Apple’s latest premium Apple Watch strap is the unique Leather Link that stays secure with magnets encased in genuine leather, and it is a good choice for affordable luxury.
Leather Link was leaked earlier this year, and we’ve been thinking about it ever since. We’ve been a fan of Apple’s leather straps before, and we’ve been using Leather Loop for years, but the new band had a different design that fascinated us.
After using the band for the last few days, we not only found that our first thoughts were crazy, but this may now be our new favorite Apple Watch band.
Leather Link Design
The new Leather Link is a new style for Apple with a unique two-piece structure compared to the standard Leather Loop. In addition to the yellow poppy and traditional black that we look at here, it also comes in Baltic blue and saddle brown.
Each side of the strap is made of two pieces of leather with several magnets sandwiched between. The long side of the strap is folded over the small side to keep the strap on the wrist securely. In our time with the band, it never came loose. It takes quite a bit of force to separate the straps when they are pulled apart, but they pull easily apart when one edge is peeled from the other.
There are both 40mm and 44mm sizes on the Leather Link, and they fit all generations of the Apple Watch, including older 38mm and 42mm sizes.
Leather Link fit and comfort
The Leather Link band comes in two sizes – small / medium and medium / large. My measurement was about in the middle, so both sizes could fit my wrist. For Solo Loop, I measured exactly on the line between a seven and an eight on the guide. For Leather Link, I chose the medium / large size with the risk that it did not overlap enough and was less secure.
It is clear after using it that I could have chosen the small / medium and been just fine. The longer strap breaks almost completely over the smaller one with only three links that are not covered. If I had to choose again, I would go with the small / medium.
Regardless of size, the band is extremely comfortable. If you have the Milanese bow or even the Sportsband, they tend to get cold quickly in the air. The leather is a much warmer band to wear, which is nice when we go into the cold months.
Leather Link is also a great band to go to bed if you use sleep tracking on your Apple Watch. It is comfortable enough on the wrist, but also soft if you happen to sleep with your hand or arm under your head.
Day by day, the band has been one of the most comfortable we have ever worn. It is subtly flexible and can be adjusted very precisely to exactly where you need it. Because there is no buckle, it is very comfortable to rest your wrist on a hard surface while using it, for example in the writing position.
Compared to the Leather Loop
Apple’s Leather Link has always been a popular high-end option for the Apple Watch, but it had some drawbacks. While it could If you compare each other in two pieces, the loop design can make it a little difficult to take on or off. It also did not work well with flat Apple Watch chargers – such as the unfortunate AirPower.
The Leather Link strap comes in two parts that ensure compatibility with a wider range of chargers, but it can still be difficult to put on because magnets jump to each other prematurely.
Apart from the two-part design, Link Band magnets do not go edge to edge, giving a rounded pellet-like appearance to each of the magnets. As we mentioned above, I was initially skeptical of this look, but wearing it looks much better than we expected.
Are you going to buy the Leather Link ribbon?
There are some Apple bands that feel quite expensive for no real reason. The typical sports band comes to mind. $ 50 for what feels almost the same as third parties outside of Amazon.
But in an attempt to find a more cost-effective Leather Loop, we have tried a few from other sources, and each time there was a strong difference. In other bands the leather was harder, the magnets were not as strong, or the edges frayed after limited use. It reinforced that for some bands, Apple’s quality is the best.
We have been using our leather bow since it was introduced, and it looks great – other than a few bite marks from our cat at a time that is an occupational hazard for pets and leather goods. We have cleaned it from time to time with a regular leather cleaner, and it is as stylish as the day we bought it.
At the moment, there are no third-party equivalents of Apple’s Leather Link tapes, but when it comes to copying, we have no doubt that Apple will be significantly superior.
When we look at Apple’s selection of Apple Watch bands, it seems that the Braided Solo Loop, although nice, does not have the same value as the Leather Link. If we wanted a premium band for the Apple Watch, the new Leather Link would be our new choice.
This band looks fantastic, has good quality, and we know that it lasts over time based on our use of Apple’s other leather bands. Even the California Poppy color, which we thought would be too yellow, actually comes out as more caramel brown and looks perfect.
Obviously, Leather Link is not for everyone, hence Apple’s huge selection of different ribbons and colors, but it certainly won us over. We will be back to review this review in a few months with pictures of wear and weathering.
- Unique design
- Holds by magnets and does not create a thick buckle
- Premium look and feel
- Great colors
- Easy to put on and take off
- Works with all chargers
- Better value than braided solo loop
Rating: 5 out of 5
Where to buy
Find the Apple Watch Leather Link Ribbon at Adorama or Amazon for $ 99 at Baltic Blue, Black, Saddle Brown and California Poppy.