A week ago, the small package finally arrived at my doorstep and with abated breath, I opened up the box.
Therein lies a soft foldable cloth pouch and the leather straps I have been waiting for.
1) All strap pictures shown in this writeup are taken after usage and not when they were still brand new and unworn.
2) This is not a paid review.
I took out the straps and examined it closely, heaving a sigh of relief as they have done quite a good job stitching the sides of it.
This leather strap from Lucrin is to be match made with my 42mm Apple watch sports edition with a black case.
Whilst the black rubber watch strap that came with my Apple watch is of high quality, it just doesn’t quite match a formal outfit or a normal day in the office, does it?
I was not inclined to get the leather strap from Apple for some reasons and that was where my search on an alternative Apple watch straps began.
A simple search turns up a mind boggling option of strap replacements, ranging from metal to rubber to other types. Some purportedly claiming they could help to extend the battery life of your watch. Of course, there are also those cheap USD20 straps available. However, what I wanted was something of decent quality and I finally found Lucrin.
Lucrin is a Switzerland company founded about 20 years ago (1994), specialising in leather goods. They described themselves as a manufacturer of deluxe leather goods which combines the longstanding values of the luxury goods sector with innovation and design excellence. Apparently, before the birth of Apple watch, Lucrin mainly dealt in leather products like passport holders, zipped cases, all sorts of leather bags and organisers. You name it, they have it, that is, if that thing you so lusted after can be crafted out of leather!
With the launch of the Apple watch, Lucrin is quick to jump on the bandwagon providing hand made leather straps for the Apple watch with a certain degree of customisation. There are many options where colours are concerned, and besides that, you could choose calf leather, or if money is of no object to you, you could upgrade the straps to Ostrich leather (which obviously is going to cost you more).
Prices start from around USD166.95 and the production of the strap alone takes about 14 days.
Click link here: Lucrin
My calf leather strap has a strong leather smell and comes in unbleached stitching with black adaptors. It is made for a 42mm Apple Watch and is in the classic form (which basically meant that the other end of the strap has a tapered cut).
The back of the straps are covered with hypoallergenic material. Hence, making it suitable for those who might have an allergy to leather. However, the straps are a little stiff, and yes, they are relatively thick, measuring about 3 mm at its thickest (estimate).
If you do not already know by now, Apple watch uses a proprietary sliding mechanism to secure the straps to the body of the watch. What this also means is that the leather straps attach to the watch rather differently from the rubber straps. On the rubber straps, they attach directly to the watch, but in the case of the leather ones, metallic adaptors are required. These adaptors do come with the original Apple leather straps (whether you get them separately or if you purchase a separate leather strap from Apple).
Pic below showing that the rubber straps are attached to the Apple watch directly.
I am impressed that the adaptors that came with Lucrin strap were of high quality. Comparing them to another pair of adaptors that came with some cheap leather straps. The latter was extremely difficult to slide in place, and even more so to take it out, requiring the strength of Hercules. On the other hand, the Lucrin adaptors slide in smoothly, and it is also a cinch to remove them. Surely, we don’t want to feel lousy over our lack in brawn over a watch strap.
The disappointing thing about the strap is that the pin buckle doesn’t come in black, but instead in silver. In that sense, there was a slight mismatch between the adaptors and the buckle. However, I can live with that for the time being.
At the time of writing this, I have used the strap for about a week, and they felt totally comfortable on the hand. The strap came with 2 leather loops that you could put the leather band through securely. However, as with most leather products, try not to wet the straps when washing your hands. I accidentally did that once but I dried it quickly. Thankfully, there was no visible watermark on the strap.
Pairing your apple watch with a good leather strap does effectively change the look of the watch. I am now more inclined to wear them to boardroom meetings. And yes, the rubber strap has now been relegated to my drawer, only seeing the lights of the day if I wear my watch for a gym run.
Lucrin charges an exorbitant USD40 to ship direct to Singapore via Fedex. My suggestion is to use one of the USA forwarders by shipping the strap to USA for USD9.95 instead. We know we have better use elsewhere for that loose change.
This article is contributed by Mr Anonymous, a hardcore Apple fan who has a soft spot for things that tick (the likes of Panerai, IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre).