Nomad Aluminum Band review: my Apple Watch has never looked better

Nomad Aluminum Band review: my Apple Watch has never looked better

Nomadic aluminum headband

MSRP $199.95

“Nomad’s aluminum bracelet is a work of art that exudes elegance and brilliance in every detail.”


  • Comfortable fit

  • Elegant to look at

  • Very high quality

  • Comes with an adjustment tool

  • Works with most Apple Watches

I was a Apple Watch SE (1st generation) user since 2020. Since then I have been keen to try all kinds of bands available for the device. I’ve purchased and used over a dozen straps for my 44mm Apple Watch SE, ranging from the Milanese Loop to a wide variety of sport bands.

But I always went back to the official white sport strap that came with my watch because of its balance between comfort and style. That changed after I got our hands on the Nomad Aluminum Band for Apple Watch.

Nomad Aluminum Band review: design

The Nomad website says “The Aluminum Band makes your Apple Watch look better without weighing you down,” and this is the first time in my career that I’ve agreed with the marketing copy for a product. It’s constructed from lightweight anodized aluminum, which makes it lighter than any other aluminum strap I’ve tried on my smartwatch.

The Nomad aluminum strap has a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating, which makes it scratch resistant, but if you rub a sharp object on it, the strap will scratch – I speak from experience.

Nomad’s aluminum band makes my Apple Watch look on par with, if not better than, my traditional analog watches.

When it comes to overall looks, the band raises the style quotient by leaps and bounds over the usual sports bands. At social gatherings, I haven’t been asked which Apple Watch strap I’m wearing, but this strap has eye-catching capabilities. It was the conversation of the night at one of the dinners I went to. It seems This GOOD.

I never wear my Apple Watch SE with suits, but the new Nomad band helps me rock a smartwatch when I dress up – which is very unusual for an analog watch wearer like me. I prefer to go with my Tissot or Casio with formal wear, but the Apple Watch with Nomad’s aluminum strap makes it look comparable, if not better, to my traditional analog watches. It also works well with casual clothes. It goes well with a T-shirt and jeans outfit and with winter jackets.

It’s obviously not a sports band replacement if you’re a sports person. Although the aluminum band is water resistant on the links and lugs, Nomad does not recommend using it in water for extended periods of time. This could degrade the strength of the magnetic clasp over time.

Nomad Aluminum Band review: Fit and size

Nomadic packaging in aluminum strip.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The best part is that it has a magnetic clasp so I don’t have to mess with the fitting. To release the clasp, simply press the ribbed buttons. The matte texture of my silver band also matched the silver color and texture of my Apple Watch SE incredibly well.

The nomadic aluminum bracelet is comfortable to wear. But if you have hair on your arm, like me, you might feel a bit uncomfortable unhooking it from your wrist. Indeed, it pulls out a few strands of hair every time you take off your Apple Watch.

Nomadic aluminum band tool.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The worst part with aluminum and steel bands is that you need a professional to remove the band lugs to get the best fit. But that’s not the case with the Aluminum Band from Nomad. The company packs an adjustment tool in the box that helps you with the adjustable links and built-in lugs.

The nomadic aluminum bracelet is comfortable to wear.

To get the right fit, you need to place the band in the adjustment tool as shown in the images above. You need to align it so that the pinhole of the link is over the pin of the tool. Once done, you need to rotate the needle until the pin is dislodged from the link. You get extra pins in the box, in case you lose any. Replacing the pin is also simple. You have to put it in the pinhole at one end and twist the needle of the tool to put it back in place.

The whole thing took me about 20 minutes on the first and only try. It is not an effortless process, but it is very easy to do.

Nomad Aluminum Band review: Price and availability

Apple Watch SE with nomadic aluminum bracelet on the wrist.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The Nomad aluminum bracelet is compatible with Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 8, 7, 6, SE and all previous versions of the Apple Watch. It comes in two sizes – 45mm and 49mm – but can be used with Apple Watch sizes 49mm, 45mm, 44mm and 42mm. I have the 45mm one and it fits my 44mm Watch SE well.

The Nomad aluminum strip is $200. It is available on the Nomad website in two color options, silver and space gray.

Nomad Aluminum Band review: verdict

Apple Watch SE 44 mm with nomadic aluminum bracelet.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

There’s no other way to put it: Nomad’s aluminum band is my favorite Apple Watch strap, and it’s likely to stay on my wrist for a long time.

If you’re looking for a strap that makes your Apple Watch look sleek and stylish at the same time, this is the way to go. It may seem expensive, but it is worth it. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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