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All About Watch Straps

Changing your watch strap is the easiest method to modify it. Sometimes you need to refresh an old watch to appreciate it again. Sometimes exceptional watches have low-quality or ugly straps.

You may select a watch strap in any style, material, or color. There’s a strap to replace a worn field watch strap or make a dress watch stand out.

Buying a watch strap for the first time might be overwhelming. You’ve arrived. This page explains watch strap types and materials.

Wristwatch Straps

Before discussing watch straps, it’s helpful to grasp their materials.

Maillots

Metal is a common watchband material. Styles, finishes, and colors vary. You may get them in stainless steel, white gold, and platinum.

Leather Watchbands

Leather is another watchband material. Leather bracelets exist in many designs and species, like metal. Fitbit Gear offers casual Fitbit straps and luxury straps.

Silicone Watchbands

Non-rubber synthetic straps exist. Silicone offers soft, flexible alternatives. These comfy straps are water-resistant. Some are antimicrobial or scented.

Nylon Watch Straps

Nylon is another watchband material. Ultra-casual, durable, and comfy. Most nylon straps have military roots, indicating their ruggedness.

Canvas

Canvas watch straps might feel like nylon straps. Nylon is synthetic, while canvas is natural. Synthetic canvas textiles are utilized in sailmaking.

Membranes

Some watch enthusiasts enjoy mesh bracelets, while others loathe them. History is cool, whatever you think of them.

In the 1970s, mesh bands were popular with diving watches.

Omega’s marketing claimed its chainmail-like bracelets were “shark-proof,” leading to the name “shark mesh”

Rubber

Rubber… Rubber straps are often maligned.

Since the 1960s, watchmakers have used rubber bands. Most are bad. They’re stiff, brittle, and unsightly polyurethane rubber.

Today’s watch strap aftermarket solved these issues. Silicone, vulcanized, and other contemporary rubber compositions make straps more comfortable and beautiful.

You may buy watch straps with nicely formed ends.

Modern rubber straps look good anywhere. John Mayer and Kevin O’Leary placed some of their expensive timepieces on high-end rubber straps, so don’t discount rubber.

Leather Dress

Dress leather straps are seen on dress timepieces. These straps come in exotic leathers like crocodiles or kangaroo from tanneries like Horween.

Refined dress leather straps. From the lugs to the buckle, they frequently taper two millimeters. They usually have monochromatic stitching.

If anything breaks up their stately demeanor, it’s a natural grain or well-buffed shine.

These straps are generally made from the same tanneries as high-end belts and shoes.

Casual Leather

Style doesn’t require formal leather straps. Casual straps look well on watches without high-end materials or shine.

Stitching is generally the highlight of casual leather straps. Others have a simple double stitch up near the spring bar and no perimeter stitching.

A leather strap looks great with anything. They fit on field watches and chronographs and breach water-proof regulations on divers.

Pair one with a dress watch to sport a stylish timepiece anytime. It’s limitless.

Engineer

Engineer-style bracelets have a significant presence. Most aficionados associate these bands with Seiko, however, their origins are unclear.

Chunky engineer bracelets have angles. Five rows of angular links reflect light hundreds of ways in these massive, thick bracelets.

They’re seldom polished and may make modest timepieces dazzling. They prefer large divers and dress watches.

Sailcloth

Sailcloth watchbands are informal and durable. Sailmakers often create these nylon straps. It’s a strong, fast-drying, cool-looking material.

Sailcloth straps go with almost every watch style. They excel when paired with an aviation or nautical-themed chronograph.

Rally Leather

Rally straps are from car racing, one of my loves. Drivers required a watch strap to clock their laps, but they didn’t want their wrists to sweat.

Rally straps include openings to let air through and help the skin breathe.

Car guys identify perforations in sports car steering wheels, seats, and other breathable contact places.

Rally straps have a long history with racing chronographs.

Bund/Aviation

Most watch straps were born out of need. Bund straps, too. The leather beneath the watch case insulated German pilots during WWII.

At high altitudes, a watch casing might inflict frostbite on a pilot’s wrist. In a fire, a watch casing might heat up fast and absorb heat, inflicting burns after the pilot ejected.

Bunds protect the pilot’s wrist from both extremes.

If you’re not into history, standard aircraft straps are sleeker. Each strap has two metal rivets. Some have contrast stitching.

Aviation-style straps are specialized, therefore they look best on Flieger-style aviators, military field timepieces, and aviation chronographs.

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