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Pad & Quill Heritage and Field Strap Apple Watch bands: High quality, great looks, and full-grain leather

The Apple Watch is the best smartwatch, but Apple's leather bands start at $149. Pad & Quill offers various options for a third less.

If you own an Apple iPhone, there is no better smartwatch than the Apple Watch Series 3. Thankfully, Apple made swapping bands quick and easy so in just a couple of seconds you can go from the gym to the office to the nightclub while switching bands to match.

Pad & Quill is known for making high quality Apple accessory products with leather and high end craftsmanship. There are several Apple Watch leather band options and for the past few weeks I've been testing out the Heritage and Field Strap models with my Apple Watch Series 3. These two bands are available only for the 42mm version of the Apple Watch.

Heritage Apple Watch band

The Heritage band is available in full grain whiskey leather with either polished nickel or matte black metal hardware for $99.95. For comparison, Apple's leather bands start at $149. I tested the matte black hardware to match my space gray aluminum watch.

The full grain whiskey leather and contrasting sand-colored stitching looks great and the quality feels excellent. The stitching is UV-resistant marine-grade material like the material you find in sailboats and in parachutes. Pad & Quill offers a 25-year leather warranty so it definitely has faith in its products.

The band was a bit stiff at first and inserting the pin into the hole in the band took me a few tries at first. The holes in the leather to secure the band are punched at a minimum diameter so there is definitely some time required to work the material a bit. After a week of wear, the leather formed well around my wrist and the two holes that I used during different days were expanded to easily secure in place.

Field Strap Apple Watch band

The Field Strap band is also available for $99.95, but has two leather and metal hardware color options. These include Cordura black and chestnut leather or Cordura gray and galloper black leather. I tested the Cordura black and chestnut model with matte black hardware. Polished nickel hardware is also an option.

Cordura fabrics are known for their durability and ruggedness, which makes this watch band option great for field work or other situations where you need reliability of your band. According to Pad & Quill, Cordura fabric is 10 times stronger than cotton, three times stronger than polyester, and twice as strong as nylon.

Pad & Quill used Cordura fabric and applied full-grain leather to the underside of the band and at the ends where the Apple Watch lugs are attached. This gives the band a fantastic look and feel, while also making it a band that should last for years.

The artisan's initials are embedded into the underside of the band, along with the signature orange accent stitch that is the Pad & Quill tribute to World Vision.

Both bands look great, are built to last years, and are priced well for leather bands. They make great gifts for those with 42mm Apple Watch Series 1, 2, or 3. Pad & Quill also offers a 30-day money back promise and it will only take you a day or two to realize the bands are well worth your money.