There’s nothing that changes the look of a watch than a new strap or band. The transition to wristwatches from pocket watches was possible all because of the strap, making it that one part of the watch that completely changed the way people wore watches and used them.
Today, straps are found in all sizes, materials’ and dimensions. Perhaps the most common and most traditional material used for making straps is leather. The way leather changes over time and gets a unique patina also makes it distinctive. While cowhide and alligator skin are most commonly used, watchmakers also experiment with more exotic skins. We’re talking lizard, horse, snake or even ostrich skins. In addition to the original beauty of leather, the charm of stitches on it or other treatments on it, adds a unique look to the strap. Right from inexpensive leathers to the highly exotic and exorbitantly priced ones, there is a lot of variety in this category. You’ve got a wide range to choose from.
Metallic Bracelets are slightly different. Made from metals such as steel, gold, rose gold, titanium, rhodium, silver or platinum, these are handy and classic. It’s best to use natural untreated metals keeping in mind long term usage. Stainless steel or titanium have natural lustre that last long. Solid gold or platinum bands are also long lasting and the minor scratches over time simply add to the beauty. Since metallic bracelets use a link system, it makes it easy to resize them according to your wrist size. Interlinked bracelets, bracelets adorned with precious stones or set with diamonds or even mesh bracelets add a design element to the functional bracelet.
A great watch collection is never complete without a smart rubber strap. These straps carry exceptional style, a high level of dependability and are ready to wear for all occasions. Compared to conventional materials like steel and leather, rubber straps are lightweight, more comfortable, highly water resistant, rugged, secure and durable. The strap allows the skin to breathe and protects it from allergies. Rubber straps are an ideal option for divers, sports enthusiasts and adventure seekers where water, sweat and grime cause corrosion. Rubber repels water, making it a practical choice in hot and humid conditions.
Most of us are quite picky when it comes to choosing a watch with the ‘perfect’ strap, but how often do you stumble upon a watch with a strap that can be changed at any given time, without having to go to a watch retailer to have it replaced. You might have never heard of the term “NATO Straps” before but we’re more than sure you’ve definitely seen one. Here goes:
Did you know The NATO was originally issued to British soldiers by the Ministry of Defence? Traditionally made from nylon and longer than other straps to sit over thick military jackets, the strap doubles over itself underneath the case to hold the watch securely in place. There are times when you may even dismiss the idea of putting a $50 strap on an expensive timepiece, but ask any connoisseur and they’ll tell you that NATOs are a fun, functional and quickly interchangeable way to show off your watch.
Fabrics (such as nylon) and plastics add a lot of versatility, especially to more casual watches adding an element of fun. So, armed with information on the part of the watch that keeps it on the wrist in the first place, we hope that choosing the right strap is a breeze the next time you invest in your perfect watch.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the ‘Watch Strap’ series…