It’s immediately noticeable that the new Lowry Cuff strap from Pad & Quill meets the company’s usual quality standard requirements. You’ll first likely notice the strap is handcrafted by the rugged look of the stitching that clearly wasn’t done by machine. And the leather, which the company notes is full-grain vegetable-tanned leather from Horween Tannery (a favorite source of leather for a lot of high-end goods), is extremely soft to the touch. Some leather bands are stiff and as a result a bit cheap feeling, especially before breaking them in a bit, but the Lowry Cuff doesn’t suffer from any of those issues.
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The Lowry Cuff is available in the tan color pictured throughout this review, and also darker Chestnut and Galloper Black options pictured in the image below:
The leather on the inside of the strap is unfinished for a super soft suede lining that feels great on the wrist:
You’ll find the usual Pad & Quill touches and more evidence of the company’s craftsmanship with an embossed company logo and “crafted in USA by” text with a handwritten signature from the craftsman at Pad & Quill that put the strap together. Both of those markings are on the flip side of the watch, out of sight when on the wrist and in use:
Otherwise the band is free of branding with no Pad & Quill logos or any other markings visible when on the wrist.
The buckle looks great (although more of a high-polish stainless steel look than the “durable nickel finish” description would have you believe), but it’s the only thing that feels a bit cheap when compared to the stainless steel lugs and the Apple Watch itself.
It fit my wrist just barely on the last hole (it’s made to fit 125-215mm wrists), but there is room to add a couple more holes if necessary. That’s pretty standard for leather straps, but Pad & Quill doesn’t currently offer an option to add some extra length when ordering on its website.
The cuff design immediately reminds of the new Apple Watch special edition with Hermès (pictured above, right). It’s a similar design to the Hermès cuff, but the cuff itself isn’t as dominant with the main standard strap sitting on top of the wider cuff rather than hiding behind like the Hermès strap. The cuff itself is about as wide as the Hermès version with just a small piece of the leather protruding from either side of the Apple Watch, but it generally doesn’t look as wide on the wrist due to the difference in how the standard strap sits on top, as mentioned above.
Should you buy it?
There isn’t much bad to say about the Pad & Quill Lowry Cuff band, although it isn’t available for the 38mm Apple Watch, only the 42mm. There are a lot of Hermès knockoffs available, but the Lowry Band actually manages to step out of clone territory and offer its own take on the style. It also accomplishes the look at $129, a lot less than Hermès will run you (even when factoring in the cost of the Watch) and without sacrificing much in the way of quality or design. And as a bonus, you get Pad & Quill’s 30-day money back promise and a 25-year leather warranty.