Well, it took me a while to buy into the idea of having my very own Apple Watch. But I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and I’ve gone and ordered one. Luckily, Fluco furnished me with a bunch of tasty leather straps to try on a loaned Apple watch so I had a chance to test them out before mine lands in my mailbox.

I’ve never been against wearable technology. I’ve just never been for it. To be honest, for a man my age, I regard myself as particularly technophobic. That might seem odd for someone that earns their living at a keyboard. To be plain, though, I’d be just as happy (if not happier) were I pounding the keys of a typewriter on a daily basis.

Crazy Horse in Whiskey

As such, the notion of buying into this modern “necessity” seemed very far from my list of priorities. I am already dangerously “connected” to the tools of my trade. I have no absolutely desire to be any more “contactable” at all. However, what began as an itching sense of responsibility, passed through the gauntlet of curiosity to manifest as a genuine desire for one of these newfangled gadgets. Who knows? I might actually like it.

Cupertino in Sand

So, what did I receive in the post from Fluco just the other day? Aside from a third-generation Apple Watch, I was sent the Winestrap Bozen in brown, the Crazy Horse leather strap in both whiskey and brown, the Bidart in whiskey, and finally the Cupertino in “sand”, although it certainly presented as more of a gray or, at least, very pale taupe to my eyes. for review, it was the perfect opportunity to test out the user experience of these strange and mystical “machines”. With my borrowed Apple Watch donned, I was ready to see if a dinosaur like me could finally “get” it.

Winestrap Bozen in Brown, Crazy Horse in Brown, and Cupertino in Sand.

The Apple Watch in a nutshell

Well, I got it. I found the wrist-bound device to be quite useful in some ways. The connectivity was good but perhaps not as flawlessly uncomplicated as Apple boasts (in regards to its own accessories, I mean). My relationship with the device was professional but appreciated. It didn’t make me feel much at all, other than a deep satisfaction with its performance and ease of use (and that’s me saying that).

But this isn’t a review of the Apple Watch. When my own model arrives, I will give you a full breakdown of it and my thoughts pertaining to it. Here, I must discuss nothing but the performance of the leather straps that kept the Apple Watch on my wrist during the loan period.

Crazy Horse in Brown

Ready to wear out of the box

I feel this is a more and more infrequent complaint, but do you remember how new-strap-stiffness used to be all anyone ever talked about when it came to the out-of-the-box performance of after-market straps? I used to hear the same thing over and over again. In almost every strap review I consumed for a good number of years, there always seemed to be the caveat that the strap would take a few weeks (or, at least, days) of consistent wear to break in properly. I don’t know whether quality leather is becoming more affordable or brands have just wised up to how crucially important first impressions can be but, man, the suppleness of this strap (and many available on the modern strap market) cannot be overstated.

The strap change system is simple and secure

Bend don’t break

And this by no means implies flimsiness. There is a resolutely reassuring definiteness about these materials. They give off the impression of strength and flexibility. I never felt like any of the straps I had on loan were going to crack or shear off simply because they flexed and moved easily under pressure.

The Bidart in Brown was probably my favorite strap for its sophisticated look and finish

The straps were all under 3mm thick, coming in between 2.4 (for the Winestrap) and 2.65mm thick (the Crazy Horse). I would say these measurements are pretty much average. Anything over 3mm seems thick to me and anything under 2mm is a little too light for my tastes unless we’re talking about a gloss alligator leather strap on a razor-thin dress watch. The hardware in question is steel with a DLC coating. Most modern Apple watches come in dark colors so that probably makes sense (although other finishes are available). It’s good quality and provides a solid connection to the watch head and securely fastens the watch to your wrist when buckled up.

Cupertino in Sand


The strap holes on these straps are rectangular, matching the rectangular buckle pin. I am quite a fan of rectangular strap holes as I feel the direct forces applied to the strap on the wrist are better handled by rectangular apertures over time. Circular holes have more of a tendency to stretch or deform over time because of the high strain applied by a thinner pin to a smaller area of the leather.

Close up of the “slide bar” end-links on the Crazy Horse in Whiskey


Pleasingly, the stitching, the gluing, and the edge-painting of these straps are all top-drawer. There is no excess thread at all. The stitching is neat and looks to have no discernable beginning or end, which is how it should be. The edge-painting is exceptional. A perfect seal is provided all around the strap’s perimeter without it appearing bulky, claggy, or over-applied. And, finally, the gluing on the strap back, especially next to the end-pieces, is really neat, with a nice, sharp edge.

In terms of debossing, the straps are decorated with, “handgemacht in Deutschland” (handmade in Germany) on the back of their 12 o’clock sides. Curiously, there is no Fluco branding anywhere on the straps and the tail-end is completely blank. I’m not a fan of over-branding, but I’m quite fond of the Fluco wordmark and would like to see it make an appearance on the tail-end at some point.

Who doesn’t love wine-derived waste products, eh?

However, such an addition would add to the cost, which is currently very attractive. The Winestrap Bozen in brown costs an attractive €55, while the Crazy Horse leather straps, the Bidart in whiskey, and the Cupertino all come in at just €69 including taxes. I think that’s a pretty solid buy for a strap that feels very good quality and will surely last for a decent stretch of time, even if you wear it daily. Learn more about this strap and Fluco in general by visiting the official website here.