Durable, Flexible, Breathable, Comfortable Apple Watch Straps

Fashionable accessories have been the norm since antiquity.  People could express their ifashionista with pocket squares/handkerchiefs, pocket watches, canes, bags, hats, glasses, gloves, scarves, etc.  With the Apple Watch release in April 2015, we were provided with another highly customizable accessory.  Thanks to third-party companies like CXS Bands, you no longer need to own several watches. Now, you can match a band plus bezel guard to your desired outfit/situation. 

The cxsband NIKE style Sport Band arrived in a 8 5/8 inches tall by 2 inches wide by 3/4 inches wide watch display box.  The main cover panel provided a 1/8 inch thick black border around a centrally located display window; across the top of the panel, you will find a generic “WATCH BAND” title. Both of the black side panels provided the same information: 1. High-Quality Strap. 2. Designed For You, while the bottom panel provided manufacturing and Made In China labels. The top panel had a 7/16 inches wide by 1 1/8 inches tall nylon pull strap, while the black-colored rear panel was left unadorned.  The clear outer layer did have a “WATCH BAND” etched into the surface.  Returning to the main panel, I could not help but gaze at the Nike-like band.  I loved the clear window, the ability to visualize the strap directly, and the contrasting black on white color scheme.  

To access the product, I gripped the pull tab and lifted the inner tray upward. Once separated from the outer slipcover, I slid the 0.6-ounce watch band out from beneath the elastic retention straps. The shorter band measured 1 1/8 inches wide at the buckle and watch attachment point and measured 3 3/4 inches tall.  The strap had 22 button-sized holes arranged in three offset columns located between the 7/8 inches wide buckle and watch attachment point.  At the very end of the smaller band, you will find a raised metallic buckle.  The longer strap measured 5 1/2 inches long by 1 5/16 wide at the watch attachment point and 7/8 inches wide at the strap midsection. Like the shorter strap, the longer strap had 43 circular buckle ports arranged into offset columns.  The back surface of the Apple Watch band had an attractive black silicone layer.  When evaluated from the front, the black layer added a visually striking contrast to the clean-white material.  

The installation process could not have been easier.  You will need to start by orienting the watch to your preferred position.  I prefer to wear the watch on my non-dominant hand (left) and with the crown dial at the top right.  If desired, you could wear the device on your right wrist and with the crown dial toward the bottom left.  With the crown dial oriented to the top right, I flipped the Apple Watch face down.  I then grasped the shorter strap and slid the Apple Watch connector section into the upper connection point.  I repeated the process with the lower larger strap as well.  Although there is no mandated orientation, it is customary to install the shorter strap at the top of the watch.  Once both sections were installed, I placed the 1.9-ounce unit onto my wrist, looped the short section over my wrist, and then the longer section over the shorter section.  I pressed the metallic buckle into the strap and then slid the excess strap into the buckle port of the shorter strap.  The middle row of circles allowed for a customizable installation process, while the outer two columns of circular cutouts added ventilation.

The sleek and sexy CXS Band provided both a tactile and visual appeal.  Despite being lightweight, the rubberized-silicone straps were comfortable and quite durable.  I loved the breathable air vents and felt that the cutouts lightened the weight of the strap.  I loved the black on white contrasting color palette and the metallic buckle.  The strap circles appeared to be well aligned and allowed quick orientation to an optimally preferred position.  When desired, turn the Apple Watch face down, press the buckle release button, and slide the straps out of their attachment points.  Thanks to the Apple Watch design, you can change the bands to suit your fancy/ensemble.  If this band does not interest you, navigate to the CXS Band website and choose from hundreds of watch strap options.  My only complaint was with the packaging. If I was going to design version 2.0, I would add a little more to the outer packaging because it was rather bland and generic.

The only other accessory that may add some protection to the watch would be a Bezel guard.  Consider picking up a few basic colors and expand your Apple Watch Band collection. The Nike Style Sport Band is available in Black/Gray, Black/Green, Silver/Yellow, Silver/White, Blue/White, Purple/Green, Rose/Green, Green/Blue, Black/Yellow, Black/White, Sea Blue/Light Pink, White/Pink, White/Purple, Antique White/Black, Pink/White, Smokey/Mauve, Purple/Pink, Blue Feather Black, Dark Blue Yellow, White Black, Yellow Dark Blue.

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