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Monowear’s new leather band for Apple Watch is its best yet [Review]

Thanks to a wonderfully simple quick-release clasp, Monowear’s new Deployant Reserve band for Apple Watch is ideal for anyone who despises traditional buckles. It’s made from genuine leather that’s wonderfully soft, and like all Monowear products, it’s also nicely priced.

Here’s our full review.

Review: Monowear Deployant Leather for Apple Watch

I’m a big fan of leather Apple Watch bands, and I’ve collected a lot of them over the years. They’re a great way to make your smartwatch feel a little more sophisticated and high-end, and they’re much more comfortable than metal bracelets that are forever pinching your skin.

Monowear’s new Deployant Reserve band is perhaps its best leather band to date. It takes the soft and supple leather we’re used to seeing from Monowear and combines it with an awesome new clasp that eliminates the frustration of fiddly buckles.

Fine leather for a comfy fit

Let’s talk about the leather first; that’s what has made Monowear’s bands so popular. Like the other Monowear options we’ve tested, this one feels terrific. The leather isn’t too thick, so it has great flexibility, and it features a soft backing that feels great against the wrist.

Monowear Deployant Leather band for Apple Watch
Genuine leather that’s soft out of the box.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

The leather is supple right out of the box, so there’s no need to wait for it to be worn in, and it won’t dig into your skin or weigh you down. The edges of the leather are finished to prevent wear and tears, but with the Deployant Reserve model I have, there is no stitching.

This results in a cleaner, streamlined look that I’m a big fan of. But there is another Deployant option for those who prefer the stitched finish — or the added durability it provides.

Monowear Deployant Leather band for Apple Watch
Available in 42/44mm and 38/40mm sizes.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

In addition to genuine leather, the Deployant Reserve offers robust adapters that are available in different color options, and a clasp that makes this one of my favorite Monowear bands.

It’s all in the clasp

The clasp is similar to those you might normally find on a metal band; it connects both sides of the strap together and folds closed to keep Apple Watch secured on your wrist. A quick pinch of its two buttons are all that’s needed when it’s time to take the band off again.

Made from sturdy stainless steel, the clasp feels solid and is coated with paint to match the color of the band’s adapters — and that of your Apple Watch if you wish. It’s permanently fixed to one side of the strap, while the other can be undone to allow for adjustments.

Monowear Deployant Leather band for Apple Watch
No fiddling and no fuss.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Adjustments are relatively simple, but can be a little awkward. The band is tightly secured inside the clasp so that it can’t slip out accidentally — and that’s obviously what you want — but it does make it a bit of a pain to remove when you need to tighten or loosen your fit.

The good news is you won’t have to do this often — maybe only once — and you won’t have to worry about the clasp letting go of the band by itself while you’re walking down the street, leaving your pricey Apple Watch to hit the concrete.

Monowear Deployant Leather band for Apple Watch
Get yours with space gray, stainless steel, or aluminum adapters.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

There are nine holes for adjustment on my 42/44mm Deployant Reserve band, which will fit wrist sizes between 130mm and 202mm. The smaller 38/40mm option will fit 130mm to 202mm wrists.

Monowear Deployant Reserve for Apple Watch: The verdict

These is a trade-off for the convenience a clasp provides; it’s much longer than a traditional buckle, and therefore more noticeable while your Apple Watch is on your wrist. I got used to this pretty quickly, so now it feels no different to any other leather band, but you may not.

I would recommend, however, that you consider the Deployant Leather if you’re into leather Apple Watch bands. It’s my favorite Monowear strap to date, combining the high-quality leather I’ve become accustomed to seeing from Monowear with a clasp that makes putting Apple Watch on and taking it off again much quicker and easier.

It’s also surprisingly affordable for a premium leather band. You can order your Deployant Leather strap from the Cult of Mac Store today for just $62. The stitched Deployant option is available for $65.

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★ Customer reviews

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665 reviews
Fantastic Watchband!

Had my eye on this watchband for a while, and finally found someone who had it in stock! Excellent fit, though a little snug (I have large wrists). Excellent quality! If you're interested in a Twist-O-Flex for your Apple Watch, definitely check it out. Only thing that would make it better is if I could add like three links to it, but again, this would be for my personal preference.

It’s beautiful


Really nice case for my iPhone 12

This case looks and feels great -- and it fits the phone perfectly! It seems to give really good protection to the edges and corners. As another reviewer noted, the bottom is left open for the speakers and charging port....I don't see this as an issue, but your milage may vary.

I usually just carry my ID in the back pouch, but I think I could get a couple of credit cards in there, too. Overall, this is a pretty darned nice case for my phone.


This is a birthday gift for my daughter who has an Apple Watch. I haven't given it to her yet since it's 4 months away (and I don't own one so I can't attest to how it fits) but it's really well made and looks terrific. She's an Apple-holic like me so I know she'll love it.

Looks like real MOP

The case is pretty, light weight and semi-flexible and has the visual depth, shine and appearance of real, black MOP. What you see in the picture is what you get in real life. It’s good looking, sophisticated and perfectly compliments my black iPhone 12 mini. I also like that it is a one piece design and that the edges of the case are slightly elevated around the face and camera openings so that you get a tiny bit of bumper protection (without the bulk of an actual secondary outer rim bumper) in case you drop it. I also like that it has a shiny finish so that, while it’s not “slippery,” it still slips in and out of my purse or pocket easily enough without dragging against any of my stuff that has a cotton lining, like some of the rubber or silicone cases tend to do. I don’t feel like I have to fight with it to get it into or out of a small space. Overall good looking, functional phone case. I like it!