The Best Armor for Your Apple Watch

Plan to mountain bike or run with your fancy wearable? You need this new case.

The Apple Watch wasn't designed to handle the impacts that can accompany bouldering, skiing, or mountain biking. That's where Epik, a new case designed by Minimal, comes in. (Minimal)
Photo: Minimal epik

You’ve probably seen Lunatik cases for the iPhone. The best of these combine bomber armor with a simple, clean design aesthetic that’s reminiscent of an Apple product. Bottom line: Its less Playskool than most of its competitors. 

Now Minimal, the design firm behind Lunatik, has beta-tested and successfully Kickstarted a case for the Apple Watch called Epik. If you’re taking the Watch mountain biking, or skiing, or bouldering, you’re putting it at risk of getting smashed into a rock or swiped across a tree—you'll want this case. Enter Epik, which is similar to the LunaTik watch kit Minimal designed for the iPod Nano (which converted the Nano into a wrist-worn device it was never meant to be).  


The Epik is made from aircraft grade aluminum and covers the Watch. The main goal: To protect the beveled glass edge of the Watchs face from corner impacts, says Scott Wilson, head of design at Minimal. “All true durable sport and outdoor watches have a protective bezel for their crystal,” Wilson says, which is why the Epik has such a prominent top edge that sits above the Watchs glass face. 

So just how rugged is Epik? The goal is to get it to meet MIL-STD ratings, which means it has to withstand 26 consecutive drops from a variety of heights and angles. So far, according to Wilson, the company has successfully performed several drop tests from up to four feet onto hard and concrete surfaces with prototypes. All tests left the Watch unscathed, he says. We'll test those claims for ourselves come July when we get a beta prototype. 

The case will work with Watches with either a silicone or metal band. Its Active-Control Crown slips over the Watch’s Digital Crown, increasing its size and thus making it easier to control with gloves on. Epik leaves the back of the Watch unencumbered, so you can still charge the timepiece and use the heart-rate monitor.  

As of this writing, Minimal had doubled its $100,000 funding goal, with more than a week left to their Kickstarter campaign. 

Filed To: Gear / Design and Tech
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