Apple Watch owners can choose from several faces: those built into the Watch app and those from third parties. Choosing the right face depends not only on your personal taste, but also on your professional life.
To help you with your business tasks and related activities, an Apple Watch watch face that provides useful information at a glance can be an asset. If you just need the time and no other distractions, you can choose a simple face like California, Simple, Typograph or Numerals. When dealing with people and projects around the world, the faces show GMT and World Time in different zones.
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If you want to see different types of information or use different Apple Watch tools, the Count Up, Modular, and Infograph planes let you add a range of data. And if you need the occasional stress break, the Breathe face can help you with a minute of deep breaths, while the Kaleidoscope face shows a soothing image on your screen.
Of watchOS 7 released in 2020, Apple opened up its smartwatch to support third-party faces. That means you can download apps from the App Store that offer galleries with different faces. Note that watchOS 7 requires an Apple Watch Series 3 or later or an Apple Watch SE.
Add a new face to your Apple Watch
To add Apple Watch faces from the iPhone Watch app, tap the icon at the bottom for Face Gallery. Here you will find all the latest Apple Watch faces, as well as the faces that Apple has unveiled in the past. Swipe down and across the gallery and tap a face you like.
Depending on the face, you can usually customize it by changing the color and style. You can also add complications to display specific information such as the date, weather, calculator, altitude, heart rate, email, reminders, and voice memos. You can even add complications from third-party apps. When you’re done, tap the Add button to add it to your Apple Watch. The face you added will then appear in the My Faces list in the Watch app and on your Apple Watch itself (Image A†
You can also customize a face directly from the watch. To do this, press the face until it shrinks and an Edit button appears. Tap the Edit button. Turn the Digital Crown to choose a different color or style. Swipe the face to the left to see the Complications screen. Tap a specific complication, then turn the Digital Crown to change it (Figure B†
Simple Apple Watch Watch Faces
Certain Apple Watch faces offer visuals, animations, and other bells and whistles, but sometimes simplicity is best. If you’re just looking for a watch face that makes it easy to see the time at a glance, here are a few to consider.
The California face offers a clean look with a traditional analog time display with numbers in Arabic, Roman or other styles. The Simple style offers a clean, simple, analog display. And the Typograph style displays large numbers so you can easily see them.
But for a really basic Apple Watch watch face, the numbers represent a single bold number for the current time with three hands to indicate hours, minutes, and seconds. To set this up, scroll through the Face Gallery in the Watch app on your iPhone until you see the Face for Numbers. Choose the color and style you prefer. This face offers just one complication that you can customize to see today’s date, weather, reminders, or other information. When you’re done, tap Add to add it as your current Apple Watch face (Figure C†
Time zone faces
If you are dealing with colleagues, clients or other people around the world, it can certainly be helpful to know the time in different countries and regions.
The GMT dial displays your local time on the inside of the dial and the time for another zone on the outside of the dial. To set the different time zones, tap the watch face and turn the Digital Crown until you find the zone you want to view. Tap the check mark. Now the outer ring will show you the time in that region.
But watchOS 8 offers a face known as World Time, which can reveal the time in all 24 zones around the world.
First, make sure you’re running the latest version of watchOS. Then open the Face Gallery in your iPhone’s Watch app. The world time appears at the top of the screen under New Watches and at the bottom of the screen as part of the alphabetical list. Choose the color and style you want to apply to the face. You can also customize any of the four complications that appear on the four corners. Tap Add. The world time appears between your displayed Apple Watch faces.
The inner dial shows you the time in your current zone with an analog or digital display. The outer dial shows the time in every zone around the world in military or 24-hour time (Figure D†
You may need to see a lot of information, such as the weather, temperature, altitude, mail, reminders, or inventory activity. Or maybe you want to be able to use certain tools on the Apple Watch like the calculator, camera remote, compass, stopwatch, timer or voice recorder with ease. In those cases, you need an Apple Watch face that can display multiple details.
With the Count Up, GMT, Modular planes you can add up to five different complications. The California face can show seven different complications. But the Infograph face beat them all by allowing as many as eight different complications to complement the time and date.
From the Face Gallery in the phone app, swipe down to and tap the Infograph face. Choose your favorite color. Then tap each of the complications to select the information you want to see. Add the face. The various complications appear in the four corners of the face as well as in a series of small dials in the center (Figure E†
Sometimes you just need to relax from the daily grind. For that, you can look at faces that encourage you to relax.
The Breathe face provides quick access to the Breathe app, which allows you to inhale and exhale for a short time to calm yourself. The Artist face shows a soft drawing of a face, which you can tap to convert it into another image. And the face of Fire and Water shows a changing animated image of fire and water interacting to create a peaceful effect.
But one particularly relaxing Apple Watch sight is Kaleidoscope, which displays a series of slow-moving kaleidoscopic images that are soothing to look at. In the Face Gallery in the Watch app, tap the Kaleidoscope face. Choose the image you want to see. You can even add one of your own photos. Select a style and add complications if desired. Add the face and watch the image change when you need a break from the daily grind (Figure F†
Finally, to find Apple Watch faces and third-party Apple Watch face apps, open the App Store on your iPhone or directly on your Apple Watch. Search for the term “watch faces” and you’ll find several apps, some paid and some free, that offer their own faces for your Apple Watch.