How to Make Custom Watch Faces for Apple Watch

Part of what has made the Apple Watch so popular is the vast amount of customization options. From cases ranging from anodized aluminum to white ceramic and bands ranging from fluoroelastomer to 316L stainless steel, there’s a style out there for everybody. Watch faces are another customization option, and while Apple’s selection is seemingly endless, users are always looking for a way to truly customize theirs – to make something never before seen by anyone. Que apps and the photos face.

If you don’t want to take the Photoshop route (which I’ll discuss later), apps are a great option for customization as well. I’ve personally had great luck with apps like Mr. Time and iFaces. Mr. Time is free in the App Store!

Mr. Time takes your case and band colors into account so that the graphics on-screen will match flawlessly. You can select a design and further customize with color, text, and graphics, or start from scratch. When finished, you can either save your design or select categories and share with other users.

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iFaces is the only app I’ve found that has Live Photos faces. Even though you can’t create your own, they still have an awesome selection to choose from. I’m sure you won’t find many of those designs on other wrists.

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I’ll be using Photoshop, but something like paint.net or GIMP will do the job just fine, as all steps are similar regardless of the software.

First things first: use the appropriate dimensions when setting up your project based on your Watch case size.

  • 38mm – 272 x 340
  • 42mm – 312 x 390

Bear in mind that the display is Retina, so you’ll want to use as high of quality as possible for the best result. This goes for importing and exporting.

Set your project up with the dimensions defined above, and let’s get started. I’ll be using the densities for the 42mm model, as this matches my watches. Select the rectangle tool from your tool box, and either use a solid color or select a gradient. I selected the four-color gradient with white and grey.

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Drag the rectangle out to fill your project space. Make sure that the properties are as they should be and that the gradient colors are what you were expecting before placing it. To place, press the Enter or Return key.

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From here, you can export if you’d like, but I’m going to add a graphic.

Once I dragged it in, I realized that it was pixelated around the edges. Luckily, I have an easy fix.

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Place the image, and then right click on the layer and rasterize the object.

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Select the blur tool, max out the pixel size (so that it covers the entire project), and change the hardness to 5% or so. Click on your project a couple times to apply the blur. Change the hardness based on your result, and undo if needed.

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Once the blur is applied, you’re all set to export! If you like the one I created, feel free to save and use it.

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To get the face on your watch, AirDrop, email, drop the file in iCloud Drive, or use other means to get it onto your camera roll. Once on your iPhone, open the Watch app, select Photos, and select “All Photos” as your synced album.

On Apple Watch, open the Photos app, select the image, and force touch to select “Create Watch Face.”

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You can then force touch again to change the orientation of the time and date as well as add a watch face complication.

That’s it! Enjoy your custom-made watch face.

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