Reviewing Hoco’s New Saddle Brown Classic Buckle

Hoco has been doing great jobs in making third-party Apple Watch bands to the market with a good reputation on the quality and value-for-money. This happens especially on the replica Hermès bands that we reviewed earlier back in October 2015.

A recent tweet from one of my long-time reader, Russell Nicholls, drew my attention to a new line-up from Hoco which is knocking off Apple’s 2nd gen Classic Buckle with the two-tone design and Saddle Brown color option, that costs you $149, at a fraction of price. After considering the total cost including discount, transportation and lead time, I decided to give it a go, try it out and share with you how I feel about the band.

Hoco classic buckle


If you have purchased anything from Hoco, the yellow package is something you should expect the same for this Classic Buckle band. There is nothing else instead. Interesting is, the package comes with a little piece of calf leather, which is trying to prove the leather used for the band is of good quality.

Quality and Design

With a price tag which is just 16% of the genuine band, you can’t expect too much out of a knockoff. But the new Saddle Brown Classic Buckle from Hoco really out-performs the black one of the same line-up, as well as all the predecessors. The leather is smooth and soft. The back layer comes with same texture as the Hermès knockoff.

In terms of design, the Hoco Saddle Brown Classic Buckle tries its best to look like the genuine band, such as the lining and buckle. The thickness and width come close as well. It comes with silver color-schemed adapters and buckle so make sure your watch also matches with it. The adapter does not stick out so nothing to worry about. But overall speaking, it is a nice looking band and very well-manufactured considering this price point.

Comparing with Apple’s 2nd gen Classic Buckle

I am not able to get the Saddle Brown Classic Buckle from Apple for a 100% head-to-head comparison but the black one does serve as a good reference point here. There are quite a few difference that I could notice:

  • The texture of the leather used are completely different on both sides of the bands
  • The genuine band is more “machine-perfectized”
  • The design of the band at the tip is different: rectangular vs curved
  • Hoco’s Saddle Brown build quality is not bad but the black one of much less premium
  • The genuine band is softer than Hoco’s black band, but similar softness with the Saddle Brown
  • Hoco’s Saddle Brown leather band is slightly lighter (around 5 grams less), even lighter for black one
  • Hoco’s adapter is matte silver finish which is also different from its buckle
  • Hoco’s interior lining looks less sharp especially on the front face

Below are some pictures of the bands side-by-side:

Hoco’s Saddle Brown Classic Buckle vs Genuine Black Classic Buckle

Hoco’s Black Brown Classic Buckle vs Genuine Black Classic Buckle


If you are simply looking for a leather band in saddle brown color, there could a vast number of options out there in the market. However, if you really look to get the same design as the Class Buckle, this one from Hoco can be added into your cart to check out with. But I don’t recommend the black one which looks really cheap comparatively.

You can now purchase this band from AliExpress for $25 but the deal isn’t lasting much longer. Hurry up if you wanna get one. For just $25, why not?

One more thing…(The giveaway below has ended)

I would like to take this chance to thank my fellow readers and followers for the support over the past 300 days since the blog has established. It means a lot to me and without you reading, commenting and sharing, the blog won’t go that far. The blog is not generating a revenue more than it costs but I still want to give something back to you guys. So I decided to give away ONE iTunes Gift Card ($15) as my first personal giveaway event. I hope this will continue as time goes, certainly with your continuous support.

itunes gift card giveaway

To win a $15 iTunes Gift Card, you need to:

  1. Must be located in the United States
  2. Follow me on Twitter (@chanxin)
  3. Tweet out this post using the share button below or retweet this post from my Twitter feed (@chanxin)
  4. Be patient and wait until the giveaway ends 🙂

A winner will be randomly selected and announced on Twitter at GMT 0800 on 6th Feb, 2016 (Saturday). the redeem code will be sent via DM.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. doubleshot says:

    I found this HOCO product is 20mm in width. Isn’t it narrower than Original Apple Classic buckle band? I think Apple one is 22mm in width.


  2. doubleshot says:

    I mean the 42mm model.


    1. Stephen Chan says:

      I only have 38mm watch and I couldn’t find any difference in terms of width between the two


  3. Alex Krebs says:

    I also use a variety of leather bands for my space grey Apple Watch sport. Even an very old band I got from the watch of my uncle which means a lot to me. But I started to change the adapters to black ones . . . the bands look much better on my watch with a darker adapter.

    But I´ll try those replicas when the blue comes out 🙂


  4. Anonymous says:

    Love your Apple Watch band reviews. Any idea where we can still get this updated version leather band? The link you provided seems to be out of stock! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce joo says:

      Thanks for the detail review for the bands. Really do a favor.
      For those who want to buy the Hoco classic buckle, here is one link that may be useful:


      1. Stephen Chan says:

        We have been sharing and reviewing your products (which we purchased the real product). Wondering if you can send over other sample units for review in future?


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