We tend to focus on the case, dial, bezel, and hands when talking about a watch’s design. We also pay a lot of attention to the movement at the heart of every watch. But what about the bracelet or strap? Have you ever considered changing it out to give your timepiece a new look? This article takes a look at the impact straps and bracelets have on a watch and discusses some bands that have become legends in their own right.
The first thing to consider when choosing a band is style: What look are you going for? Leather straps are the perfect choice for more formal occasions, while anything goes in more casual settings. The options are endless, ranging from steel and precious metals to leather or rubber. However, there’s no rule stopping you from bucking traditional style conventions and using a watch band to make a personal fashion statement.
The TAG Heuer Autavia with several different straps
The easiest way to match your watch to your outfit is by pairing it with the right band. You could even argue that the band is the most important factor in terms of the overall look and feel of a watch, at least as far as attire is concerned. Just because your watch came with a particular bracelet or strap doesn’t mean it’s your only option. If you have a steel bracelet, try switching it out for a NATO or leather strap. It will make a world of difference, and you might even like it better than the original. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at certain models and what makes their bracelet or strap so special.
The Icon: Rolex Day-Date President
No bracelet is more iconic than the Rolex President. It’s extremely comfortable, beautifully designed, and defines the masculine elegance of the Rolex Day-Date. This bracelet only comes in precious metals like white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum, and was developed specifically for the Rolex Day-Date. After its introduction in 1956, the Day-Date found its way onto the wrists of a few American presidents, thus earning its nickname: the Rolex President. Nowadays, most people associate this name with the bracelet since the Day-Date is also available on the Super-Oyster bracelet. You’re more likely to hear people talking about the Rolex Day-Date with a President bracelet.
Watch: Rolex Day-Date
Price: €31,600 (approx. $35,500) for the standard yellow gold edition and €34,200 (approx. $38,500) for the standard rose gold and white gold versions.
The Special Edition: Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent
Hublot has an ongoing partnership with Lapo Elkann, founder of Italia Independent and grandson of Fiat founder Gianni Agnelli. Elkann is a style icon in Italy, making him the perfect partner for a collaboration. In 2017, Elkann and Hublot joined forces with tailors from Rubinacci and developed six different Hublot Classic Fusion timepieces. Rubinacci gave Elkann access to their archives, which contain a huge collection of classic fabrics. Together with creative director Luca Rubinacci, Hublot and Elkann selected a collection of tartans from the 70s. They gave this patterned wool fabric new life by using it on dials and straps. The final result is a completely unique collection that’s sure to attract a lot of attention.
Watch: Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent
Price: At their release in 2017, list prices for these timepieces sat at $15,100 for the titanium version, $16,100 for black ceramic, and $35,300 for King Gold. Pre-owned models sell for slightly less.
The Most Remarkable Style: Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M
The Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M is a remarkable watch. Its case is one of a kind, and its bands are among the most recognizable in the industry. The first Omega Seamaster Ploprof 600 was introduced in 1970 as a professional diving watch that could withstand the pressures experienced at great depths. One of its main features was a mesh bracelet that fit nicely over a wetsuit. This bracelet was inspired by the mesh wetsuits worn by divers to fend off shark attacks. The first Ploprof quickly made a name for itself thanks to its serious diving credentials and unique style. The current model, the Seamaster Ploprof 1200M, still boasts one of the best mesh bracelets available today. While you’ll find a variety of watches with mesh bracelets on the market, no other model rivals the link these bands share with the Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M.
Watch: Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M
The Best Newcomer: Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo set the watch world abuzz when it first debuted in 2012. This timepiece is ultra-thin and showcases Bvlgari’s design skills and technical finesse. In 2017, the company introduced the Octo Finissimo Automatic in titanium. Such a thin watch demands an equally thin yet hardy bracelet. The bracelet of the Octo Finissimo Automatic keeps the watch incredibly light while holding it securely on your wrist. This timepiece is sure to become a classic.
Watch: Bvlgari Octo Finissimo