Nomad is a company that creates useful accessories built around rugged simplicity, and in the past it has released iPhone cases, Lightning cables, and Apple Watch straps.
This year, Nomad launched its first metal strap for the Apple Watch, called the Titanium Band, a full-metal link bracelet built with over twenty titanium links and a set of custom lugs, designed for the 44mm Apple Watch Series 4 and the older generation 42mm models.
Similar in design to other metal link bracelets for Apple Watch — including Apple’s own accessory — Nomad’s Titanium Band has a series of metal links connected by a slim clasp system that snaps closed around your wrist. The Titanium Band comes in both Silver and Black, to match both metal finishes available for the Apple Watch Series 4.
To adjust the fit, the accessory has up to ten removable links that lets you customize the band length so that it can fit any wrist, according to Nomad. On the clasp, which sits under your wrist, there is a small and unobtrusive Nomad logo, and the lugs on the band are designed like most other third-party Apple Watch bands, built to slide easily into the Apple Watch case.
The Titanium Band ships at the largest size, so most people will have to go through the size adjustment process before they’re able to wear the band. I found this process to be lengthier and a bit more troublesome than I was expecting, and definitely not as simple as Apple’s Link Bracelet.
Nomad provides you with a link removal tool, which is a small metal device with a screw system that pushes out links in the band. To start, you have to adjust the bottom part of the tool so that the Titanium Band will be at the right height, allowing the tool’s needle to slide into one of the links on the band.
Then, you place the Titanium Band on this round platform and align one of the link holes on the band with the needle. Once aligned, you turn the big screw on the tool to push the link in the band out the other end, and continue doing that until you have a few links removed.
Once you have a size you think could fit your wrist, you’ll have to reattach the segmented band. To do this, you line up the two sides of the band and re-insert one of the removed pins back into the pin hole. You can only insert the pin so far manually, so you must place the band back on the tool and align the protruding pin with the tool’s needle, twisting the screw so that the needle head hits directly onto the pin until it slots back into the Titanium Band.
From this point, you can try on the Titanium Band and make sure it fits. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to remove more links and repeat the process. For me, it took upwards of 30 minutes to finally find the size that fit well on my wrist, and after much trial-and-error with the link removal tool.
As a point of comparison, Apple’s removal process is a simple button-based system that requires you to press down on specific links to remove them, without the need of an external tool. Nomad’s solution is noticeably lengthier and more arduous, and it definitely offset the initial excitement I had of getting a new Apple Watch band.
Thankfully, this is a one-time process and in the weeks since I adjusted it Nomad’s Titanium Band has been one of my favorite Apple Watch bands to wear. The metal band has notable heft to it, but feels light on my wrist and once I had the right size, it sat super comfortably throughout the day and never moved up or down my wrist.
The process of putting it on and taking it off is easy thanks to the band’s clasp system, which folds together and snaps shut to put on, and opens easily by pressing two small buttons on each side to remove it. When putting the Titanium Band on I would occasionally pinch myself as the two ends of clasps came down together too close to my skin, but over time the process became a bit smoother.
I tend to prefer keeping workout-friendly bands on my Apple Watch, since the process of taking bands off and on every day can get a bit cumbersome. Just to test it out, I decided to wear Nomad’s Titanium Band during a few workouts, and I came away largely impressed. Although I’d still prefer to wear a Sport Loop, Nomad’s metal band never felt heavy or distracting during my workouts, and although it was a bit wet afterwards the metal dried quickly and hasn’t been stained in any way.
Although I haven’t exactly banged or hit the Titanium Band against many other surfaces over the past few weeks, I can also say that it appears to be largely scratch-free under pretty solid daily wear. One potential worry is that the lugs that connect the Nomad band to the Apple Watch case do have a little bit of wiggle room even when they’re secured, lacking the satisfying fit of a first party Apple band.
Still, I’ve never worried about the Titanium Band unlatching, and it’s a breeze to remove it from the case when you want to swap out for a different band, which is not something I can say for all third-party link bracelets I’ve used over the years.
Nomad’s Titanium Band is a quality, good-looking Apple Watch accessory that’s comfortable to wear and has a more reasonable price tag compared to Apple’s Link Bracelet. At $179.95 for Nomad’s watch band, you’ll be saving about $170 when compared to Apple’s $349.00 Link Bracelet.
The downside of this trade off means that you’ll also be spending more time adjusting the size of Nomad’s Titanium Band, a process that is streamlined and far easier with Apple’s option. But once this slightly annoying process is completed, the Nomad band is a sleek accessory that pairs nicely with any 42mm or 44mm stainless steel Apple Watch.
How to Buy
You can head to Nomad’s website to purchase the Titanium Band for $179.95.
This article, “Review: Nomad’s Titanium Band for Apple Watch is a Stylish and Cheaper Alternative to Apple’s Link Bracelet” first appeared on MacRumors.com