Apple’s foray into the fashion world looks to be going strong, and expanding.
Today, the company unveils more colors of Apple Watch Hermès bands, and for the first time, Apple Watch Hermès bands will be available separately, allowing customers to more easily switch out their bands.
The bands, which are revealed online today and are available April 19, come in the single and double tour styles. The new colors are Bleu Paon (green), Bleu Saphir (blue), Blanc (white) and Feu (orange). These join existing colors, which will be continued, in Fauve, Noir, Capucine, Bleu Jean and Etain. The “complete system,” meaning the watch and the band, will be available in Fauve Barenia only.
The individual bands are $340 (for the single tour) and $490 (double tour), and can be bought online (in countries in which it is available) and in select Apple stores, Hermès boutiques, specialty stores and department stores worldwide.
As Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook shared at the company’s March event, one-third of Apple Watch wearers change their bands daily, and these options build on other styles and textures of bands that were shared at the March event. Apple also made the watches more accessible, with some starting at $299, rather than $349. “Customers love it,” Cook said. “People love how the bands give the watch an entirely new look.”
The Apple Watch Hermès partnership was announced at Apple’s event in September, and signified the company’s solid positioning as a fashion-friendly company. This is the first update to that partnership.
In the company’s quarterly earnings call with investors, Cook said the Apple Watch, which became available in April, is available in 12,000 locations in 48 countries, and is the most popular smartwatch in the world. He and chief financial officer Luca Maestri also said that overall sales were especially strong during December’s holiday buying season.
In speaking on the collaboration between Hermès and Apple in September, Apple chief design officer Jonathan Ive said, “Both companies are motivated by a sincere pursuit of excellence and the desire to create something that is not compromised.” And Hermès executive vice president in charge of artistic direction Pierre-Alexis Dumas compared the combination of the 178-year-old Hermès with the 39-year-old Apple to a horse and carriage — “a perfect team.”
As smartwatches continue the transition from tech gadget to fashion accessory, brands are continuing to expand the variety of options, emphasizing the personal aspect of something worn on the body.
Google’s Android smartwatches are now available from 12 companies ranging from Michael Kors to Nixon, with Motorola and Fossil, for example, offering a wide range of styles.