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Pad & Quill Review: Classic Apple Watch Band Is Attractive and Affordable

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Apr 12, 2001
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Those looking for a classic leather look on their Apple Watch can find a few options ranging in price from $149 to $249 in the Apple store. With a handful of third-party manufacturers getting into the Apple Watch band game, quality accessory designer Pad & Quill has introduced its own line of Classic Apple Watch Bands for a cheaper entry cost of $89.95 that hews most closely to Apple's Classic Buckle.


The big difference with Pad & Quill's option is an array of color options -- Galloper Black, Chocolate, Whiskey, and British Tan -- that let customers keep a traditional watch aesthetic with added customization. The company provides the option to purchase any color with either stainless steel or polished black finishes, to successfully match each user's Apple Watch face (Sport editions will support the accessory, but the same visual and corrosive warnings from Apple's own bands still apply).

Design

The Pad & Quill bands are created in an Italian leather tannery using a "soft-tumble method" that results in what the company aims to be a comfortable watch band with added durability. Designed in both the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch sizes, the Classic Apple Watch Band will fit wrist sizes from 130mm to 210mm in diameter.

Unlike some other third-party companies, and Apple itself, Pad & Quill is making every leather color option of its band line available in both Apple Watch sizes, lending each band a unisex universality that looks good on any wrist. The company even lets users mix-and-match the color of the leather with the metal finishing in such a way that ranges from traditional (British Tan with stainless steel) to bordering on unattractive (Chocolate with polished black).


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Article Link: Pad & Quill Review: Classic Apple Watch Band Is Attractive and Affordable
 

Chrjy

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2010
846
1,298
UK
I much prefer this one over yesterdays monstrosity! The metal one yesterday just looked incredibly cheap and nasty imo!
 
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macs4nw

macrumors 601
That still seems like a lot of scratch for an average looking strap (with cheap-looking stitching), that will probably wear out within a year. Genuine leather watch bands just don't seem to wear very well.

Definitely being a lot less expensive than Apple's bands, it may appeal to those who prefer a leather band.
 
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Master Atrus

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2003
128
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Can someone help me understand this part? Sport editions will support the accessory, but the same visual and corrosive warnings from Apple's own bands still apply.

I know the colors won't match because I have the sports edition, but I can't find anything from Apple on a corrosive warning. When I spoke with Apple earlier today via chat about this, the specialist said she didn't anything about such a warning.
 
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freeskier93

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2008
321
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How mediocre. You can get the same type band for $30 on ebay, Amazon, or aliexpress.

Leather comes in many qualities. Pen & Quill website says full grain leather, which is pretty much the highest quality leather you can get. Those $30 leather band you will find on Amazon are genuine leather, a couple notches down in quality. So no, they are not the same type of bands.
 
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iBlazed

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Feb 27, 2014
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Leather comes in many qualities. Pen & Quill website says full grain leather, which is pretty much the highest quality leather you can get. Those $30 leather band you will find on Amazon are genuine leather, a couple notches down in quality. So no, they are not the same type of bands.
I would wager to say the majority of people buying third party bands will choose the one that looks the same and costs $60 less.
 
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freeskier93

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2008
321
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I would wager to say the majority of people buying third party bands will choose the one that looks the same and costs $60 less.

I agree, and frankly given the usable lifespan of the Apple Watch I'd stick with a cheaper genuine leather band too.
 
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tdbrown75

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2015
101
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Dallas, TX
How mediocre. You can get the same type band for $30 on ebay, Amazon, or aliexpress.

Those $30 Amazon bands are crap, the lugs don't fit well and the clasps are cheap. To me this looks like a quality band with nice hardware, you get what you pay for most of the time.

Tim
 
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iBlazed

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2014
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New Jersey, United States
Those $30 Amazon bands are crap, the lugs don't fit well and the clasps are cheap. To me this looks like a quality band with nice hardware, you get what you pay for most of the time.

Tim
Third party bands have come a long way from 2 months ago. There are many quality options at low prices. There are EXACT replicas of the Apple Leather Loop band being sold on all websites for around $35. As a matter of fact, I own two of them and can vouch that it's most definitely not crap quality. I've compared it side by side to the genuine and have even been complimented by Apple employees about how good of a knockoff it is. I'm not paying an extra $60 for a pretty box with a wax seal.
IMG_0026.JPG IMG_0027.JPG IMG_0028.JPG
 
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Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
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How the hell is this so "cheap" (comparatively speaking) when the rest of Pad & Quill's line of products are so ridiculously (Appley?) overpriced?
 
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Keane16

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2007
810
671
I agree, and frankly given the usable lifespan of the Apple Watch

Do you know something we don't? What's the usable lifespan?

Even after a 2nd gen is released I image it would still carry on doing the basics for years. I know that was the case with the 1st Gen iPhone and iPad. Newer OS versions might omit features, but the things you bought it for should continue as-is.
 
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jame2l

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2014
2
0
Third party bands have come a long way from 2 months ago. There are many quality options at low prices. There are EXACT replicas of the Apple Leather Loop band being sold on all websites for around $35. As a matter of fact, I own two of them and can vouch that it's most definitely not crap quality. I've compared it side by side to the genuine and have even been complimented by Apple employees about how good of a knockoff it is. I'm not paying an extra $60 for a pretty box with a wax seal.
View attachment 577450 View attachment 577451 View attachment 577452

Where is that one from?
 
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Ojzder

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2015
1
0
For sure a good quality watch band. However I had difficulties with another Product from P&Q. Contacting them became a nightmare, no phone contact or chat as well, only eMail but unresponsive after they got my money. I am sure it is a great product but if it goes wrong, good luck....
 
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freeskier93

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2008
321
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Do you know something we don't? What's the usable lifespan?

Even after a 2nd gen is released I image it would still carry on doing the basics for years. I know that was the case with the 1st Gen iPhone and iPad. Newer OS versions might omit features, but the things you bought it for should continue as-is.

The band on my current watch is genuine leather, it's 2 years old now. It's definitely showing signs of wear, will probably get a couple more years out of it. I'd say 4 years would be really stretching it as a usable lifespan for the first gen Apple Watch.
 
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fieldsphotos

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2013
274
109
Got my British Tan band for a 38mm watch in today. It looks great! The adapters are solid - no gaps and are pretty flush. The adapters are a shiny metal so you still get the two-tone look with a Sport model. The leather is very high quality and pretty soft. It will take a little bit of breaking in to conform to my wrist, but not too much. I like it way better than Apple's leather offerings which seemed over-processed when I saw them in person in the store. Overall I am very pleased! Worth the wait. Best part was the smell of leather when I opened the box.

 
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Pinksteady

macrumors 6502a
Aug 19, 2008
589
3
I have one of these (the British Tan with polished black metal in 42mm) and absolutely love it. The leather makes my 42mm sports in space grey finally look like a watch and not a gadget. It feels really well made and good quality, although I am no expert on leather and I guess time will tell. The 25 year guarantee is pretty remarkable though.

Other general points of feedback:
  • My only complaint is that the buckle tongue is not set into a groove on the buckle like you would expect; instead it rests on top of it. It has caught on clothing and my wife's skin many times. You can just about see this in the second photo below.
  • The lug that slides into the Apple Watch isn't completely snug - it does have a bit of play in it and if you look closely you can see the outer edges don't align perfectly with the watch case - however in day to day usage you'll never even notice.
  • The shorter strap (that attaches to the 'top' / 12 o'clock side of the watch body) is quite short and so the buckle ends up sitting at about 4-5 o'clock on my wrist (if you looked at a cross section) rather than the usual 6 o'clock. This is probably better as it means when resting on a table my wrist isn't resting on the buckle, but it does feel a bit different to my previous watch straps.
  • My wrists are about 70mm and I am on the 4th hole from the end of the strap. On this hole, the strap only just reaches the second strap holding loop once it has passed through the buckle. Both loops end up being sat right next to each other, as opposed to nicely spaced out along the strap as I usually would expect. Again, not sure if this is a positive or a negative, just a bit unusual. If you have even slightly larger wrists than mine (mine are 'average' I think), you'll end up with a loose strap loop on the short half of the strap, as the long half of the strap won't reach far enough.
  • I have kept the sports band and will continue to use this for sports. I wouldn't wear a leather strap for sports regardless of what watch I'm wearing.
Here's a photo (you can see the leather needs a quick clean as there are some blotches on it from general use - haven't quite figured out the best method to clean it yet!):



Here's a photo of the other side. You can see that even with my average sized wrists, the long half of the strap only just reaches the second loop on the short half.



All in all I'm really pleased with this strap. It was the first I had seen of all the 3rd party straps at the time that I knew would be right for me.
 
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LoRob

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2009
6
1
The P&Q Classic Watch Band is quite stiff initially and a bit too bulky where it buckles. Even after a couple of weeks its is still relatively difficult to remove and put on. My 38mm band took a whole 2 months to ship instead of the 2 weeks estimated when I ordered. It’s acceptable quality, but not exceptional. It smells like leather, because it is. It looks nice, and gives a different appearance than the Apple straps. The lugs fitting into the Apple Watch (stainless) fit quite snuggly (good) with no slop on this new batch. The buckle tongue does sit pointing outwards but has not caught on my clothing. The shorter strap (without the buckle) is quite short and so the area of the buckle with straps and loops is quite bulky. My wrists are quite narrow and if they were much wider, I’m not sure the strap would fit in booth retaining loops. Overall I’m happy with the purchase, but not sure I’d buy another P&Q strap. The Milanese Loop is still my favourite and the most comfortable band to my mind. It is infinitely adjustable, light and breathable.
 
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