I ordered the black version of the Leather Loop the same time I ordered my Black Steel Apple Watch. I just loved the way it looked at the Apple events and was eager to try it out. The Loop arrived a couple of weeks before my watch, but I had a stainless steel review unit, so it gave me a chance to try that pairing first. Since then I've been wearing the Leather Loop, off and on, for almost a month now and under a wide variety of circumstances. So, how's it holding up?
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Leather Loop band video review
If you'd rather see than read, our Apple Watch Leather Loop band video review has all the highlights.
Bands of future past
Leather Loop band design
There's a lot going on with the Leather Loop band. It's quilted into segment. It's milled and tumbled to enhance the pebble-like texture. And it loops over itself. As a result, when the light catches it, there's a depth to it beyond what you find on traditional leather bands like the Classic Buckle.
Like several of the other bands, the Leather Loop harkens back to the earlier works of designer Marc Newson, who joined his long time friend, Jony Ive, to collaborate on the Apple Watch project. The look was futuristic years ago, now it's got a definite retro sci-fi vibe.
While I've tried on the other colors, black is the only one I've bought so far. I wore it with the stainless steel case for about a week, then wore it with the Space Black case. I've also tried it, briefly, on the silver aluminum Sport case. I like the look with all of them.
Unfortunately for those with 38mm Watches, the Leather Loop is currently only available for the 42mm models. Hopefully that'll change at some point. Because the color of the band is carried all the way through to the lugs, it works with both the black and silver Watch cases.
Like yoga pants for your wrist
Leather Loop band wearability
The Leather Loop comes in two sizes. Medium fits wrists 150mm to 185mm and large fits wrists 180mm to 210mm. Because it's a loop and has a magnetic closure, it's not limited to adjustment holes within those sizes. You can snap the Loop into place anywhere along its circumference. That means you can not only get the perfect fit for your wrist, but you can adjust that fit as often and as precisely as you want throughout the day. If it starts to feel a little loose, tighten it up. If its clawing at you, give yourself some extra room. While not technically infinite, the sizing options are for all intents and purposes, limitless.
The magnet strength on the Leather Loop is well chosen. It closes with a satisfying snap and stays firmly in place even when your arms are moving energetically. When you want to remove it, however, it's easy to peel off. As a result, I've never had to worry about it coming loose, even when horsing around, or being tough to adjust when I want to quickly make a change.
The leather does feel a little stiff, which I'm guessing has to do with the magnetic substructure. Where the band loops through is also, by nature of that loop, bulkier than the rest of the band. I've never noticed it in daily wear, though. I have noticed the quilted sections crinkling slightly at times within the loop.
The Leather Loop isn't water proof the way the Sport Band, Milanese Loop, or Link Bracelet are. It's leather, so you will want to be careful about liquids. I switch to the Sport Band when exercising, especially when out in drizzle or light rain, for just that reason. I don't even think about showering with the Loop either. I have washed my hands and dishes with it, and it has gotten rained on by accident, and it's been just fine.
After working out, or when it's especially humid, I like that the Leather Loop isn't impermeable. It absorbs just enough moisture to keep my wrist feeling dry and comfortable.
And comfort is what the Leather Loop is all about.
Should you buy?
The bottom line
The Leather Loop isn't for those who want something to exercise with or take into the shower, or for anyone who wants something closer to a classic buckle. The Leather Loop is for those who want something different. It's for those who want the feel of leather but a look unlike any buckle. For those who want endless adjustability and casual comfort that's still good looking enough for a night on the town.
Though I've been wearing it for a few weeks, the Leather Loop still looks as good as the day it arrived. There's no visual signs of wear or staining or anything at all. I'll be interested to see how that holds up over the next few weeks and months. Either way, the Leather Loop has become one of my favorite bands. I highly recommend the Leather Loop and look forward to wearing it on many more occasions.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
By Tammy Rogers