Nomad Shell Cordovan Apple Watch strap and Moment lens case: Elegant leather Apple accessories

Nomad creates fantastic high quality leather products and for the past few weeks I've been using a new Apple Watch strap and a functional lens case for my iPhone XS.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

After making a move back to the Apple Watch Series 4 and finding great value in this smartwatch, I started to look around at band options. The new Nomad Shell Cordovan Strap looked like an enviable option so I spent the last few weeks breaking one in.

Last year I also purchased a Moment wide angle lens and am currently testing out the latest Tele 58mm lens. Two of my favorite companies recently came together so I purchased a Nomad x Moment lens case that provides the greatness of a Nomad Rugged iPhone case with the functionality of a Moment lens photo case.

Also: Moment wide lens and photo case for Apple iPhone X: Enhance your creativity with a twist

Let's take a closer look at the two new Nomad products I used over the past couple weeks.

Nomad Shell Cordovan Strap

My Apple Watch Series 4 came with a Nike+ sport loop strap and that is wonderful for working out and every day wear. However, it's nice to dress up an Apple Watch and there is a massive market for Apple Watch bands.

Nomad recently launched the Shell Cordovan Strap in black and silver. The band sells for $149.95, which appears to be expensive for a third party band. However, Apple's leather bands start at $149 and go up to as high as $539.

The Shell Cordovan Strap is made with Horween leather from Chicago. Horween leather is known for high quality and patina character developed over time. As described in detail on the Horween website, Shell Cordovan is:

Genuine Shell Cordovan is the art of tanning at its finest. More than just a color, it is a very specific leather, from a particular part of a horsehide. The irregular oval shaped shells are tanned, stuffed, shaved, and then polished – a process taking at least six months. Each shell is slowly steeped in gentle vegetable liquors. The shells are genuine hot stuffed then slicked onto glass frames to dry. Each shell is hand curried and shaved by highly skilled artisans to expose the shell. Dyes are hand rubbed on for a deep aniline finish. Finally, the shells are hand glazed to achieve the rich, glossy look and feel prized by fine craftsmen.

The exterior of the Shell Cordovan Strap is glossy while the inside has a matte finish with unique patterns. Nomad states, "The natural, raw finish of Shell Cordovan produces a variety of dark greens intermixed with orginal stamp marks from Horween's tannery, ensuring that your Apple Watch stands out from the rest." The band is rather stiff at first, but over time it softens and forms to the shape of your wrist. Over the past couple of weeks of use, the band has softened and is now very comfortable while looking great.

Over long term use, the leather will patina and develop its own unique character. The thread used on the band is a Fil Au Chinois beeswax linen thread while stainless steel lugs and buckle, in black or silver, are used to finish off the high quality design of the product. The black stainless steel model has a PVD treatment application to provide the black color.

Nomad Shell Cordovan Apple Watch strap and Moment lens case: in pictures

The Nomad Shell Cordovan Strap is designed for the 44mm Apple Watch Series 4, but fits all previous 42mm Apple Watches as well. The buckle side of the band is 75mm in length while the adjustment side is 135mm. It is designed to fit wrist sizes ranging from 150mm to 210mm. When I wear the band on my wrist, I have three holes left in the band. There are eight total holes to use for adjusting the band to your wrist.

I've been very happy with the Nomad Shell Cordovan watch band and look forward to wearing it and watching it develop character over the next several months, and likely years, with this or future Apple Watch devices.

Also: Apple Watch Series 4 back on my wrist: Unnecessary, but indispensable

Nomad Moment Rugged iPhone Case

One of the first cases I purchase for my iPhones are leather variations from Nomad. While I would love to use a Nomad leather case for long periods of time so I could watch it develop its patina, I also love to use Moment lenses and you need to use a Moment Photo case to use these accessories.

I was very excited when Nomad and Moment announced a partnership that looked to be made for my exact needs. The Nomad Moment Rugged iPhone case combines the best of Nomad leather cases with the capability to twist and lock in Moment lenses. I order a case as soon as they were available and have been using it for the past couple of weeks.

The Nomad Rugged cases are my personal favorite since I like back and side protection, but am not sold on wallet cases. This new Nomad Moment Rugged iPhone case is just like other Nomad Rugged cases, but has the back opening where the dual camera setup is located altered to include a Moment lens mount. You can use the new Moment lenses with both cameras, just make sure to use the Moment iPhone app that gives you all the functionality to use the lens and dual cameras.

The Nomad Moment Rugged case has a high-grade polycarbonate body with a raised TPE bumper around the edges. The case provides a rated 10 feet drop protection and the raised side bumpers help protect the display when you set your iPhone XS face down on a table.

The back of the case is wrapped in Horween leather, rustic brown in color, that wraps around the curves of the back. It looks and feels great. The Moment lens supporting structure protrudes out from the back of the case just a bit, which also acts to protect the glass lenses of the rear cameras.

The interior of the Nomad leather case is lined with soft gray microfiber material with the Nomad branding on the inside. Your iPhone XS snaps securely into the frame and ensures the case will not fall off the iPhone. There are ample openings for the cameras, flash, Lightning port, speaker, and mics. There is also an opening for the ringer switch, but I had a bit of difficulty with flipping the switch because I have short fingernails and the case is a bit thick around this opening.

Wireless charging and Apple Pay is supported when your iPhone is in the case so you really never have to remove your iPhone if you want good protection, great looks, and Moment lens capability in one case.

The Nomad Moment Rugged iPhone Case is available now for $49.95. The standard Nomad Rugged case is $44.95 so there is only a $5 premium to add Moment lens support. The Nomad Moment case is also limited to rustic brown color while black is available if you don't need the Moment lens support.

Editorial standards