Watch 101: Straps and Bracelets

Posted on August 05 2018

Watch 101: Straps and Bracelets


DEFINED: A strap made from different materials that affix the components of a watch to the wrist.


Classic leather: The most common choice in watches. Neutral colors like black, brown, or tan are great color combinations while complex styles like python or crocodile make for a more elevated look.


Contrast Stitching: The detail comes from the contrast in color between the watchband and the stitching. Contrast stitching typically uses a leather strap.


Double Ridge Strap: The double ridge strap adds texture and padding under the watch’s leather. This style of watchband looks great with a square-faced watch and will give your watch a more sporty look.


Rally: The watch’s perforations were originally made so that the watch was breathable for racetrack drivers. This is a great band to wear to allow airflow and enable the band to move with your wrist better.


NATO: The NATO watchband is made of nylon and comes in a plethora of designs and colors. Originally used in the military, this band style is valued for its price, durability, and water resistance.


Zulu: The Zulu strap is the older brother of the NATO band. Made of either nylon or leather, it’s usually thicker and has stainless steel detailing. These bands look best with larger watch faces.


Link (Bracelet): Also known as the bracelet strap, this watchband is a more formal style and consists of different options in terms of material — stainless steel, gold, titanium, and wood are all popular. There also present several different variations.

  • Oyster: This band is three links in width, making it stiffer than other types of link bands. Its thick center link makes it durable with few breaking points.
  • President: Similar to the oyster link with the same three-link width, the President has more individual links because the links are shorter. You’ll also get more movement due to the greater number of links
  • Jubilee: This band is comprised of three narrow links in between thick, matte-finished side links. It can sometimes come two-toned.
  • Engineer: A chunky band that is five links in width. The links are sometimes angular and this band tends to be on the heavier side. This style has a more utilitarian look while the weight keeps it formal.


Aviator: Aviator bands are made of leather and have large rivets below the lugs. These bands usually come a bit larger than other bands and look best when worn with pilot watch faces.


Bund: The Bund strap is a functional style that was also invented for pilots. With an extra layer of padding underneath the back of the watch, this band can get quite warm.


Rubber: This style is popular among the diving community, but also for anyone else looking for a durable, water-resistant watch.


Shark Mesh: It is more durable than a standard bracelet due to the lack of pins between links. While the strap is relatively heavy, it retains a high level of breathability through gaps between the interwoven links.


Milanese: The straps are distinguished by their dense and tightly woven mesh construction, which gives the metal a smooth texture. This comes at a slight cost to durability, but since the straps are frequently worn in more formal environments, durability is not a concern.


Perlon: The strap is breathable and adjustable. There are no predetermined holes, so the buckle’s prong simply slides through an opening in the weave. Perlon straps are also very abrasion resistant and dries quickly (does not stretch when wet).

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