Apple loves a special edition where the Watch in concerned.
For those buyers looking for something a little less ubiquitous than the standard aluminium Watch there’s the stainless steel version. Or a version with a posh Hermès strap. Or even the S$1818 ceramic Apple Watch Edition.
But what if you’re the energetic type and want your Apple Watch to better reflect that? That’s where the Apple Watch Nike+ comes in.
In terms of specification this is identical to the standard Apple Watch Series 2, but it does get a couple of Nike-flavoured exclusives in the form of faces and straps.
There’s also the new version of the Nike+ Run Club app that, while not actually exclusive to the Nike version of the Watch, is featured as part of the setup, which makes it well worth a look here.
How much extra does the dedicated Nike nerd need to fork out for these little tweaks? Absolutely nothing - it costs no more than the entry-level Series 2. The question is whether it’s a free upgrade or a variant to be avoided…
Apple Watch Nike+ design: strapped for sport
Easily the most striking and most successful element of the Apple Watch Nike+ is its exclusive strap, referred to as the Nike Sport Band.
Essentially, this is the standard Sport Band with a load of holes punched through it, which I realise doesn’t exactly sound revolutionary, but the result is a strap that’s even lighter and more comfortable than the already very comfortable standard design. It’s just that little bit stretchier and more flexible, and that means you can wear it just a little bit tighter - that can be a big help for accurate heart rate measurements.
If you’d prefer your Apple Watch Nike+ to look a little more subtle than the version I’ve got here, there are three other variants of the strap available. The grey/green version is still fairly attention-grabbing, but the grey/white and black/grey versions both blend in a lot better. And, of course, if you fancy a change at some point you can simply buy a new strap from Apple or a third-party manufacturer, and quickly swap it in.
Apple Watch Nike+ exclusive faces
As with every version of the Apple Watch, the strap you choose is just the start of the customisation options available to you. At this point there are loads of different watch faces available, and the Nike+ edition of the Watch gets some that aren’t available on any other version.
The exclusive options essentially boil down to three basic designs - one digital and two analogue, but each one of those can be customised further by switching between white or Nike Volt (bright green) for many of the elements, and by swapping out the complications.
Complications, for the uninitiated, are the little icons dotted around many Apple Watch faces. They’re designed to work as shortcuts to certain apps and in many cases deliver at-a-glance information. The digital Nike+ face, for example, has a column of three round icons to the left of the digital clock that by default represent the Nike+ Run Club app (more detail on which below), the calendar and weather, and a wide badge at the bottom that acts as a shortcut to start a run.
These are all complications, and as you can see from the picture above, I’ve swapped some of them so that Apple’s activity rings and my Watch’s battery level are always displayed. The only thing you can’t do is remove the Nike tick, which is the shortcut to the Nike+ Run Club app. Well, you’ve got to expect that really, haven’t you?
Even with that concession, I have to say that I’ve found the Nike+ Digital face to be one of the most readable around, so it’s well worth trying out even if you’re not a Nike super-fan.