How to Switch Apple Watch Faces

Find new watch faces to suit your style and mood

Four Apple Watch models, with different watch face designs

Apple Inc.

One of the best features of the Apple Watch is the ability to switch watch faces so that you can get the information and features you need, in the design you prefer. But have you ever wondered if there are other Apple Watch faces besides the ones pre-installed on the Watch? Read on to learn all about how to switch faces, where to get new ones, and whether you can get third-party Apple Watch faces.

How to Switch Apple Watch Faces

Every Apple Watch comes with pre-installed watch faces for you to choose. These pre-installed faces give you all sorts of options, from letting your Apple Watch look like a mechanical watch with a minute and second hand to spotlighting Siri and its suggestions, from displaying a favorite photo to giving you tons of useful information. Follow these steps to learn how to switch Apple Watch faces:

  1. Raise the Apple Watch so the screen lights up.

    A screenshot of the Modular Apple Watch face
  2. Hard press your Apple Watch screen.

  3. Swipe left and right to see the other faces installed on your Apple Watch.

    A screenshot of the options for changing Apple Watch faces
  4. To switch watch faces, simply tap the one you want to use.

    You can also customize each watch face with colors and different features, called "complications".

  5. Prefer to switch faces without customizing them? You don't even have to hard press the screen. Just raise the Watch and then swipe side to side across the screen to quickly switch faces.

How to Get New Apple Watch Faces from the Apple Watch App

The faces pre-installed on your Apple Watch aren't your only options. There's a set of other watch faces hidden in the Watch app on your iPhone. You just need to find them and install them on your Apple Watch. Here's how:

  1. Tap Face Gallery at the bottom of the screen.

    A screenshot of the Watch app homescreen on iPhone
  2. All of the available watch face options are listed here, sorted into categories like Activity, Color, Modular, and more.

    The Apple Watch Face Gallery on iPhone
  3. Swipe up and down to view the categories, and then left and right within the categories to see the options. When you find a watch face you like, tap it to see its options.

  4. On the watch face screen, tap Add to install this face onto your Apple Watch.

  5. You can also customize the face before adding it your Watch. Set the face's default color, choose its typeface, and — when available — choose what complications it uses. Then tap Add to install the customized face onto your Watch.

    Customizing Apple Watch faces using iPhone
  6. When you do this, the new face you installed is automatically set to be your default watch face.

    A screenshot of a custom Apple Watch face

How to Get the Hermes and Nike Apple Watch Faces

The Apple Watch Hermes edition
Apple Inc.

If you've heard about the premium Hermes and Nike Apple Watch faces and want to add them to your Watch, you may be wondering why you can't find them on the watch or in the app. It's because they're not there. Or at least aren't there for most watches.

To get the Nike Apple Watch faces, you need to buy the Apple Watch Nike+ model. The Nike watch faces are pre-installed on that model and there's no other way to get the faces onto a standard Apple Watch model. The Nike+ models cost the same as the standard Apple Watch Series 4 models.

The same thing is true for the Hermes Apple Watch face. It's only available if you buy the premium-priced Apple Watch Hermes edition from Apple. Hermes editions of the Apple Watch come with an Hermes-designed, leather watch band, but tack nearly an extra US$1,000 onto the price of the watch. But that's the price you have to pay if you want the Hermes watch face.

You may be able to get these extra watch faces without buying a new Apple Watch if your watch is jailbroken and you have the right apps. So far, there's no jailbreak for recent versions of watchOS, so you'll need an older Apple Watch — and solid technical skills — to take advantage of these options.

Can You Add Third-Party Apple Watch Faces?

As of this writing, there are no third-party Apple Watch faces (other than the Hermes and Nike faces). Apple doesn't allow third-parties to create or distribute Apple Watch faces right now.

It's not hard to imagine this changing at some point in the future, much the same way Apple has introduced new options for customizing the iPhone and iPad over time. If and when Apple adds support for third-party Apple Watch faces, we'll update this article with everything you need to know about where to get them and how to use them.