Apple’s Luxury Microfiber?

For the past few years I have been photographing and cataloging my Apple Collection and posting on this blog. The exercise has allowed me to both showcase and inventory my collection. Occasionally, such as in this case, I discover a detail I’ve neither seen nor heard in another source.

I recently acquired several new Apple Watch bands of different types. Among them, I decided to splurge on my very first (and likely last) Apple Watch Hermès item for my collection—the Apple Watch Hermès 45 mm Navy Single Tour Band. Having never unboxed or photographed an Apple/Hermès product, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Typical Apple Watch bands (and Apple Watch Nike bands) arrive in a white (or black) cardboard box with a detailed illustration on the front showing the band’s design. The box can be opened by pulling the green arrow icon to break the tape seal, and the box opens at the side. A tabbed, folded insert is then slid out, and when unfolded, the band is held in place by die-cut cardboard. Instructions are printed on the cardboard insert for putting the band on an Apple Watch.

A typical Apple Watch Sport Loop cardboard insert.

The Apple Watch Hermès packaging is decidedly more posh. The outside of the box is covered in a clear plastic wrap similar to the wrap on some Apple product boxes (such as the original HomePod and the iPad Pro). The plastic includes a tab with a white arrow to indicate which way to peel off the outer protective layer. Under the plastic, the orange Hermès box is sturdy, heavy, and textured. The lid of the box lifts off, and this is where my surprise began.

Inside, the Apple Watch Hermès band is not in cardboard, but enrobed in a luxurious microfiber pouch with a familiar texture and configuration. I removed the cloth pouch from the box and opened it to find that one side contained cardboard and paper inserts with information, and the other side was divided in half with each side containing one piece of the watch band.

Upon closer inspection, the pouch appears to be made from the same material as the now famous Apple Polishing Cloth, the $19 cloth that enjoyed about a month of media hype in 2021. Apple had begun selling the Polishing Cloth as an accessory and the cloth quickly went out of stock due to apparently high demand. You can read more about this story here. In addition to the similar look and feel of the material, the edge construction of the pouch also appears identical to the Apple Polishing Cloth. While the Apple/Hermès logotype appears to be both embossed and printed with brown ink, the Apple logo on the Apple Polishing Cloth is only embossed.

The colors of the two items are different—the Apple Polishing Cloth is light gray, while the Apple Watch Hermès pouch is a shade of greige (gray+beige). The two materials feel identical to the touch, both in the cloth area and in the more dense edges that are presumably joined by an adhesive and pressure to create a finished look and feel with edges rounded in Bézier curves.

As a result of this unboxing and photo session, I believe that I identified Apple’s signal for their truly high-end products—the presence of Apple’s “luxury microfiber.” See my Apple Watch Hermès band blog entry here. If anyone has additional information about this microfiber material or has seen it used in other Apple products, please contact me!

Post Script: As I suspected, the French-made Apple Watch Hermès Single Tour Band does not fit my American-made wrist. This is far from a tragedy, as I am happy to have this one example for my collection. Just do not expect to see me wearing my Hermès band on the yacht, at the country club, or in the stables.*

*Please note that do not I engage in these activities.

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