The clock is ticking down towards the expected arrival of the Apple Watch 9 at today's iPhone 15 event, but a leak has just revealed one of the smartwatch's supporting cast – a new strap made from a new, artificial leather material. (Looking for follow the latest Apple news live? Check out our iPhone 15 event live blog).
The best Apple Watch bands are expected to get a pretty big shakeup during today's launch event, and the Apple leaker Kosutami has just published the first photos of Apple's new 'FineWoven Link' strap on X (formerly Twitter) below.
According to the leak, this new FineWoven band is made from a combination of recycled nylon and polyester that's been weaved with twill. It's also seemingly more hard-wearing than it looks, with a "splash-proof finish" potentially making it a good everyday option.
Official look of the FineWoven Link(精织斜纹链式表带) #Apple #AppleEvent pic.twitter.com/U4DJnXcBdiSeptember 12, 2023
Like Apple's current leather bands, the new strap will also apparently contain flexible magnets to help it snap into place around your wrist without the need for clasps.
Perhaps most importantly, the new FineWoven Link also looks nigh-on identical to Apple's current Leather Link bands, only with a new lighter tan color and a slightly different finish.
The development of Apple's new FineWoven material appears to be part of the company's overall strategy to reduce its carbon footprint and move towards more eco-friendly materials.
There have also been rumors that Apple will also dispense with its silicone bands like its Sport Band and Solo Loop, alongside its stainless steel bracelet, as part of its move away from leather. But we'll see for sure at Apple's Wonderlust event, which kicks off today (Tuesday, September 12) at 10am PT / 1am ET / 6pm BST.
A smarter choice
We've long been fans of the Apple Leather Link band, which has strong magnets to help keep it in place alongside a smart design that's suitable for most occasions (except sport).
But Apple's move away from leather straps makes sense given its commitment to becoming carbon neutral across its whole business by the year 2030, and an overall drive towards more eco-friendly manufacturing.
So if the new FineWoven Link offers all the same benefits as the Leather Link, only with an artificial leather material, then we can see it being a popular choice among prospective Apple Watch 9 buyers or owners of the best Apple Watches.
The only question is whether the new band's price will be bumped up from the $99 / £99 / AU$149 asking price of the soon-to-be-discontinued Leather Link – to find out, you'll need to join us soon by watching the Apple September Event 2023.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.