No less than Steve Jobs himself quipped that the new iPod nano would make a great watch. From that moment, people have been thinking about way to use the recently shrunk iPod as a piece of wearable jewelry. Well, since the beginning of January I have gone from having zero iPod nano watch bands to having a choice of three different ones. Each take a slightly different approach to making the nano wearable and each brings with it its own sense of style, or lack there-of. So let’s take a look at each of them and ask, “Which nano watch band reigns supreme?”
Let’s look at the contenders
First up is the.
It has an MSRP of $24.95 and is described this way…
Wear all your favorite music right on your wrist! With Speck’s TImeToRock wristband, just pop your nano right into the frame, and presto, it’s wearable. The TimeToRock features an adjustable strap made of soft, flexible material that fits comfortably on your wrist. It also includes a headphone cord management armband for easy storage, and a protective design that surrounds your nano completely and helps shield it from scuffs and scratches. If you’ve ever wanted to wear your music collection, now’s the perfect time.
Wear your iPod® nano as a rockin’ watch!
Easy-to-pop-in and pop-out design
Shock-absorbing protection with soft button covers
Includes headphone cord management armband
Dimensions: 2.375″ x 1.625″ x 2.625″
Weight: 0.9 oz
Next up is the iWatchz Q
It also has an MSRP of $24.95 and is available in a wide range of colors.
The company describes it in this way:
Simple & Secure
iWatchz Nanoclipz® Watch Integration System uses a clean, patent pending design that stays out of your way and accentuates the beautiful design of your nano. Our clip locks your nano into place from behind with a solid, reassuring ‘click’. You can remove it easily, of course, but only when you’re good and ready to. iWatchz are also available at Apple retail stores and the apple.com website.
One of its nifty little features is the ease with which you can get the nano into, and out of, the band.
Finally there is the TikTok. It will have an MSRP of $34.95 and can be pre-ordered now for delivery in 4-6 weeks. It is described in this way…
TikTok + LunaTik [the older sibling] simply transform the iPod Nano into the world’s coolest multi-touch watches. Obsessively designed and crafted from premium materials, TikTok + LunaTik complement the impeccable quality of Apple products.
TikTok is a simple snap-in design. It allows the user to easily and securely snap the Nano into the wrist dock. The straps are made from high grade silicone rubber and the hardware is solid stainless steel. (Apple iPod nano not included).
Positioning and Removing the nano
Speck’s TImeToRock offering requires you to “power” the nano into the band. To get the nano in, you place one side in and then you have to force the remaining material around the other sides. It is not difficul,t but it is a bit annoying. To get the nano out you reverse the process.
The iWatchz is designed to make placing and removing the nano in the band simple without adding a huge amount of bulk.
It employs the nano’s own clip as part of the solution. You simply open the clip a tiny bit, slide the close, fulcrum portion of the clip through the open slot and let the part of the clip that opens click into the second open spot. The band actually uses that second portion of the clip to ensure the nano stays put. It is an innovative approach that works well, even if I struggled with it the first few times.
The TikTok takes simplicity to an entirely new level. To get the nano into the band you place one side into the band and then press the other side until it clicks into place. That’s it. There is no muss and no fuss. You can go from nano and band to nano-watch in a second. To remove the nano you simply push through the opening in the back and the music device pops out. Before getting the band I wondered if the iPod holder would be strong enough to last. I’m no longer worried.
Speck’s TImeToRock band is completely plastic except for the watch closure. It looked and felt fine to me until I saw the other offerings; after that it was all over.
The iWatchz has the most refined look and feel of the three and feels like a quality product. The bands are made from a soft but high-grade material and the hardware for closing the band feels a tiny bit better than the one offered by Speck. The mechanism for holding the nano has a huge benefit in that it is thing and does not add much weight or bulk. It is, however, a bit on the thin side and, at one point, there is just a small band of rigid plastic holding the two halves together. I have not experienced any issue but it is a bit of concern for me.
The TikTok rocks. The band is thick. It looks and feels substantial and I have no doubt it will wear well. The hardware is similarly impressive. It is thick and is nicely finished with a mat look and feel. The two sides of the strap are held to the watch head with sturdy-looking screws and the holder for the nano is thick, rigid plastic. One added detail that impressed me was a unique mechanism for holding the loose part of the band in place. By design it doesn’t add any thickness to the already-substantial band. This thing is a winner.
This is a simple category to score. Speck’s TImeToRock is the only band of the three that truly gives the nano a great deal of protection. The others leave the sides of the device open to bumps bruises and worse.
Overall Comfort and Aesthetics
Speck’s TImeToRock is comfortable enough but I would not describe it as comfortable. This is due, in large part, to the fact that the bands do not actually pivot in the watch-head that holds the nano. It is all one piece of material. That may give it some added durability but id diminishes the overall look and feel in my opinion. As a result, it gets high marks for that. It is also the band to make the boldest statement. It LOOKS like a band for an iPod nano. If you are going for that it is the clear winner.
The iWatchz looks much more like a real watch band. It has the same feel as you might find in a Swatch watch, and the two sides of the band pivot against the watch area that holds the nano. After wearing it for a few days I can safely say that it is super comfortable, Of the three it has the most refined look… Especially if you go with a more subtle color.
The TikTok is a homerun. It loos and feels like an athletic watch. If you don’t mind something that is a bit bulkier than the iWatchz you will love this band. It looks and feels substantial and is super comfortable. It DOES make a bit of a statement but if that is okay with you this band is worth considering.
WINNER: Tie between iWatchz and TikTok
Speck’s TImeToRock is not available for purchase and is only showing in black. I suspect this may have something to do with the slight discoloration I am seeing on the band I got a few weeks ago. As such, I can’t add any credit, or remove any, in the area of aesthetics.
The TikTok is also not currently available. It, however, has a great story to go along with it. This is one of the two bands that appeared on the startup project site Kickstarter with a goal of raising $15,000. By the time the project start-up closed they had raised close to a million bucks. That’s a great story to tell, especially since the band I have was one of the bands that helped fund the project.
The there is the iWatchz. No great story here, but it IS available in a rainbow of colors and IT IS AVAILABLE NOW! Just walk into an Apple Retail store and you can have your own minutes later.
So which watch band reigns supreme? If I am going for a casual look, the TikTok is the clear standout. If I am going for a more refined look, then I might be able to get away with the TikTok but the iWatchz might be a better choice.
And if I am truly going for a refined look; well, Elana gave me a Movado when we got married and a Tag Heuer for my 35 birthday.