Coming to Link Bracelet from Milanese: Thoughts

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by Ledgem, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Ledgem, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017

    Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #1
    Hello everyone, just sharing some thoughts.

    I originally bought my Apple Watch with the silver Milanese loop band, figuring it was what I preferred and it was affordable. Long story short, I came to prefer a darker color; bought a knockoff black Milanese loop but noted the difference in quality between the two, and then went for an Apple space black Milanese loop.

    And I was happy. Until I saw a coworker with the stainless steel link bracelet. Then I began to covet the space black link bracelet. After searching for a few weeks, I found a nice deal on a used one, and recently received it.

    Back when I didn't own a Watch and was trying one in the store for fun, I had a few qualms with the link bracelet. Similar to the bands of an old watch I had tried to wear once, it pulled on my arm hairs when I tried one on in the Apple Store. The Milanese loop didn't. It also seemed less adaptable compared with the Milanese loop, which became even more of a concern when I noted that I adjusted the Milanese loop a few times during the day (because my arm would evidently swell a bit depending on the environment). Then, of course, was the fact that the link bracelets are about $300-400 more than the Milanese loops (and, excluding one of the Hermes bands, represent the most expensive bands you can buy), and that they show scratches a lot more easily than the Milanese loop bands. All of that, and the link bracelet just looked like your standard old metallic watch band, whereas the Milanese loop was a lot more modern... right?

    It may just be that it's new, but I put on the link bracelet, wore it for a day, decided to try and decrease wear and tear by going back to the Milanese loop, and am now using the link bracelet again. It's a bit heavier and a bit warmer (less breathable, although I think that the breathability of the Milanese loop is a bit overstated), but it looks really, really nice. The no-tools-required for adjustments approach is well known, but I was still impressed with how quick and easy it was to adjust the band to the right size. Even though I can't easily readjust the size throughout the day and it's a lot more rigid than the Milanese loop, I feel that it holds to my wrist better than the Milanese does, yet it doesn't feel uncomfortable like an over-tightened Milanese would.

    My fears about it pulling at arm hairs? It seems like it should, but so far I haven't had a single tug. I can only imagine that it's the difference between having a band that is properly sized compared with oversized (which was likely what happened at the Apple Store).

    My original plan had been to reserve the link bracelet for more formal events and use the Milanese loop as my standard band, but I like the link bracelet enough that I may use it more often. I am nervous about scratching it, though; the stainless steel version can stand up to buffing, but the space black version isn't as easily fixable. It'd be a shame to keep it in a drawer over fears of scratching, but it's expensive enough that I do have some pause about it... although I'll keep using it regularly. As a sort of compromise, I went ahead and purchased a used stainless steel version...

    ... and with that, I will have every version of Apple's metal bands. I think that's it for my band purchases; Heaven help me if I develop a liking for the leather bands. (Someone previously posted on here about an experiment with mixing links between the space black and stainless steel versions, but they never posted a picture; if I have the time, I'll give it a go and post the results.)

    Long story short, I still really like the Milanese loop bands, but the link bracelet - despite seeming so simple by comparison - is really, really nice. It feels a bit more solid on the wrist and I think it looks a bit more formal (or at least, traditional). I often think that someone could mistake the Milanese loop as being fabric from a distance, and truthfully, the space black link bracelet is polished such that I could imagine someone thinking it were plastic... but it is a really nice band. It shows fingerprints (and probably scratches) easier than the Milanese, but it feels really nice on the wrist. If you've been using a Milanese loop and have been wondering about the link bracelet, I'd say to go for it. Neither is superior to the other and I imagine I'll go back to using my space black Milanese regularly soon enough, but these are high-quality bands that make owning the Apple Watch even more of a joy.

    Addendum: I mentioned above that the Milanese loop breathability is overstated, but after using the link bracelet for a bit longer, I take it back. The link bracelet becomes pretty warm - even simply walking around outside (not exposing the band to sunlight), if I shift the Watch on my wrist I can feel the warmth emanating from the band. Granted I'm in the tropics, but I never experienced that with the Milanese loop. It makes me think that the Milanese loop makes for a nice summer band, whereas the link bracelet is better for cooler environments. I still wouldn't want to use either as a sports band, but as far as the metal bands go, the Milanese loop is definitely is definitely the cooler (temperature-wise) of the two.
     
  2. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #2
    Before reliable rubber was invented for watch straps, bracelets like the Link bracelet used to be the go-to style for sports watches, being impervious to water and sweat.

    (I'd argue that leather straps are dressier, with the Milanese loop kinda bridging the gap between dressy and sporty; price does not determine what is dressy style)

    Kinda funny that you ended up with all four of Apple's steel bracelets just by being curious about them. ;) Enjoy your variety! I still have only the Sport band for mine (although my other daily-wear watches all have bracelets).
     
  3. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    I love the Apple link bands...but not how they look after some use; with the scratches, esp the Black.
    Wish they were more reisistant to scratches, they have such a beautiful design, but the easily scratchable finish really cheapens the look. That's my take. For Milanese I've only worn the 3rd party ones, gotten for like $15. They are ok but have weaker magnets that loosen.
     
  4. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #4
    The black one? Ive had mine for awhile with no scratches and I work in retail. It has the DLC coating. Ive banged my watch many times with no issues. Maybe yours is defective.
     
  5. badbooster macrumors newbie

    badbooster

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Location:
    Gurgaon, India
    #5
    I have switched from a MOKO Milanese loop, after wearing it for almost a year, to a URVOI Link Bracelet, and while I'm loving the looks of the Link bracelet, I miss the comfort which the Milanese loop had.
     
  6. xDKP macrumors 65816

    xDKP

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    I have the clear SS Link and even though I use it a lot it still looks stunning.

    Both this and the oyster bracelet for my mechanical watch is of course with small scratches but I think it’s all part of the look - it’s part of a watch’s history with you
     
  7. Luba macrumors 6502a

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #7
    I was very close getting the SS Link even though it cost $450, scratches, and Apple saying it's not waterproof, but when I really tried it on in an Apple Store with a Specialist allowing me to fully adjust it I noticed the centering of the AW on your wrist depending upon the size of your wrist (luck of the draw). It would take some playing around with the links to learn if the AW ended up more near your pinky or closer to your thumb. This centering problem which depends on the size of your wrist also affects the centering of the butterfly clasp. Also, the SS Link is thicker than the Milanese and wearing while typing on a MacBook is not particularly comfortable. It would also scratch each other.

    I also tried on various leather bands which made the AW, IMO, dressy looking, but I found myself needing to be extra careful not getting it wet which was annoying. Getting it even slightly wet did discolor the leather band a bit. And since I felt the SS Link made the AW dressier than the Sport Bands, but less dressy than the leather bands, I decided against it along with centering issue above. I guess I am stuck with the Nike sport band for the summer with its holes and the regular sport bands. Relatively cheap and comfortable, with the only downside that they're not dressy looking.
     
  8. Ledgem thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #8
    It's true that there is a centering issue with the link bracelet that doesn't exist with the Milanese loop. I suspect this is because the butterfly clasp provides one inflexible "anchoring surface" while the Watch provides the other; with the Milanese loop, only the watch provides one surface. Indeed, with the link bracelet I often found that the Watch was tilted away from me on my arm, which was an issue I don't have as much with the Milanese loop.

    My solution was to make the link bracelet asymmetrical. I took out one of the links along the edge that is in line with my thumb, and added it to the other side. This helps to "pull" from one side and "push" from the other, keeping the Watch more centered. I don't think it makes the link bracelet look odd, and being only a one-link difference, I don't imagine it's very noticeable. You could adjust even more links for greater effect, although I'm unsure how noticeable (or not) it would be to those around you.

    Regarding scratching a laptop, I guess it depends on how tight you make the bracelet and how you type on your laptops. Mine is loose enough that I can slip a finger between the band and my wrist, so I can slide it a bit further up my wrist without much difficulty. In general, it's high enough that it doesn't contact my MacBook when I'm typing on it. But in most situations where I'm using my laptop I also have long sleeves on such that even if the band were to contact the laptop, fabric would be between the two and there would be no risk of metal-on-metal scratching.
     
  9. Luba macrumors 6502a

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #9
    If you did go with a two-link difference would it completely center your AW? And if you did that would it de-center the butterfly clasp? I'm thinking centering the AW is in conflict with having the butterfly clasp being centered?? I remember the butterfly clasp being curved for the bottom of your wrist. If the rigid curved butterfly clasp creeped up on the side of your wrist it wouldn't be comfortable and wouldn't look correct.
     
  10. Ledgem thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #10
    With the one-link difference, what I've found is that the butterfly clasp doesn't seem to be affected; it always seems to find the same place on my arm. The Apple Watch is much better-centered, but still isn't perfect, and I occasionally still need to shift it (especially depending on whether the Watch has ridden up or slid down my arm).

    However, I was interested in your question and went ahead and shifted another link over to the other side. The Watch does seem to have shifted a bit, but as the Watch shifts around my arm, I get the impression that the butterfly clasp occasionally shifts a bit... although as I keep checking it, it does seem pretty well-centered. However, when I look at the link bracelet from my own vantage point, it seems lopsided to a displeasing extent. I'll be switching that link back over to the other side so that there's only a one-link difference. (But as a reminder, my total number of links provides enough slack that I can fit a full finger between the bracelet and my wrist; if you make it tighter, this might not be as obvious.)

    Long story short, perhaps because of its curvature, the butterfly clasp seems to hold its position on the wrist better than the Watch does. You can shift links around and it seems to impact the positioning of the Watch more than the butterfly clasp.
     
  11. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #11
    Having the clasp off-centered by one link is common among all watches. The wrist isn't perfectly oval-shaped, after all.
     
  12. Luba macrumors 6502a

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #12
    Right, and an off-centered clasp is no big deal, as long as the rigid curve of the clasp is mostly underneath the wrist, IMO. The watch I would want centered on top of the wrist.
     
  13. BeatCrazy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #13
    The link bracelet is not waterproof? Isn’t it all metal?
     
  14. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #14
    It’s one of the most bogus product usage warnings I’ve ever seen. I have no idea why Apple recommends that their watch bracelets stay dry. I wouldn’t pay any attention to it.
     

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