timidhermit

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 6, 2011
340
2
For the few of you (or us) that had purchased high-end genuine Apple watch bands, how do you take care of them? In some cases, these bands cost half of or equal to the cost of the watch itself. Therefore, they represent substantial investments and should not be thought of as disposable accessories (like a cable or charger).

This is particularly true for the leather bands. I recently purchased a genuine Apple black leather classic buckle band. After wearing just a few times, the leather band already developed indentations and creases. While this is part of the normal aging of the leather, I like to know if there are common methods used to improve the durability and extend the lives of these bands.

For example, in high-quality leather clothing, there are established and recommended methods of cleaning them and oiling the leather to ensure that the leather will not crack over time. Are these cleaning and oiling solutions safe to use with the Apple Watch bands?

Another counterintuitive tip is that excessive moisture is actually bad for leather, therefore you should not clean the band with a water-soaked cloth, as the water will get trapped in the leather.

Anyone with official Apple leather bands take steps to care for them? Also, how do you storage them? For traditional watches, there are cases (seriously) made specifically to store watch bands to keep them flat, some even with weights to "press" on them so they do not wrap.
 
Last edited:

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,235
Jacksonville, Florida
I would say over time the leather is going to show some wear just due to perspiration, splashes, etc. Even a leather treatment will tend to darken the strap.

I am Hooked on the Apple leather loops which Apple claims is leather but it has been so worked over that even water does not soak in or change it’s color. I have 4 different colors and used them since the first AW and they all look like new.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,580
38,693
My stainless steel link bands are my nicest bands that I own. When I am through with them, I just take a microfiber cloth and wipe them down to remove any debris that gets lodged in between the links.
 
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timidhermit

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 6, 2011
340
2
Agree. This is both the upside and downtown of genuine leather in watch band.

From my reading of forums dedicated to watch fans (traditionally mechanical watches), patina (caused by oxidation) will always eventually developed on the leather. Also with daily wear, even high-quality leather without regular care can deteriorate within a single year. For leather bands that cost $150 USD or more, I want to know how to best care for this investment.

In particular, there were a number of criticisms raised in these forums of the leather bands produced by Apple, many of which I don't quite understand because of obscure technical details. Supposedly, despite Apple sourcing high-quality leather, the subsequently unique manufacturing process used by Apple supposedly ruined the many expected textural quality of the leather, making the bands overly stiff and easily prone to develop creases and indentations (which could later cause cracks). For example, I remember reading one comment about how Apple ruined the leather used in making its band by comparing to someone who buys a Lamborghini and then spray painted with cans of gold paint bought from a hardware store, defeating the entire purpose of paying so much for the raw materials.

This is why I am posting there to see if someone who is truly both a watch collector and an Apple fan to see their expertise in both areas can shed some lights here... I am particularly interested in care tips, polishing or softening lotions for the leather, storage tips, etc...

I would say over time the leather is going to show some wear just due to perspiration, splashes, etc. Even a leather treatment will tend to darken the strap.

I am Hooked on the Apple leather loops which Apple claims is leather but it has been so worked over that even water does not soak in or change it’s color. I have 4 different colors and used them since the first AW and they all look like new.
 
Last edited:

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
35,580
38,693
I didn't really pay that much attention, I kinda just wear em, and if they get too old I just get a new pair.

If we are considering an expensive band, I take care of my bands as well, but $450 is a lot of money to replace for the stainless steel link bands, even if they appear old.
 
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