Today’s post brings my first review from the Pandora Spring 2016 collection, with an in-depth look at Pandora’s newest charm bracelet concept, the Smooth Clasp threadless silver bracelet. This is Pandora’s latest twist on their classic charm bracelet, replacing the traditional barrel clasp with a smooth spherical one and removing their signature bracelet threads as well. :o Being the dedicated Pandora collector that I am, I of course had to road-test this intriguing new bracelet as soon as it came out and it was my first buy from the new collection last weekend!
I am sort of going to do this review in two parts – one now, and one on Easter Sunday (if all goes to plan and I don’t run out of time! :P). This first part covers the bracelet itself, and the second part will go into more detail about the silicone clips that go with it.
This first part will be more about the technical aspects of the bracelet itself, and I’ll look more into styling ideas and different charm/clip combinations in the second part. :D
Update on issues with this bracelet
To begin with, I just want to clarify the production issues that have arisen with this bracelet. You may well have heard rumours about this new bracelet being faulty and recalled in some regions. Well, being Pandora, they can’t launch a new ambitious concept without running into some production issues (:P) and it is true that some examples of the new threadless bracelets have had an issue where older, threaded charms are not compatible with it and won’t thread on to the bracelet.
However, this is only an issue with a faulty batch of the bracelets, not all of them. Pandora France seems to be one of the only regions who have just recalled all their stock – most other regions are just asking their stores to test all their bracelets and to send back any faulty ones.
This does mean that some stores are running low on stock – I went last Saturday, only two days after the collection’s launch, and snagged the store’s only 19cm bracelet! I would advise buying this bracelet in person, if you can, as that way you can test in-store and make sure that you have one that isn’t faulty. :)
Pandora Smooth Clasp Threadless Bracelet Review
So, first of all, let’s go through the technical stuff – stores in North America were originally telling customers that you can only put 5-7 charms on this bracelet, just like a leather or bangle, but that advice has since been superseded – current advice from Pandora is that you can fill up your threadless bracelet (yaaay!), but that they advise you use silicone clips to stop your charms bunching and putting stress on one particular part of the bracelet.
Sizing works in exactly the same way as it does for the regular bracelet, and you can opt for your regular size when picking out this new one.
Now, on to the actual review itself! The first thing that struck me about this bracelet is that it is super shiny and very clean-looking in person – it looks far more elegant than the regular Pandora bracelet without any charms on it, as there are no thread stations. I can’t look at empty thread stations on a regular Pandora bracelet without thinking that they need clips on them. A regular Pandora bracelet looks unfinished to me, without clips – this one is instantly wearable.
Someone mentioned that they were worried that the bracelet would feel flimsy, or that the clasp would be insecure. I don’t find this when I wear it. It just feels like a regular Pandora bracelet to me – the chain is as thick as the regular Moments chain,and it feels exactly the same to wear. The clasp clicks shut just as efficiently, from what I can tell – it is identical to the clasp on the Pandora bangle (and not the one on the Essence bracelet), and I have never had a problem with a Pandora bangle’s clasp.
The other great thing about the fact that this bracelet has no threads is that rearranging your bracelet is now a piece of cake. Gone is the need to spend ages screwing all your charms on and off, only to be unhappy with the design and to have to start all over again. All charms just slip straight on and off the bracelet, no threading necessary.
Compatibility – clips, safety chains and threaded charms
If you have a bracelet that works as it should do and isn’t faulty, then threaded Moments charms will go on it fine. They simply slide over the smooth thread at the end of the bracelet, as you can see with this new Shimmer murano. It’s fully compatible with all existing Moments charms. :D
The only thing that I’ve noticed, however, is that the threaded charms do scratch up the smooth thread at the end of the bracelet (I’m not sure what else to call it!). A bit like threaded charms on the bangle. The bracelet was gorgeously shiny when I first got it last Saturday, but the thread is already looking a little scratched and dull:
Clips will not slide over the end of the bracelet, however, so you can still use those to block off the end of your bracelet and to keep threaded charms from sliding off. If you’re not using the silicone clips, then I would advise this, as charms will just fly off the bracelet when you unclasp it, otherwise.
Now, I have had a lot of questions about this bracelet’s compatibility with safety chains and this was one of the first things I road-tested. In actual fact, screw-on safety chains just slide right over the end thread and right off the bracelet, and I have no idea why Pandora have featured them in their campaign images like that (see the image at the top of the post), as screw-on safety chains on their own will be useless with this bracelet. If you want to use a screw-on safety chain, you’ll need to add a clip between the end of the bracelet and the safety chain like this:
Or to use a clip-on safety chain – one of these two designs:
Now, the idea with the threadless bracelet is that you get a couple (or more) of the new silicone-lined clips to go with the bracelet to space out your charms. It’s effectively a scaled-up Essence bracelet in design, and these new silicone clips work exactly like Essence charms, and stay in place on the bracelet chain wherever you put them. I’ll go into more detail on the clips themselves in the second part of my review later this week.
My SA told me that they don’t advise filling up the bracelet without using the clips to space your charms evenly. If you don’t like any of the silicone designs that Pandora have done so far, you can always go the traditional route and use a pair of regular Pandora clips with rubber inserts.
I was initially a little sceptical on hearing that – because, really, if that’s the case and you have to use the silicone clips in the same way you would regular clips, how does it really differ to the regular Moments bracelet? But it does allow you a lot more freedom in design – you don’t have to fill up each section exactly, you can place the clips exactly where you need them. Also, when you’re just starting out with your bracelet you can use the silicone clips to keep a particular charm in place, as a centrepiece:
Or have them further apart, as I did here.
So, to conclude, this bracelet is not revelatory or a huge new concept, but it’s fun and offers something a little bit different if you’re a dedicated Pandora fan. The smooth spherical clasp is also probably enough of a change to excite many a dedicated Pandora collector – you can always use regular clips with rubber inserts if you’re not keen on the new silicone clips. I love the neatness of it, and how nice it looks when worn with even just a few charms.
If you find it a pain to have to stick to Pandora’s pre-set sections on their regular charm bracelet, you’ll probably relish the freedom of being able to put the silicone clips exactly where you need them. It may seem counter-intuitive to remove Pandora’s signature threaded system, but I expect there’ll be many people who will relish being able to rearrange their bracelet without having to endlessly screw their charms on and off the bracelet, haha. I’ll be following up later with the second part of this review, focusing on the silicone clips themselves!
The Pandora Smooth threadless bracelet is $65 USD or £55. If you’re in the UK, you can buy it alongside the rest of the Pandora Spring collection from authorised retailer John Greed.
What do you think of this latest bracelet from Pandora? Are you tempted by one?