Review: Apple Black Unity Braided Solo Loop Band

February is Black History Month and Apple over the last couple of years has released a limited edition Apple Watch band. Last year they released a Black Unity Sport band which was… Ok. But it didn’t make me want to run out to get one. But the 2021 version which is a Black Unity Braided Solo Loop is different and made me order one on Apple.com.

Before I show the band, let me talk about the solo loop watch band. The Braided Solo Loop is made from recycled yarn interwoven with silicone threads. It’s a soft matte-finish stretchy band in one piece, making it especially comfy because there are not clasps or buckles attached. Assuming that you get the right size. More on that in a few minutes. But now let’s look at the band. Starting with the packaging:

Unlike Apple’s non-Nike watch strap packaging, this packaging is black and shows off the watch band in its glory.

On the back of the box is this notice that Apple supports organizations that are dedicated to advancing racial equity and justice. Which is positive.

Inside the box, there’s a piece of paper with the same design as the band with some text on it that you can barely read. But I’ll help you with that. It says the following:

“This watch band is inspired by Afrofuturism. It honours generations of who have been seen and unseen, and symbolizes a communal belief in the necessity for a more equitable world.

Afrofuturism is a philosophy that explores the experience of the African diaspora through a narrative of science, technology, and self-empowerment. It aims to dismantle systemic inequalities by creating better conditions for the present generation of Black people.”

That same text is on the back of this card in several languages.

Now let’s get to the band. It’s wrapped up in instructions at the top for how to get it onto your Apple Watch.

There’s a matching watch face that you can get here by either scanning the circular QR like code or you can get it here via opening that link on your iPhone as long as you are running watchOS 8.3 or higher and iOS 15.2 or higher. And if you want to complete the look on all your iDevices, there’s matching wallpaper for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad as well.

Here’s the Black Unity Woven Solo Loop on my wrist with the Unity Lights watch face, which is one of the better watch faces that Apple has released. While you can’t customize it all that much, it’s great because it leverages the graphics capabilities of the Apple Watch to look stunning. As for the Black Unity Woven Solo Loop band, it is black with flecks of red, yellow and green. It’s a subtle and appealing design. I should also point out that this is the only woven solo loop that Apple makes that has black in it. I can easily see myself using this for more formal events as well as for daily use. Plus seeing as it is water resistant, you can use this for working out with.

While this picture is a bit blurry, it does say “Black Unity” inside the lugs, which are space grey for the record.

Now about the sizing. I am a size seven. And I figured out by not using the Apple sizing tool that’s available online because according to that, I am a size eight. Instead I used this guide by John Gruber of Daring Fireball who has a far better way of determining your exact size. When you get your size right, these woven solo loops are insanely comfortable and snug without being tight. Not to mention breathable seeing as it is woven. And I should mention that I was also able to get my Road ID onto it as well without an issue. Your other option to get the size right is to go to an Apple Store if you can and let them get it right for you.

The only thing that might keep you from getting one is the price. In Canada, you can expect to pay $119. And for the record, the 41mm model fits 38mm and 40mm Apple Watches, and the 45mm model fits 44mm and 42mm Apple Watches. The price is steep. But the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop is a Apple Watch strap that has a meaning and a message. Thus for me, all of that was an incentive for me to grab one. Just make sure that you get your sizing right and you’re good to go.

UPDATE: There is a round version of the Unity Lights watch face that unlike the square version, it allows for four complications. One in each corner.

One Response to “Review: Apple Black Unity Braided Solo Loop Band”

  1. […] Apple Black Unity Braided Solo Loop Band […]

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