One of the many things that set an Apple Watch apart from traditional watches is the massive selection of inexpensive straps. Cupertino made installing Apple Watch bands so easy that you can change up your look on a dime — and for almost that little money.
While seemingly millions of options exist for a mere $10 or so, Apple makes some of the best bands in the business. They cost a little more than most, but they may be worth it.
And one band, in particular, stands as the “most ambitious” watch band Apple ever made, according to Evans Hankey, Apple’s VP of industrial design.
What makes Apple Watch bands more than what they seem?
As Apple’s chief designer, Hankey succeeded the influential Jony Ive, in June 2019 (along with Alan Dye, the company’s VP of human interface design on the software side). She’s the first woman in the role. At the time of her promotion to VP of Industrial Design, she’d been with the design team for two years.
Hankey and Stand Ng, Apple’s VP of product marketing, spoke about what makes Apple Watch’s range of bands “more than what they seem at first sight” with HypeBeast on Friday. The interview sheds some light on the magic of Apple design.
“Our goal has always been to create something that is beautiful, comfortable, and functional, and both pays homage to the rich history of watchmaking but also reflects the distinct individuality of the wearer,” Hankey said. “For us, the band is not at all about technology — each band expresses our love for materials, craft, and the process of making.”
What’s the most ambitious watch band Apple has ever made?
Evans referred to several Apple Watch bands in the interview, but singled out one in particular for being “the most ambitious” band the Cupertino tech giant’s design team ever created.
“The Clover Solo Loop is without a doubt the most simple and most ambitious watch band we have made. For possibly the first time in the history of watchmaking, we have eliminated all buckles, clasps, and the excess material necessary for size adjustment.”
She referred to the “Clover Solo Loop,” but we figure she’s not really specifying the dark green one as the be-all, end-all band, above and beyond the six other colors of the Solo Loop. In addition to the choice of seven colors, the $49 liquid silicone loop comes in nine sizes for a super-custom fit.
And it does, indeed, have no parts. It’s just soft and durable coated rubber that fits like a glove.
“We have found that Solo Loop is the most comfortable band we’ve made,” Hankey said.
Here’s Apple description of the Solo Loop:
Made from liquid silicone rubber, the Solo Loop features a unique, stretchable design with no clasps, buckles, or overlapping parts, so it’s ultracomfortable to wear and easy to slip on and off your wrist. Each band is specially treated with UV to give the band a silky, smooth finish. It’s also swimproof and sweatproof, so it can go just about anywhere you want to wear it.
An interesting alternative
And if you don’t care for silicone, you can get the Braided Solo Loop, which Hankey said is similar to the Solo Loop but made of soft polyester.
“The Braided Solo Loop shares the same fundamental architecture, but this one is created by braiding 16,000 recycled polyester yarn filaments around thin silicone threads,” she said.
So there you have it. The most ambitious watch band Apple ever made is the Solo Loop — in dark green (“clover”) or six other colors.