When it comes to timepieces, people often focus on the movements, the dial appearance, or what complications are built in. Meanwhile, the strap or band is overlooked. In this post we are going to address how important this part of the watch is, not only because it secures the watch to your wrist but, because it’s also essential to the overall style of the watch and the person who wears it.
Because most watches allow the wearer to switch out the strap, it’s an easy way to upgrade or change the styling of the watch. Having only a few watches, but a diverse collection of bands would be a great way to expand your collection in a cost-efficient manner. While there is a huge selection of watch straps available to a buyer, I will do my best in this post to cover some of the most common ones.
The leather strap is the most common choice of watch strap. The design is a classic and it is easy to dress up or dress down. You can wear a leather strap from casual occasions to more formal occasions, such as a wedding. There are different types of leathers that can be used for the strap ranging from common materials to those that are more exotic, such as crocodile skin. You can never go wrong with neutral colored leather straps are great for daily casual wear and for days at the office.
Leather straps can also feature Contrast Stitching. A leather strap with contrast stitching creates detail due to the color of the stitching against the color of the leather strap. You can match a strap with contrast stitching with your outfit that also has a distinct contrast of colors to create an eye-catching look.
There are also other styles of the leather strap. Some come in Double Ridge style, which features a ridged effect by adding padding underneath the leather. There is also the Rally style watch band. This band features perforations which was used to keep the wrist cool. It was originally used by racetrack drivers, hence the name. Not only are the perforations great for functionality as they help keep the wrist cool, but they are also great for design and style purposes and pair well with chronograph complications in particular.
A more formal style band, the bracelet style strap is also known as the Link. It features a strap made of different link styles and can come in different options as far as material go, such as gold, stainless steel, or wood to name a few.
One of the styles of a link band is the Oyster. The Oyster consists of a long and thick three-piece link design and is the most common and popular choice amongst the bracelet style. Each link is strong due to a wide center bar. The amount of links in an Oyster bracelet is relatively small so it has fewer points of failure, however, the trade off is that it can feel somewhat stiff on the wrist. It was first introduced in the 1930’s by Rolex. This is an overall great choice if you want a bracelet style watch strap.
The President is another bracelet style strap that is somewhat similar to the Oyster. However, the President has more links and they are shorter in height. The band is more flexible as it isn’t as stiff as the Oyster, but it also isn’t as durable. Honestly, durability shouldn’t be a major concern however.
The Engineer style consists of a chunky band that is five links in width. They are cut in a hexagonal pattern and makes it look angular. It is a heavy and thick band, but also has great durability and pairs well with large dial watches.
The Jubilee band has three narrow, middle links sandwiched in between two wider outside links. The middle links and the outside links are often two toned or feature two different finishes to create contrast. This is an excellent strap style for drawing attention to the watch face and pairs well with small or large faced watches. It is susceptible to stretching over time, similar to the President style, but again, durability still shouldn’t be a major concern if it is cared for properly.
Sport watches typically come with bands that are made of rubber or plastic or other materials. These bands are durable and will hold up during physical activity. A good example of this, are the bands that come on a G-Shock watch.
Used originally in the military, this strap comes in a lot of different designs and is typically made of nylon material. Because of its durability and water resistance, it makes a good strap for people who plan on being active or near water.
The Zulu is considered to be the older brother to the NATO. Made typically with nylon or leather, it’s thicker and has stainless steel detailing.
The pilot or aviator band is made of leather and have large rivets below the lugs. This style was made popular by pilots during the second World War. The strap is made to fit over the pilot’s jacket and is a usually larger than other styles of straps.
I hope that this short and simple guide has been helpful. There are tons of different styles and options for you to choose from. Depending on your own personal style you are bound to find something that fits you. The strap plays a big role in the look of a watch and it is often a cost-efficient way to upgrade your current timepiece without having to actually buy a new one.
Do you have a preference for a specific style? Feel free to let us know in the comment box below.