Every watch fan knows it’s a worthwhile and fun process to accumulate a collection filled with the best men’s watches, but what if we told you the best watch strap could make your favorite timepiece all that much cooler and more wearable? Just as you’ve curated your watch collection carefully and with expert style and functionality in mind, you can do much the same with your rotation of watch straps. There are watch straps out there to suit every pursuit, every type of look and every type of watch.
After all, you’ve worked hard to find the right stainless steel watch or the right field watch; shouldn’t you be able to maximize the versatility and wearability of each and every watch in your rotation? Picking up a new watch strap is like giving your watch a new lease on life, especially if your most-worn timepiece happens to be one that can be easily switched up, like a stainless steel watch. The best watch tools are all you need to swap your stainless steel links for a hard-wearing fabric strap, for instance.
And with practically just a snap of your fingers, you’ve got an entirely new watch for the price of a strap. News flash: This is much more affordable than buying an entirely new timepiece, and we’re all for saving a buck or two while looking great. To help you get the most out of your rotation of stylish watches, here are the best watch straps to score right now.
1. Timex Fabric Slip-Thru Nylon Strap
When thinking of watch straps, the first style of strap that might come to mind is the nylon strap, made from textured, quick-drying fabric and commonly paired with more casual field or military watches. Straps are also sized according to the width of the watch lugs (in this case, this strap boasts a width of 20mm, made to fit a watch with a case diameter of 40mm). It’s much more casual in style than an elegant leather watch strap, often found on the best dress watches, but you can still pair your fabric strap with more minimal, crisply-designed pieces. Because this watch slips behind the watch dial and is threaded through the lugs over and under a small bar, it’s very easy to replace other fabric-strap watches with a new strap, giving you a whole new watch for a low price. Start here with a casually rugged slip-thru strap from Timex, then mix and match to your heart’s content.
2. RECHERE Mesh Stainless Steel Watch Bracelet
BEST STAINLESS STEEL WATCH STRAP
Most interchangeable watch straps tend to toe the line between casual and rugged, with only a rare few veering into the truly refined, elegant and dressy territory. If that sounds like what you need for your watch rotation, though, this mesh stainless steel bracelet is the proper pick-up right now. Less distinctive than the large links of a typical stainless steel dive watch bracelet, this mesh stainless steel watch strap is more sleek and streamlined, made to fit 18mm watch lugs (commonly found on dressier watches with a smaller case size). It’s also adjustable thanks to a sliding clasp. Your watch collection just got even more stylish and eye-catching.
3. Archer Watch Straps Striped Nylon Watch Strap
BEST PATTERNED WATCH STRAP
Among the best watch straps on the market, you’ll also find much-needed variety in terms of color and pattern. Striped nylon watch straps are a terrific way to upgrade your wristwatch without investing too much time and energy. As we said, it’s as if you’re getting another watch entirely, but for one low price. The real kicker here is that a striped watch strap is also a stylish homage to the past: Fabric or nylon straps with stripes are also associated with style icons like James Bond, and nylon strap watches (also known as the NATO strap watch) were worn by British troops, too. These days, a nylon strap is both sporty and stylish, ideal for pairing with a field watch alongside everything from a henley and jeans to an Oxford shirt and chinos. The choice is yours, just like the choice of how to customize your favorite watch with a new strap.
4. Weiss Watch Co. Horween Leather Watch Band
BEST LEATHER WATCH STRAP
There is a lot to be said about investing in the right leather watch bands, and while that’s a particular journey all its own, there’s a way to replicate the rugged yet dressy, versatile feel of a leather watch while only swapping out the watch strap itself. Here, Weiss Watch Co. — proud makers of some of the best American watches on the market — uses only the finest Horween leather to craft a uniquely handsome, perfectly rugged leather watch strap. Sure, you’re investing in this leather watch band beyond a cheaper watch strap made out of genuine leather, but it’s that much more worth it. Handsome contrast stitching accents this rich brown leather watch, which can be paired with watches with a lug width of either 18 or 20mm. That makes it a watch band that’s both dressy and yet right at home with pilot watches and more.
5. Handley Watch Co. Silicone Watch Band
BEST RUBBER WATCH STRAP
Unlike the leather watch strap shown above, rubber watch straps are designed to go just about anywhere, including into water, fully submerged, without missing a beat. Silicone rubber is a hard-wearing material that’s perfectly at home among Virginia-based Handley Watches’ full assortment of sporty, durable watches that blend distinctive dial designs with field-ready durability, so you should certainly consider picking up a timepiece from the company. In the meantime, this go-anywhere watch band should more than suffice. It’s also available in a range of colors (try well over a dozen), so you can find the watch strap that suits you. Switching between bands should also prove easy when using watch tools. And at the right price, as with this watch strap, you can certainly pick up more than one.