A Guide to Watch Straps Bracelets And Bands
The strap and bracelet of a watch are an important part of its identity. And due to the simplicity of switching straps, watch straps have evolved into their own market.
When it comes to watch straps, there is a whole world of opportunities. Countless strap types in any color you could imagine.
So how should you use watch straps for your watches – and which strap type should you choose?
In this guide, we go into detail about watch straps for your watch.
Guide to watch straps
A great way to get the most value for your money when buying a watch is to buy one that fits several different watch bracelets.
It may sound strange to buy a watch with the strap in mind, but this will actually open up a ton of opportunities for giving it many different personalities depending on the occasion.
Below are some tips for choosing a bracelet for your watch.
Firstly, customize the material on the watch bracelet for upcoming activities. If you are going to bathe, swim, or use the watch during other activities that can affect the watch bracelet, it is good to choose a durable material, eg. nylon or rubber. If you swim with a leather strap, it will be subject to premature aging and ultimately damage the strap.
Make sure the strap fits your watch
Knowing the lug width of your watch and strap is important for getting the perfect fit.
There are many different widths of watch bracelets. To find out how wide a band you can have, measure the distance between the lugs. They are also normally found online and in the specifications of the watch.
Tape the watch lugs before changing the strap
When you are going to change the strap, you need to remove the spring bars that are attached to the lugs of your watch. If you are going to change the strap, it is a good idea to put tape on the back of the lugs in order to minimize damage and scratches on the lugs. Remove the spring bars from the backside of the watch so if you do scratch the watch, you will do it on the backside of the lugs, which you don’t see most of the time.
When removing the spring bars, place the watch on a piece of soft cloth so as not to scratch the glass covering the dial.
When replacing the steel link, open the link at the buckle so that you can work more easily at the strap pins that are attached to the lugs.
What are ”lugs”?
The lugs are the parts of the watch that you attach the watch bracelet to. On each side of the case, there are two lugs that hold the watch bracelet with the help of a spring bar
What is a spring bar?
A spring bar is a pin that is threaded through the ends of the watch bracelet and then attached between the lugs. In other words, it is the spring bars that hold the watch bracelet.
Tools for changing your watch bracelet
Changing bracelets on your watch is not very difficult, but it can be good to know how to do it in order to avoid damaging the watch. Without the tools, it can be a bit tricky but with the right tools and a little patience, you can do it on your own.
The purpose of the tool is to remove the spring bar so you can remove the strap and change it to a different one. We recommend not buying the cheapest in order to acquire a better quality spring bar tool as the cheaper variants are simpler to slip and then risk scratching the lugs. There are also very good tools that take the spring bar tool from both sides so you can then lift out the spring bar carefully and avoid any scratches.
Toothpicks are used in cases where you need to tap on a small surface to, for example, open the buckle on a steel link. The risk of using the pointy end of the strap tool is that the buckle can be scratched if the tip slips. This is avoided if you use a toothpick instead.
Masking tape is mainly used when putting on a new steel bracelet and one does not want to risk scratching the lugs with the strap pins or the strap tool. You attach a small piece of tape to each lug, but make sure you do not tape over the holes where the tape pins are to be placed.
The NATO strap is a classic watch bracelet that is available in various materials, although it is primarily known for being made of nylon. The strap is not a two-piece but is a piece that is threaded through the brackets on the underside of the case. Thanks to the durable quality of the bands, watches with nato bands have long been used on diving watches and other watches used during activities that require a durable watch bracelet. The great thing about nato bands is that they are very easy to change and adapt to clothes and activities. This is probably why this type of watch bracelet has become so popular in recent years.
Originally, NATO straps were made for the army, but it eventually became a trend that found its way into the whole watch industry.
The Zulu bands, also called military bands, are similar to NATO bands except that the Zulu bands have a thicker textile material and stronger, more rounded rings. The Zulu straps are also available in other materials for slightly more elegant occasions while the nylon straps are more suitable for bathing and training. This type of watch bracelet is also easy to change to match color according to clothing and occasion.
Rubber watch bracelets are an affordable and durable material that can be used in physical activities such as swimming and exercise. Rubber bands look great with a sports watch, in particular during the summer and on the beach. Its wide array of available colors makes it possible to choose a color for any occasion and a bright colorful strap for beach occasions.
Millenary Watches is an official retailer of Everest bands which makes some of the best rubber straps in the industry.
Mesh bands or mesh bracelets are watch bracelets made of small metal rings. Together, the small rings form a fabric of metal that makes the bracelet, despite its weight, feel pliable and comfortable. Mesh bracelets are best suited to a more dressy style and are not as good for bathing slippers. Keep in mind that it will be more stylish with a nicer watch for your mesh bracelet.
Leather straps are a classic and traditional strap option for your watch. Leather is a durable material that can even get nicer over time, especially if you like the vintage style. Leather straps usually look best with dress watches and if you usually dress a little more formally or are going to a nice event where you need to be more dressed up.
Nylon is a common material in NATO and Zulu straps. This material is durable and is a favorite of those who exercise a lot, do physical work, or simply prefer the tougher style of the watch bracelet.