Apple watch

Nomad Apple Watch Ultra bracelets: waterproof bracelets as robust as the watch

Multiple waterproof options for the Apple Watch Ultra 49mm

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The Apple Watch Ultra is the best smartwatch available today and when you order one you get three bands to choose from. If you are looking for something different from the default band, Nomadic has leather, metal and waterproof options to meet your needs at affordable prices.

Apple offers silicone straps, fabric straps, leather, and stainless steel options. Sport bands are $49, leather bands range from $99 to $539, and the stainless steel link bracelet is $349. Apple bands are high quality products, but there are more affordable options available from third parties.

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The silver hardware looks great with the titanium watch

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Nomad offers a range of tape options with FKM fluoroelastomer rubber, Horween leather and titanium materials. Prices range from $59.95 to $299.95, with a very high quality fit and finish. We’ve spent some time with a few of the waterproof options with the Apple Watch Ultra.

Also: I Put Apple Watch Ultra in a Tough Mudder: Here’s How It Held Up

Nomadic robust strap

Nomad offers the Sturdy strap for the Apple Watch Ultra in black and ultra orange with black or silver hardware options. We tried the black band with black and silver hardware, but prefer the silver hardware which closely matches the titanium material of the Apple Watch Ultra. I ordered an ultra orange band, but it has been extremely popular and mine isn’t expected to ship until January.

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A perfect fit in the Apple Watch Ultra

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The heavy duty strap / heavy duty band is made from a high quality flexible FKM fluroelastomer rubber material that is pre-curved just a little so it sits snugly on your wrist right out of the box. The lugs and buckle are made from 316L stainless steel so you never have to worry about these elements on the watch strap, which is important for the Ultra as it is designed to be worn down by the elements.

The top of the strap has lines across the width and below you will find widely spaced notches in the band. These notches allow the band to conform to your wrist and also provide areas where sweat can drain under the band.

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Hardware and buckles keep this band securely in place in all conditions

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Two loops are provided to secure the bitter end of the strap, one fitting into a notch near the buckle and the other sliding along the strap for optimum placement. The strap is designed for wrist sizes ranging from 150mm to 210mm.

I wore both bands with the Apple Watch Ultra for running, biking, swimming, and fly-fishing. The Nomadic robust strap looks brand new and is my favorite band for the Apple Watch Ultra. I can’t wait to receive my ultra orange color which matches the orange highlights of the Apple Watch Ultra.

Nomad Sport Bracelet

The Nomad Sport Bracelet is available for $59.95 with six color options, including this ultra orange limited edition that currently also has a January ship date. Other color options include Black, Lunar Gray, Ash Green, Navy, and Dune. We tested the black and navy band colors.

As we saw with the rugged strap, the interior of the sport band has the same ventilation channels to provide water/sweat vents and adequate ventilation for your wrist. The pin and tuck arrangement is used on the bracelet to secure it around your wrist, with the closing pin being constructed from aluminum.

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The Sport Band (left) is wider and more substantial than the Slim Sport Band (right)

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The rubber material slips right into the Apple Watch Ultra like other bands with a seamless and secure fit. There are adjustment openings along the full length of the band so it fits any size wrist with the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple Watch bands are plentiful, but in my experience very few can match the quality of what Apple offers. Nomad Bands matches that quality while providing more substantial materials and design elements that make Nomad Bands better than most of Apple’s bands while still being affordable.

Also: Apple Watch 8 is a dormant hit, even though it doesn’t match Samsung’s sensors

Nomad Sport Slim Band

The new series of bands to grace the pages of the Nomad website are the Sports slim bands. These waterproof bands have similar design elements to the Nomad Sport bands, but are lighter, have a smooth exterior, and a narrower width tapering from the Apple Watch Ultra lugs.

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The Slim Sport Band helps lighten the load on the Apple Watch Ultra

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The same FKM fluoroelastomer rubber material is used in the body of the strap with a custom stainless steel closure pin used in the pin and fold securing mechanism. The Sport Slim Band is available in Black, Bone, Sage, Ice Blue, and White. We tried the ice blue band and love the color and lighter weight of the band compared to the sport band. It clearly looks sleeker than the Sport Band, so it should appeal to those with smaller wrists who still want to take advantage of the big Apple Watch Ultra.