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The best Apple Watch faces for busy professionals

Posted by Elizabeth Sullivan on

No matter your needs, you'll find different Apple Watch faces that can help you during an average workday.

Apple Watch owners can choose from a variety of faces, ones that are built into the Watch app as well as ones that are available from third parties. Choosing the right face depends not only on your personal tastes but on your professional life.

To help with your business tasks and related activities, a watch face that delivers 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 such as California, Simple, or Typograph. If you deal with people and projects around the world, the GMT face displays the time in different zones.

If you need to see different types of information or tap into various watch tools, the Infograph and Modular faces allow you to add a range of data. And if you need an occasional stress break, the Breathe face can aid you with a minute of deep breathing.

With the new watchOS 7, Apple opened up its smartwatch to support faces from third parties. That means you can now download apps from the App Store that offer galleries of different faces. To get watchOS 7, open the Watch app on your iPhone, select General, and then Software Update. The app will either tell you that your software is up to date or it will prompt you to download and install the latest update. Note that watchOS 7 requires an Apple Watch Series 3 or higher.

o add a face to your watch from the iPhone Watch app, tap the icon at the bottom for Face Gallery. Here, you'll find all of the latest watch faces as well as those 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 tweak it by changing the color and style. You can also add complications to display specific pieces of information such as the date, weather, calculator, elevation, heart rate, mail, reminders, voice memos, and more. With watchOS 7, you can now add complications from third-party apps as well. When you're done, tap the Add button to add it to your watch. The face you added then appears in the My Faces list in the Watch app and on your watch itself (Figure A).

You can also customize a face directly from the watch. To do this, press down on the face until it shrinks in size 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 on a specific complication and then turn the Digital Crown to change it.

Simple watch faces

Certain watch faces offer visuals, animations, and other bells and whistles. But sometimes simplicity is best. If you're looking just for a watch face where you can easily see the time at a glance, here are a few to consider (Figure B).

California. The California face provides a clean look with a traditional analog time display with numerals in Arabic, Roman, or other styles. You can choose the color and shape, and with a circular shape you can change or eliminate the complications.

Simple. For sheer simplicity, there's a watch face known as Simple, which offers another clean analog display. You can change the color and the style and modify any of the complications.

Typograph. This analog watch face displays the numerals in a large size so you can easily see them. You can choose a specific color, dial, and style. And there's only one complication that you'd need to configure.

Time zone faces

If you deal with colleagues, customers, or other people around the world, knowing the time in different countries and regions can certainly be helpful (Figure C).

GMT. New with watchOS 7, the GMT face displays your local time in the inner part of the dial and the time for a different zone in the outer part of the dial. To set the different time zone, tap the watch face and turn the Digital Crown until you find the zone you want to view. Tap the checkmark. Now the outer ring will show you the time in that region.

Add World Clock to any face. You can also set up any watch face with the right complications to display the time in multiple zones. First, open the World Clock app on your watch (the icon looks like a globe). Swipe down the main screen and tap the button to Add City. Then speak or enter the name of the city you want to track. You can add multiple cities this way.

Next, choose a watch face that supports multiple complications such as California, Count Up, or GMT. Select that face to get to the customization screen. Tap the entry for the first complication. Swipe down the list of complications to the World Clock section. Tap the name of the city you want to see. Repeat this process for all the cities for which you want to see the time, adding each one as a different complication.

Busy watch faces

Maybe you need to see a lot of information such as the weather, temperature, elevation, mail, reminders, or stock activity. Or perhaps you want to be able to easily use certain tools on the watch such as the calculator, camera remote, compass, stop watch, timer, or voice recorder. In those cases, you need a watch face that can display multiple details (Figure D).

Infograph. With this watch face, you can add and view a whopping eight different complications to supplement the time and date. So you can add necessary pieces of information as well as useful tools.

Infograph Modular. This face lets you add up to five different complications.

Modular. This one also lets you add up to five complications.

Relaxing faces

Sometimes you just need to unwind from the daily grind. For that, you can turn to watch faces that encourage you to relax (Figure E).

Breathe. This watch face offers quick access to the Breathe app, which helps you breathe in and out for a short duration as a way to calm yourself. Just tap the watch face to start your deep breathing session.

Artist. This is a simple watch face with no complications or messy details other than the current time. The face displays a drawing of a face. Tap the face, and it will transform into a slightly different image. The transition from one image to another can be mesmerizing in its simplicity and a great way to lull you into a calm state.

Kaleidoscope. Here's another simple but relaxing watch face. As you turn the Digital Crown, the face changes through a series of kaleidoscopic images that can be soothing to watch. You can even add your own photo to use for the kaleidoscope.

Finally, to find watch faces and watch face apps from third parties, open the App Store, either on your iPhone or directly on your 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 watch.