The strap you choose for your watch has an enormous effect on the aesthetic appeal of your timepiece. Even if you’ve opted for a stainless steel bracelet, the type of link you choose will ultimately determine the overall appearance of the watch, as well as the wrist appeal and the feeling of wearing it. Put simply, the bracelet or strap of your timepiece is one of those integral details that, if properly executed, can truly enhance the presence of your timepiece. Picking the right strap also has the power to elevate your entire outfit, which is why we’ve put together this guide on how to pick the right strap for your timepiece.
That said - aside from aesthetics - one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right strap for your watch is identifying the nature of your timepiece. Whether it’s a diver, a chronograph, or a dress watch, understanding the purpose and design is the first step in choosing the right strap or bracelet. Think of it like pairing socks with shoes; you wouldn’t pair athletic ankle socks with pristine leather loafers. A truly considered strap or bracelet takes into account the purpose of the timepiece.
Watch: Omega Seamaster Vintage
If you’re wearing an elegant dress watch, pair it with a fine leather strap that highlights the case. Something minimal and clean should work well here; try to avoid overly rugged or thick straps as these will detract from the simplicity and beauty of the timepiece.
Source: Zodiac Watches
Watch: Olympos Automatic Watch
Diving and Tool Watches
Diving watches are a popular choice for many reasons. They’re durable, they last for lifetimes, and are incredibly versatile in how they can be worn. Stainless steel bracelets are a great option, the oyster bracelet being the most iconic. First patented by Rolex in 1947, the Oyster bracelet features a sturdy clasp design that ensures the watch remains secured to the wrist during diving.
The same applies to the Milanese bracelet, often referred to as “shark mesh”. This type of bracelet grew popular on tool watches as a result of its breathability and comfort, which was typically unseen on a stainless steel bracelet. For this reason, these two bracelet types pair very well with diving and tool watches for their durability and functionality.
Watch: Seiko SPB143
Another contender is a simple isofrane rubber strap. These are brilliant for tool and diving watches, serving as strong, durable and waterproof straps fit for all kinds of activities whilst being comfortable to wear at the same time. It’s important to remember that tool and diving watches do not need to be paired with overly fashionable straps that visibly go against the nature of the watch. If there’s any rule you should bear in mind, it’s this: keep it simple!
Watch: Tudor Pegalos
This is where a rugged strap can come into play nicely. A time-worn leather strap would serve as a storied yet charismatic addition to the nature of a chronograph watch, as well as a NATO or ZULU strap in leather or nylon. Above all, think vintage with these watches - you don’t want a strap that looks too brand new and clean-cut. These are hardy watches, and a worn strap perfectly harmonises with the wrist appeal of a chronograph or military watch.
Watch: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm