How to Make Custom Watch Faces for Apple Watch

Facer Watch Cover

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. Here are several ways to get (or make your own) custom watch faces for Apple Watch.

Use Apps to Your Advantage

One of the new features introduced in watchOS 7 is Face Sharing. This feature makes it easy to import and add pre-customized faces for your Apple Watch. We’ll be using this feature through a third-party app to add customized watch faces.

One app we’ll be using today is Facer. Facer is an online community where users can create and share their own customized watch faces. The app is free to use and the faces created by community members are free to download.

To get started, download the Facer app on your iPhone. You can browse different watch faces in the app, search for a specific one, and see what’s trending.

Facer Watch Faces

Once you find one that you like, simply tap on it. You’ll then see a larger preview of the watch face here.

Tap the Add button logo next to the watch face:

Facer Watch Faces Add Face Watch App

This will automatically open the watch face in the Watch app on your iPhone. If the watch face features complications from apps you don’t have installed, the Watch face will let you know upfront. Tap on the “Continue” button.

Similarly, some complications may require installing new apps to your iPhone / Apple Watch. You can choose to directly install them from within the Watch app or skip installing them. If you skip them, the complication will show an empty space instead. If you want to install it, tap on the “Get” button which will allow you to install it directly from the app (without having to access the App Store.)

Once the entire process is done, tap on the “Add to My Faces” button.

Facer Watch Faces Add Face Watch App

You’ll now see your added watch face at the end of your “My Faces” section. As its the most recently added watch face, your Apple Watch should automatically switch to it as well.

Facer Watch New Watch Face

To customize the watch face even further, press and hold on it on your Watch to add / change complications and more.

Another app that you can use to customize Faces is Mr. Time.

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.

apple-watch-custom-mr-time-maker

Use Image Editing Software

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
  • 40mm – 324 x 394
  • 42mm – 312 x 394
  • 44mm – 368 x 448

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 dimensions for the 42mm model, as this matches my watch. 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.

aw_custom_rectangle_tool_gradient

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.

aw_custom_gradient_apply

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.

aw_custom_everest

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

aw_custom_everest_rasterize

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.

aw_custom_blur_tool

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.

aw_custom_everest_face

Getting a Face on Your Watch

To get the face on your watch, AirDrop, email, drop the file in iCloud Drive, or use other means to add it to 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.”

aw_custom_create

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

There are tons of customization options for Apple Watch. Other than adding custom watch faces, you can also make use of Siri to carry out most functions.

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Shujaa Imran Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier's resident Mac tutorial writer. He's currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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