Review: Nomad's titanium Apple Watch band is a more affordable alternative to Apple's meta...

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited February 11
Nomad has just released a new titanium metal link strap for Apple Watch and AppleInsider has had it wrapped around our wrist for some time now.

Nomad titanium Apple Watch band
Nomad titanium Apple Watch band


Apple's metal link band for Apple Watch is great, but the massive price tag puts it far out of reach for most people. Nomad is giving users a more affordable option, that is still high on style as well as quality.




A stylish watch band

We've covered our fair share of Apple Watch bands, but few metal ones. Leather, nylon, silicone are all in high supply, but metal link bands are largely left to Apple.

Nomad has designed their new titanium band to fill that void in the market.

It comes in both black and silver, and has a very slight taper along the band. Nomad kept branding minimalistic by only including a small, subtle logo on the side of the clasp. This isn't just promotion or adornment, but functional as well, because it offers a waypoint for orientation when putting the band onto your Apple Watch.

The clasp used is quite thin which goes a long way to ensuring a comfortable fit. It stays very flat and doesn't dig into your wrist while wearing day-to-day. It opens easily by squeezing two buttons on either side of the clasp.

Nomad titanium Apple Watch band
Nomad titanium Apple Watch band


If you've tried on any of Nomad's existing silicone or leather bands you're already familiar with the lugs they are known for. They are boxier lugs that contour to the face of the Apple Watch and give the watch a slightly larger look. The style is so popular a number of other manufacturers have knocked these off for their own bands over the past couple years.

Fitting the band

Apple invested a lot into creating easily removable links that operate by depressing a small button on the back of the link. When resizing the band, you can quickly remove the necessary links then snap the whole thing together.

One of the largest differences between Nomad's offering and Apple's own metal link band is the way it is resized. For a task that you will likely do merely once during the life of the band, it is tough for any company to invest that much time and effort into such a mechanism.

That equates to removing links from Nomad's strap the old-fashioned way. Each link has a pair of pins holding them in place. When you want to resize the band, you force a pin out, remove the necessary links from each side, then reinsert a pin to connect it back together.

Nomad titanium Apple Watch band removing links
Nomad titanium Apple Watch band removing links


You can take this to a jeweler or watch seller to have this done, but you can easily do it for yourself since Nomad is including a tool to do with each band. Just loosen the tool, place the link into the tool with the arrow facing away from the tool's pin, then slowly tighten the screw. This will force the pin to extrude from the opposing side, and extracted by hand.

It isn't a difficult process to undertake, but it is far more in-depth than Apple's solution. And, it is a one-time process.

My wrist seems to fall between having four or five links removed with one being ever so slightly too big, and the other ever so slightly too small. This is one of the downsides to bands that have discrete fit options whether it is Nomad's metal link strap or Apple's Sports Band.

Attaching the watch band

We mentioned Nomad has custom-designed the band from the ground up including the lugs and individual links. The tolerances on the band are quite tight, which has an unfortunate impact.

There is very little lateral movement of the band, so if you remove more than a couple links, you can't put the band onto the Apple Watch one end at a time.

Instead, both lugs must be inserted into the Apple Watch simultaneously. But, it sounds more awkward than it is.

Nomad titanium Apple Watch band
Nomad titanium Apple Watch band


All of us at AppleInsider change our bands a lot, between professional obligations, and personal ones. When I'm not trying something new, I opt for leather or metal bands during the day, then I switch to a nylon or sports band for hitting the gym.

Originally I kept trying to force the Nomad band into place one end at a time, but when I tried to put in the second side it would bend the clasp. Once I started putting the band on correctly, it became a non-issue.

The differentiating factor

Creating a metal link band is tough. Even years after the Apple Watch release, options are limited to normal watch bands that just have Apple Watch lugs tacked onto them, dirt cheap bands that have black paint come off within hours, or the couple metal ones that are available which are usually lightweight aluminum.

Making a black model band is even harder than making the silver. It is difficult and expensive to make stainless steel black as Apple does. This results in companies using too-light anodized aluminum, or cheaply painting steel which looks good at first before it comes off, or releasing only in silver.

Nomad going for titanium is a great choice because it is strong, but still lightweight. It isn't as light and cheap feeling as aluminum but not as hefty as steel.

For those opting for the black version, the black coloring should hold up well over time. In our testing, we did have a very small amount of silver show through on the corner of the underside of the band where our wrist makes contact with our keyboard.

When we reached out to Nomad, they said I likely had a defective unit and that shouldn't happen. We also type over here at AppleInsider more than most so it could also be a workplace hazard. We'll be talking more about this in the future.

A cheaper alternative

Apple's link band is amazing, but it is far too expensive to be practical. Nomad's band looks great, is well built, and has a unique design that sets it apart.

Nomad titanium Apple Watch band
Nomad titanium Apple Watch band


If you've been yearning for Apple's band, Nomad's is certainly worth a try. The links may not be as easy to replace, but it that is a small downside for the significant savings you get by going with Nomad.

When rating this band, it all depends on the context by with you measure it. Compared to nearly every other Apple Watch band on the market, it knocks it out of the park in looks and quality. Compared directly to Apple's however, it falls short with its rigid architecture for putting it on and the tedious method of removing links.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Where to buy

Nomad's new titanium Apple Watch band is available now in black or silver for the 42/44mm models. You can pick it up directly from Nomad's site for $179.95.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    I bought Apple’s black bracelet when I bought the Watch series 2 when it first came out. So I’ve had the bracelet for several years. As those who have been here for a while know, because I’ve posted on this several times in Watch discussions, this bracelet is just about perfect.

    apple uses a high grade of 316L alloy they’ve modified themselves in their own alloy R&D department. They then coat it with a DLC (diamond like Carbon). Even though I have shops, which include a fair amount of grinding both with fixed grinders and handheld angle grinders, using very hard substances which get in the air, and on horizontal surfaces, I’ve never gotten one tiny scratch, or even a rubbed area. It looks brand new. It works as well as the day I bought it. Its also extremely comfortable.

    is it expensive? Well, yes, depending. Depending on which direction you’re looking at pricing. HODINKEE, which is the premiere watch site, has stated that high end watch makers would have a hard time making the bracelet for $3,000. That was when this black one cost $550. now, the price is, I believe $350. Apple has sold a lot of these.

    when I bought my series 3, I kept this. When I bought my series 4, I kept this. When I buy the next one, whether it will be the 5, or a later model, I will keep it. Long term, it really isn’t that expensive.

    i doubt that this Nomad will hold up nearly as well as the Apple. The fact that there was already some silver showing, despite that they called it a factory defect, is worrying. That means that the black can, and therefor will, wear off. That’s it’s made from titanium is nice, but it doesn’t mean much as far as quality goes. I’d like to have one of these in my hands to examine, though I’m likely not willing to buy one just for that purpose. $180 compared to $350 isn’t really that much of a leap. Yes, it’s about double, but it still isn’t that much. Apple’s bracelet has proven to be a top notch performer, and highly reliable. Let’s come back in a year, and see how this one did.
    edited February 11 StrangeDaysmacplusplusDeelrondws-2randominternetpersonlolliverracerhomie3crowleywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    I agree with Melgross. My Series 0 was purchased in the black stainless with the black bracelet and that was my only band. When I recently upgraded to my Series 4 the bracelet went on immediately. It does not show any wear.
    StrangeDaysdws-2lolliverracerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 16
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,245member
    Thank you for the information on the Apple band. The Nomad band looks nice from the video. It may be a decent value for the money, depending on how well the black coating adheres to the Ti.

    No matter how good the tolerances are, worn coatings make the band look older than bracelet stretch.

    It's really nice to know the Apple bracelet holds up so well. At $550 it wasn't a consideration, but at $350, it might be. I bought the Apple Classic Buckle at $150 because the alternatives just didn't seem to fit the look of the Watch, and lack the detail of Apple's band. Yes, the alternatives can be nice looking and much cheaper, but not as nice, to my eye, as the Classic Buckle.

    While I'm still at Series 2, I really like the new shape of the Series 4. The one thing I'm not crazy about with the Nomad bracelet is the squarish look the new lugs impart. It could grow on me, but it would be slow growth. But overall, it's a very nice looking band. I think it might look better on an S2.
    gutengelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 222member
    melgross said:
    i doubt that this Nomad will hold up nearly as well as the Apple. The fact that there was already some silver showing, despite that they called it a factory defect, is worrying. That means that the black can, and therefor will, wear off. That’s it’s made from titanium is nice, but it doesn’t mean much as far as quality goes. I’d like to have one of these in my hands to examine, though I’m likely not willing to buy one just for that purpose. $180 compared to $350 isn’t really that much of a leap. Yes, it’s about double, but it still isn’t that much. Apple’s bracelet has proven to be a top notch performer, and highly reliable. Let’s come back in a year, and see how this one did.
    That depends on how exactly they made it black. Steel is relatively soft, so when coated with diamond-like carbon, it can exhibit an "eggshell" effect. The DLC prevents it from being scratched, but if you dent it, the DLC coating cracks like an egg and can flake off. 316L steel has a Brinell hardness (one of several measurements of indentation hardness) of 216 MPa. Titanium runs from 716 to 2770, depending on alloy and treatment. If the same DLC coating Apple uses were applied to this bracelet, it would almost certainly never chip, dent, or scratch under anything resembling normal use.

    The fact that some of the finish wore off during testing suggests it isn't DLC, or isn't the same quality.

    I suspect galling prevents Apple's design from being implemented in titanium, which is a shame.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    HyperealityHypereality Posts: 36unconfirmed, member
    @melgross Thanks got the info. I was thinking of getting one of these, now I’ll probably get the black for my watch 3 and the stainless when I get a watch 4
    racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    Calling the Apple Link Bracelet "ridiculously expensive" is ridiculous. Didn't Apple explain that is took around 9 hours and hundreds of pieces to build the band? You guys should know a bit better why Apple charges what it charges. I too have a link bracelet and it's by far my favourite band and I've been using it for years.  It's a big failure from Nomad for not including a small instruction sheet explaining how to install and remove the band. Also, when are you guys going to get serious about these video reviews? If you're only going to film your hands for the review you should get a manicure. I can see that whoever is handling the review bit their nails, that's very distracting and disgusting. 
    StrangeDaysracerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 222member
    macgui said:
    It's really nice to know the Apple bracelet holds up so well. At $550 it wasn't a consideration, but at $350, it might be. I bought the Apple Classic Buckle at $150 because the alternatives just didn't seem to fit the look of the Watch, and lack the detail of Apple's band. Yes, the alternatives can be nice looking and much cheaper, but not as nice, to my eye, as the Classic Buckle.
    I got a space black link bracelet used from a seller in China. $120, new without tags (NWOT). Just to be sure, I ran it through my ultrasonic cleaner, then gave it a little nano-oil. It has the proper markings ("Assembled in China" on one end link, case size and "316L Stainless Steel" inside the clasp), and after the cleaning and lubrication, it looks and feels great. If it isn't genuine, it's the best knockoff I've ever seen of any watch bracelet.

    Plenty of sellers sell these in 38mm and 42mm, space black and stainless. The biggest advantage of the stainless is if you scratch it, you can just get it brushed again. The space black is harder to scratch, but if you do manage it, there's no good way to repair it.
    gutengel
  • Reply 8 of 16
    nhtnht Posts: 4,436member
    I agree with the general sentiment that it's not a big jump to Apple's band and its not cheap enough to buy on a lark.

    I bought a $20 Milanese loop from Amazon which was cheap enough to buy on a lark.  A year later it's still a nice match for the space gray ALU series 3 cellular.

    I considered the higher end Apple watches and decided that if I was going to replacing the watch often anyway the ALU was good enough for me.  My dress watch is a vintage seamaster...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    The Nomad costs $180. 
    You might as well spring for Apple's steel band at that price.

    gutengelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 16
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,051member
    I was sold, that price is a bit higher than I expected though. I guess titanium is expensive though. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    zimmie said:
    melgross said:
    i doubt that this Nomad will hold up nearly as well as the Apple. The fact that there was already some silver showing, despite that they called it a factory defect, is worrying. That means that the black can, and therefor will, wear off. That’s it’s made from titanium is nice, but it doesn’t mean much as far as quality goes. I’d like to have one of these in my hands to examine, though I’m likely not willing to buy one just for that purpose. $180 compared to $350 isn’t really that much of a leap. Yes, it’s about double, but it still isn’t that much. Apple’s bracelet has proven to be a top notch performer, and highly reliable. Let’s come back in a year, and see how this one did.
    That depends on how exactly they made it black. Steel is relatively soft, so when coated with diamond-like carbon, it can exhibit an "eggshell" effect. The DLC prevents it from being scratched, but if you dent it, the DLC coating cracks like an egg and can flake off. 316L steel has a Brinell hardness (one of several measurements of indentation hardness) of 216 MPa. Titanium runs from 716 to 2770, depending on alloy and treatment. If the same DLC coating Apple uses were applied to this bracelet, it would almost certainly never chip, dent, or scratch under anything resembling normal use.

    The fact that some of the finish wore off during testing suggests it isn't DLC, or isn't the same quality.

    I suspect galling prevents Apple's design from being implemented in titanium, which is a shame.
    If you read my post on my experience, you would see that that’s wrong. Apple drop forges their cases. They also have their own version of the alloy. Really, you’re just wrong here. DLC coating is used on a number of SS watches today. It works well, if it’s a high grade process. There are different DLC processes. 

    There are also different alloys of titanium. They’re all different in hardness and strength. We don’t know what this bracket is made from. I also doubt that it’s machined from billets. Likely it’s formed sheet. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member

    zimmie said:
    macgui said:
    It's really nice to know the Apple bracelet holds up so well. At $550 it wasn't a consideration, but at $350, it might be. I bought the Apple Classic Buckle at $150 because the alternatives just didn't seem to fit the look of the Watch, and lack the detail of Apple's band. Yes, the alternatives can be nice looking and much cheaper, but not as nice, to my eye, as the Classic Buckle.
    I got a space black link bracelet used from a seller in China. $120, new without tags (NWOT). Just to be sure, I ran it through my ultrasonic cleaner, then gave it a little nano-oil. It has the proper markings ("Assembled in China" on one end link, case size and "316L Stainless Steel" inside the clasp), and after the cleaning and lubrication, it looks and feels great. If it isn't genuine, it's the best knockoff I've ever seen of any watch bracelet.

    Plenty of sellers sell these in 38mm and 42mm, space black and stainless. The biggest advantage of the stainless is if you scratch it, you can just get it brushed again. The space black is harder to scratch, but if you do manage it, there's no good way to repair it.
    Apple’s just doesn’t scratch. I question whether these Chinese knockoffs are 316L.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 222member
    melgross said:
    zimmie said:
    melgross said:
    i doubt that this Nomad will hold up nearly as well as the Apple. The fact that there was already some silver showing, despite that they called it a factory defect, is worrying. That means that the black can, and therefor will, wear off. That’s it’s made from titanium is nice, but it doesn’t mean much as far as quality goes. I’d like to have one of these in my hands to examine, though I’m likely not willing to buy one just for that purpose. $180 compared to $350 isn’t really that much of a leap. Yes, it’s about double, but it still isn’t that much. Apple’s bracelet has proven to be a top notch performer, and highly reliable. Let’s come back in a year, and see how this one did.
    That depends on how exactly they made it black. Steel is relatively soft, so when coated with diamond-like carbon, it can exhibit an "eggshell" effect. The DLC prevents it from being scratched, but if you dent it, the DLC coating cracks like an egg and can flake off. 316L steel has a Brinell hardness (one of several measurements of indentation hardness) of 216 MPa. Titanium runs from 716 to 2770, depending on alloy and treatment. If the same DLC coating Apple uses were applied to this bracelet, it would almost certainly never chip, dent, or scratch under anything resembling normal use.

    The fact that some of the finish wore off during testing suggests it isn't DLC, or isn't the same quality.

    I suspect galling prevents Apple's design from being implemented in titanium, which is a shame.
    If you read my post on my experience, you would see that that’s wrong. Apple drop forges their cases. They also have their own version of the alloy. Really, you’re just wrong here. DLC coating is used on a number of SS watches today. It works well, if it’s a high grade process. There are different DLC processes. 

    There are also different alloys of titanium. They’re all different in hardness and strength. We don’t know what this bracket is made from. I also doubt that it’s machined from billets. Likely it’s formed sheet. 
    Various treatments can be used to increase the hardness of a given piece, generally by altering the crystal structure of the metal without altering metallurgical composition. 316L is an austenitic steel, though, so it doesn't improve as much as martensitic. Even so, martensitic steel with the best treatments we currently have can wind up with a Brinell hardness of about 700 MPa. The softest >80%-titanium alloy starts there and goes up.

    Apple's steel is not a unique alloy. If it were, they wouldn't call it "316L", as that is the designation of a very specific alloy.

    Yes, DLC is used on a lot of steel watches. They're still subject to the eggshell effect. That's the primary failure mode of DLC coatings. The piece gets dented, which breaks the structure of the coating, which allows it to flake off at the break. This is the biggest reason DLC isn't used on aluminum. 6000-series aluminum alloys have a Brinell hardness as high as 95 MPa. Steel, even austenitic, is significantly harder than aluminum.

    As for how this bracelet is made, it's definitely machined from billet titanium. The links are solid, not folded. A side-effect of titanium's high hardness is it is very brittle. Sheet titanium would break if bent into that form.

    Apple's design could be constructed from titanium, but it wouldn't work very well because titanium is a galling metal (two separate titanium parts want to bind and smear across each other rather than sliding). The buttons to disengage the links would be really rough and would jam easily.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 222member

    melgross said:

    zimmie said:
    macgui said:
    It's really nice to know the Apple bracelet holds up so well. At $550 it wasn't a consideration, but at $350, it might be. I bought the Apple Classic Buckle at $150 because the alternatives just didn't seem to fit the look of the Watch, and lack the detail of Apple's band. Yes, the alternatives can be nice looking and much cheaper, but not as nice, to my eye, as the Classic Buckle.
    I got a space black link bracelet used from a seller in China. $120, new without tags (NWOT). Just to be sure, I ran it through my ultrasonic cleaner, then gave it a little nano-oil. It has the proper markings ("Assembled in China" on one end link, case size and "316L Stainless Steel" inside the clasp), and after the cleaning and lubrication, it looks and feels great. If it isn't genuine, it's the best knockoff I've ever seen of any watch bracelet.

    Plenty of sellers sell these in 38mm and 42mm, space black and stainless. The biggest advantage of the stainless is if you scratch it, you can just get it brushed again. The space black is harder to scratch, but if you do manage it, there's no good way to repair it.
    Apple’s just doesn’t scratch. I question whether these Chinese knockoffs are 316L.
    Yours hasn't scratched ... yet. Extremely hard materials like synthetic diamonds are becoming more widely used. As time goes by, the chances of you encountering such a material go up. 

    Again, if you manage to scratch it, there is no real way to repair the scratch. You could get it coated in several fresh layers of DLC, but that would cost an enormous amount of money. Probably more than buying a whole new space black band straight from Apple.

    I personally think the space black looks amazing, and I wear mine (with space black link bracelet) every day. I am under no illusion that it will never scratch, though.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    zimmie said:
    melgross said:
    zimmie said:
    melgross said:
    i doubt that this Nomad will hold up nearly as well as the Apple. The fact that there was already some silver showing, despite that they called it a factory defect, is worrying. That means that the black can, and therefor will, wear off. That’s it’s made from titanium is nice, but it doesn’t mean much as far as quality goes. I’d like to have one of these in my hands to examine, though I’m likely not willing to buy one just for that purpose. $180 compared to $350 isn’t really that much of a leap. Yes, it’s about double, but it still isn’t that much. Apple’s bracelet has proven to be a top notch performer, and highly reliable. Let’s come back in a year, and see how this one did.
    That depends on how exactly they made it black. Steel is relatively soft, so when coated with diamond-like carbon, it can exhibit an "eggshell" effect. The DLC prevents it from being scratched, but if you dent it, the DLC coating cracks like an egg and can flake off. 316L steel has a Brinell hardness (one of several measurements of indentation hardness) of 216 MPa. Titanium runs from 716 to 2770, depending on alloy and treatment. If the same DLC coating Apple uses were applied to this bracelet, it would almost certainly never chip, dent, or scratch under anything resembling normal use.

    The fact that some of the finish wore off during testing suggests it isn't DLC, or isn't the same quality.

    I suspect galling prevents Apple's design from being implemented in titanium, which is a shame.
    If you read my post on my experience, you would see that that’s wrong. Apple drop forges their cases. They also have their own version of the alloy. Really, you’re just wrong here. DLC coating is used on a number of SS watches today. It works well, if it’s a high grade process. There are different DLC processes. 

    There are also different alloys of titanium. They’re all different in hardness and strength. We don’t know what this bracket is made from. I also doubt that it’s machined from billets. Likely it’s formed sheet. 
    Various treatments can be used to increase the hardness of a given piece, generally by altering the crystal structure of the metal without altering metallurgical composition. 316L is an austenitic steel, though, so it doesn't improve as much as martensitic. Even so, martensitic steel with the best treatments we currently have can wind up with a Brinell hardness of about 700 MPa. The softest >80%-titanium alloy starts there and goes up.

    Apple's steel is not a unique alloy. If it were, they wouldn't call it "316L", as that is the designation of a very specific alloy.

    Yes, DLC is used on a lot of steel watches. They're still subject to the eggshell effect. That's the primary failure mode of DLC coatings. The piece gets dented, which breaks the structure of the coating, which allows it to flake off at the break. This is the biggest reason DLC isn't used on aluminum. 6000-series aluminum alloys have a Brinell hardness as high as 95 MPa. Steel, even austenitic, is significantly harder than aluminum.

    As for how this bracelet is made, it's definitely machined from billet titanium. The links are solid, not folded. A side-effect of titanium's high hardness is it is very brittle. Sheet titanium would break if bent into that form.

    Apple's design could be constructed from titanium, but it wouldn't work very well because titanium is a galling metal (two separate titanium parts want to bind and smear across each other rather than sliding). The buttons to disengage the links would be really rough and would jam easily.
    Alloys aren’t that specific. The percentages of alloyed ingredients can vary widely. 316 is no different in that regard than most any other alloy.

    here’s the major alloying ingredients and their allowable percentages:

    iron.          58.23-73.61%
    chromium 16-18.5%
    nickel.       10-15%

    there are a number of other elements used which vary in their percentages. All of the variations within these limits are called 316L. However, I can easily tell the differences between different versions of the alloy from different manufacturers. They look different, and they work differently. Different manufacturers can have their own proprietary names for their versions of any alloy, and they can consistently manufacture the alloy with their specific ingredients percentages. They are all proprietary to them, even though they can’t be patented. Apple is the same, they have their own alloy version of this, and their own treatments.

    I don’t think you know any of this. It reads as though you’re reading it from somewhere, because what you’re saying isn’t quite correct.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member

    zimmie said:

    melgross said:

    zimmie said:
    macgui said:
    It's really nice to know the Apple bracelet holds up so well. At $550 it wasn't a consideration, but at $350, it might be. I bought the Apple Classic Buckle at $150 because the alternatives just didn't seem to fit the look of the Watch, and lack the detail of Apple's band. Yes, the alternatives can be nice looking and much cheaper, but not as nice, to my eye, as the Classic Buckle.
    I got a space black link bracelet used from a seller in China. $120, new without tags (NWOT). Just to be sure, I ran it through my ultrasonic cleaner, then gave it a little nano-oil. It has the proper markings ("Assembled in China" on one end link, case size and "316L Stainless Steel" inside the clasp), and after the cleaning and lubrication, it looks and feels great. If it isn't genuine, it's the best knockoff I've ever seen of any watch bracelet.

    Plenty of sellers sell these in 38mm and 42mm, space black and stainless. The biggest advantage of the stainless is if you scratch it, you can just get it brushed again. The space black is harder to scratch, but if you do manage it, there's no good way to repair it.
    Apple’s just doesn’t scratch. I question whether these Chinese knockoffs are 316L.
    Yours hasn't scratched ... yet. Extremely hard materials like synthetic diamonds are becoming more widely used. As time goes by, the chances of you encountering such a material go up. 

    Again, if you manage to scratch it, there is no real way to repair the scratch. You could get it coated in several fresh layers of DLC, but that would cost an enormous amount of money. Probably more than buying a whole new space black band straight from Apple.

    I personally think the space black looks amazing, and I wear mine (with space black link bracelet) every day. I am under no illusion that it will never scratch, though.
    I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make here. Obviously, if one were to try to scratch diamond with diamond, the likelihood is that you will succeed. It’s not likely that encountering diamond is something that will occur under any normal situations. And I can give you reasons why attempting to scratch a diamond with another might not work.
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