[REVIEW] Nomad Shell Cordovan Apple Watch Band

Adam Matlock

Trusted Member
Mar 28, 2017
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Life is like a box of chocolates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t control what kind of chocolate you get. Really… there are tons of different kinds of chocolates, so why settle with uncertainty, or accept chocolate that you don’t want? Well, in the tech world, sometimes we shouldn’t settle either. Sure, the stock bands on the Apple Watch work perfectly well, but do they represent you in a way that you want to be seen in public? Sport straps look great at the gym, but when you need to put on a suit and tie later in the evening, how do you want to look? Well, in a world of chocolate watch bands, be a peacock and toss on a Nomad leather strap, such as the Shell Cordovan limited edition watch band made for the Apple Watch Series 4 (but is also backwards compatible).


The Look: The Nomad Products Shell Cordovan Leather Band is stylish, classy, and elegant. It’s like something that jumped straight out of the screen from the 40s, back when leather and gloss were king. As time has worn on, there has been a greater shift into the world of stainless steel and titanium – which look great, but are no substitute for leather. Thankfully, Nomad continues to partner with Horween (the oldest leather company in the United States), to provide nothing but the finest leather for their products. Another nice design feature of this band is that while the outer portion of the band is a glossy, beautiful black color, the inside of the band still has the natural green, unfinished look which feels great on your wrist! However, don’t just take my word for the level of quality and craftsmanship that went into this band, take a look at this laundry list of premium specs and details that have gone into designing and crafting this band:

- Shell Cordovan Leather from Horween (Est. in 1905)
- Fil Au Chinois beeswax linen thread
- Custom stainless steel lugs and buckle
- In black or silver, for your individual pairn needs
- The leather is tanned and polished for 6 months
- Hand-glazed glossing
- Develops a mature and handsome patina over time


From the top to the bottom, this band is built with the level of skill and quality materials that I have come to expect from Nomad. It’s not cheap, they don’t take any shortcuts. The hand-glazed leather gloss looks fantastic. It has a high gloss finish that really brings out the deep black color underneath, but it doesn’t look so glossy that it’s distracting. The raised leather appearance also stands out and looks unique, finely bordered with the linen threads. I have reviewed the Modern strap as well for the Apple Watch, and Nomad really does take it to the next level with this band!


Practicality: The Shell Cordovan leather band is really a piece of work, but I would urge caution if you want to use it for a daily band if you’re into outdoor work or in humid environments. It can be used as a daily driver, but really it’s the type of band that is reserved for climate controlled office environment and classier affairs. Not that you can’t wear it to Home Depot on a Saturday, it’s just something I would caution for hitting the bike trail, construction work or the gym. The band does take a little time to wear in as well. Unlike some of the thinner straps on the market, the Shell Cordovan is markedly thicker and less pliable, meaning it doesn’t fit as comfortably as some other bands at first. It takes time to develop and contour to your wrist, especially depending on the setting that you wear it on – will seem a bit more bubbly fitting if you have a smaller wrist like me. I did also find that it was a bit more difficult to get the strap to cinch down to the position I wanted it to at first. However, after a few days it will feel normal and be much easier to lock the band in place.


Durability: One of the things that has made me reluctant to choose leather bands in the past is their lack of durability, and difficulty in cleaning them. I owned a watch with a leather band ages ago, and I wore it as a daily driver in a humid environment. I can remember the sweat permeating the band and over time it degraded and eventually broke, which saddened me. However, it was also not a very thick or well-made leather band. The Shell Cordovan should hold up very well in most situations, as long as you don’t try to use it for Water Polo or a track and field event. Thankfully the glazed, glossy finish gives you some protection from the elements and sweat, but the underside of the band is much more sensitive to liquids ,sweat, and the elements. Having said that, I have been wearing it for a couple of weeks now and I don’t really have any worries for the long-term viability of this band, and the thick, quality leather should keep looking classy for a long time.


Final Verdict: The Shell Cordovan watch band is a timeless classic. Not only does it carry the style and quality of days gone by, it brings a refreshing sense of status and elegance that I haven’t seen or experienced with any other watch band. The Apple Watch Series 4 is a stylish watch, but what separates it from the competition is the customization and ability to take it to the next level with bands like this one. It doesn’t matter whether I’m going grocery shopping or heading to a fancy dinner, I don’t hesitate to leave my Citizen watch at home in favor of my Apple Watch when I’ve got a band like the Shell Cordovan on it. This watch band will surely turn some heads, and make your feel a little extra special on the inside when you look down and see how well pair with your Apple Watch. It may make your wallet cringe a little at the $149 price tag, but if you’re in the market for a product like this, then I think the pain will only last until you open the box and start wearing it. I definitely give this watch band a solid recommendation.

If you’re interested in picking up one of Nomad’s Shell Cordovan watch bands for your Apple Watch, you can find them over at Nomad’s website for $149.95 - https://forums.imore.com/e?link=htt...ctions%2Fstraps-shell-cordovan&token=Pqzn12uu – Also, don’t forget, it comes with silver or black hardware so you can match it perfectly with your watch!
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