Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Apple doesn’t sell the Hermes Apple Watch leather band anymore – and we think we know why

Leather is not exactly "sustainable"

apple watch hermes leather band
Hermes / Hermes

In the realm of luxury, Hermes is a distinguished name known for (amongst other things) its collaboration with Apple in creating exquisite Apple Watch bands. In recent days, Hermes appeared to remove all leather Apple Watch 8 bands from its site, sparking intrigue and raising questions about the underlying reasons; many even wondered if Hermes and Apple were ending their partnership. All Apple Watch Series 9 bands are listed on the Hermes website – including leather bands. Still, Apple isn’t selling the leather bands on its website, and there’s an excellent reason why.

Apple is making a push toward sustainability.

 At Apple, sustainability takes center stage

Apple’s unwavering dedication to eco-consciousness is one of the key elements behind this shift. As a global leader in technology, Apple has set high standards for lowering its carbon footprint and improving the sustainability of its products. This dedication applies to all their collaborations, including the one with Hermes.

Leather, while associated with luxury, poses environmental concerns. The leather production process requires a lot of resources and impacts the global carbon footprint. Apple’s commitment to sustainability means actively investigating alternatives to less eco-friendly materials. Per Digital Trends, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claimed Apple was ready to “move away from leather on iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands.”

A greener future for luxury

This transition from leather aligns with a broader industry trend where luxury and sustainability converge. Luxury brands are increasingly recognizing the importance of environmental responsibility in their products. Customers today are not just seeking luxury but also products that align with their values and the planet’s well-being.

The most recent Hermes collaboration lineup on the Apple website introduces four fresh watch band designs that draw inspiration from opulent fabrics. Along with the sophisticated Hermès Radial face, these watches are iconic and groundbreaking.

For instance, the Toile H draws inspiration from the distinctive cotton Hermes canvas initially presented in 1930. This durable and lightweight strap subtly acknowledges the brand’s edge painting technique. Furthermore, the Kilim Hermès band sets a new standard for adventurousness, blending supple and waterproof rubber with a molded design featuring the interlocking “H” pattern.

Apple Hermes sport watch white background
Apple is a pioneer in environmental responsibility

Apple has been a pioneer in environmental responsibility, as evidenced by several initiatives, including prioritizing renewable energy in their corporate offices and data centers, actively promoting recycling through a trade-in program where customers can receive credit toward new products by returning their old ones and minimizing packaging waste.

Most notable is Apple’s plan to make all products carbon neutral by 2030, and they’ve made Apple Watch their first. Apple Watches are now powered by clean electricity, made with 30% recycled materials, and shipped 50% or more of the way without airplanes; they even include the snazzy new “carbon neutral” logo that Apple rolled out.

As we move forward in an era where sustainability is paramount, this development reminds us that luxury and responsibility can coexist. It also sets the stage for future eco-friendly luxury tech accessories. The decision by Apple to part ways with leather is not merely a business move; it’s a statement about the importance of treading lightly on the planet while enjoying life’s finer things. With this in mind, the collaboration between Apple and Hermes is poised to enter a new era, one where luxury is redefined to include a commitment to a greener, more sustainable future.

Though Hermes will continue selling the leather Apple Watch bands on its website, don’t expect Apple to follow suit.

Editors' Recommendations

Sarah Veldman
Freelance Writer
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
Why the chronograph watch is timeless (pun intended)
What is a chronograph watch? All about the timeless accessory
Tag Heuer Chronograph close-up

The chronograph watch -- a timepiece that's more than just a tool for tracking hours and minutes. It's a part of history, a dash of precision engineering, and a touch of elegance all rolled into one. If watches were a symphony of craftsmanship and functionality, then the chronograph watch would undoubtedly be the crescendo. So, why are these so darn appealing? And what is a chronograph watch exactly? Let's set our timers and delve into the world of these remarkable wrist adornments.

Imagine you're at the race track, heart pounding as the cars zoom by in a fit of chaos and noise. Or perhaps you're in a friendly kitchen competition, racing against the clock to perfect your soufflé. In both cases, the chronograph watch is your trusty sidekick. It's not just about telling the time; it's about capturing moments. With its stopwatch function, you can time laps, events, and even your microwave popcorn. A chronograph watch isn't just a timepiece; it's your personal timekeeper, ready to conquer challenges big and small.
Craftsmanship and legacy
In a world where digital rules, the analog charm of a chronograph watch remains irresistible. It's not just about reading numbers; it's about appreciating the intricacies of a mechanical marvel. The chronograph's legacy dates back to 1816, thanks to the ingenious mind of Louis Moinet. The chronograph watch thrived in the military, medical, and sports fields, evolving to cater to diverse calculations beyond time. Brands like Breitling pioneered separate stopwatch functions in 1915, setting the stage for modern luxury brands like Rolex, Omega, Zenith, TAG Heuer, and A. Lange & Söhne.

Read more
Timex watches don’t usually cost $1,000, but their latest does, and you might actually want to buy it
A $1,000 Timex? You read that right
Giorgio Galli S2 Automatic 38mm Timex on wrist

The secret to success in a brand is identity. When you become known for something, you are never without a customer base that knows where to go to get your very specific identifier. For Timex, it has been a simple phrase that permeated our culture's collective memory. They "take a lick and keep on ticking." The rugged and durable reputation they gained from that phrase is one that became attractive to those who weren't sitting behind a desk but rather experiencing the world and protecting it. They have even become one of the go-to brands for tactical watches as well. But now, Timex watches are moving into a whole new world, luxury timepieces in the thousand-dollar range.

Timex Group's global creative director, Giorgio Galli, just dropped his newest addition to his self-named line for the watchmaker: A Swiss-made masterpiece called the S2. It takes the design of its predecessor, the S1, and takes it further into the luxurious market of other Swiss-made watches. While the S1 was already carrying the company's most expensive line at just under $500, the S2 doubles the price it is fetching with a price that is almost reaching a four-digit number. A first for a Timex watch. But will the world respond to their approach? Will the everyday man, the soldier, the lawman, the fireman, or the construction worker who wears Timex watches get a $ 1,000 watch? Will the luxury collector give it its due?

Read more
Good news: Why we’re likely to get a new Apple Watch Ultra this year
Reports indicate there will be a new Apple Watch Ultra in 2023
Apple Watch Ultra

Apple has consistently managed to create products that we can't help but buy, and the Apple Watch Ultra was no different (especially for the travelers and outdoor enthusiasts among us). But what about the Apple Watch Ultra 2? If recent reports are to be believed, it might make its grand debut in the latter half of 2023. While Apple has maintained secrecy surrounding this timepiece, several compelling sources indicate this release could be just around the corner.

Typically, Apple debuts smartwatch upgrades on an annual schedule — with the exception of the SE models. But what of the Ultra? There's only been one so far, so there's no roadmap to follow — but according to those in the know, you can be optimistic that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be part of this fall's unveiling.

Read more