While the face of a watch may, on first appearance, be its defining feature, its strap is equally important, if not more so. Watch straps dictate the comfort and durability of the timepiece and are integral to its overall style and presentation. Watch straps are primarily distinguished by two characteristics–the material the strap it is made of and the style of the watch strap. Here are some of the most common.
- Rubber. Though not especially formal, rubber watch straps are durable and, typically, water resistant. This material is great for sports, boating, and casual wear.
- Leather. A timeless favorite, leather watches are incredibly versatile and can be worn formally or with casual attire. They do require regular cleaning with specialty products to maintain their appearance.
- Gold and Silver. Nothing says “elegance” quite like silver and gold watches. The choice between the two will depend upon personal preference, skin tone, and attire. Both gold and silver watch straps require regular polishing to maintain their shine.
- Stainless Steel. One of the most durable watch strap materials, stainless steel is commonly used in all parts of a watch. Like gold and silver, stainless steel should be cleaned regularly to stay shiny.
- Oyster. One of the most popular styles of watch strap, the oyster is distinguished by its three thick chain links. The style has been a favorite for decades since it was debuted by Rolex in the 1930’s.
- Jubilee. Another classic Rolex premier, the jubilee style features three smaller chain links embedded between two larger links.
- Aviator/Pilot. Originally fashioned by World War II-era pilots, these straps are typically leather and are designed for durability with multiple large rivets on the sides of the face.
- NATO. These military-inspired straps are among the easiest to remove and replace as they are made of one continuous piece of fabric. NATO watches are a typically inexpensive but classic style.
- Rally. This style features several perforations on the sides of the watch strap, a nod to the style of classic race car drivers who lightened the load of their cars with similar perforations in the body of the vehicle.
When it comes to watch straps, there are many styles and materials available, and these lists are by no means exhaustive. Visit Watches and Beyond to browse our extensive inventory of watch styles to find your perfect match.