Strap Stories March 22, 2016

Apple isn’t the only strap maker expanding the Apple Watch band lineup with new leather colors this week. Nomad is introducing two new Strap colors for its leather Apple Watch bands: amber gray and rustic brown. The two new Nomad Straps join classic tan which debuted last fall, and all three Apple Watch bands come in 38mm and 42mm versions with either silver or black stainless steel lugs and buckles. Check out the new rugged Italian leather bands below:

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Strap Stories October 7, 2015

At some point, a high price alone can dull your interest in something that’s otherwise desirable. Many people feel this way about Apple’s leather Apple Watch bands, which start at a jacket-like price of $149, jump to $249, then hit even crazier prices (effectively $600 and up) for versions co-developed with Hermès. Leather isn’t rare or magical, and a wristband only uses inches of it, so it’s hard to justify spending a lot of cash for something so simple.

Third-party developers agree, as evidenced by X-Doria’s Lux ($50) and Nomad’s Strap ($120-$150). Lux is an alternative to Apple’s Classic Buckle at 1/3 the price, and Strap resembles the Apple Watch Hermès Single Tour at around 1/4 the price — actually less, since you don’t need to buy a steel Apple Watch just to get it. While they’re obviously not identical to Apple’s versions, X-Doria’s and Nomad’s designs are far more affordable, giving you a luxurious look and feel on any budget…

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Strap Stories October 5, 2015

If you haven’t yet found your perfect Apple Watch strap among the company’s own offerings or the numerous third-party options, Apple has today officially launched its partnership with French leather fashion company Hermès.

Uncompromising craftsmanship. Pioneering innovation. Groundbreaking functionality. Apple Watch Hermès is the culmination of a partnership based on parallel thinking, singular vision and mutual regard. It is a unique timepiece designed with both utility and beauty in mind. With leather straps handmade by Hermès artisans in France and an Hermès watch face reinterpreted by Apple designers in California, Apple Watch Hermès is a product of elegant, artful simplicity — the ultimate tool for modern life.

Splashing out between $1100 and $1500 gets you a special version of the stainless steel Watch, with Hermès branding on the back, a number of special watch faces and a choice of three leather straps. Color options depend on the strap, some with suitably exotic-sounding names …  expand full story

Strap Stories September 14, 2015

Perhaps best known for its excellent Stand for Apple Watch (reviewed here), Nomad Goods today unveiled Pod Pro — a more powerful sequel to its unique portable Pod charging dock for Apple Watch (reviewed here) — and Strap, a premium stitched leather strap similar to an Apple Watch Hermés band, but at a much more affordable price.

Pod Pro expands upon the Apple Watch-only Pod charging puck by boosting both power capacity and device compatibility. Now featuring a 6000mAh battery and an integrated Lightning cable, Pod Pro promises two full recharges of both an iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. Circular with a 98mm diameter, it winds an Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable underneath a space gray metal cap. It’s available for pre-order today at a discounted price of $79, going up to a regular price of $100 on October 15, and shipping October 30.

Strap uses impressively thick genuine Italian leather in only one size — 42mm — and one color, a handsome natural brown with beige contrast stitches. To match the color of your Apple Watch, you can choose from silver or PVD-treated space gray buckles, each made from stainless steel. It’s available for pre-order today at a reduced price of $119, with a full retail price of $150 starting on September 30. Strap ships on October 15. More pictures are below…

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Strap Stories September 28, 2014

Indiana Jones meets bike messenger meets business briefcase is how I’d describe Intrepid’s $369 Journeyman messenger bag. My carrying case of choice over the past 3 months has been this hybrid satchel/briefcase that you carry like a messenger bag comfortably on your back with a big strap holding it up firmly but comfortably across your chest… expand full story

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