Apple Watch Ultra Bands from WsC
Critical: Apple Watch Ultra Review
I’ve spent the last quarter of 2022 testing each of the three new Apple Watch Ultra bands. At $99 a piece, they are crazily expensive. Alongside them, I tested some similar-looking cheap rip-offs from Amazon between $6-$12 each. The cheap, material-based rip-offs are showing obvious signs of wear already so I decided to cast my net a little wider and look at Apple Watch Ultra straps made by London’s WsC (Watch Strap Company) which prides itself in using quality materials. These are mid-price options.
TL;DR -All 3 of Apple’s original designs are novel, all 3 designs look good and all 3 strap designs are suitable for sports usage. WsC’s straps seem identical to those from Apple with the exception of one minuscule detail that’s hidden from sight. WsC’s straps are excellently packaged and so are suitable for an impressive-looking present.
Apple vs WsC vs Unbranded eBay Alternative
Here’s the full lowdown, point by point.
Apple offers a one-year warranty, while WsC provides a six-month warranty. When purchasing cheaper options from Amazon or eBay, the warranty does vary. Although Amazon claims to offer a one-year warranty, the reality is often more limited. On eBay, the warranty may depend on the seller, but PayPal and credit card protection can offer additional security.
These warranties typically cover defects in workmanship. However, it’s important to note that the definition of “defective workmanship” may not always be clear. In some cases, such as a faulty strap purchased on eBay, the seller may offer a refund, but it can vary.
Packaging and Presentation
Apple’s packaging is clearly the best, while WsC’s packaging is visually appealing and suitable for gift-giving.
The packaging for the less expensive straps usually consists of no more than a compact plastic sleeve.
Apple’s straps are priced at around $100/$100, which I consider being significantly overpriced without sufficient justification. Alternatives from Amazon and eBay can range from $5 to $20, depending on the design and colour.
WsC straps are less expensive, costing less than half the price of Apple’s straps. However, they are still a bit overpriced IMO.
WsC’s straps and the cheap replicas look identical to the Apple straps, at least to a casual observer
There are noticeable differences when comparing the details of various straps.
The inexpensive straps tend to have an annoyingly loose fit on the watch body but do not detach. All the Ultra strap designs I tested do not detach from the watch body but the body locking mechanism seems to become less precise.
Earlier, pre-Ultra Apple replica strap designs have been reported to malfunction after a few months, causing the strap to come off the watch body. This issue has not been observed with Ultra strap designs from any supplier.
The buckles may appear similar, but the hidden part of the retaining buckle on the replica Ocean bands is of a simpler design than Apple’s design.
The Alpine loop from Apple can be extended, allowing the wearer to comfortably wear it over a jacket when navigating. However, Watch Ultra itself is not exactly a great watch for navigation when using Apple’s own features.
They seem pretty similar to me. However, over several months of use in salty and sunny conditions might cause fading or degradation. I’ve not experienced that.
The ULTRA straps that have velcro seem to have different qualities of velcro. Even Apple’s velcro doesn’t seem to last forever but it definitely seems to last longer than eBay ones. I’ve not had the WsC straps long enough for the velcro to degrade. Be extremely wary of using any strap that will come completely undone if the velcro fails…that means you could lose your watch in a lake or on a ski slope, all for trying to save $/£30 on a strap.
All the fabric designs by all the manufacturers can be easily washed clean and they dry relatively quickly. However, they will all get pretty scummy after a few sweaty workouts and some lighter colours will show this more than others.
You have to decide whether you’ll regularly wash your sports strap, you’ll change straps before workouts, or if you’ll just put up with a smelly wrist.
I feel that only the silicone bands are appropriate for more serious sports usage. That said, I DO like the look of the fabric band and like to wear them casually…just not for sport.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a high-quality, stylish and comfortable replacement strap for your Apple Watch Ultra, then the WsC straps are an excellent choice. With a range of colours and styles to choose from, you are sure to find one that you love. The straps are made from high-quality materials, are easy to install, and are highly functional, making them a great investment.
- Original Apple- $99, $99, Eu99
- Watch Strap Company (WsC) – more at Watch Strap.co £40
- Copy Apple – from as little as US$5
Not Impressed? Check out some more bands for sport
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