Nearly one month following the start of Apple Watch and Apple Watch band pre orders, Apple has begun preparing to ship the first orders of standalone Link Bracelets, according to multiple 9to5 readers. These $449 Link Bracelets are separate from orders of the Apple Watch with Link Bracelet, in both the standard silver and Space Black combinations, which do not appear to have begun preparing to ship as of yet. Apple explains the Link Bracelet’s design on its website:
Crafted from the same 316L stainless steel alloy as the case, the Link Bracelet has more than 100 components. The machining process is so precise, it takes nearly nine hours to cut the links for a single strap. In part that’s because they aren’t simply a uniform size, but subtly increase in width as they approach the case. Once assembled, the links are brushed by hand to ensure that the texture follows the contours of the design. The custom butterfly closure folds neatly within the bracelet. And several links feature a simple release button, so you can add and remove links without any special tools.
The first Apple Watch with Link Bracelet orders currently sit in a shipping window between May 13 and May 27, and customers of those models should expect credit card charges and shipment alerts over the course of the next week. It is notable that Apple is only now shipping Apple Watch Link Bracelet accessories weeks after many press review units included the most expensive Apple Watch band. Charges and shipment alerts for the standalone Leather Loop band are also starting to trickle out. Thanks, Mark and everyone who sent this in!