Review: Monowear Leather Bands (2nd Gen with Black Buckle) and Black Mesh Band for Apple Watch

5 months ago shortly after the Apple Watch was released, I reviewed the Metal Link Band from Monowear with an unboxing video that I have got from their Kickstarter campaign. The review is one of the most popular ones of the site and the band is also one of my favorites in my Apple Watch Band collection.

Today, Monowear quietly launched a series of new bands and I am fortunate to receive a few bands from Monowear a few days ago to try out and have a thorough review by the time they come on sale. In the meantime, you can check out the unboxing video with a detailed walk-through with my voice-over introducing all the 3 bands below before you read the review literature.

Product: Brown / Navy Leather + Black Buckle
Price: $79.99
Compatibility: 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch

The Monowear Leather Band now comes with 5 different color options including Brown, Black, Navy, Red and Crème. For those who might have seen or purchased this band before you should know that the first generation only comes with Chrome buckle. But now Monowear added. To me, I prefer Black stainless steel buckle over the Chrome buckle for some colors especially lighter color that will create a contrast and better appearance overall.

According to Monowear, this Brown Leather band with Nappa Finish comes with a slightly dark color comparing with the first generation. This band does look sharper in real life than the picture showing on Monowear shop. The feeling is not as raw and thick as Black Forest Atelier handmade bands but the genuine leather that the band is made of is very high quality so it looks a bit more premium that many other third-party leather bands that you can get cheap from Amazon or eBay.

One point to note before you buy is that the leather does not come with soft nature. It will take some time to soften it as long as you wear it oftenly. However, this should be very common for genuine leather products as you would expect.

I personally really love brown leather bands and I do have a collection from a few other other manufacturers. This one from Monowear in pretty well-designed. It is sleek, minimal and elegant. The brown color is perfectly tuned. Most importantly, it is comfortable to wear even though it is a bit hard at the beginning.

That said, after trying on the Navy Blue Leather Band, I received more compliments from my family and friends. It looks really good. No matter it is Navy or Midnight Blue, they are definitely one of the most loved colors that Space Grey Apple Watch owners will go for. Despite the fact that the Navy Leather is listed as being done with Nappa Finish which should be the same as the Brown Leather band. However, in reality, there is still a difference in terms of the texture or leather pattern as I could have spotted from the Macro lens.

Product: Black Mesh
Price: $99.99
Compatibility: 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch

The black color Mesh Band should be one of the most wanted color options not only from Monowear but also from the whole market as many Apple Watch users have got their Space Grey models. It is a newly added collection to the Monowear Apple Watch Band family in addition to the Silver Mesh that has been already available since the Kickstarter campaign.

There are indeed options for a third-party black Milanese Loop but the miles may vary from time to time. However, Monowear has done it right with the Mesh band for those who may not be a fan of the Milanese Loop completely but would still love to have similar choices. The Mesh band is not a rip-off, but a completely different design.

The black color match of the Mesh has finally perfectly matched with Space Grey Apple Watch as you should have noticed from the pictures below. The Matte Dark Gray adapters and lugs go well with the band itself and the watch case too.

Obviously, due to differences in design, composure and material, it requires a bit of skill to put on the band to make sure it is fit for the wrist. You may need to adjust the position of the buckle before putting on the band onto the Watch. The Mesh band is noticeably heavier than the Milanese Loop. I mean, one side of the band is already heavier than the whole piece of Milanese Loop so it does add some weight on your wrist.

So how do you like the new iteration of Monowear bands? Will you be getting one from the list soon? Let me know in the comments and be sure to check out the unboxing video on my YouTube channel if you haven’t. For more Apple Watch Band reviews, check out the list here!

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