Deckster review: A smart and sophisticated iPod nano watchband

An iPod nano (s aapl) watch used to turn heads, but a year after the redesigned Apple media player’s release, people are getting used to seeing them on wrists, thanks in part to the many watchband accessories now available in Apple Stores. One new entrant, however, called Deckster, could still manage to set a nano watch apart from the rest, thanks to unique designs that feature high-quality materials unlike any you’ll find from other offerings.

Last time we saw the Deckster, its creators were looking for funding from Kickstarter-like site in order to make their product a reality. Nearly a full year after it was first conceptualized, the Deckster is now finally a shipping product, and I received a production sample to test out. Here’s what I found.

Design and build

Definitely the highlight of the Deckster, what sets it apart from its peers and also accounts for its rather expensive price tag ($150.00 CAD, or about $153.04 USD) is its build. The Deckster features an all-aluminum holster for the iPod nano itself, as well as a high-quality leather band made in Canada by Fullum & Holt. The band is soft; the whole contraption with the nano inserted is remarkably light; and the smooth back of the case itself doesn’t irritate the hand the way some of the edges on cheaper nano watchbands (like the iWatchz Q) can on occasion.

The aluminum in my review model was a limited edition with a matte black finish, while the actual shipping model features a natural matte aluminum look for the case. It’s sturdy and doesn’t have any rattles or looseness, and is obviously machined with precision. One of Deckter’s unique selling features is the Pop+Lock mechanism that lets you insert and remove the nano simply by sliding a small switch either to the left or the right. This activates a spring-loaded catch that pops the top of the Deckster open to allow you to slide the nano in or out. It’s a smart design that’s just plain fun to operate, and makes sure your nano isn’t going anywhere. It can also be easily removed when you want to use your media player for something else, like hitting the gym.


As a watch, the Deckster works very well. It adds nearly no weight to the nano itself, and the leather strap is much more comfortable than rubber equivalents on cheaper products. Plus, if you’re a hairy-armed beast like myself, the leather won’t catch and cause pain if you twist it quickly the way it will with some rubber bands.

The Deckster is also sure to net you some compliments while you’re wearing it. It’s simple enough that it goes with pretty much any outfit, and yet unique enough when compared to other similar accessories that it stands on its own. You might think of it as the nano band for watch enthusiasts; in my experience, that’s the crowd that appreciated it the most.


As a bit of a watch geek myself in addition to a gadget fan, I can say that the Deckster does a great job of bridging the gap between those two worlds. The price tag might not be for everyone, but the design and workmanship make for an iPod nano accessory that should more than satisfy those looking for something to breathe new life into their Apple media player/wrist watch.