While we do adore our watches, watch straps also play a huge part in elevating the entire look of our beloved timepieces. As more exciting watches begin to roll in here at Gnomon since the beginning of this year, it’s a great opportunity to give some love to our specially hand-picked strap collections available on our site. Switching up straps every once in a while is one of a small satisfaction of the hobby, it almost feels like having a completely new watch with a fresh look on the wrist. Straps are also an extension of our personality, showcasing a unique style that complements both the watch and our outfit.
As the number of watches on the site continues to grow, it is delightful to see our strap collection has expanded as well, providing a diverse assortment of premium straps of different designs, materials, and colours. The number of strap combinations are virtually countless, only limited to one’s imagination. Having a nice strap simply does justice to the charming designs of the watch. After all, it is the instrument that connects them securely to your wrist. While everyone has their own straps they would prefer the most, this month’s lookbook takes a closer look at 5 of my favourite straps available from our site. Let’s dive right in!
Bonetto – Ref. 324 Red Carbon Pattern Rubber Strap
First on the list is definitely one that fits right in place in my collection largely for the fact that I’m a great fan of dive watches. Dive watches certainly are popular among many enthusiasts for its robustness, versatility and most most of all, capable water resistance. Naturally, a watch with great diving prowess deserves a dependable strap that can hold its own underwater. On top of being incredibly stylish, straps from renowned Italian strap producer Bonetto Cinturini are made with premium vulcanized NBR nitrile rubber, a definite step up from your run-off-the-mill rubber strap.
Many dive watches hold a rather subdued colour for a utilitarian look. Despite being versatile and easily matched with various dress styles, having straps of vivid colours such as the Bonetto Ref. 324 Red Carbon Rubber Strap presents an energetic and sporty appearance for an additional splash of colour. Moreover, rocking my watches with a strap as striking as this just calls for curiosity and would not go unnoticed – a perfect choice as an intriguing conversation starter.
Having a silicon strap that picks up lint, dust and all sorts of grime is certainly frustrating. Getting rid of these gunk that gets knackered up on your beloved strap is a pain that one should never experience. Fortunately, the Bonetto Ref. 324 Red Carbon Rubber Strap is made from superior Italian natural rubber that does not attract unsightly lint and dust, making it my personal pick for outdoor sports or a dip in the pool.
Rios Sports Strap – Kaluga Black Russian Leather Strap
One of the most popular types of watch straps are undeniably leather straps, being the classic choice many would enjoy. My choice for an elegant yet sporty leather strap is the Rios Kaluga Black Russian Leather Strap, striking a perfect balance between a casual-sporty aesthetic and a sophisticated style that looks exceptionally refined. First and foremost, a monochromatic colour like black pairs incredibly well with just about watches of any colour while seamlessly matching many of my outfits. As a family run strap manufacturing business since 1931, Rios manufactured this strap with a high standard of precision using Russian/Juchten leather and refined it with the finest oils and waxes.
Besides looking visually pleasing, the perforated holes on the Rios Kaluga Black Russian Leather Strap serves a functional purpose of allowing airflow – nothing worse than having a sweaty wrist under a leather strap, especially in the unforgiving weather here in Sunny Singapore. Here’s to having comfort without compromising style. The origins of this rally/racing style design dates back to the 1970s, inspired by perforations of a racing glove and perforations present in race cars. As watch enthusiasts, we definitely love our horological heritage in watches, but having a strap design that holds some history is a sweet bonus as well.
As a person who adores sports watches, the Rios Kaluga Black Russian Leather Strap fits like a dream in my collection, exhibiting a rustic vintage vibe whenever I pair a watch with this strap. It goes exceptionally well with racing-style watches, aviation pieces and chronographs. This is a leather strap that I enjoy wearing on most occasions, looking elegant yet sporty at the same time.
Army Green Woven Nato Strap
Of course, a NATO had to be on the list. Being one of the easiest strap types to swap out in just a blink of an eye with no additional tools required, NATO straps come in a wide range of colours and patterns to fit one’s style. With that said, the Army Green Woven Nato Strap is probably one of the most comfortable straps in my collection, utilizing a silky smooth woven fabric that is unbelievably light and durable. In the warmer seasons, I would always find myself reaching for a woven NATO to match a set of relaxed casual attire.
While these types of straps are certainly comfortable, not all woven NATO straps are created equal. Crafted from 1mm thick fabric with stitched joints, the Army Green Woven Nato Strap is a cut above the rest with impeccable quality and refined details. Herringbone weaved edges and laser sealed holes are attributes that ensure utmost robustness for many years to come. Additionally, one of the major perks of wearing a NATO is for its protection feature against springbar failures. If one bar fails, the other would be holding the watch in place, saving it from a tragic fall that would be deeply saddening. For this reason alone, having a NATO on the wrist assures safety and a peace of mind.
Wearing a woven NATO over a conventional one allows the strap to sit flush on the wrist with minimal overhanging material. Above that, the Army Green Woven Nato Strap features an adjustable hardware for a seamless fit on the wrist. The beautiful forest green colour pairs especially well with military-inspired or field watches, embracing an appealing rugged appearance.
Rios Vintage Leather – Bedford Stone Grey Vintage Leather Strap
In recent years, vintage-inspired watches have been in the spotlight, gaining popularity for retro designs of the past that bring a nostalgic feeling from the bygone days. With the increasing trend of vintage-style watches, matching them with straps of a vintage aesthetic is a perfect way to complement the classic timeless look. The Rios Bedford Stone Grey Vintage Leather Strap has been my pick for a strap to match many elegant timepieces. Leather straps from Rios never fails to disappoint when it comes to fine craftsmanship. Carrying 90 years of strap producing expertise, this German hand-made leather strap is made from carefully selected high quality leather that will age beautifully.
The distressed grain texture on the Rios Bedford Stone Grey Vintage Leather Strap evokes a charming retro character that takes you back to the 60s. The look is complete with cream coloured vintage stitching to mimic the traits of an aged strap. Grey is an extremely versatile colour that matches up with pretty much any colour, this is what makes it one of my favourite straps to switch around and experiment with on numerous types of watches.
Personally, I feel the Rios Bedford Stone Grey Vintage Leather Strap looks best on a vintage dress piece, bringing out a distinct look and feel of designs from the golden age of mechanical wristwatches. Of course, it would also go perfectly well with many modern day watches – that’s the satisfying part about straps, the combinations are essentially countless. Nonetheless, this strap would continue to look timeless even until the next generation.
Seatbelt Nato Strap – James Bond Seatbelt NATO Strap
Nobody does it better than James Bond himself. In the movie Goldfinger in 1964, James Bond was wearing a nylon strap on his famous Rolex Submariner Ref. 6538, this has grown to be an iconic nylon strap design synonymous with his name. In contrast with regular nylon NATO straps, seatbelt NATO straps are constructed out of high tensile strength nylon webbing that displays a luscious sheen with a silky smooth texture. Being the second NATO on the list, it is evident that NATO straps have a special place in my heart. While some may not like the idea of putting on a NATO on expensive timepieces, it is a fun way to swiftly interchange straps to match your taste. At the end of the day, what is a hobby without a little bit of fun?
NATO straps hold their own heritage in the design as well, originally issued to soldiers by the British Ministry of Defence in 1973 as a functional strap that could handle harsh conditions. This is one of the major reasons for my love of NATO straps, these straps are practically indestructible. The James Bond Seatbelt NATO Straps here on our site are manufactured under stringent quality control that ensures it is made of the best of seat belt fabric that will undoubtedly serve you well.
The black and silvery-grey stripes matches easily with a wide variety of watch designs from sleek dress watches to heavy-duty dive watches. In the warm summer weather (which is all-year round here in Singapore), NATO straps have excellent breathability and provide utmost comfort. I could ramble on how great NATO straps are all day, but after trying out one for yourself, you’ll see why many watch aficionados swear by them.