If you are an Apple Watch owner, there is a good reason to support the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign by Hyper.
The company's stainless steel bracelet for the Apple Watch, called the HyperLink, costs only a fraction of the price of Apple's Link Bracelet. Yet, it is made of the same 316L stainless steel alloy used for Apple's Link Bracelet, which costs $668.
The HyperLink is priced from US$49 (S$69) during the Kickstarter campaign, and from US$99 when it becomes available in retail stores in November.
Based in California, Hyper is a mobile accessories company founded by Singaporean Daniel Chin.
"We felt that the stainless steel Apple Watch looks best with a stainless steel band. However, Apple's version can almost buy you another Apple Watch. That's why we created HyperLink as an affordable metallic band," said Mr Chin, who is Hyper's chief executive officer.
The HyperLink stainless steel bracelet band is available for both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch versions, and comes in silver and space black finishes.
The space black version has an additional carbon layer to give it a black finish, as well as for durability and scratch resistance. It will cost more - at US$129 in retail - but is priced at US$59 during the Kickstarter campaign.
I had a chance to try the silver HyperLink prototype recently. Both the 38mm and 42mm versions look like any other steel bracelets, except for the Apple Watch adapters at the end of the bracelets.
The 38mm version has more lines running through each steel link and I think it looks better than the 42mm one.
Unlike Apple's Link Bracelet that has a clever and easy-to-use push button feature to remove individual steel links, the HyperLink uses conventional connectors. So, you need a watch tool kit in order to change the HyperLink's length.
It felt a bit rough on the skin compared to Apple's Link Bracelet (I am hoping this is a prototype problem). It also lacked the precise feel of the Apple band.
But at about one-tenth the price of Apple's Link Bracelet, the HyperLink is terrific value.
The HyperLink's Kickstarter crowding campaign has garnered US$180,000 in funding (at press time), more than three times its US$50,000 target. The campaign ends on Sept 30, so those interested can still get the HyperLink at the campaign website: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hypershop/hyperlinktm-stainless-steel-apple-watch-link-brace
This article was first published on September 9, 2015.
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