Watch straps: which one would you choose?
Despite what most people believe, an enthusiast's passion for watchmaking (and watch buying) is not fading during the summer break. As we leave our daily work routine, we spend our free time surfing the Internet to discover the latest releases in new watches and accessories. A die-hard watch aficionado keeps spending hours on social media while taking wrist shots and filming wrist rolls all day long to share the latest addition with the global online community; then, again, they move on to the following one.
We often think the latest addition is a timepiece; truth be told, we equally seek out accessories, and one especially: watch straps. We look forward to buying the perfect summer strap in May or June, which proves quite a challenging task given the number of watch straps aftermarket's suppliers, whose offering is so vast that you won't ever search for any OEM product. Therefore, getting the right one is like looking for a needle in a haystack. If your collection includes Panerai, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Omega, and Tudor, you deserve a watch strap as refined and durable as you would expect from the luxury watch you're wearing. The following list includes four brands sitting on top of my wish list, and as far as I'm concerned, the main options if I had to purchase a new strap for a Panerai or a Rolex.
RubberB prides itself on being a premium watch strap maker, offering straps capable of meeting the most discerning connoisseur. It crafts the most innovative selection of Swiss Made rubber bands and is the ultimate watch strap if you're in search of distinctive design and cutting-edge technology. RubberB crafts superbly engineered watch straps with top-notch specifications. Are you diving or surfing with your Rolex Oyster this summer? Adopting a RubberB watch strap is a no-brainer.
After introducing the professional Rolex Oyster rubber strap, RubberB's success has grown to become a reference among aftermarket suppliers; take a look at their patented Velcro® or bi-material straps for instance. No wonder premium-luxury watch brands like Roger Dubuis or Artisans de Genève signed a partnership with RubberB. For further information, please visit RubberB.
EverestBands is a long-established and much-loved watch strap manufacturer whose offering mainly includes three brands (Rolex, Tudor, and Panerai) and a long list of high-quality no-frills straps paired to an equally appealing catalogue of accessories, including watch rolls, tool kits, and spring bars. EverestBands' watch straps come in rubber or leather.
In either case, you can opt for a pin buckle or a design to pair with your Oyster clasp, where needed. I appreciate EverestBands' classic designs and their range of travel watch rolls and pouches, too. I think it's a great choice if you're eager to customize a Rolex or Tudor; not my first choice should I swap the strap to any of my Panerai watches. For further information, please visit EverestBands.
Do you own one or more Panerai watches, and you're eager to replace the original strap with a vintage-military-inspired leather strap? Then, you won't want to miss Corrigia and its exquisite craftsmanship. The German watch strap manufacturer is the landing page for anything PAM-related, from handmade, aged and stitched leather straps to military-inspired buckles. Any Corrigia strap feels like an aged military-worn strap, as you can spot by looking at this gorgeous Z04 - 6154 watch strap paired with a Radiomir 1940.
Consequently, a strap by Corrigia costs more than the average asking price for a similar product; it feels like buying a pair of handmade yet aged loafers or Derbies; you won't be disappointed. Although the brand has extended the offering to a broader selection of brands (and includes accessories like watch rolls, belts, jackets, and more), stop by if you're managing to change your "Assolutamente" strap or whatsoever. For further information, please visit Corrigia.
Among the leather straps manufacturers, Bosphorus Leather is the first one I discovered when buying my first-ever Panerai watch; although its proposition somehow mimics Corrigia's (they are, no doubt, competitors), the Turkish-based watch strap supplier extends to canvas and the so-called "patina" straps.
What then sets a Corrigia strap apart from a Bosphorus, someone might ask? Case in point, they look and feel similar, and both are handcrafted and stitched, although I understand, by scrolling through their stories, Corrigia adopts the exacting tools, ageing and sewing techniques once adopted on the original military straps they refer to.
In contrast, Bosphorus Leather offers a more extensive collection, from vintage-inspired designs to new and sporty canvas straps; also, I love the brand's patina series, like the Honey Brown Parchment pictured here on a (now discontinued) Pam 372, and I love Bosphorus Leather's supreme watch cases. For further information, please visit Bosphorus Leather.
(Photo credit: photos belong to the respective owners)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®