Fitbit remains one of the most popular wearable brands, and one underappreciated feature of its smartwatches is the ability to swap bands and completely transform their look in seconds. A fitness-focused smartwatch like the Fitbit Sense or Fitbit Versa 3 is only useful if you always wear it, which means you want a comfortable band that fits your style. The included band is a great general-purpose option, but what if you want to dress up your Fitbit or give it a unique flair?
Fitbit partnered with renowned fashion designer Victor Glemaud for an exclusive series of bands for the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 with Glemaud’s signature knitwear styling. The bands are inspired by common themes in Glemaud’s work with an eye for inclusivity and comfort with chic touches to set them apart. Following the release of the second collection, I had the opportunity to speak to Glemaud about his partnership with Fitbit and check out one of the bands for myself.
- Apple Watch 7 vs. Fitbit Sense: Which smartwatch is right for you?
- Samsung Galaxy S22 review: A near-perfect pocketable flagship
- The best phone deals in March 2022
Fitbit + Victor Glemaud
Fitbit approached Glemaud about the collaboration in 2020, and he quickly signed on as he found it “really exciting to interject [his] fashion point of view” into the fitness wearable realm. Glemaud appreciated Fitbit’s brand values as he is personally into wellness and seeks to be health-conscious and active. The ability to bring his design ethos to bear on a product that can be an integral part of a wellness journey for many seemed like an excellent fit.
Glemaud felt his knitwear was perfect for the collaboration as “it’s already something you wear directly against your skin,” so it translated well to the bands. However, Glemaud said the design process was “really illuminating and challenging because there’s a limit to the space for design on the bands,” but ultimately found it to be a “beautiful creative outlet.” Those limitations inspired Glemaud to make them bold with dynamic elements that draw your eye. He said his designs seek to “allow people to express themselves and celebrate individuality.”
The bands cover a spectrum with some subtler options, such as the layered black-and-red band that is solid black with just hints of red coming through to give interest. Others deliver a flashier take with the chevron red and gold as a primary example with a traditional repeating chevron pattern nestled in a bright red band. When I asked Glemaud about inclusivity as a factor in his designs, he said, "the end wearers are a multitude of everything," and the designs certainly reflect that. Touching on the more recent fall collection, Glemaud said the design is “cozy and neutral…playing with texture and color and trying to create something exciting through a tonal color palette.”
The entire collection uses Repreve recycled plastic fibers, a fascinating product itself. The company converts recycled bottles into a fiber, which is used for athletic and fashion apparel by top brands like Nike, The North Face, Under Armour and Levi’s, to name a few. Glemaud loved the idea of using it for his Fitbit collection. It delivers precisely the properties needed for a fitness band with moisture-wicking and water repellency along with the comfort of knitwear — and it’s environmentally friendly, too.
Unifi, which produces Repreve, recycled almost 32 million plastic bottles into these fibers. The benefits don’t stop at recycling the plastic either; the creation of Repreve, as opposed to traditional virgin synthetic fiber, uses far less energy and produces considerably lower CO2 emissions. Contributing to environmental health and wellness is a nice added benefit to this design choice for the Fitbit + Victor Glemaud collection.
Metallic Ombré band
The band I received for review is the metallic ombré that exhibits the more muted color palette seen in the second collection. As the name suggests, the band features a color transition from a light tan to a much darker brown, with flecks of gold interwoven throughout the band to give it a glimmer in the sunlight. The transition is drastic from one side to the other, but each side features a blend of the other's coloring, which softens the effect.
It uses a traditional pin buckle clasp that slides into the almost invisible holes on the opposite side of the band. I didn’t notice them at first and thought that perhaps it was meant to slip between the woven fibers, but that would undoubtedly cause wear over time. This band seems incredibly durable; I haven’t noticed any meaningful changes after a couple of weeks of use.
While it may start as recycled plastic, the fiber doesn’t feel appreciably different from typical knitwear. It’s a welcome change from the typical rubberized bands on wearables, and even for active use, it holds up well as, again, the fibers wick away your sweat.
Glemaud wears both bands from the first collection and one from the second collection on his Fitbit Versa 3. I asked him about any plans for future collections with Fitbit, and he replied that he hoped so, but didn’t have anything official to announce.
All five bands are available exclusively on Fitbit.com for $39.95, with a large and small size in each one. The full lineup includes the newer fall collection with metallic ombré, metallic stripe and metallic gold/black, along with the original collection of layered black/red and chevron red/gold.