Apple has previously partnered with designer brand Hermes for a set of premium Apple Watch bands, sold separately from $340 per strap. It now appears that a second high-profile fashion designer, Coach, is coming on board with its own range of Apple Watch bands.
David Boglin De Bautista reports a sales associate in a Coach boutique told him about the upcoming collection, set to debut as early as June. The sales representative sent photos of the as-yet-unreleased bands (shown above), priced at $150 each.
Coach is best known for its designer range of satchels and bags. The pictured Apple Watch bands appear to reflect its spring bag collection with similar decorations and charms, according to the website. Some colors also feature custom stitching patterns.
Whether Coach is developing these bands independently or in collaboration with Apple is not clear but some form of partnership seems likely given Coach’s high profile status in the fashion world.
The reporter saw ‘about eight watch bands’ in total made by Coach, in white, black, red and brown. A common theme appeared to be little flower charms attached to the bands. A black band with white stitching was anecdotally noted in the store but the sales associate only provided photos of a couple of colors.
9to5Mac has previously reported that Apple was working with fashion brands to create more premium bands like the Hermes collection although the company did not unveil anything from third-parties at its March event (but it did release several new bands of its own).
Unlike Hermes, the Coach bands do not appear to come with a custom watch face. This also suggests they will only be sold as third-party accessories — not bundled as watch + band models in the Apple Store, like the Hermes offerings before recently becoming available separately as well. At $150 per band, they are cheaper than the Hermes range but still pricey. Expect knockoff clones of Coach Apple Watch bands to hit Amazon at way cheaper prices after launch.
With the report claiming these Coach bands are set to debut around June, it is possible Apple could announce these at WWDC, its annual developer conference schedule for June 13-17. There’s also a chance that the timing could simply be coincidental.