Revisiting the Nylon Apple Watch Band

In December, I wrote a story about Apple’s nylon Apple Watch band. I was disappointed, saying:

The deal breaker for me with the nylon band is how inaccessible for me to put on by myself. This problem isn’t Apple’s fault; there’s nothing inherently wrong with the band’s design. The problem lies in my less-than-optimal fine-motor skills. The clasp on the nylon band is akin to a class watch buckle, insofar as you thread the band through a loop and pin the buckle into a hole on the band. I wear my Apple Watch on my right wrist, and I went through myriad contortions trying to fasten this band; it took almost 15 frustratingly long and tortuous minutes to get it. My fingers just aren’t nimble enough to manipulate things.

I’ve been somewhat frustrated by the lack of variety in my band collection. Because my fine-motor skills are limited, the only bands that really work for me, accessibility-wise, are the magnetic bands (Milanese and Leather Loops) and the Sport band. They’re both great—I wear the Sport band most of the time, as it’s comfortable and, ahem, sporty—but I’d like a different, more colorful, option. Judging by what I hear from friends and colleagues, Apple’s nylon band is that option.

Except… as I lamented before, it isn’t the most accessible option.

Undeterred, I sought to reassess my feelings about Apple’s nylon band. “There has to be a way to do this,” I said to myself. It’s just too nice and too comfortable to let it forever sit around unused. And I’m extremely pleased to report that I have conquered the nylon band. I can get it on by myself!

My path to victory isn’t entirely smooth sailing—it takes me a couple minutes to do—but once done I feel incredibly triumphant. My method involves having the lug part of the band on the bottom of the watch, which on my wrist is on top. I then use my right thumb to thread the other side of the band through the hole on the lug with my left band. After that, I can tighten and feed the band through the little loop on the band. As I said, the process is still a bit fiddly, but doable with patience and perseverance. This vindication is satisfying because (a) I get to wear a great band; and (b) I gave it another shot.

I was so excited by the nylon band’s newfound accessibility that I bought another one: the new orange one in Apple’s recently refreshed spring collection. While I continue to believe the accessibility of bands is a severely overlooked aspect of the Apple Watch experience, it’s gratifying to know I’ve been able to challenge my previously-held convictions of the nylon (and Sport) bands.

Overall, this is yet another happy ending. I get to add more cool bands to my collection, which enhances my enjoyment of the Apple Watch. To me, this is no small feat because now I get to enjoy the nylon band along with every else. What was once exclusive is now inclusive, accessible, and awesome.