Catalyst Impact Protection Apple Watch 44mm Case REVIEW Adventure Ready

5 min readApr 4, 2019

Similar to smartphones, we can add a touch of flair to our smart watches. Many people choose to upgrade/change their watch bands/straps, yet others utilize the stock straps. Unlike my iPhone XS Max, however, I am comfortable leaving my Apple Watch au naturel. With the device resting on my left wrist, I do not want bulky, gaudy, or uncomfortable. Despite these limitations, I cringe every time my arm/watch carelessly smacks into something. To protect against dings and dents, I have historically added a generic bezel protector. Unfortunately, it has been a struggle to match the protector with a given band. Luckily, the Catalyst Impact Protection Apple Watch 44mm Case Sport Band Version Series 4 satisfies the need for form, fit, and function.

The Catalyst Impact Protection case arrived in an energetically charged 3 1/8 inches wide by 7 inches tall by 3/4 inches wide retail package. The grey/black background was the perfect canvas to showcase the 3 3/4 inches wide by 3 1/4 inches tall image of the Apple Watch nestled inside of the catalyst case. The vividly colorful Apple Watch screen added a splash of vibrancy to the dark grey background. Along the top of the case, you will see the catalyst name/logo in brilliant white font. Below this, you will find the product title in pumpkin orange and white font. A little further down, the company detailed the 810 G Military standard 9.9ft Drop Proof (3 meters) rating. Along the bottom of the cover, you will find three 9/16 inches diameter icons detailing the 9.9ft drop rating, Impact Truss system and 18-gram feather lightweight status. As noted above, the star of the cover was the image of the Apple Watch case. Slightly raised and glossy, the image captured the anxiety-provoking feeling of your watch dropping into the dust. It is no wonder that catalyst continues to be lauded for their case designs.

The reverse panel provided a 3 5/8 inches wide by 2 1/4 inches tall image of the watch strap, catalyst shell and the green ominous glow of the Apple Watch sensor. I again appreciated the use of the bright white font upon the black background, which detailed the catalyst name/logo, 9.9ft (3M) drop rating, direct access to device features, display protected by raised bezel, and Ultra slim, ultralight design. The device features were also detailed in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. The right side panel, left mostly bare, displayed an 810G Shock and Drop logo, #Catalystcase, and facebook/twitter/instagram logos. The left side panel provided a raised, glossy, lateral view of the watch case. Returning to the cover, I lifted the front magnetic flap. The inner surface of the flap demonstrated the installation process and the layers of the catalyst impact case. The labelled image detailed the breathable hypoallergenic sport band, the watch band integration into the case, impact truss cushioning system and the dual layer protection. According to the image, the Apple Watch should be removed from the watch bands and inserted into the lower section of the watch case. Similar to the rear panel, the above information was provided in eight languages. If there was any doubt remaining about the need to pair this device with my Apple Watch, it abated when I looked towards the right internal panel. Like jewelry displayed within a display case, the catalyst watch band/case was proudly exhibited behind clear plastic. Capturing the moment of impact, there was no hesitation in my need to protect my watch.

I removed the 0.65-ounce (18 gram) watch case (4.2cm x 1.28cm x 4.3cm) from the packaging and admired the flexibility and breathability of the band, and the one-piece design. I do not think that the installation could have been any easier. Using the precision placed cutout for the Digital Crown/Home Button to orient you, place the case face down and then press the Apple Watch Series 4 into the underside of the watch case. Added to the 36.7 gram weight of the watch, the 18 gram case/straps were hardly noticeable. I loved the one-piece design and the security that the Apple Watch could not slip out of the case while worn. The raised bezel protected the sides of the watch, the Digital Crown and the screen. To wear the watch/strap, place the Apple Watch onto your wrist, with the loop facing away from you. Insert the lower locking band into the loop, tighten the strap to a convenient level and press the two triangle locks into the triangle cutouts on the strap. To provide additional security, slide the lock slider over the lock and press the tab into the lock. The triangular design of the watch strap and locking system will allow for near universal fit. More than simply a functional shell, the case was also visibly appealing. Along the lower rim of the case, you will find “catalyst” subtly etched into the surface. Additionally, you will find the name/logo etched into the underside of the sliding lock.

I have worn the catalyst impact case daily for the last week and noted no fatigue, no wrist pain, nor any issues. The case does not limit the EKG function, sensor function or any other watch features. The double locking design may be a little difficult to put on one-handed, but once secured, should not slide off of your wrist. This case was not designed to be waterproof, dustproof or to serve as a suit of armor. If you desire a more environment-proof case, consider the Waterproof Case for 44mm Apple Watch Series 4 from Catalyst (Review Coming Soon). The catalyst Impact Protection case proved to be a rather substantial upgrade to the sport band that shipped with my Apple Watch Series 4. There were some negative comments on Amazon about the product looking/feeling cheap. I read all fifty of the reviews on Amazon and felt that the major issue was with expectation. If you do not feel that the product is worth the price you paid, you will hate it. The single-piece case will not protect the screen directly but will deflect glancing blows and protect the sides/top/bottom from damage. If you are looking for a screen protector, again look to catalyst for your needed accessory. Markedly more protective, visually appealing and quite comfortable, definitely consider the Impact Catalyst case for your Apple Watch.

Learn more about the Catalyst Impact Protection Case.
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Originally published at on April 4, 2019.




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