The sixth-generation iPod nano has spawned a host of watchbands, all designed to turn the diminutive music player into a cool watch. Up until now, though, I haven't seen one that would make me shell out $129 to $149 for a nano just to have a watch. The Deckster Re:Class watchband from N-Product (CAD$165) would have changed all of that, but that price tag is the downfall of this otherwise very nice band.
N-Product makes all of the Re:Class bands from recycled materials. The review watchband, for example, uses bicycle tire inner tubes and treads to make a comfortable, stylish, and tough band. The company partnered with Mountain Equipment Co-op to take leftover materials from backpacks for some of the other bands, and uses 99.9% recycled aluminum for the unique casing that holds the iPod nano in place.
The name Deckster comes from that casing. When the entrepreneurs at N-Product were thinking about a way to hold an iPod nano in place but make it easy to insert and remove, they thought about old cassette tape decks. Many cassette tape decks had a "door" that folded out; you open the door, placed the cassette into the door, then closed it. The Deckster design works the same way. There's a button that releases a latch when pressed, and the top of the casing opens up. A nano slides into the casing easily, at which point you close the door until it clicks securely into place. N-Product emblazons the inside of the case with a painting of a cassette to honor the memory of that ancient media format.
I personally don't own an iPod nano, so I lent the review unit to a friend who has one. He commented that the Deckster did a much better job of holding the iPod nano in place than most of the other wristbands. Several of those (the iWatchz Q, for example) use the clip on the back of the nano to hold it in place. The Hex Icon uses a bulky box-like structure to hold the nano, while the LunaTik is designed for permanently encasing your nano. My friend liked the way the Deckster case worked to make inserting and removing the nano a snap.
So, my buddy was impressed with the Deckster, until I told him the price. Yes, it's in Canadian dollars, but the website's conversion tools shows that still makes the Re:Class band US$160.58. Considering that's over twice the price of the HEX Vision stainless steel band (US$69.95) and double what many of the LunaTik cases run (US$79.95), the pricing is completely out of line. Sure, the convenience of being able to pop your 6G nano in and out of the Deckster is nice, but is paying more than the cost of the nano itself for a watchband a really smart idea? You decide.