Today I’m reviewing one of Pandora’s most popular pieces: the charm bangle. The Pandora Bangle was first released almost a year ago – this little promotional poster dates from June 2013.
And yet, I’m something of a late adopter. The reason for this is simply that I have a limited budget when it comes to Pandora, and I’ve always tended to go for the original bracelets, as they’re the ones that I most want to wear my charms with. However, I was recently bought the limited edition pavé version by my OH, and I’m absolutely in love with it. I can’t believe that I didn’t get one sooner.
I’ve decided to go ahead and review it anyway; I know that I still have readers who have not yet purchased the bangle, and are still considering it – plus it’s just an important piece in Pandora’s catalogue, and I feel remiss not to have posted a review of my own.
The bangle’s clasp is spherical, unlike the regular Pandora bracelet; it is modelled on the Pandora Logo clip. The bangle itself boasts a beautifully shiny, smooth finish.
Unlike the regular Pandora bracelet, it only has threads by the clasp – this means that you still screw the charms on and off it. However, you can’t use Pandora clips on the bangle as a result; they will just slide around it unless you use silicone stoppers underneath the clips. In some regions, Pandora will give you a couple for free; in others, you must purchase them, either from Pandora or just from Amazon.
This is how the bangle sits when it is unclasped, with just a small gap between the clasp and the other end of the bangle.
To get the bangle on and off, you twist the ends of the bangle apart to open it. The bangle uses metal memory, meaning that it just spring back into shape after you let go.
The bangle can be a bit tricky to do up if you’re not used to it. I find it’s easiest to get on if you squeeze the two ends together with one hand until the end of the bangle slots into the clasp. You can then let go and clip the clasp into place. I find that I can now put on the bangle almost as expertly as I can my regular Pandora bracelets! ;)
The bangle is available in only three sizes currently: 17cm, 19cm and 21cm (6.7 inches, 7.5 inches and 8.3 inches).
I wear a 19cm regular Pandora bracelet, and opted for the 19cm bangle. I can actually just roll my bangle over my hand and take it off without undoing the clasp, so it came up quite a large fit.
However, I found that the 17cm bangle was too small and didn’t have the nice, light feel to it that the 19cm did. I have heard complaints from ladies who can’t find the right size for them; I actually really like the looser fit of the bangle, but I can understand why it may be frustrating not to be able to achieve the perfect fit for you.
Pandora’s official sizing guidelines are as follows:
You can also see that they recommend 7 to 9 charms as a maximum amount for the Pandora bangle; this conflicts with the initial advice from Pandora, which was that the bangle could be fully filled.
However, I’m inclined to wear the bangle with fewer charms anyway; the Pandora bangle is circular, and not oval-shaped. This is fine when you only have a few charms on it but, when you start to fill up the bracelet and the bangle sits tighter against your wrist, it may feel uncomfortable. I know that I certainly found it so.
I like to wear my bangle with only a couple of charms, or just empty. It feels so beautiful and light on its own – plus I feel that the regular barrel clasp bracelet is just better suited to wearing with charms.
The smooth finish that makes the bangle look so sleek is also potentially a problem; it is very prone to picking up scratches.
I’ve had my bangle for about a month and a half now, and I’ve worn one openwork pavé charm on it for that time. It’s hard to capture on camera, but it has accumulated lots of tiny little scratches. You can sort of see them if you look closely at this picture (you can click it to enlarge it):
So far, it hasn’t really affected the bangle’s very shiny finish. However, I’ve heard that wearing a lot of charms that have threaded cores can increase the amount of scratching of the bangle. Openworks charms, however, do not have a threaded core and therefore will scratch the bangle less. Wearing no charms or fewer charms on the bangle will also help to prevent scratches.
Moreover, a popular way to wear the bangle is to stack it. Wearing it with other bracelets will also inevitably increase the amount of scratches on the bangle.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind scratches, the bangle does look great stacked. A lot of Pandora’s advertising materials for the bangle have focused on layering them up to create a look that’s really on trend.
I tried layering the bangle with a few of my existing bracelets; I don’t usually stack the bangle, as I’m a bit averse to scratching it. I combined it with two of my pink-themed bracelets, and liked the effect. However, if you want to emphasise the bangle, I think it gets a bit lost amongst the two more ‘busy’-looking charm bracelets.
Consequently, I preferred it with one charm-filled Pandora bracelet and this simple bracelet from Tiffany & Co. This way it seems less overwhelmed.
I love the Pandora bangle; it’s great-looking, light, and a welcome change from my heavier traditional charm bracelets. However, I don’t consider it an alternative to the traditional Pandora charm bracelet. I personally would not fill it up with charms, as I don’t like the way it feels on my wrist and I’m concerned about preserving that gorgeous shiny finish.
The Pandora bangle costs £55 in the UK and $65 in the US. Please feel free to post any questions you may have!
Do you own the bangle? Is it on your wish list?