If you want a luxurious look for your Apple Watch, it's usually a pretty expensive endeavor — especially if you want to go for the official Apple Link Bracelet. While Apple's option guarantees you the quality of craftsmanship, it's also going to put a hole in your wallet to the tune of $350. Cheaper options are often priced much lower for a reason and don't offer the longevity of the real thing. Nomad seems to be tackling this problem with its new range of Titanium Bands for Apple Watch. At $179.95 in both silver and black, the Titanium series sits in the middle ground between Apple's high-end offering and the budget-friendly options on the market.
Price: $179.95Bottom line: While still not cheap, Nomad's Titanium Band is around half the price of Apple's Link Bracelet making it well worth considering for that premium look.
- Premium look and feel
- Fits 42mm and 44mm Apple Watch
- Adjusts to fit most wrist sizes
- Comfortable to wear
- Doesn't cost extra in black
- Fiddly to adjust size
- Still pricey
Nomad Titanium Band: What I like
You may already know Nomad from its range of quality iPhone and Apple Watch accessories. The company makes products to suit the high-end tastes of many Apple users, making use of premium materials like leather for its cases and straps, and braided nylon for its cables. For its newest Apple Watch band, Nomad has embraced Titanium for a luxurious look and feel akin to Apple's own stainless steel Link Bracelet.
From first unboxing the Nomad Titanium Band, you know it's going to be a premium experience. It's well-presented in its patterned box and the included sizing tool is stored in a fabric bag emblazoned with the Nomad logo.
The band itself looks awesome. The one I tested was the silver color but it is also available to match space gray Apple Watches. It matches my stainless steel Apple Watch case, as you might expect, but it actually has a slightly textured, matte finish that means it will work just as well with the aluminum Apple Watch models.
Once I had sized to fit (more on that later), my first impression wearing it was of the heft. Having worn Apple's own, and similarly heavy, Link Bracelet, this wasn't altogether unexpected. If you're coming from a Sport Band or Nylon Band, wearing this will be a whole different experience. The weight was not a negative for me and merely served to reinforce the impression of quality you get from a traditional, mechanical watch with a metal band.
Apple Watch bands are as much about fashion as they are about functionality, and I found Nomad's Titanium Band looked great and work well in almost all situations. It's smart enough for the office or a dressy occasion, but equally doesn't look out of place with a hoodie for day-to-day wear. I actually wore it to a gym class and swam with it as part of my testing. It was fine considering it was not designed for that, but the weight is probably prohibitive to that being a good idea — stick to the lighter, sportier bands for that.
I didn't experience any snagging of arm hair or discomfort from using the Titanium Band full-time for over a week either, which is not something that can be said for other metal bands on the market.
The Titanium Band fits both 42mm and 44mm Apple Watch models. Unfortunately for smaller Apple Watch wearers, there's no 38mm or 40mm option unlike there is with Apple's official version. But, also unlike Apple, Nomad doesn't charge a premium for the black version, which is nice.
Nomad Titanium Band: What I don't like
When I first tried on the Titanium Band, it was much too large so I proceeded to remove a few links to get it down to my wrist size. I soon found that I am somewhere between two sizes. If I remove one more link, it's too tight. If I add one back in, it's a little loose. Granted, this is a purely personal problem and your mileage may vary, but there are bound to be others that fall in the in-between. This issue is compounded by the fact it is fiddly to adjust the size so this is difficult to figure out — unlike the more expensive Apple band.
Speaking of difficult to size, the band does not have a Link Bracelet-style pop-in/pop-out link design. Instead, it is provided with a more traditional tool for removing the pins that hold each link in place. This is not overly difficult to do, but is a little tough to figure out, and certainly more time consuming than my experience with Apple's Link Bracelet. It's also more awkward to attach or remove than something like a two-piece Sport Band, but that is not unique to Nomad's product.
Another small issue I came across was a slight rattling sound when receiving a notification to my watch. This may be because I opted to wear it slightly loose rather than restrictively tight, but when my watch's Taptic Engine vibrates, so does the band. I use my Apple Watch on silent most of the time and the rattling was noticeable at times.
Nomad's band also uses a traditional security clasp design which is perfectly functional, although simply not as cool as Apple's fancy custom butterfly closure for its Link Bracelet. A small, classy Nomad logo adorns the clasp's exterior which is a nice touch.
Nomad Titanium Band: Bottom line
Nomad is known for producing quality accessories — and for good reason. The company's Titanium Band is another example of great design and craftmanship. It looks and feels premium and elevates your Apple Watch from a fitness tracker to something more akin to a dress watch of old. Sure, it's not quite as well-manufactured as Apple's Link Bracelet, and you'll spend longer adjusting it to get the right fit, but it is more than $150 cheaper so those niggling concerns only serve to justify the price differential to me. Outside of Apple's version, Nomad's Titanium Band is easily the best link-style bracelet for Apple Watch I have tried.
Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.