Six of the best watch strap retailers online
As wonderful as factory-equipped watch straps can sometimes be, there’s something to be said for a little diversity. A quick strap change can completely alter the look and feel of your favourite timekeeper, and much in the same way people often speak of shoes, you can never have too many watch straps.
Thankfully, the business of watch-strap sales has become heavily web-centric. There are numerous brands offering premium-quality straps that can be ordered or commissioned online. In this feature, we’ll look at an interesting cross-section of these brands, running the range from fully bespoke leathers in exotic hides to off-the-shelf gems better suited to utilitarian tasks.
Atelier du Bracelet Parisien
Tucked just a stone’s throw away from the luxury watch boutiques of Place Vendôme in Paris, Atelier du Bracelet Parisien is an adorable little workshop filled with every colour and type of leather you can imagine. If you’re visiting the city, this is a good one to experience in person. Their team is quick to reply to any inquiry — bespoke or otherwise. Their website might not look like much, but don’t let that fool you.
Horus Watch Straps
A relative newcomer to the game — having first launched in 2014 — Horus Watch Straps made its mark with the unveiling of an extensive line of camouflage rubber straps for Panerai, Audemars Piguet, and Hublot watches. The company’s collection has since expanded to a range of premium leathers (including bespoke straps for Richard Mille watches), and even a distressed denim option is in final stages of development.
Blake Simon and Mark Margulies, the brand’s co-founders, quickly saw a hole in the market for straps that play to current fashion trends, and the response has been strong. Currently, the company’s rubber straps are produced overseas and other straps are currently manufactured in South America; however, that production is being moved to Florida in the near future as the brand plans to unveil a small line of leather accessories.
For years, the biggest gripe for Rolex owners was the lack of proprietary rubber and leather straps for their watches. But since 2012, Everest Bands has been producing high-quality leather and rubber straps specifically designed to fit an extensive range of current Rolex models. They are currently available either with solid end links or with the strap material fitting flush with the watch case. Anyone who’s tried these straps before (ourselves included) will attest to their brilliant comfort and fitment.
B & R bands
Founded by a duo of Bell & Ross fanatics, B & R Bands started off focusing primarily on its favorite brand; however, the company has now become a solid resource for other leather and Velcro straps. Among others, its Classic Vintage collection (from $50 ($A64)) includes a solid assortment of rally-style straps very well suited to the highly collectible chronographs of the ’60s and ’70s.
Effectively a one-man operation out of Montreal, Canada, Combat Straps offers a similar bespoke service to ABP which can range from simple Cognac Grain leather offerings to finely detailed hand-painted creations using vintage canvas or other more obscure materials. The company is always eager to try new things and seldom turns down a project that allows him to flex his creative muscles.
As we mentioned in our intro, there’s something to be said for more basic utility — a category where Strapsco delivers in spades. While its catalog does include several more premium offerings, the brand also offers a diverse range of rubber, fabric, and leather straps that are of reasonable quality without being exorbitant. They’re the sort of thing you can wear while doing chores or hiking through the backcountry without fear of ruining your prized possession.