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Review: Nomad’s Strap for the Apple Watch is made with rugged and classic leather

Review: Nomad’s Strap for the Apple Watch is made with rugged and classic leather

October 22, 2015

Company: Nomad
Product: Strap for Apple Watch
Price: $119.99
Compatibility: 42mm Apple Watch
Date: Oct. 22, 2015

The Product

Since my Apple Watch arrived in late April, I haven’t exactly been the adventurous type when it comes to the different strap options available from Apple and a number of other companies. My aluminum Apple Watch Sport came with the neon green band, and I purchased a more conservative black version when it was first available.

I’ve always wanted a leather option to add to my strap collection, but I was never a big fan of Apple’s bland Leather Loop or Classic Buckle. And I don’t exactly have the cash to purchase one of the new Apple Watch Hermes options. But accessory maker Nomad recently announced an interesting new choice.


When new, the strap is light brown in color.

The company is well versed creating accessories for the watch. Along with a very nice charging stand option, Nomad’s Pod and Pod Pro are designed to be a portable battery pack for the watch and other USB-based devices.

Simply called Strap for Apple Watch, Nomad’s creation definitely stands out compared to other leather options. The most important difference is that it is made from raw, unprocessed, and unsealed leather from an Italian tannery. When my strap arrived in a beautiful and high-quality presentation box, the leather was light brown and was very soft to the touch, almost suede like.


After a few weeks, the strap develops its own unique patina.

After wearing the strap for a few weeks, as you can see, it has turned a darker brown and developed its own unique patina, complete with scuffs and other wear marks. While the outside of the band is made with the raw material, the backside is made with a more traditional black leather. The band was somewhat stiff when I was first wearing it, but with time it has definitely broken in and now feels wonderful.

Along with the leather, it’s obvious that Nomad put a lot of thought into designing a high-quality strap that should definitely stand the test of time. While it’s only available for the 42mm Apple Watch, you can select from a strap that offers space gray or silver hardware. The buckle has a durable feel to it while the lugs have also held up extremely well for me – much better than a previous knockoff version that I purchased from Amazon that literally fell apart right after removing it from the box.

Nomad also says the hardware is made with scratch-resistant material. And even though I’m definitely rough on my straps, everything still looks great and without the slightest wear mark.


You can select from a strap with silver or space gray hardware.

Just to note, for aluminum Apple Watch Sport owners, the version of the strap with silver hardware doesn’t exactly match the watch’s body. That didn’t bother me at all, but I know it could affect some potential buyers.

Along with reinforced eyes, a nice two-tone stitching helps bring even more character to the band. While Nomad doesn’t recommend that you ever fully submerge the band in water, you can clean it off with a damp cloth.

The band will officially start shipping in mid-November. And while it will retail for a price of $149.99, you can preorder it now for $30 less. That’s a small price to pay for a wonderful and unique strap. I’ve been wearing mine since I received it a few weeks ago, and I don’t plan on taking it off anytime soon. It’s highly recommended if you’re looking for a quality watch band that stands out from the pack.

What’s Hot

  • Made with beautiful, unprocessed leather that will age and develop a patina with time and use.
  • Designed to last with nice touches like reinforced eyes and heavy duty, two-tone stitching.
  • Truly feels like a leather watch band – thick and substantial with true character.

What’s Not

  • The natural and worn-in leather look might not be for everyone.
  • No lug options to match the aluminum Apple Watch Sport.


Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★★★
Wow Factor: ★★★★☆
Build Quality: ★★★★★
Value: ★★★★☆

Preorder: $119.99, Nomad. Will begin shipping on Nov. 15, and the price will then jump to $149.99. You can select from a strap with silver or space gray hardware.

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