From Business Casual to Board Room!

When it comes to the Apple Watch, you can never have too many straps/bands.  From professional attire to an evening of activities to a day at the pool/beach, you should be able to find something that piques your interest.  Since its release in April 2015, the Apple Watch has expanded through six generations of upgrades. There have been several sizes over the past six years, and several new features have been deployed.  Over this time period, companies like CXSBANDS have created a plethora of upgrade/accessory options for our Apple Watches. If you are tired of a bland Apple Band, I invite you to peruse the CXSBAND website. 

The CXSBANDS Oily Leather Band for Apple Watch arrived in an 8 3/4 inches tall by 2 inches wide by 3/4 inches thick display box.  Like the previous reviews of the Nike Style Sport Band and the Leather Link Watch Band, the Oily Leather Band could be directly viewed through a clear plastic window.  The white backing material served as a perfect backdrop for the black-colored leather watchband and the 1/8 inch thick black border around the plastic.  Similar to the previous watch reviews, the packaging suffered from generic branding.  As an example, you will find “WATCH BAND” as the title on the cover panel, “Made in china” plus product manufacturing icons along the bottom panel, and “High Quality Strap, Designed For You” on both side panels. The top panel had a 1/2 inches wide by 1-inch long nylon pull strap, while the back panel was blank. The only marking present on the back surface was a generic “WATCH BAND,” which was penned onto the outer slipcover. 

To access the 0.7-ounce watch band, I gripped the upper pull tab, and slid the inner tray upward.  As noted above, I felt that the company did a great job at using a black on white color contrast.  I would have loved to see the CXS title or the OILY Leather Band name somewhere on the case, even upon the white backing material. I slipped the band out from the elastic retention straps and examined the two pieces.  The shorter strap measured 3 7/8 inches long from Apple Watch insert to the buckle and measured 7/8 inches wide throughout the body, 1 inch wide at the buckle, and 1 3/8 inches at the Apple Watch Attachment.  The lower strap had a single buckle tongue attached to the buckle and a free and fixed loop (1 inch wide by 1/4 inches tall).  The longer strap measured 4 7/8 inches long by 7/8 inches wide in the body and 1 3/8 inches at the Apple Watch Attachment.  The strap had nine buckle adjustment holes spaced approximately 1/8 inches apart.  The outer surfaces of each of the bands had a nice oiled leather appearance and attractive stitching near the attachment points (buckle and watch attachment point).  I turned the straps over and found “GENUINE LEATHER” stamped near the watch attachment point and “22” along the bottom.  There was no inscription on the smaller band.  The undersurface of the straps had a lighter black color and had a more appealing soft suede-like feel.  

Ordinarily, I orient my Apple Watch with the crown dial facing toward the top right, while wearing the watch on my left wrist. Before installing the Oily Leather band, I removed the Leather Link Band from my Gen 6 44mm Apple Watch. I gently placed my watch face down, pressed the band release button, and slid the other bands outward. Once the strap attachment points were clear, I slid the short strap into the upper watch strap port and then the larger strap into the lower port.  Once the straps were securely inserted, I turned the watch over and placed it onto my wrist.  I slid the longer and into the buckle, found the appropriate adjustment hold, and fitted it into the hole.  I then fed the remainder of the longer strap through the fixed and then free loops.  I was truly impressed with the lightweight feel of the strap, with the appearance of the Oiled Leather surface, and with the overall design.  Additionally, the bands provided a rich leather smell, one of my favorite parts of owning a leather product.  The straps were easy to attach/remove, were securely affixed to the Apple Watch, and the free/fixed loops ensured the longer strap did not catch on anything.  Although the precut adjustment holes provided less customization than the magnetic closure of the Leather Link strap, this strap was just as comfortable. 

As I discovered with all three of the bands, the installation process was quick and easy.  I enjoyed the color, the fit, the finish, the smell, the texture, and the overall design.  I wish that the packaging was a bit more attuned to the product and a bit less generic.  If the black color does not suit you, you can navigate to their website and purchase the same band in Coffee color.  I think that I liked the black color better, however. Thanks to the design feature of the Apple Watch, we can easily customize our experience.  Grab a new band, wear it until you get tired of it, then find a new band.  

Learn more about the CXSBands Oily Leather Band.
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