While several people have been focusing on the latest iPhone 15 and 15 Pro models, I was able to get a first look at some of Apple’s newest watch bands for this season.
As you may know, making products and accessories that are eco-friendly has been really important for Apple for years, and this huge step towards its carbon-neutral goal gives Apple the opportunity to rethink its manufacturing process. We’ll be taking a look at three new watch bands that I got on launch day: Sport Loop, Nike Sport Loop, and Nike Sport Band.
But first, let’s discuss the overall packaging for these new watch bands. As you can see, the volume of the package for these new watch bands is significantly smaller than for previous watch bands. When comparing the previous and current packages’ dimensions, both the width and thickness are roughly the same, but the width is much shorter for the current package design. This is a good move as it allows Apple to ship even more packages for each shipment.
The way to open the package has also been changed. Just like with the watch bands for the Ultra from last year, the pull tab is now relocated along the bottom of the package instead of the side of the package. When you remove the tab, the package opens up like an envelope, and you’ll be greeted with how to install the watch band and see both the band and the additional info sheet. One nice bonus for the Nike watch bands is that the package also includes an App Clip that lets you install the latest Nike Globe face in watchOS 10 with a color background that matches the watch band you choose. I didn’t order a Hermès band this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple also included App Clips to the new Hermès Radial face for those new bands. What you may notice is that there’s no more plastic on the package as the pull tab is now made out of paper, and there aren’t any plastic tabs that let you pull the watch band from its paper container.
Let’s take a look at the back of the boxes. If you order the Sport Loop, you’ll see a carbon-neutral logo and label that indicates that this product is carbon-neutral. For this season’s Nike watch bands, you’ll see a label saying that those watch bands were produced using excess material. This additional attention to detail lets customers know that they’re buying a watch band that’s more friendly to the environment and that users can learn more about Apple’s environmental goals by going to apple.com/2030 or apple.com/apple-watch-nike.
Let’s dive into each of the watch bands starting with the Sport Loop. Not much has changed for this watch band design-wise, but you’ll see that both the lugs and the fastener are in different colors that contrast the overall band’s colors. The overall design is quite minimalistic as both the band and its edges are in just one color with no stripes or two-toned colors.
As a carbon-neutral band, it reuses the material from discarded fishing nets to make the double-layer nylon weave for this band, so this band is made with 100% recycled nylon, 100% recycled polyester, and 100% recycled spandex, according to Apple.
Nike Sport Loop
For the Nike Sport Loop, this is where Apple and Nike made even more design changes that set this band apart from the regular Sport Loops. For starters, gone is the plastic fastener on the end of the band. In place of that is a Nike-branded pull tag attached to a woven end that makes putting on or taking off the watch easier. Additionally, you’ll see stitching that surrounds the “hook” area that encloses the loop for a secure fit. You’ll also see a zig-zag design that’s woven around one of the lugs.
Finally, you’ll see several stripes of different colors along the band that was produced from the yarn in previous seasonal bands. It even reminds me of the previous year’s design scheme for the regular Sport Loops. This move to recycling excess material will help Apple to produce less waste overall.
Nike Sport Band
If you were to ask what’s my favorite watch band from Apple, it will almost certainly be the Nike Sport Band. Its perforated fluoroelastomer design not only looks great for everyday occasions, but it also allows the skin underneath the band to breathe and let the moisture go out when you’re working out or swimming.
This time, Apple and Nike are changing the production process for this band in a more eco-friendly way. This season’s collection of Nike Sport Bands now features flakes that contain at least 66% recycled fluoroelastomer. This usage of flakes not only reduces waste from excess materials but also gives the Nike Sport Bands a fresher new style. What makes the Nike Sport Bands stand out even more than the regular Sport Bands is that the randomized pattern of flakes on those bands makes each band unique. This is certainly a welcoming design detail that I really appreciate as we’ve never seen a wide array of multiple colors on any Sport Band that you could get with the regular Sport Bands where they come in only one color (except for the special edition ones such as the Pride Edition and Black Unity).
Did I mention that the material for the pin has also been changed? That’s right, this season’s Nike Sport Bands replace the traditional stainless steel in favor of a more recyclable aluminum pin that provides a brilliant, matte finish. I especially like the Pure Platinum (shown here) the most as it’s a really fun style with all of these flakes from the colors of the rainbow on a more neutral light-gray band. This is the band that I’ll certainly keep along with the Nike Sport Loop in Game Royal/Orange.
If you want to buy a brand-new watch band from Apple for this season, you can’t go wrong with any of the bands mentioned here. However, if you want your band to stand out a bit more, I’d highly recommend you get the Nike Sport Band as it’s not only lightweight and comfortable but also the flakes make each band unique like your fingerprint, providing you with a more personalized style than ever before.
You can even go to the Apple Watch Studio on Apple’s website to see what many of the case/band combinations will look like. If you already own an Apple Watch, you can buy the bands separately, of course. From my experience, most (if not all) of the watch bands will look great with a watch case that’s in a neutral finish such as the silver aluminum or even the natural titanium on the Ultra. If you own a (PRODUCT)RED Apple Watch like I do, chances are you won’t find many band selections that will look good with that watch. Of course, that depends on your personal taste, but even then, I’m sure you’ll find a new watch band that looks great with your existing Apple Watch.
These watch bands shown here are available to order today as well as the rest of the watch bands that were refreshed last week (except for the Magnetic Link). What do you think about these new watch bands? Will you be buying any of the new watch bands? Let us know in the comments below, and follow us on X at @Appleosophy.