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Tested: 9 fashion-forward Apple Watch bands

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Jan. 4, 2016
Nobody will even notice your Watch—they’ll be too busy looking at the band.

Fashion Copilot bands aren’t for everyone, but they definitely fill a niche. I wouldn’t call these premium leather bands, but the leather is very durable and showed just a little warping after a week’s worth of solid wear.

Ullu: Premium Leather, Cowlick, and Stingray bands

Ullu’s bands feel custom-made, right down to the hardware color (your choice of stainless steel, space black stainless steel, aluminum silver, or aluminum black). They offer five different materials: Premium leather, hand-colored leather, ostrich, stingray, and alligator, which cost between $99 and $399 (the alligator being the most expensive option) and an array of truly gorgeous color options. All Ullu bands are available for both the 38mm and the 42mm Watches. For my tests, I tried out the Premium Leather strap in navy blue and “cowlick,” and I also wore the Stingray band in tangerine.

ullu all
Ullu’s lineup: Cowlick (top), Stingray (center), and Premium Leather (bottom). Credit: Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

The Premium Leather and Hand Colored Leather bands cost $99, and they’re definitely worth it. These are some of the prettiest bands I’ve seen—the colors are beautiful and bright, especially on the hand-painted bands. The Premium Leather band comes in 19 different colors, while the Hand Colored Leather band comes in 10 different shades.

The Premium Leather band in navy is actually not navy at all—it’s a light blue camouflage pattern with a soft, suede-like finish. The band itself is thick but pliable; it’s a little stiff when you first put it on, but it softens up very quickly (within an hour). The longer strap is a little more than 4.5 inches long, with eight adjustment holes, and the shorter strap is 3.5 inches long (including the buckle) and has two leather loops to secure the loose end.

Although both the navy and the cowlick band are part of the Premium Leather collection, I tested out both because the cowlick band is…very different. The cowlick band is also made of thick, flexible leather, but its finish is not leather—it’s pony hair. (For those of you who don’t know what pony hair is, it’s basically the hair side of the cow leather.) The pony hair is two-toned, brown and white, and looks really funky when it’s not on your wrist. This band was definitely a favorite of mine—until I put it on.

ullu cowlick 1 
The Cowlick looks nice... at first. Credit: Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

Here’s why: Pony hair has a very obvious grain. This band is a two piece band, and it’s made so that the grain of the hair goes away from the adapter—which means that the grain is going the opposite direction on each piece. This isn’t a problem when you’re not wearing the band, but it’s definitely a problem when you try to put the band on without messing up the hair too much. Sliding the buckle over the strap and sliding the loose end of the strap through the loops on the band messed up the hair a lot (and the hair on this band is pretty long), which resulted in a very messy-looking band. I love the cowlick band in theory, but now I see why there aren’t more pony hair watch bands in the world.

 

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