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Nomad Aluminum Band review: I’ve never used an Apple Watch band like this

Apple Watch SE 44mm with Nomad Aluminum Band.
Nomad Aluminum Band
MSRP $199.95
“Nomad's Aluminum Band is a work of art that gives off elegance and brilliance with each minute detail.”
Pros
  • Comfortable fit
  • Elegant to look at
  • Extremely high-quality
  • Comes with an adjustment tool
  • Works with most Apple Watches
Cons
  • Slightly expensive

I’ve been an Apple Watch SE (1st generation) user since 2020. Since then, I’ve had a thing about trying all kinds of bands available for the device. I’ve bought and used more than a dozen straps for my 44mm Apple Watch SE – ranging from the Milanese loop to a wide variety of sport bands.

But I’ve always returned to the official white sport band that came with my watch because of the balanced comfort and style quotient. That changed after I got my hands on the Nomad Aluminum Band for Apple Watch.

Nomad Aluminum Band review: design

The Nomad website says the “Aluminum Band elevates the look and feel of your Apple Watch without weighing you down,” and this is the first time in my career that I’ve agreed with the marketing copy of a product. It is built from lightweight anodized aluminum, which makes it lighter than every other aluminum band I’ve tried on my smartwatch.

The Nomad Aluminum Band is covered by a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating, which makes it scratch-resistant, but if you happen to rub a sharp object on it, the band will get scratched – I’m speaking from experience.

Nomad’s Aluminum Band makes my Apple Watch look on par with — if not better than — my traditional analog watches.

As for the overall looks, the band raises the style quotient leaps and bounds over the usual sport bands. In social gatherings, I haven’t been asked about what Apple Watch band I’m wearing, but this strap has eye-catching capabilities. It was the talk of the night at one of the dinners I went to. It looks that good.

I never wear my Apple Watch SE with suits, but the new Nomad band helps me rock a smartwatch when I dress up – which is very unusual for an analog watch wearer like me. I prefer going with my Tissot or Casio with formal wear, but the Apple Watch with Nomad’s Aluminum Band makes it look on par with — if not better than — my traditional analog watches. It works just as well well with casual wear too. It goes with a T-shirt and jeans outfit and with winter jackets.

It is obviously not a sport band replacement if you are a sportsperson. While the Aluminum Band is water-resistant on the links and lugs, Nomad doesn’t recommend using it in water for extended periods of time. Doing so may degrade the strength of the magnetic clasp over time.

Nomad Aluminum Band review: fit and size

Nomad Aluminum Band packaging.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The best part is that it features a magnetic clasp, so I don’t have to fiddle with the fitting. To disengage the clasp, all you need to do is press the ribbed buttons. The matte texture on my silver band also matched amazingly well with my Apple Watch SE’s silver color and texture.

The Nomad Aluminum Band is comfortable to wear. But if you have hair on your arm, like me, then you might feel a bit of discomfort while unclasping it from your wrist. This is because it pulls a few hair strands every time you take off your Apple Watch.

Nomad Aluminum Band tool.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The worst part about aluminum and steel bands is that you need a professional to take out the band’s lugs to get the best fit. But that’s not the case with Nomad’s Aluminum Band. The company packs an adjustment tool in the box that helps you with the adjustable links and integrated lugs.

The Nomad Aluminum Band is comfortable to wear.

To get the right fit, you need to place the band in the adjustment tool, as shown in the above images. You need to align it so that the link’s pinhole is on the tool’s pin. Once done, you need to swirl the needle till the pin is dislodged from the link. You get extra pins in the box, in case you lose some. Putting back the pin is simple as well. You need to place it in the pinhole at one end and swirl the tool’s needle to push it back in place.

The whole thing took me about 20 minutes on the first and only try. It’s not an effortless process, but it is very easy to do.

Nomad Aluminum Band review: price and availability

Apple Watch SE with Nomad Aluminum Band on wrist.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The Nomad Aluminum Band is compatible with Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 8, 7, 6, SE, and all previous versions of the Apple Watch. It comes in two sizes — 45mm, and 49mm — but can be used with 49mm, 45mm, 44mm, and 42mm Apple Watch sizes. I have the 45mm one, and it fits well with my 44mm Watch SE.

The Nomad Aluminum Band costs $200. It is available on the Nomad website in two color options, Silver and Space Gray.

Nomad Aluminum Band review: verdict

Apple Watch SE 44mm with Nomad Aluminum Band.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

There’s no other way to put it: Nomad’s Aluminum Band is my favorite Apple Watch Band, and it is likely to remain on my wrist for a long time.

If you are looking for a strap that makes your Apple Watch look elegant and stylish at the same time, this is the way to go. It might seem costly, but it is worth the price tag. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Editors' Recommendations

Prakhar Khanna
Prakhar writes news, reviews and features for Digital Trends. He is an independent tech journalist who has been a part of the…
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