Last week, we heard from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman that Apple is going to start moving away from leather for its Apple Watch bands to match the same effort for its iPhone 15 cases. Now ahead of Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch event on September 12, long-time Apple Watch partner Hermès has removed all mentions of the wearable and compatible bands from its website. This could mean it may be a quick shift for the Apple Watch away from leather. And is it the end of the luxury design house’s partnership with Apple?
At the end of August, we heard multiple rumors that Apple was planning to replace its leather cases with a new woven-style material for the iPhone 15 lineup. Then we saw more corroboration a week later that the new iPhone 15 cases to take the place of the premium leather would be called “FineWoven.”
Just six days after Mark shared about the expectation that Apple would “begin moving away from leather on its Apple Watch bands as well” Hermès has removed all Apple Watch-related products from its website – as spotted by Parker Ortolani.
That includes Hermés removing the entire “Apple Watch Hermès” section under “Jewelry and Watches” on its site.
Apple’s website still has the Hermés landing page up and it’s still possible to buy Apple Watch Hermès – the very few models that are still in stock. Apple has also been giving employees up to 90% off the remaining Apple Watch Hermés models.
With Hermès fully removing all Apple Watch content from its site, it raises the question, come Tuesday, is the partnership with Apple over?
While Hermés has focused on offering luxury leather bands with Apple Watch, it does make “Casaque Single Tour” with woven nylon (pictured below).
And it could have worked to create new non-leather options. But it’s possible that Apple moving away from leather was just a dealbreaker for Hermès.
On the flip side, it’s possible Hermès decided to remove all Apple Watch content from its site ahead of a refreshed, leather-free range of luxury bands and new Apple Watch Hermés models to launch alongside Series 9.
In fact, Hermès did that last year ahead of the Series 8 and Ultra launch which included new Apple Watch Hermès models. Mark Gurman believes Apple’s move away from leather won’t impact its relationship with Hermès. And it’s also possible that even though Apple is moving away from leather that Hermés could continue to do so.
Meanwhile, Hermés still has its listings live for AirTag, AirPods, and iPhone 12 cases. What do you think? Is Apple Watch Hermès over or is it sticking around? Share your thoughts in the comments!