One of the things we like about the Apple Watch, is how easy it is to change the look of the watch by simply changing the watch face and the watch band. Regardless of your mood, the folks at NOMAD have a new watch band that adds a touch of elegance to any watch face.
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NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch – Unboxing
Back in 2019, we introduced you to the NOMAD Titanium Band for Apple Watch (read our review here). It quickly became one of our favorite watch bands because of its excellent fit and comfort. Whether dress or casual, it always seems to be right for the occasion.
The new NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch has many of the same characteristics of its older sibling and adds to it.
In typical NOMAD fashion, the packaging is almost as nice as the contents.
Upon unfolding the cover of the box, you will find the NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch and a heavy duty, all-metal resizing tool. Removing the two halves of the watch band, and the foam fitted holder reveals some hidden secrets.
The full contents of the box includes the watch band, the resizing tool, a box with spare pins used to attach the links of the band and some resizing tool accessories. The cardboard used to cover the contents in the box also has detailed pictures for how to resize the watch band.
NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch – Specifications and Overview
The NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch provided to us was a 44mm/42mm band in the Graphite color.
The band is made of 316L Stainless Steel. It is sometimes referred to a A4 or Marine Grade Stainless Steel. It is extremely durable and resists corrosion thanks to its chemical properties.
Other metal watch bands we have tested, all had a continuous clasp design. That means that you would open the clasp to make is wide enough to slip over your hand. Sometimes, even wide open, you might have difficulty taking the band off or on. The NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch takes a different approach.
The NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch has a magnetic clasp that allows you to completely open the watch band. Beyond that, NOMAD used two magnets, one in each section, rather than just using a magnet on one end and a magnetic surface of the other. They also used a positive locking mechanism to secure the clasp, once the band is on your wrist.
Closing the buckle was as easy as putting the two magnetic surfaces near each other. To remove the band, simply squeeze the two small bars on each side of the clasp, and the clasp opens.
We were pleasantly surprised at how well the magnetic clasp worked. Hard as we tried, we could not get the clasp to accidently open by shaking or otherwise aggressively moving our wrist. We feel confident that the band will stay closed under almost any situation.
NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch – Sizing Your Watch Band
Like every other metal watch band we have tested, the NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch is delivered much larger than most people will need it to be, and you will have to remove one or more links from the band to make it fit.
If you have ever resized a metal watch band for your Apple Watch, you will be very familiar with the process. Each half of the NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch has a series of links that can be removed to make the band smaller.
The included resizing tool is used to push out the pins used to hold the links together. Unlike the cheap plastic removal tools that we have received with other watch bands, the NOMAD removal tool is heavy duty metal and should last a lifetime.
To remove one or more links, you line up the needle of the tool with the pin you want to remove and twist the knob to push the pin out.
NOMAD uses a double pin design for the links. There is a hollow inner pin that sits inside the link. A thinner pin is inserted into the hollow pin to hold the links together. This style is not unique to NOMAD but it is definitely a stronger design than the single pins bands we have seen.
It is very important that you ensure that the link is perfectly flat and straight before you try to push the pin out. We also suggest you watch the part of the extraction tool that actually pushed against the pin. On more than one occasion, we say that the end of the tool was flexing because it was not straight. Applying too much pressure would probably snap the end of the needle. While OMAD does include an extra needle in the package, we suggest taking care when doing this process.
In a couple of cases, we needed a little help to push out the pin and used a pair of pliers to turn the knob of the resizing tool. Again, we advise you to take your time and proceed slowly. Both the pins in the band and the needle itself are delicate and need to be handled with care.
We first removed two (2) links from one side of the band, based on our best guess for size. That was still too big so we removed one more. While that probably would have been OK, we felt the band was still a little too loose and would turn on our wrist, so we removed one more link. This time, from the other half of the band so as to keep the clasp in the center of our wrist. This gave us an almost perfect fit.
For storage purposes, we re-assembled the removed links into a single piece as a way to prevent any of the links and pins from getting lost.
NOMAD does state that the first three (3) links on each side of the band, nearest the lugs that attached to the watch, are a special size and should not be removed. Any of the other links can be removed. Also, we did find that the removable links have a unique profile on each side so you will need to keep that in mind as you re-assembly the band and the links.
NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch – Overall Impressions
The NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch is one of the nicest watch bands we have tested. The build quality is excellent, and the 316L Stainless Steel looks as beautiful as it is durable.
The magnetic clasp worked well and while the resizing took more time than we expected, it was not difficult. NOMAD even provides an extra cap to help push the pins back into place. In other watch bands we have tested, you were told to push the pin against a desk or other hard surface to reinsert the pin and then try to push it flush using the tip of the tool.
We recently upgraded an old 42mm Series 3 Apple Watch to the latest 44mm Series 6. While Apple has said that watch bands designed for the 42mm size will fit the larger 44mm size, we have found that it is hit or miss for most 3rd party watch bands. Some fit the new Series 6 well, while some won’t lock into place and still others won’t even fit into the groves on the watch.
We didn’t have any of these issues with the NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch. The lugs on the band easily slip into the watch, and immediately locked into place. We never had a concern that the band would come apart or disengage from the watch.
As the name implies, the NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch is designed to match the stainless steel models of the Apple Watch. However, we used it on our Aluminum Space Gray Series 6 Apple Watch and was more than pleased with the color.
The finish has a tendency to color shift depending on the surroundings and lighting and looked great on our watch. In most lighting, it looked like a perfect color match to the watch body.
The Bottom Line
With a simple swipe of your finger, you can change the look of your Apple Watch from casual, to sporty to dresswear, by changing your watch face. But it’s important to have a watch band that compliments the look you choose.
The NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch can support whatever look you are going for, whether hiking in the woods, or going for a night on the town.
With its 316L Stainless Steel construction and magnetic clasp, it is durable, yet stylish, and ready for whatever your day brings.
All of the NOMAD products we have reviewed in the past (check out our list here), share the same attention to quality and detail and the NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch is no exception.
The NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch is available in both Graphite and Silver, as well as a Titanium version. It is currently only available in the 44mm/42mm size, but the smaller 40mm/38mm size is due out shortly.
The NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple watch has an MSRP of $149.95, and is available directly from the NOMAD web site here.
We would like to thank the folks at NOMAD for providing the NOMAD Stainless Steel Band for Apple Watch for our testing and review. What is your favorite style of watch band for your Apple Watch? Why not join the conversation and leave a comment below?
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