Rant: Apple Watch – made your Watch extremely good looking with the best accessories

Nomad Goods Apple Watch Foilio case and brown active strap pro and airtag

Make your Apple Watch classier

At well over $1000/£1000 the Apple Watch Hermes edition is perhaps beyond the financial reach of most of us. Even if you could afford it you might bemoan spending serious cash on a watch that you will probably only use for up to 3 years.

So how about getting a cheaper model and Poshing it up a little?

Let’s get an Apple Watch and make it fit for a Spice Girl with some tasteful accessories.

Must Read: Apple Watch Ultra Review

Step 1 – Stainless Steel

I ended up swapping my original PRODUCT RED Apple Watch for the stainless steel version. Well, I say ‘swap’ but really meant I returned the original and then spent twice as much on this shiny baby…


Apple Watch 7 Stainless Steel with Nomad Goods Leather Band

The stainless steel case is almost certainly more durable than the aluminium case of the cheaper models. Basic chemistry tells us that.

However, I’m going to keep the AW7 SS for a few years and I’ve had problems with scratching and cracking on my two previous Apple Watches (SE and AW6). I don’t even know how I cracked the SE on its screen’s rounded corner. The scratches I know about; the crack? I’ve no idea.

I had a bit of an argument with Apple Customer Service on the telephone after I was transferred to the supervisor. The supervisor kinda got angry and shouty which was a bit weird, luckily I’d just done a few Yoga poses and didn’t rise to the Mr/Mrs Angry bait. The bottom line that was recited to me was that when your screen cracks and I mean cracks, not scratches, then it’s your fault. It’s nothing to do with Apple, the Apple product is absolutely fit for purpose.

It’s so fit-for-purpose that Apple made a point of changing the design of the lens in the Apple Watch to make it even more durable. Not simply durable...because it already was durable (and fit for purpose) but rather, instead, they made it EVEN MORE durable. So now it’s even more fit for purpose too.

Got that? Me too.

Bottom line: There’s no way to get a free replacement unless you paid for the insurance.

So, AW7 has a thicker and better-shaped lens that isn’t going to crack. Good.

However, I am pretty certain, judging by past performance, that I would scratch the lens at some point. That would be my fault and my partner has already done the same thing. Mr & Mrs Scratchy McScratch-Face. So I wanted to get the Sapphire-like lens. The problem is that you can’t get a cheaper Aluminium case with a scratch-resistant sapphire lens. You only get the Sapphire lens on the Stainless Steel models. You also get LTE thrown in whether you want it or not. I didn’t especially want LTE. At least I didn’t until I realised that I had to have it. Then I convinced myself that I wanted it 😉

Fast forward a few months and now I’ve decided I don’t want LTE as O2 in the UK requires me to buy an additional data package, especially for the watch. Grrr.

Many smaller cellular companies don’t even support Apple Watch’s LTE. Indeed that’s why I switched away from ID-Mobile to go to O2 just to get the LTE service. Except then I was charged over £100 for leaving ID-Mobile (part of the Currys group) before the end of my contract. Grrrr. At this point, my partner insisted on also leaving ID-Mobile for O2 because O2 was ‘better’. So my partner also got charged over £100 to end the contract early. #Sigh.

Yes, I complained to the company and to the Ombudsman and, no, I didn’t win. Mainly because I was in the wrong.

To be fair to my partner, ID-Mobile were pretty awful when it came to being able to hear people on the phone. Any phone/SIM combination just didn’t work for more than about 5-seconds, after which…SILENCE. I still remember the good old days when mobile phones were actually used to make voice calls. Crazy, I know!

As you can gather, this post isn’t sponsored by ID-Mobile (part of Currys).

The Rant Continues – Battle of the Bands


I got the AW7 for me (ssssh, because it really is better than the previous ones) and I convinced my partner that the Stainless Steel Milanese loop that I got with mine would make their cheaper and not so good Apple Watch 6 look awesome (despite the scratches). That line of argument kinda worked and at £100 for the Milanese Loop…it should. It did look nicer on my partner. I didn’t like it on me at all. However, my partner then decides that the Apple Milanese strap digs into your skin and hasn’t worn it since day 2. Grrr x2.

Jeez, this is turning out to be expensive.

I got a £4 replica Sport Loop off eBay and my partner was delighted.


So here’s where it gets more interesting. I had a moan to the nice people at Nomad Goods and they sent me some free samples which this post is showing off (not paid for, just free samples..and, yes, I will use them and, no, I will not send them back as they’re way too nice #OccasionalPerk).

The picture further above is the Active Strap Pro in Black Leather. It looks like leather, I like leather, I think it is leather. But it’s treated with something that protects it during sport! Cool!. I have a brown one that I’ve used for over a year on my previous Apple Watch and it’s good. Very classy and one of my favourite straps as it can be worn in most scenarios. Even the attachment part of the strap is stainless steel, so it matches the stainless steel of the case.

Here you can see my year-old Nomad BROWN strap and a new brown folio case for my Apple Watch 11. I’ve included this to show that the colours do change over a few months. They WILL both end up the same colour after about 3 months and Nomad also provides some leather conditioner to keep the leather looking its best (which I haven’t yet used!)


Apple Watch 7 Stainless Steel with Nomad Goods Leather Sport Active Strap Pro


But it seemed a shame to have leather. I mean, it’s very nice and all, what’s unusual about that?

Hmmm Steel

Now, I confess to never having a metal watch strap in my entire life up until this point. They look more work-like in a suit kind of way but I don’t lead that life anymore. Nevertheless, at the occasional dinner party, it might be polite to rack up wearing a classy stainless steel band rather than some sweat-stained nylon band that I’ve just run 5K wearing.

Roll on the Stainless Steel Band. Again from Nomad.

This looks pretty cool and I even downloaded Nomad’s corporate background image into my Photo Gallery Favourites so that I could then add it as a watch face.

Apple Watch 7 Stainless Steel with Nomad Goods Stainless Steel BandActive Strap ProBand

The stainless steel strap from Nomad perfectly matches the steel on the watch, made even better when a great face is chosen. It comes with packaging that looks good and which metaphorically says, “I love you,” in terms of how it would come over as a gift. If you left the price tag in the packaging it would come over as “I love you, will you marry me, the ring will cost less than this“. Seriously that’s just joking although the strap is not cheap at around £130


I will also point out that a metal band is a bit of a faff to get to the right circumference. The Nomad band comes with the mini toolkit needed to take out links which might take you 2 or 3 minutes to do.

The clasp is both magnetic and metallic. The ends are magnetically pulled together and there is also a physical+mechanical mechanism to hold it all in place, which is needed as the strap is reasonably heavy. I wore it 24×7 for a week and it’s comfy enough. I would have preferred to add a half-link to make it a tad bigger however its tightness was good for sports. So good that the strap stopped the watch from moving whilst running. A moving strap and a heavy watch often do impair the accuracy of optical HR during sports.

Bottom line: My partner says the Stainless Steel Band looks good. I’ll take that. For me, I have no qualms about wearing the strap in the shower after a workout where I also wear it.

Nomad Goods Apple Watch Base Station

To the Bedroom!

So now we have the Nomad Goods Base Station for the Apple Watch. This tidies up your cables and adds a bit of elegance to your bedside charging regime. It would look equally as good next to your work computer. This is a pretty cool piece of tech despite looking a bit bland in the image above.

You can simultaneously charge LOTS of devices, most normally that could be 4 or 5. Here’s how.

  • The white vertical disc is a standard Apple Watch charger. It works with AW7 but not in fast charge mode. Once on the charger, the Apple Watch can go into bedside clock mode
  • The flat pad hides 3 wireless charging coils. I guess you could charge 3 sets of AirPods at the same time but most normally you would charge your iPhone by itself or your iPhone simultaneously with your AirPods
  • To the rear are holes for USB-A and USB-C cables.

Here we go, charging the iPhone and showing my recovery score for the day from WHOOP.



When my WHOOP Band came with a really short USB-C cable I thought, “What’s the point of that?“. Now I know the answer. It’s ideal for plugging in the back of the Base Station and minimising all the cable gunk that would otherwise clutter my bedside routine.

To Work!

How about these?



A pretty snazzy 6.1″ Rugged Folio for the iPhone. It has some nice stitching and slots for cards and the iPhone fits in snugly, with a slight rubberised edge giving some protection when dropped. I’ve dropped mine a few times…it hasn’t broken yet.

Finally, Off To The Park Looking Good & Being Tracked

I’ve got quite a few Apple AirTags and Nomad’s Leather Keychain is one of several different designs they have to hold AirTag

I haven’t yet told my regular readers about Ruffy The Squirrel Slayer…I have a puppy! The plan was to use one of the AirTag holders as a classy add-on for the dog’s collar. However, it dwarfs her at the moment so I’ve bagsied it for my car keys and it looks pretty good.

Not-so-Fun Fact: I bought the AirTag in May 2021 and the battery has already run out. Grrr.

Nomad Goods Apple Watch Foilio case and brown active strap pro and airtag

Want One?

Here Are Some Links and Prices If you want to get one. These are affiliated so I will get a small commission on them. All are available on Nomad’s site and some might be in your local Amazon which is also linked to where available.

Note: There are often end-of-line products that are heavily discounted on the site – for example, an iPhone XI would have a $25 case if you’re lucky


Apple Watch 6 SE 3 Compass Altimeter Barometer Routes best outdoor rugged Strap weather complication



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