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Review: Monowear Apple Watch Bands

INTRODUCTION

I’m a huge Apple Watch fan. So much so that I’ve hardly put another watch on my wrist since the Apple Watch launched last year. I’m also a big fan of watch bands and the Apple’s Watch’s ability to easily swap them. I love being able to go for an early morning run with the silicone strap on, then come up and change for work, throwing another, more formal band on my watch too. Spoiler alert: Monowear makes some of the finest Apple Watch bands you’ll find, with a ton of different colors and models to choose from. I own a few of the company’s bands myself and they were kind enough to recently send along a few more for me to check out as well.

Read on through for my full review, and be sure to catch the video at the end of the review for a more up close and personal look at almost the entire Monowear Apple Watch band lineup and the company’s newest item, the MonoChest too.

DESIGN

Monowear makes 6 different bands for the Apple Watch, each available in a variety of colors. There’s the “Leather”, “Leather Deployment”, “Nylon”, “Ceramic”, “Metal” and “Mesh”. In this review I’ll take a look at 4 of them, minus the Mesh and Ceramic.

FUNCTION

Here’s what Monowear has to say about the Leather.

  • Band Material: Genuine leather, Nappa finish
  • Adapter & Buckle Color: *Color Match based on your watch selection
  • Adapter & Buckle Material: Stainless steel
  • Length: Based on Apple Watch of your choice, see size chart
  • Compatible: 38mm or 42mm of Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition

The leather band is available for both the 38mm and 42mm watches. It comes in 5 different colors. You can also choose the color of the band’s hardware, from steel, space gray, silver, rose gold or gold.

The leather band is comfortable, sophisticated, and modern. Many of the third-party leather Apple Watch Bands are either so thin that they feel cheap or so thick that they are uncomfortable to wear. The Monowear Leather Band seems just right. It’s the perfect balance of thickness so that it remains comfortable to wear and so that it also stays looking great. I’ve owned the brown version of this band for a while now, and I can say it looks great having taken on its own unique patina. I’m sure the red version I was sent for review would do the same. It’s also worth pointing out that the band fits me very well. I have larger wrists and have had trouble getting some bands to fit. This particular band fits me fine, with room.

Here’s what Monowear has to say about the Leather Deployment.

  • Band Material: Genuine leather, Nappa finish
  • Adapter & Buckle Color: *Color Match based on your watch selection
  • Adapter & Buckle Material: Stainless steel
  • Length: Based on Apple Watch of your choice , see size chart
  • Compatible: 38mm or 42mm of Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition

The leather deployment band is available for both the 38mm and 42mm watches. It comes in 5 different colors. You can also choose the color of the band’s hardware, from steel, space gray, silver, rose gold or gold.

Everything about the leather band that I like carries over to the leather deployment. However, this band adds on a really cool clasp, which not only keeps the band on securely but also looks great too. This is probably my most favorite of all the Monowear bands. The leather is slightly tapered, thicker at the ends and thinner in the center, where it gets double up so it’s not overbearing. This makes the band very comfortable to wear and I’m a huge fan of the clasp. The deployment buckle makes getting your watch on and off very simple.

Here’s what Monowear has to say about the Nylon.

  • Band Material: Nylon
  • Adapter & Buckle Color: *Color Match based on your watch selection
  • Adapter & Buckle Material: Stainless steel
  • Length: Based on Apple Watch of your choice, see size chart
  • Compatible: 38mm or 42mm of Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition

The nylon band is available for both the 38mm and 42mm watches. It comes in 6 different colors. You can also choose the color of the band’s hardware, from steel, space gray, silver, rose gold or gold.

The Nato style nylon strap is thick and strong. That means it doesn’t feel cheap and yet it remains very comfortable on the wrist. This strap is perfect for outdoor activity or anytime you simply want a more casual look. I especially like the dual “keepers” which keep the end of the band secured while it’s on your wrist.

Here’s what Monowear has to say about the Metal.

  • Band Material: Stainless steel
  • Adapter Color: *Color Match based on your watch selection
  • Adapter Material: Stainless steel
  • Length: Based on Apple Watch of your choice, see size chart
  • Compatible: 38mm or 42mm of Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition

The metal band is available for both the 38mm and 42mm watches. It comes in 3 different colors. You can also choose the color of the band’s hardware, from steel, space gray or silver.

This metal band is more traditional than the Apple metal band, and it costs a fraction of the price. The link-style bracelet is nicely weighted and feels substantial on one’s wrist as well. It does take some work to size the band. Unlike the Apple bracelet, which has easy-to-remove links, the links on the Monowear metal band have to be removed like a normal metal watch band. You can do this yourself or take it to a watch repair store or jeweler and have it done for around $10.

Here’s what Monowear has to say about the MonoChest.

  • Material: Polyurethane Cover / Microfiber Inner Lining
  • Dimension: 11½” x 8¼” x ¾”
  • Compatible Watch: 38mm or 42mm of Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Edition
  • Compatible Watchbands: Monowear™ Watchbands & Most Apple Watchbands
  • Compatible Charger: Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable

The MonoChest comes in your choice of 4 different colors.

The MonoChest features the ability to store three bands inside, and it can be used to hold your watch while it’s charging too. There are rubberized clips that help to ensure your bands stay put. While I wish it held more straps, it looks great and functions well both at home and for traveling too. Once you have your charging cable set up inside the cord can be tucked away in a channel that runs along the back of the MonoChest. I think the MonoChest will be accompanying me on my upcoming summer vacation since it’ll allow me to bring along extra bands and double as a changing station while I’m away.

SUMMARY

I’m a big fan of all of Monowear’s offerings. The leather bands are thick, but not so much as so they’re uncomfortable. The nylon band is tough and also super comfortable to wear as well. The metal band is super high quality and way more affordable than Apple’s steel bracelet offering. Finally, the leather deployment band offers a modern and unique take on a classic leather strap. If you’re into owning multiple bands, like me, and need a place to keep them all stored, the MonoChest is a great solution. Part presentation-style storage device and part watch charger, the MonoChest is classy and durable, too. I’m coming away very impressed by all of Monowear’s offerings and have no problem recommending any of them.

You can learn more about the Monowear bands and the MonoChest by visiting this page on the company’s website.

MSRP: $59.99 – $169.99
PROS: Tons of colors and styles. Affordable. Great quality.
CONS: None.

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