A watch strap (also called watch band, watch bracelet or watch belt) is not only the watch part that straps your watch onto your wrist.
It can also be a great part of your watch design and choosing a good combination of strap and watch case/dial will add style to your watch. Therefore it can be regarded as a fashion item, serving both a utilitarian and decorative function.
Where to buy watch straps
These are some popular destinations to choose the prefect strap for your watch, be it a leather trap, a NATO strap or any other type.
- Atelier Ferrer
- Button Watch
- Camille Fournet
- Correas Aguilar
- Correas Guerrita
- Crown & Buckle
- Holben’s fine watch bands
- Ibérica Correas
- Jacob Straps
- Watch Band Center
- Watch Gecko
- Watch Obsession
Watch band materials
Watch straps can be manufactured using leather, metal, plastic, cloth fabric or rubber, or even a combination of different materials. Some metal watch straps may be plated with or even in some rare cases made of precious metals.
Watch straps may close with a folding clasp or a buckle. Expanding watch straps are designed to expand elastically, often by the use of metal springs in a segmented design, and may be slipped on like a bracelet. Attachment points for the strap to the watch are largely standardized, with a spring bar used to anchor the watch strap to holes in a bracket that is integral to the watch case, allowing worn watch straps to be replaced or swapped with new straps for fashion purposes.
NATO watch straps, or simply “NATO Straps”, were developed by the British Ministry of Defense for wartime usage. It is a one piece strap slid through the spring bar of the watch case and then slid into the appropriate notch, and then folded back to secure excess strap and prevented from sticking out of the main watch strap portion. The nylon composition of the strap prevents metal from touching the skin of the wearer and provides stability while wearing it. The durability of the strap prevents moisture from wicking away on the skin, as well as remaining on the wrist of the wearer even if the spring bar of the wrist were to pop out.
Following the popularity of the NATO Strap being used in James Bond movies, the NATO strap became a staple of watches produced by Omega, including releasing limited edition versions of the strap in their watch collections.
NATO straps are known for being relatively inexpensive. Most straps are made of nylon and stainless steel fasteners that guide the strap through the formation of the watch. NATO straps are also known for being easy to clean and swap around for daily use. NATO straps are available in different sizes, lengths and designs to accommodate a wide variety of designs and watch composures. NATO straps are also used amongst deep sea divers and water-sports. Your current watch may be able to use a NATO strap, if it has removable spring bars, a straight strap connection, and doesn’t use quick release bars.
Special anti-allergy NATO watch straps which shield the skin from exposure to metal parts, are available for sufferers of specific types of dermatitis.