Apple Watch could get the iPhone 15 treatment as popular accessory set to be axed

A picture of an Apple Watch with a Hermes leather band
(Image credit: Apple)

With the iPhone 15 and brand new Apple Watches just days away from launch, a new leak from a top insider has revealed that Apple could get rid of its popular leather watch bands in favor of more eco-friendly materials. One of the most luxurious accessories you can get for the device, it helps make the wearable feel closer to a traditional wristwatch, but that could all be about to change. 

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is expected to move away from leather on its Apple Watch bands, just like it's ditching leather cases for iPhone 15. While Gurman didn't specify how this might affect Apple's partnership with premium leather brand Hermes, he assumes it likely won't have any impact. Gurman did however note that Apple is flogging Hermes bands to its staff at up to 90% discount, possibly indicating the company is clearing out stock.

A very premium product

With rumors that the iPhone 15 won’t be getting a leather case this year, this seems to suggest a refocus of resources when it comes to Apple leather accessories. 

Some of the leather Apple Watch bands are sold out on the Apple site,  such as the 41mm Azure Modern Buckle in all colors. Though the Apple Watch Hermes Leather Single Tour was also sold out recently, it is currently back in stock on the site for its original price. This has been previously claimed as a sign that Apple is stopping production of Hermès bands but on-site stock naturally fluctuates throughout the year and can be an indication of many different market trends and consumer practices. 

The next Apple Event will take place on September 12 and the Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to go on sale a week or so after the event. Given the current range of bands, if Apple is choosing to discontinue its range of leather bands, now would make the most sense in terms of timing as they can introduce new bands alongside the Series 9. 

Taking that into consideration, the Apple Watch X, the highly rumored tenth Apple Series Watch expected next year, is currently anticipated to have a new magnetic band system so clearing out current Apple Watch bands in anticipation of the change could be a smart move for the company. We’ll have to wait until the Apple Event to find out the full story. 

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.