Review: Clayton and Crume handmade leather watch bands are one of a kind

in Apple Watch edited January 2021
Clayton and Crume craft some amazing leather goods, and now they have turned their talents to their new line of Apple Watch bands.

Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands
Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands

Leatherworkers at Clayton and Crume have made a variety of other high-quality products such as belts, bags, and wallets before jumping on the Apple Watch. They bring years of experience making leather products by hand right from their Louisville, Kentucky workshop.

When AppleInsider spoke to Clayton and Crume, they were adamant about bringing something new to the Apple Watch strap market. While their bands at a high level look very similar to other's we've seen, there are several nuances that help it stand apart.


Each band is handmade from natural Italian vegetable-tanned leather in several different finishes -- Black, Chestnut, Whiskey, and Pebbled Brown. Many of these finishes are available in different hardware colors including black, silver, and rose gold.

The black and silver hardware has a slight matte finish to the buckle and a slight gloss on the outer edges of the lugs. This helps it fit well with both the aluminum or stainless versions of Apple Watch.

Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands
Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands

The strap has a tapered design to it, starting wider towards the lugs before becoming slimmer towards the center. A few others out there have a wide design all the way around and we prefer this slightly thinner aesthetic.

We see more of those slight curves around the thin straps that hold the protruding band edge in place. They are beveled out in the center rather than being the same width all around the band.

Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands
Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands

A black metal rivet sits right behind the buckle, giving a nice piece of contrast to the lighter brown options when the band isn't being worn. It is also functional by helping keep the opposing pieces of leather together behind just the adhesive.

Dress up or dress down

Leather bands for Apple Watch are some of our favorite. Apple has featured their own leather bands since launch and we've seen many third-parties jump on board as well.

Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands
Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands

You can dress these bands up or down, unlike a silicone band that can look out of place with more formal attire.

They also age extremely well unlike silicone ones that fade or develop a smooth, glossy finish after excessive wear. The leather used by Clayton and Crume is also robust enough to hold up during workouts -- something we really try to avoid with other, thinner, leather bands.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Where to buy

Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands
Clayton & Crume Apple Watch bands

If you'd like to pick up a band or two for your own Apple Watch, you can grab them directly from Clayton and Crume's website for $150. The price looks steep but for a long-lasting, durable, stylish handmade band made of premium materials, we think it's worth it.

To make it even better, as an exclusive for AppleInsider readers, enter code APPLEINSIDER19 at checkout for an extra 10-percent off.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,386member
    The AppleInsider article unfortunately doesn't say these important details but the product web pages do (keyword: full grain leather, hence the price):

    Premium full-grain Italian veg-tan leather and robust hardware for many years of service, guaranteed.

    Proudly handcrafted in Louisville, KY.

  • Reply 2 of 4
    I’d rather pay that price for a premium leather band than that of the Hermès bands. Why would I buy a band that costs more than the watch?
  • Reply 3 of 4
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 363member
    Are the lugs on those bands Apple original? For a $150 they better be...
  • Reply 4 of 4
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,954member
    Still waiting for Nilay Patel edition.

    these look really nice tho
    edited April 2019
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