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E3’s leather Apple Watch bands are made the old-fashioned way

Whether they are rebuilding vintage motorcycles or crafting Apple Watch straps, the folks at E3 Supply Co. do everything by hand. It’s not that they can’t afford fancy robots to get the job done — the small team of three prefers to do things this way.

Whether working from their shop in Brooklyn, New York, or from the mini leather workshop in the back of their customized 1977 Toyota Chinook, they do things the old-fashioned way. And now Cult of Mac is thrilled to offer E3 Supply’s handcrafted leather Apple Watch bands in our Watch Store.

The small company’s bio says “one guy’s obsession with building custom motorcycles has grown into a thriving leather goods business centered around the moto/travel/sustainable-living lifestyle.” That might sound super-groovy, but it provides a pretty clear picture of E3 Supply’s brawny, back-to-basics mission statement.

“We’re proud to state that none of our leather goods have ever seen the inside of a factory or been touched by an electronic machine,” says E3’s website. “We use time-honored presses, dies and punches to produce our lines, and we’ve got the scrapes and bruises to prove it.”

Chromexcel leather from Horween Leather Company

E3 Supply Co. leather Apple Watch band
These handcrafted leather Apple Watch bands are made the old-fashioned way.
Photo: E3 Supply Co.

In the Cult of Mac Watch Store, we work with plenty of vendors who offer premium, hand-tooled leather. But as far as we know, none of them also make rad-looking rebuilt motorcycles or limited-edition items like New York City subway token lighters or leather-bound liquor flasks.

Rather than the Italian leather utilized by great brands like Strapple and Ullu, E3 opts for American hides from the Horween Leather Company, a Chicago tannery that’s been operating for more than a century.

“The Chromexcel leather used to make our products is infused with an oil-and-wax blend that lends our products extreme durability while allowing them to be soft and comfortable right out of the package,” E3 says.

Chromexcel leather “undergoes at least 89 separate processes taking 28 working days and utilizing all five floors of our facility,” according to Horween Leather Company’s website. (If you want to take a deep dive into this complicated and historic tanning process, read all about Chromexcel leather and come away amazed.)

Cordovan leather Apple Watch bands

The brown shell Cordovan band packs a vintage vibe.
The brown shell Cordovan band packs a vintage vibe.
Photo: E3 Supply Co.

Some of the E3 Supply Apple Watch bands come in Cordovan leather produced by Horween. Rather than cowhide, it’s made from horsehide.

Genuine Shell Cordovan is the art of tanning at its finest,” according to Horween Leather Company’s website. “More than just a color, it is a very specific leather, from a particular part of a horsehide. The irregular, oval-shaped shells are tanned, stuffed, shaved and then polished — a process taking at least six months.”

The amount of work that goes into tanning the Cordovan leather is frankly jaw-dropping.

“Each shell is slowly steeped in gentle vegetable liquors,” Horween says. “The shells are genuine hot-stuffed then slicked onto glass frames to dry. Each shell is hand-curried and shaved by highly skilled artisans to expose the shell. Dyes are hand-rubbed on for a deep aniline finish. Finally, the shells are hand-glazed to achieve the rich, glossy look and feel prized by fine craftsmen.”

Quality Apple Watch hardware, too

Sturdy hardware adds to the bands' distinctive look.
Sturdy hardware adds to the bands’ distinctive look.
Photo: E3 Supply Co.

E3 Supply pays that same sort of deep attention to the Apple Watch hardware it uses.

“All of our hardware is quality tested to ensure our goods hold up — whether as a special occasion item or an everyday essential,” E3 says. “Every item in our leather goods line is handmade one at a time, without outsourcing or shortcuts.”

E3 Supply Co. leather Apple Watch bands

Currently, the Cult of Mac Watch Store offers E3 Supply Co. Apple Watch bands in two styles and a variety of finishes and colors:

All of them bear the trademarks of the shop: hands-on craftsmanship, top-quality materials and a seriously cool vibe.

If you are looking for a distinctive, handmade (and made in America) Apple Watch band, check out the E3 Supply Co. line in the Cult of Mac Watch Store. We think you’ll like what you see.

Buy from: Watch Store

Price: $69–$99

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