You’ve decided to treat yourself to an Apple Watch, so why not treat it to a new band. After all, the choice of bands and the way they are easily swapped is one of the joys of Apple Watch ownership, but don’t just choose any old strap. Instead, take a good look at Nomad’s new Titanium Band and Steel Band, because they’re two of the most attractive, well-made, and most desirable bands I’ve tried in a long time.
There are two different versions of Nomad’s new band. The Titanium Band comes in black or silver and is, as the name suggests, made from titanium. It has been covered in a Diamond-like Carbon (DLC) coating for increased toughness and a beautifully high-quality finish, and the brushed texture means the bands perfectly match the finish on a Titanium Apple Watch.
The Steel Band is made from 316L stainless steel and also has a DLC coating, and comes in a spectacular graphite finish or a silver color. Again, these have been matched to the look of the stainless steel Apple Watch. Each band has a new magnetic clasp, rather than the butterfly-style clasp on the old metal Nomad Apple Watch bands, plus an oleophobic coating to resist messy fingerprints. In the box you’ll find a special tool to adjust the size of the band, so you won’t have to visit a specialist.
Let’s talk about price before going further. What you’re getting are bands that have been specifically made to complement the most expensive titanium or stainless steel Apple Watch models, engineered to a high standard and from the same materials, and the price reflects this. The Titanium Band costs $250, and the Steel Band is $150. Although expensive, they are still a lot cheaper than Apple’s stainless steel bands, which cost $350, or $450 if you want one with a DLC coating.
Design and fit
Nomad’s new Apple Watch bands are absolutely stunning. The lugs — which are made from 316L stainless steel on both versions — aren’t just basic third-party versions, they have a modern design that is well proportioned, doesn’t leave ugly gaps between the case and band, and is attached to a trio of links which taper subtly into the rest of the band. Each ends in the new magnetic clasp.
I was a little concerned about this, as leaving the safety of my watch to a magnet didn’t fill me with confidence, however, my fears were unjustified. While a magnet keeps the band held in place, there are still two “teeth” on either side of it to lock the band together. It means you have to press two buttons on either side of the clasp in order to unlock it, and that it won’t accidentally come undone.
You’re looking at the black Titanium Band and the graphite Steel Band in the photos. They don’t do enough justice to the look of the graphite Steel Band, which has a wonderfully reflective, classy finish without becoming distractingly mirror-like. The black Titanium Band is much less reflective but is a little lighter than the Steel Band.
Nomad has included an adjustment tool in the box. With a turn of the screw, it pushes the pin out from each link, ready to remove however many you need to make it fit. Each is a generous length to start out with and I needed to remove three or four links from each to fit my 6.5-inch wrist. The tool itself is solid and comes with accessories to help push the pins back into the links when you’re reassembling.
Although Nomad says there isn’t a right or wrong side to push the pins out, I found one side worked better than the other, and also that some pins are easier to remove than others. Some practically refused to come out at all. This aside, it’s not difficult to adjust the bands, and it took me about 20 minutes to do both.
Comfort and colors
The magnetic clasp takes just a second to do up, and once each band is on they’re very comfortable. Neither are heavy, but the titanium version is warmer than the stainless steel model, which has that cool-metal feel against your skin. I love the way both look and feel, but the eye-catching graphite stainless steel version is the real looker here. It’s gorgeous. Both bands did catch the hair on my arm a little, but mostly immediately after putting them on, and once settled they appear to be fine.
However, before choosing which one to buy, consider the color and material of your Apple Watch. The bands fit all 42mm or 44mm models but don’t match all the available colors. I have a blue Apple Watch Series 6 and neither band suited it at all, but the black titanium version looks great with my gold Apple Watch SE. Match either with a black, space grey, or stainless steel Apple Watch and you’ll be set. I especially liked how the graphite stainless steel strap added some visual punch to my rather muted space grey Apple Watch Series 5.
Provided your Apple Watch is in a complementary color, the Nomad Titanium Band or Steel Band is an excellent choice. If it’s not, these bands are so nice it may be worth changing your Apple Watch to a different color just so you can get one. The new Nomad Apple Watch bands are available to buy from Nomad’s online store now.
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