Meridio Apple Watch Bands
Premium watch bands provide quality and style for Apple Watch users.
When I got my first Apple Watch, I struggled with finding a good watch band for it. The fluoroelastomer sport band that was included with the original Apple Watch ended up causing a rash on my wrist the more I wore it. As it turns out, I was not the only person that had to deal with this sort of affliction as Apple acknowledged the potential for allergic reactions in their support archives. Ever since I started getting rashes, I started looking at other options for watch bands. Even though Apple provides a wider selection of bands now, there are still more varieties available when you look to third party designers like Meridio.
Meridio is an Italian accessory designer that produces items using 100% Italian leather. They strive to provide the best products to its customers by using high-quality leather, modern designs, and giving simple, immediate service to its customers. They have 11 different styles of watch band and I’ve had the opportunity to try three of them — Caoutchouc in Electric Blue, Bullet Proof in Stronger, and Vintage in Touchstone.
The Caoutchouc is a natural rubber band that is water resistant and features colored cotton stitching. The band is handmade in Italy and is covered with polyester on the top. It’s compatible with Apple Watch Series 1–4 and fits only 42–44mm Apple Watches. Comes with a belt style fastener made with stainless steel. MSRP $59.00 $46.00
The Bullet Proof band is naturally aged full grain leather and embellished with 30 handmade slots that assist with breathability and comfort. The Stronger version of Bullet Proof is an Italian-made, stone-grey calf leather band. Bullet Proof was designed for Apple Watch Series 4 but works with previous versions. It’s only available for the Apple Watch size 42–44mm. Comes with a belt style fastener made with stainless steel. MSRP $104.00 $76.00
The Vintage band is a calf leather strap that draws design inspiration from an ancient Italian tanning tradition style. It’s designed to be soft and elastic with a patina that provides an antique look. It’s a ‘vintage’ look for the Apple Watch. This band works with any size Apple Watch (Series 1–4). Comes with a belt style fastener made with stainless steel. MSRP $104.00 $76.00
Each of the bands was packaged inside a fancy watch box and they came with a special care guide. My personal watch is a Series 4–40mm Apple Watch. It is a Nike edition so it came with a sport loop. Needless to say, these premium leather bands from Meridio were a step up design-wise. Out of the bands we received, the only one that would fit my watch was the Vintage band — Touchstone. Because it’s made with real leather, it’s tough when you pull it out of the box. It will loosen up over time, but at first, it is rather difficult to put on the watch and to get used to it on the wrist. Because the Vintage band is made with natural leather, it will gain a rich patina look to it the longer you wear it. Be prepared for it to be uncomfortable for a while until it loosens up though.
The Bullet Proof band is also a full leather band, but because it’s only made for the larger Apple Watch, I had to borrow my fiance’s Apple Watch (Series 4, 44mm) to try out this band and the Caoutchouc. I liked the Bullet Proof band because even though it too, was a little stiff, it has the cutout embellishments, which make it become more flexible quicker to break in than the Vintage band. The Caoutchouc is the most flexible out of all the bands I tested. The only downside I had with it was that the rubber side caused the same type of allergic reaction that the Fluoroelastomer bands from Apple do. It just not very breathable.
As nice as these bands look, they had a few shortcomings. The lugs should have hardware that is matching to the Apple Watches’ finishes and the colors are even called out as Gold, Silver, Space Gray, Black, Rose Gold, and Stainless. I thought the color was a bit off from the Apple Watch bodies. The Gold was really not the same shade of bright yellow gold as the watch body is and the Space Gray on the Vintage — Touchstone band had a muted Space Gray color.
I also had a little bit of trouble getting the Vintage Band onto my 40mm Apple Watch. One end slipped on easily enough, but the other one was a really tight fit. My fiance actually had to get it to slide into place. Then, when I went to remove it, he had to pull it out, too. This isn’t a regular occur r ence that I’ve experienced with third party bands, but on the off chance that the mod had broken off in the Apple Watch body, there is a chance that Apple would not replace the watch — even when it has Apple Care+ coverage.
In the Apple Care+ terms of service, heading 3.2: Technical Support states that:
Apple will not provide Technical Support in the following circumstances: © For third-party products or their effects on or interactions with the Covered Equipment;
I only mention this for Apple Watch users to be cautious with how they use third-party bands like these premium ones from Meridio. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the bands that were designed to fit the 42|44 mm watches don’t lock tightly into place. The lugs slide back and forth inside the watch body channel. I also thought that the metal used to finish these lugs could have been stronger. After inserting and removing the Caoutchouc band three or four times into the Apple Watch body, I found that it got quite scratched up. This makes me nervous for how well it will hold up over extended use.
The Meridio Apple Watch Bands feature some unique designs and are made with premium materials. I really appreciate the handmade craftsmanship that they are made with, but I did find that some of the fine details need some attention. I was discouraged by the wear and tear on the larger watches’ bands after just a few uses and thought that they could have fit the watch body better. I think that some people might want to consider whether or not these bands are worth the investment because they are more expensive than a lot of bands.