Turn your Nano into a high-tech watch
You can call us Q. Ever since the sixth-generation iPod Nano was released in late 2010 with a design that looks suspiciously like a watch face, companies have been making accessories to actually turn the tiny player into a wristwatch. (As we decided earlier this year, it's pretty darned cool.) And with the recent iPod nano software update, you now get 18 clock faces, making the Nano even more versatile as a timekeeping accessory.
Here's a look at the various iPod-Nano-watch options out there, ranging from practical sports accessories to stylish everyday watches that match any outfit. With an iPod as your wristwatch, all you need is a garrotte and a laser beam and you can live like James Bond.
Available in seven different colors, SwitchEasy's $25 Ticker is a good choice for those looking for a durable wristband for their iPod nano. The nano slips easily into the plastic band which provides full button access as well as access to the Nano's headphone jack. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Ticker is that because of its sideways orientation, it provides easy access for both righties and southpaws. One downside to this equal-opportunity wristband is its lack of access to the Nano's 30-pin dock-connector port—you must remove the Nano every time you need to charge or sync.
Speck's $25 TimeToRock for iPod Nano is a wristband designed for listening to music in all situations. Made of lightweight and strong thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the TimeToRock lets you easily take your iPod out of and put it into the wristband's watch frame, and includes a headphone-cord-management armband. The TimeToRock provides access to all the Nano's buttons, as well as its headphone jack, but not its dock-connector port -- you have to remove the nano to charge and sync. The accessory comes in three color combinations: black with gray trim, blue with pink trim, and grey with orange trim.
Incase Flex Wristband
Incase's $50 Flex Wristband for iPod nano 6G is a great option for the Nano user who wants a simple strap but doesn't want colored plastic that's too bright for a natural rainbow. The Nano attaches to the Flex Wristband using a simple snap-in mechanism that allows for access to the iPod's buttons, headphone jack, and dock-connector port -- you can charge and sync without having to disconnect the Nano from the band. The Flex is available in black, grey, or tan, and the elastic, matte-finish steel band promises to fit almost any wrist.
LunaTik TikTok, LunaTik, and Lynk
LunaTik's wristband offerings take the iPod Nano watch out of the realm of novelty accessory and into the territory of nice, every-day timepiece. The company currently offers three models: The basic TikTok (top; $40) is a simple, silicone-rubber band into which you snap a Nano; it's available in black, white, cyan, magenta, or yellow. For double the price, the LunaTik (bottom right; $80) uses the same strap (in black, white, red, or camouflage), but offers a sturdier, aluminum iPod frame that requires a hex wrench to secure, along with a nicer, stainless-steel buckle. The priciest of the bunch is the high-end Lynk (bottom left). Available in silver aluminum ($130) or black aluminum ($140), the Lynk uses the same Nano frame as the LunaTik, but replaces the rubber strap with an aluminum band with a butterfly clasp.
Aphipod Armpod SmartView Microtune
Amphipod's $25 Armpod SmartView Microtune is a good choice for those looking for a non-plastic wristband that can handle active use and exercise. Its elastic band easily adjusts to fit arms or thick wrists for a secure, comfortable fit. Its clear, soft Nano compartment protects your iPod from scratches without preventing touchscreen, button, headphone-jack, or dock-connector access.
Apex Armor I-Konik Nano Watch
Apex Armor's $90 I-Konik Nano Watch offers iPod Nano users an innovative way to use their iPods. Not only can you wear it as a watch, but each anodized-aluminum Nano holder is made with rare-earth magnets that let you attach it to a refrigerator or any other magnet-attractive surface when it's not on your wrist. The I-Konik preserves access to all buttons, the headphone jack, and the dock-connector port; it even lets you use the Nano's built-in clip without removing the Nano from the case. Available in six different models -- Gunmetal Grey, Black Ops Edition (black), OD Green, Red Rum, Blue Steel, and Hope Edition (pink) -- each I-Konik comes with your choice of one of six different straps for numerous color and material combinations.
iWatchz has you covered with eight different collections of stylish wristbands to choose from. On the more affordable end of the iWatchz line lies the $25 Q Collection and $40 Q2 Collection. These silicon-strap wristbands each come in eight different colors, with the Q2 using an aluminum iPod nano frame instead of the Q's polycarbonate version. Other options from iWatchz, all using an aluminum frame, include the carbon-fiber Carbon Collection ($50), the colored-leather Nappa Collection ($60), the leather-and-nylon Force Collection ($70), the soft-leather Icarius Collection ($60), the distressed-leather Vintage Collection ($80), and the leather Timepiece Collection ($90). Every wrist strap is available in multiple colors, and all collections use the same clip-in Nano frame design that offers full access to buttons and ports.
Ozaki iCoat Watch
The iCoat Watch lines from Ozaki (PhP1,295 each -- about $30) offers a wide variety of colorful, decorated plastic straps for the iPod nano. Each of the straps attaches to the Nano using the iPod's built-in clip. The company separates its lines by gender, with the only obvious difference between the For Her and For Him lines being that the former uses slightly brighter shades of the same seven colors. The androgynous Watch line offers seven different designs ranging from tan stripes on dark grey to pink-on-pink bubbles. Unless you live in the Philippines, Ozaki's offerings are available only through distributor MSI-ECS.
The two iPod Nano wristbands from iLoveHandles are as affordable as they are adorable. The Rubber Band (currently $10 each) is exactly what it sounds like: a rubber wrist strap. Available in "Candy" colors (white, pink, orange, green, or blue) and "Bauhaus" colors (white, red, yellow, blue, or charcoal), the Rubber Band is also available in discounted bundles so you can have a different strap for every outfit. The company also offers the $20 Rock Band. The Rubber Band's cooler older brother, the Rock Band has a similar design but is available only in black leather. Your iPod nano attaches to both bands using the Nano's built-in clip, maintaining full access to buttons, the headphones jack, and the dock-connector port.
Hex watch bands
Hex offers a whopping seven different wrist straps for the iPod nano, covering pretty much every type. The funky $40 Icon, $40 Free Wired Icon, $30 Hex Original, $30 Hex Sport, and $30 Hex Slim fully encase your iPod in a silicone or polycarbonate covering, allowing access to only the Nano's buttons, screen, and headphone jack. These models are the lightest and sportiest of Hex's offerings, but only the Hex Sport provides access to the Nano's dock-connector port. The more professional-looking options are the $50 Hex Vision Leather and the stainless-steel, $70 Hex Vision Metal, each of which holds the Nano using the iPod's built-in clip and provide full access to its controls and ports. Each of Hex's models is available in multiple colors.
Elecom iPod Belt
Leave it to our friends across the Pacific to create one of the most practical and stylish nano watch bands of the bunch. The iPod Belt (3,570JPY each -- about $46) from Japanese company Elecom comes in black or brown belt-grade leather and sports sturdy medal hardware to keep it on tight. Your iPod attaches to the belt using the Nano's built-in clip, maintaining full access to all buttons and ports. Unfortunately for non-Japanese speakers, Elecom's website is entirely in Japanese, but if you like the the look, these wrist straps just may be worth busting out the Google Translate.
Quad Mountain The Ultimate One
Quad Mountain's $30 The Ultimate One lives up to its name by combining functionality, style, and comfort in a wristband that will let you use your Nano as a watch and more. The Ultimate One is available in black, white, blue, green, orange, pink, or red, and allows easy access to buttons, the headphone jack, and the dock-connector port for easy syncing and charging, or even for plugging in Bluetooth dongles for wireless headphones. The company emphasizes that all design decisions were made to enhance functionality and access. Normally $30 each, The Ultimate One is currently on sale on the manufacturer's website for $20 each, or two for $35.
For the leather-loving nano owner, iPevo offers an elegant strap made of Italian calf leather. The $50 Chrono is a simple band, available in black or brown, that features a surgical-grade, stainless-steel buckle. Your iPod uses its built-in clip to attach to the band's custom-cut slot, making it a good option for nano owners who don't want to have to take apart a complicated attachment to use their iPod sans strap. The Chrono provides full access to the Nano's buttons, headphone jack, and dock-connector port.
Boombotix The Proof
With all these offerings, you might think vendors have exhausted the ideas for wearing your iPod nano on your wrist. You'd be wrong, as the Kickstarter campaign for the Boombotix-designed The Proof shows. The Proof is a concept for a fully waterproof Nano wristband that allows you to wear your iPod 24/7, no matter where your travels take you. The idea has yet to meet its funding goal, so if you've been scratching your head during this slideshow, wondering if anyone will ever make a watchband that lets you take your nano in the shower, or for a dive, here's your chance to contribute to the cause while reserving your own from the first batch.