Apple has released guidelines to allow third-party companies to make bands for the Apple Watch. MakerGrafix was kind enough to send me theirs to review, customized with my initials. Is it a worthy addition to the Apple Watch? Let’s find out.
Product: Genuine Italian Leather Apple Watch Band
Compatibility: All Apple Watch models and sizes
Colors: Red, black, white, brown
Date: June 4, 2015
My first impression when I took these bands out of the package was that they are nice quality. The adapters fit perfectly, and match beautifully with the shiny silver stainless steel casing of my Apple Watch. MakerGrafix also offers Space Black stainless steel adapters as an option. The silver brushed aluminum and Space Gray shades to go with the Apple Watch Sport models will be available soon.
The leather is initially a little stiff, but it softened over the course of the day, and I’d imagine it will get even softer over time. At the moment, it sits a little bit loosely below my wrist while being tight on the sides. This is the opposite of how my Sport Band sits. It’s still comfortable, though, if not quite as comfortable as the Sport Band. It’s thick enough to feel substantial but not bulky. A note about sizing: My wrist is 145mm and I had to put the watch on the second tightest hole to get it tight enough to lie flat. Since my wrists are on the small side, I would think that most sizes would be covered by the eight holes punched.
Since MakerGrafix is an engraving company, the adapters are imported from China and the calfskin leather bands are from Italy. The bands are comparable in style to Apple’s Classic Buckle. MakerGrafix offers the band in red, black, brown, and white. You can have your band engraved with whatever you choose.
You can see my initials inside my black band in the photos. MakerGrafix will even alert you when they are about to engrave your order, and then post your engraving video on Periscope, so you can watch your band being engraved live. This is surprisingly exciting to watch. The engraving is inside the band, so only you will know it’s there, but it’s a fun, personal touch. Check out this video to watch a band being engraved:
MakerGrafix included a tiny Phillips screwdriver, which you’ll only ever need if you wish to remove the leather band and use the adapters with a different one. Otherwise, you just use Apple’s easy push button and slide system to swap out your bands.
These Genuine Italian Leather Apple Watch Bands from MakerGrafix are high quality and attractive. The custom engraving is icing on the cake. I can confidently recommend you give these bands a try if you’re looking for an substantially less expensive alternative to Apple’s leather bands.
You can purchase these directly from MakerGrafix for $49.99.