The digital activity face is the centerpiece here, so you can easily keep track of your beloved rings, calories burned, exercise minutes and stand hours.
15. Solar Dial
Another new design from watchOS 6, Solar Dial is a pretty flashy face with a real practical side.
The face has complications in each corner, for your choice of details, and features a prominent and striking solar measure that lets you know when you can expect sunset where you are, alongside the time.
This is really useful if you’re planning anything outdoorsy, such as if you want to squeeze in a run after work.
If you’re looking for an assistant to be proactive about your day and what you need to get done, you’re not going to find a better watch face.
The Siri complication sits up at the top, so if you need to get something done and don’t have your iPhone around, it’ll handle it. Below, you’ll see a carousel of guidance, notifications and more.
If you’re in Apple’s ecosystem, that might also include some smart home tech, which is why we’ve added the HomeKit complication, while you’ve also got quick access to Remote if you want to control your Apple TV. And of course, don’t forget a handy timer. Home sweet home.
18. Mickey Mouse
Just let loose and click on Mickey, he’ll tell you the time. Don’t be afraid to swap in the Toy Story gang if you prefer some Pixar, by the way.
Get the weather from the sarcastic Carrot, use Magic Guide for theme park ride times, and hatch your Pokemon with Pokemon Go – all at the same time. See also Minnie Mouse and Toy Story.
You don’t need much. You’re simple – but classy. You just want the time and date, and you want it in the sleekest way possible. Take on the Numerals watch face, get a nice calm color going, and then strut your stuff.
If you’re looking to calm yourself, or even want to zone out, your best bet is the Kaleidoscope face.
Head to the Watch companion app and choose your own picture, then choose a design (we’ve got Radial here) and get your own custom piece of art on your wrist.
We’ve gone with the Breathe and Heart Rate complications up at the top, so you’re just a tap away from total zen at all times.
Smartphone cameras have gotten pretty damn good, meaning that every so often you’ll take a picture that’s so good you’ll want to look at it a lot.
That’s what this face is for. We’ve also gone with a simple calendar complication below that, but you can get rid of that if you’d prefer to have your view less obstructed.
More Apple Watch guides