You’re either a fan of the Apple Watch (or smartwatches in general) or you’re not… and there doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground.
I admit, when I first got the Series 1 Apple Watch in 2015, I didn’t really get it. I wore a mechanical watch almost every day, but having a tiny computer on my wrist, when my phone was always within reach, didn’t make much sense to me. But, I decided to give it the full return period to see if it grew on me… and grew it did.
Now, my intention is not to convince you to get an Apple Watch. If you’re still reading this then you’ve already been convinced of that. This is for those that, like me, are interested in addressing the one complaint that many mechanical watch lovers share about Apple Watches: the fact that they lack physical substance.
Functional for sure… but they don’t look or feel like a real watch, and for a real watch lover, that’s an issue.
In fact, I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time flipping back and forth from my mechanical to my current Apple Watch Series 5, 44MM, all while missing aspects of the one I’m not wearing at the time!
I know, “you poor, poor, privileged person.” If only life’s troubles were so inconsequential, right?
However, it’s one of the few knocks I’ve had against the Apple Watch in all the years I’ve owned one.
It was this dilemma that lead me to Steve Mille.
To be fair, I was skeptical. I’ve owned several Apple Watch cases with integrated bands, and although most have been usable, none have ever given me an authentic mechanical watch feel.
I suspected that Steve Mille would be the same. Thankfully, I was wrong.
What arrived was their Poseidon Armlet, which retail’s for $299 USD. I also received their Black Silicone – Silver Buckle, so that I could swap out the band when I wanted to dress it down. It retail’s for $49 USD. The Armlet case fits the Apple Watch 4, 5, 6, and SE versions.
I was STUNNED…
I guess for a combined retail cost of $350 USD, I should expect quality… but I honestly didn’t have high expectations.
- The steel and silicone band, as well as the steel case, are precise and sturdy. Also, the machining of the case makes it perfectly aligned with both the crown and buttons on the Apple Watch.
- The design is impeccable. As soon as I started wearing it, I had several people ask me what kind of watch I was wearing. Most didn’t even realize I was wearing an Apple Watch at first.
- It’s got weight and size. I know that’s not always a selling point for those that like the small stature of the Apple Watch design, but for me, it was a huge plus. Instead of disappearing on my arm, it’s now a statement piece, regardless of what I’m wearing.
- The watch is protected. A silicone sleeve comes with the watch, which encompasses it before it’s placed in the case for cushion and scratch resistance. Then the case back is attached with four small screws, securing it to the faceplate. The only areas exposed are the face and the sensor for charging and heartrate monitoring on the back of the watch.
- The silicone band is particularly easy to take on and off. Both bands have quick release pins that secure them to the case, but the silicone band pins are installed inside the band so they always stay in place. Losing them is nearly impossible and it makes attaching it a cinch.
- Both bands are very comfortable, with a slight advantage to the silicone band for obvious reasons.
- Price. When you’re spending upwards of $500 USD for a basic Apple Watch, the idea of spending another $350 USD for a case and band isn’t appealing. I might be able to help a little here though. Using one of the product links that I inserted above, or a unique coupon code of FATHERHOODFACTOR, will get you a discount on their products. That said, with this case and band, you’ll have every bit of a $1,000 watch on your wrist, in look, feel, and functionality.
- The quick-disconnect pins that come with the steel band aren’t affixed to it. That means that they slide out of the band easily when you’re trying to attach it to the case. It makes swapping the band from silicone back to steel a little more involved and time consuming. It’s not a major issue, but it is enough for me to suggest doing your band swap when you’re not rushing to get out the door. Trust me, you’ll avoid some frustration.
- It doesn’t come with a link removal tool. For anyone that has purchased steel bands for their Apple Watch, you’ll know that they almost always have to be sized. That means taking sections (links) of the band out so that it fits correctly. Every steel band that I’ve owned has shipped with a link removal tool that helps you remove the pins that fasten each link together. Considering the quality and price of the product, a tool not being included, was surprising. It wasn’t particularly problematic for me because I had a couple of those tools lying around, but it’s certainly something you should consider if you decide on one of the steel band products.
Is it worth it?
If you don’t mind spending some money on a band and case… you won’t be disappointed! The quality of the product is unmatched in my experience.
The packaging arrived intact, on time, and inconspicuous enough that it won’t draw any unnecessary attention during shipment. Consequently, the only attention you’ll draw will come from those admiring your choice of timepiece!
If you’ve got any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.