If, like me, you’ve been looking down at your standard Apple Watch with a slight hint of disdain ever since the superior Apple Watch Ultra was revealed, you’ll love this. Accessory makers Nomad have designed a rugged case for the standard Apple Watch that, at a glance, could see them mistaken for Apple’s premium timepiece.
The Nomad Rugged Case for Apple Watch is the company’s first attempt at making a durable cover for the wristwatch, with the package comprising both a band and protective shell. It’s looking like a contender for the best Apple Watch case crown.
Compatible with 45 and 44mm Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, Series 7 and Series 8 devices, it’s made of a hardened 315L stainless steel, with a 1000 HV DLC coating that should help make it near impervious to bumps and scrapes. A TPU lining, designed for shock absorption, rounds out the protective features.
As for the band itself, Nomad says it’s using “FKM fluoroelastomer for a soft yet durable finish”, alongside a stainless steel buckle. It’s a tough cookie, and built right into the case for the best defence — which also means you can’t mix-and-match this with other bands you may like.
A Series Watch in Ultra clothing
The neatest trick might be the detailing around the buttons — you’ve got interchangeable black and ‘Ultra’ orange buttons that can be swapped in at your leisure, which finish off that Ultra-aping look.
Though ruggedised, the case keeps all functionality accessible, so you don’t lose touchscreen or Digital Crown access.
Considering an Apple Watch Ultra starts at $799, and a Series 8 starts at $399, you can get a decent approximation of the Ultra at a fraction of the price — the rugged case would set you back just $120 on top.
Of course, it’s not just the tough construction that sets the Ultra apart — features like the Wayfinder watch face and scuba-diving swimming depth support. But if you want to just make your old watch feel tough again, it’s looking like a solid option.
It’ll be interesting to see if the upcoming Apple Watch Series 9 will be taking any ruggedised cues from the Ultra line-up when it’s expected to release next month — and whether or not the Apple Watch Ultra 2 has pushed the envelope further too when it is revealed, expected to make its own debut alongside the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro.