Premium fashion outfit Hermès has today unveiled a swath of leather watch bands for the Apple Watch Series 9, less than 24 hours after Apple announced it was ending the use of leather in its own accessories for the wearable.
The Apple Watch Series 9 got a new chip and some nice new colors, but a massive emphasis was placed on the sustainability and carbon neutrality of the new Apple Watch. To that end, Apple has confirmed it plans to stop selling leather accessories immediately, including its premium leather watch bands and those from its watch partner Hermès.
Apple offers a series of new Hermès bands for the Series 9, but no leather options, understandably.
Well this is awkward — iMore's take
While Hermès is well within its rights to continue offering premium watch bands in its signature material, the rolling out of these bands so soon after Apple's announcement does make the commitment to green-friendly practices ring a tad hollow — at least from Hermès itself. Not least because during the event, Apple hailed its partnership with Hermès and their joint efforts to come up with some cool alternative textile options that don't use leather.
It wasn't explicitly stated, but your average user could be forgiven for thinking that leather Hermès bands weren't on the cards this year. The announcement was closely followed by a look at Nike, who are making some incredible new sport bands with flakes of recycled material, and a sport loop with repurposed yarn.
On reflection, it was probably naive to assume Hermès might be done with leather on this year's Apple Watch, given the brand's design heritage with the material. But it doesn't detract from the fact that this is definitely a surprising, and slightly tone-deaf, announcement, and one that ultimately detracts from the positive message shared in last night's keynote.
Hermès is selling not only individual watch straps but also the exclusive Hermès models on its site as well, the cheapest of which is an eye-watering $1,249. If that's too much for you, pre-orders for the standard SE start at $399 and are available now, ahead of their launch on September 22. Fair play to Apple for convincing Hermès to try sustainable materials in at least some of its designs — but the companies' partnership now feels at odds with each other's ultimate goal.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9
Did anyone have a doubtReply
Mother Nature will not be happy!Reply
FFR said:Did anyone have a doubt
Nope. In fact it was quite predictable...:)
But where are the swath of new Hermes leather watch bands? When I look on the Hermes website, I see just the same old leather bands that they have always had plus a bunch new textile ones along with the new textile bands on Apple’s website. I must be missing something?Reply
scruffypig said:But where are the swath of new Hermes leather watch bands? When I look on the Hermes website, I see just the same old leather bands that they have always had plus a bunch new textile ones along with the new textile bands on Apple’s website. I must be missing something?
Not many new ones in the fall, usually the new colors come in the spring.
These are the new one I found.