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Apple Tech Talk Scorecard
|Wide variety of styles and colors||Adapters can be difficult to install|
|High quality materials and craftsmanship|
|Customize the adapter and hardware colors.|
Clockwork Synergy Overview
We have looked at several Apple Watch bands from a variety of sources and you will often see very similar styles, colors and materials. What makes Clockwork Synergy stand out from the rest is the variety of designs they offer for the Apple Watch.
Clockwork Synergy, headquartered in Ellicott City, Maryland, got its start as a watchband company over 10 years ago and today, it is still all they do. As a result, it seemed like a natural fit to offer bands and straps for the Apple Watch, since in many cases, they are adapting their existing watch bands to the Apple Watch by adding the required adapters. As a result, they currently offer 322 unique bands for the Apple Watch, that is more than we have seen from any other provider.
But Clockwork Synergy takes things a step further. Their web site allows you to custom build the band to your individual style by allowing you to select not only the Apple Watch size (38mm vs. 42mm), and in many cases the watch band size (S/M or L), but also select the color of the adapters that connect that band to the Apple Watch and the color of the buckle. So, for example, you could select a brown leather band from their Gentlemen’s Collection with black adapters for your Space Gray Apple Watch but select a gold buckle to make the band a little dressier. Or perhaps you want silver adapters for a band from their Carbon Fiber Collection, to go with your silver Apple Watch but would prefer a black buckle for a sportier look.
They even offer you an option to purchase some bands with no adapters (more on that in a moment).
Clockwork Synergy is the first Apple Watch band provider that we have found that gives you this level of customization and while we did not do the math, it probably works out to be thousands of combinations.
Clockwork Synergy Review
Clockwork Synergy straps is nicely packaged in a box that will serve as a convenient container if you need to store multiple Apple Watch bands.
We received several bands, in both 38mm and 42mm sizes for our review and were impressed by the variety of styles and materials used, rom the lightweight Double Perlon and Perlon bands (on the left) to the Carbon Fiber band (center), to the Rally Leather style (on the right). For families that have the same size Apple Watch, many of their bands are unisex in style and could easily be shared.
Without exception, each band is well made and has a quality feel to the materials. The adapters that slide into the Apple Watch fit well and easily attached to both our 38mm Series 2 and 42mm Series 3 Apple Watch. Once attached, they stayed put. During our several weeks of testing, we did not experience any issued of the band becoming dislodged or loose.
The leather and carbon fiber styles had ample eyelets to allow for finding the most comfortable size for your wrist. The Perlon and Double Perlon bands don’t have holes in them. Instead, the buckle goes through the material’s weave allowing an almost unlimited size option. We were impressed with the fact that in spite of the thin and lightweight design of the beige Perlon band, after several weeks of intermittent wearing, the band still had the same fresh and tight weave as when we first unpacked it.
When ordered as a complete band (strap, adapter and buckle), the Clockwork Synergy strap comes completely assembles and ready for use. As we mentioned above, Clockwork Synergy does offer the option to order the strap without the adapter at a slightly lower price. The samples we received came without the adapters attached to the straps. What we found is that attaching the adapters pose a varying degree of difficulty depending on the strap material.
Clockwork Synergy uses two types of pins to attach the strap to the Apple Watch adapter. One is the Spring Bar Pins, which have been used for years to attach bands to watches and buckles to bands. The other is the more modern Quick Release Spring Bar Pins, which have their own little knob to pull back the pin edge. This allows for easier installation and removal from the adapter. The style of pin used by Clockwork Synergy seems dependent on the material used for the strap.
On the left is the Clockwork Synergy Carbon Fiber band. Along with the two Rally Sport leather bands we received, it uses the quick release style pin. The Double Perlon and Perlon bands use the original style pins.
We found it much easier to install the adapters on the bands that use the quick release style pins. For one thing, the pin was already installed in the band. It took only a couple of minutes to align the adapter and lock the pins into place. Installation of the adapters on the Perlon band was relatively easy but we struggled to get the adapter installed on the Double Perlon band. For one thing, the woven material of the Perlon bands does not provide a smooth channel for the pin to travel through so it took a couple of tries to get the pin straight. Then, it took more time to compress the pin, alight the adapter and get everything locked into place.
We should point out that Clockwork Synergy does sell a tool to help with the installation of spring bar pins, which we did not have the benefit of. This tool is similar to what jewelers have used for years and it is quite possible that we would have had a much easier time had we used it.
All that said, once we got the adapters installed, they fit perfectly and were securely in place. Our attempts to dislodge them by pulling and twisting as might occur in everyday use left us confident that these straps were safe and secure on our Apple Watch.
To be clear, the use of different pin styles is not unique to Clockwork Synergy, nor are we implying that there is some problem with the straps that use the standard style pins vs. the quick release pins. We actually think it was beneficial for us to have this experience so that we can say to you that for the slight difference in price, we would recommend that you purchase the complete Clockwork Synergy strap with the adapters attached. If you find a Clockwork Synergy band that is not part of their Apple Watch collection, it would be worth a call to their customer care team to se if they could adapt it for you. Otherwise, you would be well served to order their installation tool to make the job easier.
The Bottom Line
The Apple Watch continues to be the best selling smart watch on the market and that is due in part, to your ability to customize its look by simply changing your watch band. Clockwork Synergy Straps offers a huge selection of Apple Watch bands in styles and materials to suit any occasion.
Their bands are all made of high quality material and workmanship. The option to customize your band with different color adapters and buckles provides thousands of combinations to make your Apple Watch unique.
Clockwork Synergy watch bands come with a 60-day hassle-free return policy. In addition, all Nylon watch straps and Nylon watch bands and hardware purchased DIRECTLY from Clockwork Synergy also come with 1-year warranty.
We would like to thank the folks at Clockwork Synergy Straps for providing a variety of Apple Watch bands for our testing and review.
How do you personalize your Apple Watch and what is you favorite style watchband? Why not join the conversation by adding your comments below.
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