Are you ready to take your Apple Watch game up another notch? Because if you are, this is what you need. This is the Epik for the 42mm Apple Watch - it's the most epic of all Apple Watch cases and and third party bands combined. Or so it looks that way. The company that started the whole iWatch phenomenon with its wrist wearable accessory for the iPod nano is back with another conversion kit made for none other than the Apple Watch. The Epik is the rugged and tough case and strap Apple never made for the Apple Watch. Designed to take a rough beating and still look awesome, Lunatik’s Epik will transform your Apple Watch into a 50mm+ wearable beast. Because why not? While Lunatik is taking its time Kickstarting it’s more premiumly made, solid aluminum variant of the Epik, this arguably more affordable model is the cheaper polycarbonate equivalent of the Epik conversion kit for the 42mm Apple Watch that’s available right now for $70.
The Epik features a padded shock-absorbing interior lining for maximum impact protection, covered microphone and speaker ports for added durability, as well as a specially designed enlarged Digital Crown and side button so that you’ll still be able to use every little feature on your Apple Watch through all that toughness; including of course the heart rate monitoring sensors and magnetic charging. If you were thinking about picking one of these up for your Apple Watch, you might want to check out our full review first.
As you can tell, the Epik already comes fully assembled. But you will need to take it apart to install the Apple Watch inside of the case. Installation is fairly straightforward but does take a minute or two to get done - unlike popping on a case or sliding in one of Apple's bands.
Inside the packaging you'll find a set of tools to help you install the Epik case on your Apple Watch along with a set of instructions and two spare screws.
The Epik uses screws that keep the band attached to the case, which keep everything secured. The Epik splits into two parts to make installation easier just like Lunatik's original LunaTik and Lynk full conversion kit cases for the iPod nano. Having to use the included tools to install or remove the Epik may be an inconvenience to some unless you're planning on sticking with the Epik for the long haul. The Epik does replace the original band that came with your Apple Watch, meaning you wouldn't be able to use Apple's proprietary and easily swappable Apple Watch bands when using this case. But if you still have or purchase LunaTik's older LunaTik or colorful TikTok straps, you'll still be able to use those with the Epik as they are in fact interchangeable with one another.
When screwing in the screws you really need to be careful not to tighten them up or else you'll run the risk of stripping the screw threading. I found that out the hard way while tightening one of the two screws which ended up stripping the threading. Luckily there are two spare screws included, but no spare screw bars which could potentially also get damaged from overtightening. This is one of the top caveats about the Epik and it's very non-rugged screw hardware.
You can grab the $70 polycarbonate Epik right now in an all-white, black, and gray colorways – including a slightly more colorful black with a green silicone band before more color options get introduced like red, blue and pink. And while that may seem like a lof of money, you are also getting a silicone band with this protective case compared to Apple's standalone $49 Sport band. So I don't think that the Epik's pricing is not at all unreasonable. That being said, the Epik does not come without its fair share of caveats. The strap is overly bulky and not as comfortable to wear as the Sport band from Apple, but I guess that’s to be expected considering this is meant to be a more rugged alternative. And I do like large bands, but this one lacks refinement. It isn't sculpted or tapered so it feels even bulkier on the wrist. Fortunately the one-size-fits-all design of this strap does make it more versatile in that it'll fit pretty much anyone thanks to plenty of size adjustment settings.
This particular white version of the Epik with these black accents looks like something you'd find in some galaxy far, far away. It most definitely has a Stormtrooper-inspired styling. And I must say this color scheme is attractive. And as you can clearly tell, the Epik is quite ostentatiously designed. Even on my 7-inch wrist it looks massive. That girthy and heavily perforated strap along with the Epik’s oversized case and enlarged Digital Crown are hard to ignore when worn on the wrist. I’ve already gotten both compliments and strange stares while wearing my Epik Apple Watch. People tend to take more notice when you’re wearing something that’s this large and has what looks like a touchscreen on it.
I'm not going to lie, this is actually the coolest thing I've done to my Apple Watch. It looks completely different encased in this sporty ruggedness of a case with that wide and robust rubbery strap replacing Apple's dainty little Sport band. It looks and feels like I'm wearing a smartwatch made by Garmin or some other outdoorsy company. This is without a doubt the bulkiest case and band we've used with the Apple Watch, and I'm overly confident in the Epik's protective prowess. The raised bezel around the Apple Watch's touchscreen is nicely tapered so that it offers impact protection without impeding on usability. Overall the matte texture of the polycarbonate plastic of the Epik's case seems very durable and and acceptably finished.
While the hard exterior does a fine job handling direct impacts, if we take a look inside the Epik's casing we can see that it has been fitted with these foam pads all around to help absorb shock and provide a cushion in order to better protect the Apple Watch from scratches, knocks and drops.
To give you an idea of how big the Epik looks next to one of the more popular rugged watches known to man - the classic Casio G-Shock. The Epik dwarfs it. It's that...bulky.
You may very well be looking for this type of protection and style yourself, and you'll most definitely be happy with the Epik's transformational protection to say the least. However, the Epik does seem a bit rushed. Or better yet, lacks refinement and attention to the smaller details now that Apple has raised the bar in wearables. The Epik isn't a premiumly made product. At least not this polycarbonate iteration. Maybe Lunatik's aluminum-made, pricier Epik will be more impressively made and constructed, but this polycarbonate version leaves more to be desired it terms of overall quality. nd if you don't want to wait until Lunatik's aluminum Epik gets released, you can always get this ridiculously inexpensive "BB-YuHan" aluminum Epik knockoff clone for around $20.
The build quality tolerances are surprisingly poor. The polycarbonate casing doesn't fit together as well as it should, leaving a small crack visible between the center seam where the two parts join together. Again, the fit is great, it's just that the way the parts connect together isn't done well. The oversized Digital Crown works great but it feels a bit wonky to use. The plastic crown rotates unevenly due to the spring loaded mechanism that keeps it position and pressed up against the Apple Watch's Digital Crown. While rotational movement isn't restricted and is relatively smooth, the build quality of the crown mechanism isn't particularly very good and not as precise as you would lead to believe by the overall design.
I would assume that the all-metal Digital Crown and overall build quality on the aluminum version of the Epik (shown above) will be more impressively made. It's also important to note that because the Epik's Digital Crown is such a proud button, it's also much easier to inadvertently push when folding the wrist upwards. For what it's worth, the Epik's integrated Digital Crown and side button do work as expected and provide enough of a satisfactory tactile feedback.
The band material feels a lot like the Apple Sport band although more rigid, considerably thicker and wider. It's also shaped a lot straighter unlike the curvier Sport band, which makes it feel considerably bulkier and somewhat restrictive. The material is soft and smooth, but not refined enough to feel as comfortable and streamlined as Apple's Sport band. You can of course wear the Epik in the shower, get it all wet and dirty without any trouble at all. Only time will tell how the white colored silicone will withstand the test of time, wear and tear.
Lunatik says these tiny perforated metal port covers bring extra protection for the microphone and speaker making the Apple Watch even more resilient against water, but we don't buy into that one bit. If anything I noticed that the speakerphone volume sounded slightly quieter while using the Epik case.
The way the band bunches up when it's snapped into the (also adjustable) plastic post instead of laying flat is a little annoying at first, but you get over it as you adapt the more you wear the Epik. It's obvious that the band adjustment measurements were not thought out as well as they should have been in order to prevent this from happening. Overall my experience with the Epik's oversized band is very underwhelming. I get that it's supposed to be tough and rugged but this is not the (half baked) way to do it. Where has the smart, practical design and refinement gone, Lunatik? The post along with the buckle are also made out of plastic, only adding to the cheap quality feel of the Epik's not so epic build quality. Even Apple's Sport band features a metal strap snap.
This polycarbonate version of the Epik would seem like a reasonable Apple Watch accessory had it been priced under $50. But at $70 it's tough to recommend. We weren't very impressed by the overall build quality or the oversized silicone strap, however, the Epik is still a unique Apple Watch protective solution that some might find interesting and just good enough. One that can easily transform your Apple Watch into a custom looking and fairly comfortable ruggedized wearable all things considered. But if you do a lot of activities like crossfit training and other intensive workouts most days of the week, you'd be much better off with Apple's lighter weight Sport band paired up with the highly protective Spigen Rugged Armor case.
So if you're looking for a bold protective case and strap for your Apple Watch and prefer it to be oversized, Lunatik's Epik is an okay... option worth taking into considering – albeit overpriced and not refined enough in our opinion.