I’ve always been interested in watches but I have never considered myself a watch enthusiast. In fact, when Apple Watch was released I had to get used to wearing a watch again since my watch went to live in a drawer once the original iPhone was released in 2007. So it was a big leap of faith for me to spring for a leather cuff band for my Apple Watch, and I have to say I am really glad I did.
Right up until the last day before pre-orders started for the original Apple Watch, I was 100% certain I was going to spring for the Space Black Apple Watch with the matching link band. But at the last minute sanity prevailed. I spend a lot of time behind a computer everyday and that means I spend a lot of time typing. Having a rather large metal watch band doesn’t go well with typing on a laptop keyboard because you end up resting that metal band on the metal body of the laptop. Not only is that uncomfortable but it also has the potential to damage both the watch band and the laptop. I also spend a lot of time exercising with my Apple Watch and if right out of the box my only Apple Watch band was all metal then I wouldn’t be exercising with it right away. So I opted to go with the 42 mm stainless steel with the white sport band. I eventually added the PRODUCT(RED)™ sport band but I still wanted something a bit more professional for the work environment. So I kept an eye out on the 3rd party Apple Watch band market until I stumbled on the Lowry Cuff by Pad and Quill. I really liked the idea of having a substantial leather watch band in the form of a cuff and the cuff makes the Apple Watch almost disappear on your wrist, which is exactly what you want your technology to do…blend into the background. So I pulled the trigger and bought a Chestnut Lowry Cuff.
The first thing you notice when you receive your Lowry Cuff is the smell. I absolutely love the smell of leather and this band is not only buttery soft to the touch but when you first put in on your wrist it smells like you just walked into a leather shop. That being said, don’t walk around smelling your wrist as tempting as that may be (I’ve heard rumors that people will look at your strangely for doing such a thing). I did, however, have fun making my wife and kids smell my Apple Watch because that’s just the kind of husband/father I am.
The Lowry Cuff comes in two pieces. The main piece consists of the cuff itself and the upper portion of the band and buckle. The second piece is just a thin leather band that attaches to the bottom of the Apple Watch.
Attaching the band is pretty simple since the band comes in two pieces. First slide the main cuff portion of the band on to the top of the Apple Watch.
Next attach the slim portion of the band on to the bottom of the Apple Watch and thread the strap through the leather slot on the bottom of the main cuff.
I ordered by Pad & Quill Lowry Cuff in February of 2016 and as you can see from the pictures the band has held up really well. With over 7 months of wearing the cuff most of the day for 6 days a week the cuff still looks, feels, and, yes, smells like new. After about the first month I had to tighten the band by one loop hole as the leather relaxed and stretched out a bit with wear (which is expected with an all-leather watch band). While the top of the Lowry Cuff is a full width leather cuff, the portion that wraps around the back of your wrist is just a slim leather band. This turns out to be a rather ingenious design as the thinner band at the bottom of the wrist makes the band much more comfortable to wear when typing. The stitching in the band is very high quality. When I first got the band I was a little concerned that the stitching might not wear well and start to fray and come loose over time, but the stitching still looks brand new. And now to my favorite feature of this band… the quality of the leather. If you have a high quality piece of leather all you need to do is gently rub a dab of leather conditioner into the leather and it instantly restores the leather back to its original buttery soft feel. I use Bickmore Bick 4 conditioner on the band as well as my leather living room furniture and have been very happy with the results.
If there is one negative to the Lowry cuff it would be that the band itself may be just a bit too short. I have wrists that are on the smaller side for a guy, which means I should have to fasten my band tighter and have more excess band to thread through the buckle. But that isn’t the case. As you can see from the picture below I barely have enough excess band for the end of the band to catch in the 2nd free loop that retains the band. When I was wearing the band for the 1st month before I had to tighten the band by one notch there wasn’t enough band to catch in the 2nd free loop (but that ended once the band relaxed and adjusted it in by one notch). It’s a tough balance because if you make the band much longer it wraps around your wrist too far and if you make it any shorter it won’t fit larger wrists. This will really only be a problem for you if you have a fairly large wrist.
In summary, the Lowry Cuff for Apple Watch by Pad & Quill is a premium band option for your Apple Watch (as is evident by both the quality and the price). Leather is one of those products where you really need to go big or go home… don’t skimp on the quality of the leather. A really high quality piece of leather will last longer than most use cases for it, so spending a little extra to get a really nice piece of leather is well worth the investment. For a very wide leather band the Lowry Cuff is extremely comfortable and is surprisingly well suited for long duration typing at a computer keyboard. If you are looking for band for your Apple Watch that takes the emphasis away from the tech and puts it back on the style of band then the Lowry Cuff is something you should definitely take a look at.