It’s time to get the bands back together!
As a child of the ’80s and ’90s, I grew attached to my Casio G-Shock Watches. I loved the functions, the utility, the look/appeal but disliked that they did not meet formal etiquette. For more formal venues, I had a silver Timex that my grandmother gave me. However, I disliked the need to wind the watch, I lost several of the Casio functions, and the metallic strap pinched my wrist and pulled out my arm hairs. Needless to say, I liked the idea of the watch more than the process of wearing it. When Apple released its Apple Watch in April of 2015, I was immediately hooked. With the ability to interchange bands/bezels, you can match your Apple Watch to your wardrobe or add a touch of flair.
The CXSBANDS Leather Link Watch Band arrived in 8 5/8 inches tall by 2 inches wide by 3/4 inches wide watch display box. Like the Nike Style band reviewed previously, the clear window panel was surrounded by a 1/8 inch thick black border and a generic “WATCH BAND” title. Each of the side panels displayed “High Quality Strap Designed For You,” the top panel contained a 7/16 inches wide by 11/8 inches tall nylon pull strap, and the bottom panel provided manufacturing labels and Made In China. The unadorned black-colored rear panel could have been more useful had they added the Leather Link Watch Band title instead of a generic “WATCH BAND.” Like my experience with the Nike Style Sport Band, I could not help but look at the Leather Link case through the clear window of the cover panel. I enjoyed the ability to directly visualize the strap and appreciated the checkerboard-esque contrasting black-on-white color scheme.
To access the 0.9-ounce watch band, I gripped the pull tab at the top of the case, slid the inner tray upward, and slipped the device out of the elastic retention straps. The shorter strap measured 4 3/4 inches long by 7/8 inches wide throughout the body and 1 1/4 inches wide at the watch strap attachment point. The strap had sixteen 5/8 inches long by 3/16 inches tall pill-shaped magnetic attachment points along the length of the strap. The outer black surface had an attractive cracked leather appearance, while the inner surface had a brown leather suede surface. The longer strap resembled the shorter one but measured slightly longer at 5 1/4 inches long and had 18 of the pill-shaped magnetic attachment points.
Before installing the Leather Link band, you must first remove other watch straps from your Apple Watch. Gently place the watch face down or into the palm of a hand, press the small release buttons on the back of the watch, and then slide the strap outward. As a general rule, I orient my watch onto my non-dominant left hand and position the crown bezel facing the top right. With the strap attachment points clear, I slid the short strap into the upper watch strap port and then the larger strap into the lower port. When done correctly, there should be a small click to suggest a properly set watchband. Once the bands were securely installed, I placed the watch on my wrist, and then the magnetic straps attached themselves. I loved how comfortably the straps gripped my wrist and that I could easily adjust the magnetic closure. In fact, the magnetic closure provided more customization than a preset watch loop.
As I discovered with the Nike Style watch, the installation process for the Leather Link case could not have been easier. I was pleased with the color, the leather texture-feel, and the overall professional look of the CXS Leather Link band. Sleek, Subtle, yet Stylish, I was pleased with the lightweight nature of the straps and felt that they held the watch securely to my wrist. With the ingenuity of the Apple Watch design, you can easily mix and match bands to your heart’s content. If you plan an upcoming event and need your watch to match, navigate to the CXS website and select amongst hundreds of colors/options. The only other accessory that I would consider would be a matching bezel guard. Thanks to companies like CXS, the Apple Watch may become the Highlander of smartwatches. There can be only 1.