The chemical tech that gives the the Apple Watch Sport band its shape


The Apple Watch Sport band may have been dismissed by some as something that likely costs just $2.05 to make, but it appears that some clever chemical tech goes into its design. Patently Apple drew our attention to an Apple patent application that appears to describe the Sport band.

The method includes creating an inner layer of the woven fabric band with the inner layer having a first temperature melting point. In certain embodiments, a sheath surrounds the inner layer. Further, the sheath has a second temperature melting point that is different from the temperature melting point of the inner layer. The method further includes applying heat to the woven fabric band that causes the inner layer to melt and conform to a shape without melting or damaging the sheath.

Although the patent doesn’t get more specific about the ‘fabric’ than saying it “may include nylon and other such polymers,” the description matches the fluoroelastomer Sport strap.

The Sport band has proven a surprisingly popular choice, even for those purchasing the more expensive steel model and much more expensive Edition. If you want to get the Edition look for a rather more palatable price, there are both full-service and DIY gold plating options – including rose gold.

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  1. Soluble Apps - 8 years ago

    I bought a few third party silicone straps for about $4 each (plus the cost of an adaptor) and you can really tell the difference in quality to the genuine Apple strap. These straps are much thinner, and are flat instead of curved (which means the tail doesn’t hide underneath so effectively)

    Perhaps in a few months we will be able to source thicker third-party straps, with the end connectors integrated. It’s worth waiting until then to get a better product.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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