Review: Pad & Quill’s Lowry Cuff Is a Well-Made Apple Watch Band for Large Wrists

With its lineup of Apple Watch accessories launching since the device’s debut last year, Pad & Quill has been steadily expanding its roster of made-for-Apple products with new bands and docks. I’ve previously gotten my hands on the company’s Classic Watch Band and Timber Catchall and Timber Nightstand Apple Watch docks, and while some of them appealed to me more than others – the Timber Catchall was simply too large for me at the end of the day – the company’s quality was evident in everything I saw.

As a more masculine alternative to the Classic Watch Band, Pad & Quill has also started offering the $129.95 Lowry Leather Cuff for the Apple Watch, exclusively for the larger 42mm models. The design of the band extends slightly beyond the case of the Apple Watch itself, adding a stocky look to Apple’s already thick wearable device. The Lowry Cuff has a few minor quibbles that resurface on a daily basis (mainly centering around the accessory’s overall size), but they never overshadow Pad & Quill’s quality aesthetic, especially for anyone looking for a larger band like this.

Design

Pad & Quill entrusted the production of the Lowry Cuff to the Horween Leather Company, a tannery located in Chicago, Illinois. Similar to Pad & Quill’s other Apple Watch bands, the Cuff’s basic design and quality of leather is the accessory’s biggest selling point. Due to the rugged production process that produces „sturdy yet supple“ leather, the company also promises a 25-year leather warranty on the Lowry Cuff, a similar promise given to most of its leather-made goods.

But, as previously mentioned, and similar to other cuff-style watch bands, Pad & Quill’s accessory is decidedly for larger wrists. Sold only for the 42mm Apple Watch size, the accessory is listed as compatible with wrists 125–215mm in circumference, a broad range that encompasses a significant proportion of the population. But while the Cuff certainly could make its way onto thinner wrists, the larger size of the Cuff itself means it should find a better home on someone with bigger wrists.

Customers will be able to choose from American Tan, Chestnut, and Galloper Black color options for the leather finish. The company sent me Chestnut to take a look at over the past week and the Cuff’s design definitely mirrors the Classic Band’s sturdy outer layer of leather with a smoother and softer stitching on the inside to sit more comfortably on the wrist.

Pad & Quill promised that a cutout on the back of the Cuff would prevent obstruction of the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor, and I found that to be true. The real-time heart rate measuring in Glances performed as it normally would with other bands I’ve worn, and when checking the minute-to-minute list of my measurements throughout the day within the Health app, the days I wore the Cuff showed consistent readouts.

Daily Wear

Beyond the notable high-quality design of the Lowry Cuff, the actual daily use of the band initially felt cumbersome as a companion to the Apple Watch. Installing the Watch’s case onto the two prongs of the Cuff was easy, as was the removal thanks to that circular heart rate sensor cutout, but the biggest problem with Pad & Quill’s larger band is that it constantly reminds you that you’re wearing it. Unlike Pad & Quill’s other bands, or most of Apple’s band options, the Lowry Cuff doesn’t just blend into the actions you do every day, but peskily makes its presence known.

This is especially thanks to the clasping mechanism that attaches the band under the wrist, with two small leather straps that house the notched side of the band. While efficient in securely fastening the Apple Watch, this method ultimately creates about five layers of leather stacked on top of one another, which is both a bit unsightly and awkward as it tends to catch easily against clothes. Also, for those who sit at desks most of the day, it makes for a fairly uncomfortable resting position for your wrist that never knows whether to tilt left or right on the wobbly axis of the clasp.

Perhaps more imperative is the front design of the Lowry Cuff, impressions of which will greatly vary by personal tastes, but aesthetically looked too large for me. After a week and a half of wear, the Cuff’s size became more natural but I still never entirely came around to the feel and look of it, as I eventually did with the Classic Band. It feels like more of a statement than most of Apple’s own bands, which may be in line for what some people want from an Apple Watch accessory, but I never felt entirely comfortable wearing it.

It’s also odd that I wore the Lowry Cuff on the second-to-last notch size, meaning that feasibly Pad & Quill thinks that I have the second-to-largest wrist size out there. For a one-size-fits-all product that should fit wrists up to 215mm, this sizing feels off, especially considering the Cuff’s niche as a product geared towards men. For example, I have 177mm sized wrists and, wearing the M/L Apple Watch Sport Band, the peg sits two notches away from the smallest notch possible. This makes sense given the M/L Sport Band’s size range of 160-210mm.

Comparatively, my 177mm wrist needing to be just one notch away from the 215mm upper cutoff for the Cuff feels strange, and misrepresentative of the sizes of wrists the accessory is supposedly designed to fit. At the end of the day, the sizing range feels less geared toward the Cuff’s intended market and more towards accessibility for people with smaller wrists, who may not be a fan of the oversized Cuff style in the first place.

Bottom Line

Anyone looking for a more substantial presence for the Apple Watch on his or her wrist could come to look past the potential negatives of Pad & Quill’s Lowry Cuff. It’s a great quality band that provides a unique look for Apple’s wearable that few other bands have.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely to be a feasible alternative for most others. The Cuff’s combination of an awkward clasp mechanism and overly large design constantly reminds you of it presence on your wrist. The $129.95 price tag is certainly reflective of the time and effort put into the Cuff’s manufacturing, but given the drawbacks I experienced in day-to-day wear, it’s a bit steep for something I might wear only occasionally. Apple’s $150 bands like the Milanese or Leather Loop are only a few dollars more and much more suited for everyday wear.

Pros

Pad & Quill’s well-crafted materials

Solid option for those okay with its size

Easy to take on and off from Apple Watch casing

Doesn’t obstruct Apple Watch sensors

Cons

Oversized form factor not for everyone

Thick clasping mechanism

Inconvenient daily wear

Peculiar sizing

How to Buy

Pad & Quill’s Lowry Leather Cuff is available for $129.95 on the company’s official website.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tag: Pad & Quill
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Space Black Milanese Loop Apple Watch Band Spotted on Apple Store

A new Space Black Milanese Loop band for the Apple Watch has been spotted on the Czech Republic Apple Store website today, hinting towards an incoming announcement for the new Milanese Loop band (via 9to5Mac). The new accessory appears to match the Space Black Stainless Steel Apple Watch case, similar to that of the Space Black Link Bracelet.

The Czech Republic Apple Store listing parrots much of the same information as the traditional Milanese Loop, pointing to a possible launch date in about a week. Besides a handful of new color options for the Sport Band lineup earlier in 2015, Apple has yet to expand its higher-end Apple Watch accessory market with as many options for customers.

The Space Black Milanese Loop’s Czech Republic listing only mentions a 42mm option, although if made official it seems that Apple would also include a 38mm alternative, akin to that of the original Milanese Loop band. The new band was also spotted on the Portugal and Hungary Apple Store sites, but all of them lack any official buy button at the time of writing. As usual, today’s spotting could be some kind of mix-up and there is a possibility that the Space Black Milanese Loop band won’t make it to consumer markets.

Update: Links to the Space Black Milanese Loop’s online store page have been removed, and now redirect to the existing stainless steel option.

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Tag: Space Black Milanese Loop
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JUUK Revo Review: Modern Apple Watch Link Bracelet for Under $200

Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet is arguably the most luxurious Apple Watch band available, but at $449 it may be worth considering similar but less expensive third-party options available. Enter JUUK, a new company that aims to fill that niche with its lineup of Revo stainless steel link bracelets for under $200.

JUUK, pronounced „juke,“ is a watch company created by Eugene Ho, a Canadian with nearly two decades of experience in the watch industry. Ho, who moved to Hong Kong in 1997 to establish Pacific Watchworks, has worked on popular brands including Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Ecko, Reebok and many others.

„During that time, I’ve developed great relationships with some of the top watch component factories,“ Ho told MacRumors. „This means that I’m not an Apple accessories vendor trying to make watch bracelets. I’m not a guy coming off the streets trying to make watch bracelets. The watch industry is in my blood, and developing high quality watch components is all that I know professionally.“

Revo stainless steel link bracelets for Apple Watch are offered in polished, brushed or gunmetal finishes for between $145 and $195. A trio of 42mm bracelets are available to ship immediately, while 38mm bracelet pre-orders will ship in late January 2016. 42mm polished or brushed spare links are also available for $12 each.

Given the popular adage „you get what you pay for,“ this review will take a closer look at the design and fit of the 42mm Polished Revo model, $195, to see how it compares to Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet.

Design

JUUK’s 42mm Revo has a premium look and feel. The link bracelet is crafted from 316L stainless steel, the same grade used by Apple and many Swiss watchmakers, and this particular model has a lustrous all-polished finish. The modern design closely matches the stainless steel Apple Watch’s polished case, but like other bracelets of its kind, it collects fingerprints easily and is more susceptible to surface scratches.

In my two weeks of testing the Revo, being careful not to graze it on any hard surfaces, the bracelet still collected some surface scratches visible in natural light. The underside of the Revo is brushed to better hide those blemishes, a common practice in the watch industry for polished bracelets, but opting for the 42mm Brushed Revo entirely may be the better option for Apple Watch users who are less vigilant.

While Apple began selling „Made for Apple Watch“ lugs for official third-party bands in October, the Revo has unofficial adapters on each end of the link bracelet that slide into the Apple Watch casing with ease. The adapters have locking mechanisms on the underside that must be pressed in for a secure fit. Some third-party Apple Watch lugs do not fit very well, so I was pleased this bracelet worked without any issues.

The link bracelet has a width of just under one inch throughout, and is about 1/8″ thick, compared to the tapered design of Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet. The thicker bracelet looks modern and sleek, and isn’t overly heavy, in line with the premium craftsmanship I expect from Apple products. There is an embossed JUUK logo on the bottom of the bracelet that I could do without.

Fit

The 42mm Revo link bracelet fits wrist sizes up to 214mm or 8.42 inches, while Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet fits 140–205mm wrists for comparison. Apple also sells a 42mm Link Bracelet Kit for wrists that exceed 205mm. Revo bracelet links do not have Apple’s simple release button for link adjustment, but JUUK does eschew cheap friction pins for the costlier screws usually found in luxury watches.

The bracelet was simple to adjust and fit comfortably after I removed about five or six individual links. There is a tiny space between each link, giving the bracelet some flexibility, which is important since your wrist size can change slightly throughout the day based on environmental and physiological factors. The looseness also prevents the Revo from pinching your wrist hair.

One of the most impressive features of the JUUK Revo, and something that makes it more expensive than some third-party bands, is its 316L stainless steel double push button butterfly mechanism, allowing the bracelet to slide on or off your wrist with ease. Some other bracelets use a cheaper folded steel buckle to keep the cost down, but JUUK aims for a higher level of fit and finish.

Value

JUUK sells the 42mm Polished Revo for $195, which is $254 cheaper than Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet. For perspective, that is enough for an entire Apple Watch Sport during Best Buy’s current $100 off sale. JUUK provides free next-day international shipping, including tracking information, with every purchase via Hong Kong Post. All prices are listed in U.S. dollars.

JUUK provides a 2-year limited warranty covering manufacturing defects, and also offers a 100% refund within 2 weeks of the purchase date provided the bracelet is in its original packaging and has never been used before. The bracelet is not a Kickstarter project, so 42mm Revo models ship the next business day as opposed to the long lead times some crowdfunded products have.

Overall, the premium look and feel of the 42mm Revo makes it a worthwhile purchase, and I personally recommend that prospective buyers of Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet consider this $195 bracelet before making that purchase. A small screwdriver and JUUK microfiber cloth are included in the box.

Bottom Line

JUUK’s 42mm Polished Revo earns a stamp of approval as a less expensive yet quality alternative to Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet.

Pros

Premium look and feel

316L stainless steel matches Apple Watch casing

Double push button butterfly mechanism

Costlier screws for length adjustment

Nice packaging with small screwdriver included

Apple Watch adapters have locking mechanisms

$195 for link bracelet

Free next-day international shipping

Two-year limited warranty and two-week return policy

Cons

Polished finish collects fingerprints and smudges easily

Polished finish is more susceptible to surface scratches

JUUK logo may be an eyesore for those looking for an unbranded bracelet

How to Buy

The 42mm Polished Revo can be purchased through JUUK’s website for $195 with free international shipping available.

JUUK is offering MacRumors readers 10% off 42mm Revo models using coupon code MACRUM until December 31, 2015. The discount is not valid for 38mm models.

MacRumors is not an affiliate partner with JUUK and receives no compensation for this review or any purchases made through the JUUK website.

Tags: Apple Watch bands, JUUK Revo
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Apple Watch Sport and Accessories Now Available at Walmart

Walmart has begun selling the Apple Watch Sport and accessories through its online store for U.S. customers. The discount retailer is currently only carrying 38mm and 42mm Sport models in Silver or Space Gray for $349 to $399 alongside the Apple Watch Sport Band and Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable.

Walmart joins a growing number of Apple Watch resellers carrying the wrist-worn device in the U.S. since its April launch, including Best Buy, B&H Photo, Maxfield, Sprint, Target, T-Mobile and dozens of other retailers nationwide. The device is not yet available in Walmart stores, but in-store pickup is available for online orders.

Unlike Best Buy, which is offering $100 off the Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch, Walmart is not offering any discounts on the Apple Watch or accessories at this time. Best Buy, Colette and Target also offered Black Friday deals on the Apple Watch, leading to some discussion about how well the Apple Watch is selling.

Walmart offers free shipping on orders over $50 in the U.S., and in-store pickup is currently estimated to take about one week.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tag: Walmart
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Best Buy drops $1,100 off Apple Watch Edition price tag

People that throw away money on gold Apple Watches usually don’t need deals, but if you’re looking to get an Apple Watch Edition for the holiday, Best Buy has the biggest deal we’ve ever seen on Jony Ive’s immaculate timepiece. The electronics retailer has slashed $1,100 off the price tag for an Edition 42mm 18-Karat […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Best Buy slashes $100 off Apple Watch prices

Best Buy is trying its darnedest to live up to its name, with a new $100 discount on ever model of the Apple Watch it sells — bringing the entry level cost of a 38mm Apple Watch Sport down to just $250. Best Buy started selling Apple’s debut wearable device this August, and Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Watch goes from strength to strength, while Samsung falls

The Apple Watch continues to go from strength to strength, while Samsung’s own wearable devices are eclipsed by new arrivals, according to new figures released by International Data Corporation (IDC). What the figures show is that Apple Watch shipments increased from 3.6 million units in the year’s second quarter to 3.9 million in the third. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Watch Sales Estimated at 3.9 Million in Third Quarter

The latest data from market research firm IDC estimates Apple Watch sales totaled 3.9 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2015, making it the second most popular wearable device behind Fitbit fitness trackers during the three-month period ending September 30.

Apple posted a slight increase from the previous quarter, mostly the result of additional markets and channels coming on line. End-user attention has been going toward its entry-level and least expensive Sport line, to which Apple responded by introducing gold and rose gold models. In addition, Apple released watchOS 2, bringing native third-party applications to the device.

Fitbit shipped an estimated 4.7 million fitness trackers for 22.2% market share in the third quarter, compared to Apple’s estimated 18.6% market share. Apple Watch shipments grew over IDC’s second quarter estimate of 3.6 million, but both Apple and Fitbit ceded some market share to Xiaomi and other vendors.

Chinese rival Xiaomi remained in third place with an estimated 3.7 million wearables shipped in the quarter, representing 17.4% market share. Garmin and BBK rounded off the top five with 900,000 (4.1%) and 700,000 (3.1%) wearables shipped respectively, while all other vendors accounted for a combined 7.3 million shipments and 34.6% market share.

IDC estimates that wearable shipments totaled 21 million worldwide in the second quarter, growth of 197.6% compared to the 7.1 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter. IDC said the average smartwatch price was around $400, while basic bands and trackers averaged $94. China continues to be the fastest-growing wearables market, especially for lower-priced fitness trackers.

Apple has not disclosed Apple Watch sales numbers since the device launched in April, instead grouping the wrist-worn accessory with iPod, Apple TV and Beats Electronics accessories under an „Other Products“ category in quarterly earnings reports. But when asked, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives consistently remain upbeat about current sales.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tags: IDC, Fitbit
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Apple Watch Sales Estimated at 3.9 Million in Third Quarter

The latest data from market research firm IDC estimates Apple Watch sales totaled 3.9 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2015, making it the second most popular wearable device behind Fitbit fitness trackers during the three-month period ending September 30.

Apple posted a slight increase from the previous quarter, mostly the result of additional markets and channels coming on line. End-user attention has been going toward its entry-level and least expensive Sport line, to which Apple responded by introducing gold and rose gold models. In addition, Apple released watchOS 2, bringing native third-party applications to the device.

Fitbit shipped an estimated 4.7 million fitness trackers for 22.2% market share in the third quarter, compared to Apple’s estimated 18.6% market share. Apple Watch shipments grew over IDC’s second quarter estimate of 3.6 million, but both Apple and Fitbit ceded some market share to Xiaomi and other vendors.

Chinese rival Xiaomi remained in third place with an estimated 3.7 million wearables shipped in the quarter, representing 17.4% market share. Garmin and BBK rounded off the top five with 900,000 (4.1%) and 700,000 (3.1%) wearables shipped respectively, while all other vendors accounted for a combined 7.3 million shipments and 34.6% market share.

IDC estimates that wearable shipments totaled 21 million worldwide in the second quarter, growth of 197.6% compared to the 7.1 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter. IDC said the average smartwatch price was around $400, while basic bands and trackers averaged $94. China continues to be the fastest-growing wearables market, especially for lower-priced fitness trackers.

Apple has not disclosed Apple Watch sales numbers since the device launched in April, instead grouping the wrist-worn accessory with iPod, Apple TV and Beats Electronics accessories under an „Other Products“ category in quarterly earnings reports. But when asked, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives consistently remain upbeat about current sales.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tags: IDC, Fitbit
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Sell Your Old Device, Win an Apple Watch!

Because we’re really feeling the holiday spirit this season we’ll be giving away a brand new unopened black 38mm Apple Watch Sport to one person who sells their old device before December 15th. We have an unopened black Apple Watch Sport that we’ve decided to give away this holiday season. To be eligible you must submit a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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