Apple Watch Ultra 2 May Look Like Nomad’s Cool Rugged Watch Case
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Apple Watch Ultra 2 May Look Like Nomad’s Cool Rugged Watch Case

Oct 03, 2023

Nomad Rugged Case for Apple Watch

When Apple released its rugged Apple Watch Ultra, owners of the regular Series Apple Watches had few ways to protect their timepieces—and none were as cool as the just-released Rugged Case for Apple Watch from the brilliant Nomad Goods.

Not only does it protect the Watch, it makes it look very like the Apple Watch Ultra. In fact, since it’s reported that the next Ultra could come in an eye-catching Space Black version, Nomad has given us a sneak preview of what the Ultra 2 might look like in this darker, moodier version.

The Rugged Case, which costs $120, works with any 44mm or 45mm Apple Watch, that is, the larger sizes of Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, Series 7 and Series 8. It also works with the second-generation Apple Watch SE. It’s not compatible with the Ultra.

Nomad Rugged Case for Apple Watch

And it feels properly tough—the case is made from hardened stainless steel. Take the Watch and press it into the case from behind, Digital Crown first. It slots firmly into place with a satisfying clonk. Though the outside is toughened, there’s soft TPU inside to cradle the Watch gently.

The shape of the case, which pays homage to the Ultra, has protective outcrops that sit above and around the Digital Crown, plus a raised area for the side button, realized in the familiar International Orange color of the Ultra’s extra button. Mind you, if you would prefer a black button, there’s one in the box so you can swap to that, too, which is typical Nomad attention to detail. Personally, I love the orange one.

The side button here is part of the case and pressing on the case activates the side button on the Watch within. I thought the Digital Crown surround was going to make it harder to twiddle the crown, but it works perfectly: smooth and reliable.

The front of the case stands proud of the Watch’s pillowed glass, saving it from casual bumps and scratches effortlessly. As with the Digital Crown, touch access to the display is uninterrupted by the case around it.

Nomad Rugged Case for Apple Watch side view.

It also comes with a ruggedized band which is integral to the case, you can’t switch it out for another. Nomad says it is, “built with FKM fluoroelastomer for a soft yet durable finish,” which feels about right. It’s comfortable as well as reassuringly strong.

Of course, it doesn’t convert your Watch into an Ultra, but it really changes up the look. Close one eye and squint, and it really could give us a clue as to what a Space Black Ultra might look like.

Nomad Rugged Case for Apple Watch

More importantly, if you’d like to make your regular Watch more rugged, it does the trick in a way that’s efficient, understated and good-looking.