On Monday at its special event, Apple introduced a new set of nylon Apple Watch bands that we first reported earlier this year. The new straps come in both 38mm and 42mm versions with seven color options available. Officially called Woven Nylon, these bands which are paired with either aluminum and stainless steel models or sold separately mark the first time Apple has introduced new entry level strap options. Check out our hands-on below for our early impressions and more photos.
Apple describes the new nylon strap this way:
Every Woven Nylon band is made from over 500 threads woven together in a unique, colorful pattern. Monofilaments connect four layers of the weave to create a single durable band with a comfortable, fabric-like feel. Available in seven vibrant colors.
Those colors include gold/red, gold/royal blue, royal blue, pink, pearl, scuba blue, and black. Pictured above and throughout this hands-on is the 42mm Black Woven Nylon band. Both 38mm and 42mm Woven Nylon band options cost $49 from Apple. Apple Watch Sport (aluminum) with Woven Nylon band starts at $299, and Apple Watch (stainless steel) with Woven Nylon starts at $549.
We tried the Woven Nylon strap with the silver stainless steel Apple Watch and rose gold aluminum Apple Watch Sport to see how it looks and feels.
No major surprises on the packaging side, but it does label it the Nylon Band versus Woven Nylon as its called in marketing material.
The backside does include a label, however, which references it as Apple Watch 42MM Black Woven Nylon. Trivial detail but I found the discrepancy interesting.
The lugs, or connectors, on the Woven Nylon Apple Watch bands are made of plastic, a first for Apple’s bands, which color match the nylon material and not the Apple Watch in most cases.
Where other Apple Watch bands can look mismatched when using different lug material, Apple’s Woven Nylon lugs intentionally include contrast which can create a cool effect.
While its connectors are plastic, Woven Nylon’s buckle is 316L stainless steel in either glossy silver or matte space gray.
Inside the strap you’ll find a lighter side stamped with ’42MM’ and ‘WOVEN NYLON’ near the connectors.
And unlike the Sport bands — which include S/M, M/L, and L/XL sizes — each Woven Nylon box includes one size with twelve notches to fit to your wrist. Apple says the 38mm version fits 125–195mm wrists while the 42mm fits 145–215mm wrists.
Here’s the 42mm Woven Nylon compared to the 42mm S/M Sport for comparison.
And here’s a rear shot to compare the notches and how they align.
It’s more evident on the inner part of the band, but you’ll notice that the black Woven Nylon strap isn’t as dark as the all-black Sport band. The current color lineup is mostly vibrant aside from black, which still has a two-toned look between black and gray, but I hope to see solid color options in the future.
Before Apple’s March event, I tried out a third-party nylon strap for Apple Watch to get an idea of what using one might be like. Here you can see the differences including length, connector style, and loops.
Overall, the new Woven Nylon strap is a cool addition to the Apple Watch accessory lineup. It offers an alternative band option at the entry level $50 mark, and dramatically changes the style of Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport which is great for customization.
Personally, I’m not sure if the Woven Nylon bands are for me, at least in their current color choices, but that’s what personalization is all about. And if the Sport band material irritates your skin, then Woven Nylon is a comfortable alternative for the same price.
They offer a traditional watch band style with the $150 and up premium that Apple’s leather and stainless steel bands have. And just like Apple’s other band collections, I’m sure Woven Nylon will add more colors in the future.