Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Watch straps can be addictive to collect. With so many different styles, leathers, and hardware finishes available, it’s easy to spruce up an old watch. Whether you have a Timex Weekender in a drawer somewhere or you just picked up a vintage mechanical watch on eBay, a new strap will make it look tons better.
1) Tanner Goods: Single Pass Watch Strap
First up is the Single Pass Watch Strap from the one of the ever-popular Tanner Goods. With the currently popularity of natural leathers and their ability to get a patina over time, this strap is sure to be a fan favorite. It’s simple, clean, relatively inexpensive, and the fact that it is a single-piece strap makes in easy to swap out–just feed it behind the spring bars of your watch. Be careful, though–once I switched to single-piece watch bands and found out how easy they are to swap out, I quickly found myself with a bedside table full of watch straps
Available for $60 from Tanner Goods.
2) Tender: Bark-Tanned Two Piece Watch Strap (Black)
Next is the Black Oak Leather Two-Piece Watch Strap from Tender, a brand known for their historically inspired designs, interesting materials, and incredible attention to detail. The Black Oak Tanned leather used for this watch is gorgeous, and, as seen in the pictures, secretes white bloom over time. This is due to fats in the leather slowly rising to the surface, which adds great character to the band. This strap might be a two-piece design and thereby harder to swap out, but this also means the watch will be more flush to your wrist.
Available for £45 from Trestle Shop.
3) TID: Watch Strap in Black
Who doesn’t like blacked-out leather goods? The Black Watch Strap from TID is a bit more streetwear than many of this site would like, but if you have an all black watch then it’s just what the doctor ordered. Sure, it’s great to have a watch band that stands out with its interesting leather and hardware, but sometimes it’s nice to have pieces blend in, and that’s exactly what this watch strap does — and it does it really, really well.
Available for $65 from Need Supply.
4) Damasquina: Leather NATO Belt in Navy
Like many Japanese brands, Damasquina is a brand that is sadly overlooked in the states, but after seeing their Navy Nato Belt I don’t know why. This strap is built using a navy dyed veg tan and beautiful looking brass hardware. Like all NATO straps, this one feeds behind the spring bars of your watch and then has a secondary layer of material that covers the backside of the bars. Because of this, NATO straps are quite a bit bulkier than two-piece straps or even non-NATO single piece bands, but that doesn’t make them any less comfortable.
Available for $60 from Unionmade Goods.
5) Voyej: Mast Americana Stitched Two Piece in Natural
Where would any good watchstrap collection be without at least one stitched band? Voyej is a brand that consistently puts out high quality leather goods at prices well below the market, as their Mast Americana has clearly done. With so many small leather shops opening over the past five or so years, Voyej is no longer alone at this price tier, but it’s easy to see why they’ve remained in business despite the growth in competition.
Available for $52 from Voyej.
Plus One – Guarded Goods: Two Piece Shell Cordovan Watch Strap (Seventeen Assorted Colors)
The Plus One spot is generally reserved for a product that is a bit quirky and different — something that really stands out from the crowd. And while Guarded Goods’ Two Piece Shell Cordovan Watch Straps do just that, it’s not in the same way other products do. What sets these watch bands apart is just how many colors of shell cordovan, and the many different customizations available. With seventeen different shells to choose from, three different band sizes, two different widths, and six different thread colors, there’s a lot of different possibilities — six hundred twelve possibilities, for those of you keeping track at home.
Available for $95 from Guarded Goods.