Apple loves leather

At Apple’s reveal of the Apple Watch, the company spent a great deal of attention to explain in detail what kind of materials are used for the case, the display and the straps. It is clear that they, first of all, wanted to show they understand what is important in the luxury goods industry, and, second of all, wanted to emphasise that Apple Watch is a premium product. It was interesting to note, though, that for the leather straps they went into even more detail, including mentioning the name of one of the partners they work with. Apple would only do this if they felt that this leather-related brand would strengthen the overall Apple Watch proposition.

The leather straps for Apple Watch come in three flavours:

  1. Modern Buckle. This strap is made of so-called Granada leather made by an unnamed “French tannery established in 1803″. My guess is that Apple is talking about Tanneries Roux, a French tannery established in 1803 and currently owned by the luxury goods firm LVMH (covering watch brands such as TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot). The reason for not naming it might be because this tannery also delivers leather for straps to these luxury watch makers.
  2. Leather Loop. This band in Venezia leather is “handcrafted in Naples, Italy” by again an unnamed tannery with “a history of partnership with some of the most prestigious names in fashion”. Again, most probably the name cannot be disclosed because this tannery is working for other luxury watch brands too.
  3. Classic Buckle. Here it gets interesting, as in this case Apple is disclosing the name of the tannery: the “renowned ECCO tannery in the Netherlands”, using Dutch leather. Even I, being from The Netherlands, did not know that Dutch leather was so renowned that Apple would not only use it in its products, but would even mention the tannery. They would only do this in case they felt that mentioning the brand and origin of the leather would strengthen the proposition of the Apple Watch itself.

It was surprising for me to see that Apple spent so much extra attention on explaining the quality and origin of the leather straps for Apple Watch. To me this tells that they have seriously worked on trying to understand what is important in the watch industry, and that they have worked with real industry insiders. Moreover, it tells me that the leather strap options will be of high quality and that they certainly are an option worth considering.

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