Pocketwatch enthusiasts, you can skip this article. This article caters to wristwatch wearers. You need a band for your watch that stands the test of time. It looks fashionable and classic, so you can wear it well and it will complement any outfit.
Some designers or brands churn out wristwatch straps that perfectly suit this description. You can find them from American or European designers, and these brands range from reasonable cost to exorbitant.
The Best Watch Strap Brands
The best brands offer an accessible price point that provides style and high-quality materials. They use hearty hardware and offer an array of colors and strap materials. These 10 brands offer the best available, which range in price from $13 to $120.
Source: NATO Strap Co
This military-inspired strap provides a tough, yet comfortable fit crafted from seat belt material. It includes hardware reminiscent of the military and muted colors like khaki and tan. Its bands’ average cost of about $20.
Source: Barton Watch Brands
One of NATO’s closest competitors, this military-style strap brand designs tough straps using ballistic nylon. Keeping the price point a reasonable $13 on average, it offers up to 27 color choices in some straps.
Source: Ritche Watch Bands
Honestly, if you need a watchband to last, you probably won’t find a tougher material than ballistic nylon, plus it is really fun to say. Ritche looks like NATO designs but costs less. You can nab a strap pack for about $21, so you can switch out the colors to match any ensemble. The brand also releases leather watch straps, so you can purchase a quick-release style for about $22.
Source: B&R Bands
Perhaps you only want leather. You love the look and feel. B&R offers its European automotive-inspired Russet Le Mans Racing band for about $80. Founded in 2009, this brand designs for style and toughness.
The rally leather strap with circular perforations goes well with vintage Omega or Tag Heuer watches or any chunky tool watch. Choose from two typical lengths, three sizes, and a range of colors.
This brand favors unique colors such as bold blues with crosshatch patterns. Analog/Shift’s designs work for both dressy and casual looks. The Italian family-designed and crafted watchband firm offer three sizes of the band in its line with prices hovering around $80.
Worn & Wound
Source: Worn & Wound
There’s a lot going on in any Worn & Wound band your purchase. The company designs in vegetable-tanned leather, waxed cotton, and other materials. Its hardware includes leather keepers and fixed metal loops, and the range of colors lets you choose from 14 hues to fashionably match any outfit. Choose from three sizes in most bands.
For a price point starting at about $110, you can purchase a Hodinkee vegan leather strap. Its Amagoh strap uses vegan pineapple leather, so you can find some unique designs here. Pineapple leather uses the leaves of the fruit to craft this vegan leather.
The brand provides many straps using this animal-friendly alternative. Hodinkee uses fixed metal loops and stainless-steel pin buckles on its bands. Choose from four sizes and a wide range of colors.
Bas & Lokes
Source: Bas & Lokes
Designing in the NATO-style, this strap brand uses textured leather for its straps. Although an Australian company makes these straps, it uses American cowhide. The brand dresses up its bands with decorative grooves and buckles in a variety of finishes.
These straps cost a bit more – starting at just a bit more than $110. The brand offers a number of lengths and sizes. You can find straps in nearly every width and many buckle finishes.
Molequin designs in calf and goat leather, in many finishes, including suede. It costs about $120 as an entry point, but this French design house provides high-quality, modern designs that complement most suits. The brand issues straps in six colors, two lengths, and five widths.
You can choose from multiple spring bars and buckle choices. Some watches use a calf leather lining. This Belgium firm offers some of its options in up to nine colors, so you can find a watch band that matches your suit perfectly.
Bulang & Sons
Source: Bulang & Sons
You might want something a little different and Bulang & Sons offers it. The leather uses its treats to appear like denim on some of its watches. You can find typical leather, too, but in classic colors dressed up with touches like cream stitching.
Handcrafted by Jean-Paul Meniccuci, these watch bands start at $130. This strap comes in four sizes and represents one strap of a larger collection, all in fine leather. Its Bedford Collection comes in 10 colors, including olive green and black.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you easily change watch bands to match your outfit?
Yes, all of these bands let you change the strap on your watch. Owning a wide selection of straps for your watch can let you accessorize easily. Often, people who look at your watch notice the band before they notice the face. Owning many straps lets you seem as if you purchased a lot of watches when you really own only one.
What are the most common types of watch band?
The three most common types of watch bands include canvas, leather, and metal, such as stainless steel, although ballistic nylon and denim also prove popular. You can find watch bands in crocodiles and alligators.
How do you measure which watch band you need?
Sometimes, you do not have to measure your wrist for a watch band because your existing strap has a size printed on its reverse. Check the interior width of the watch lug for a size that appears in millimeters based on the interior width of the watch lugs.
Sometimes, you have no size printed on the lugs or band, so you need to measure. Use the metric side of a measuring tape or ruler to measure the distance between the watch case’s lugs or the spring bar end of the current strap. Avoid the spring bar when measuring.
Your measuring tape probably has both millimeters and centimeters, but just in case, a centimeter contains 10 millimeters.
What is a watch pin tool?
Use a watch pin tool to slide out the pin that holds the pin in place to attach the strap. This lets you quickly remove the pin to change out the strap.
How does a NATO strap differ from other watch bands?
While traditional watchbands use a two-piece construction, a NATO strap uses a single-piece construction, allowing you to slide it under the spring bars. You can loop it through in seconds.
How do NATO straps and Zulu straps differ?
Zulu straps use larger dimensions that fit big watch faces well. NATO straps work better for small watchfaces.
NATO straps fit more easily through the spring bars, but Zulu straps last longer.
Where can you purchase watch straps?
Watch straps are pretty ubiquitous items. You can find these items on Amazon and on eBay. You can also shop in specialty stores that only sell watch bands and straps. These include The Strap Shop, Crown & Buckle, StrapsCo, StrappedForTime, BandRBands, Panatime, Heuerville, Hirsch, and Oyster.
That’s a mouthful. You can also shop at the watch shop where you purchase the watch. If you bought a Rolex, Piguet, or Tag Heuer watch, you can visit the manufacturer’s website to purchase a replacement watch band.