A watch strap is a bracelet that holds a wristwatch in place on the wrist. Also called watch bands, while these straps may be from leather, rubber, fabric, or durable metals like stainless steel, it can also be a combination of different materials. Watch bands are not just functional, but fashionable, as they come in a wide range of designs and styles that allow the wearer to show off their personality or show off their status by choosing bands made of high-grade leather and other expensive materials.
Ideally, a good strap is an essential companion to a deserving watch but picking the right one may be a hard task at times. This is why many seasoned watch collectors choose to amass a broad and diverse collection of straps so that they can greatly increase the number of combinations available to them at any given time. To a casual observer, the strap is often more visible than the face of the watch, so a smart selection of watch bands will both capture the eye and make your watch appear truly magnificent. A major benefit of watch straps is that they are often considerably cheaper than a whole new watch and provide a more considerable and cost-effective means of changing up your entire look and accessorizing with dozens of outfits, all with a single watch as your base.
So, we’ve outlined all the benefits that the right watch bands provide, but that still leaves us with one major question: how does one go about choosing the right watch strap, especially if doing so for the first time? VARIO has provided a very handy guide that we hope will add some value to your selection process. Keep reading to see the tips and tricks provided by one of our in-house experts.
Determining your watch strap size
Watch straps are beautiful accessories that are crafted to fit with precision. A proper fit isn’t just about comfort either – if your watch is too tight it may cause circulation and abrasion issues to your skin depending on the materials it is made from, and if it is too loose, this can be annoying and distracting, leaving you to constantly adjust your timepiece throughout the day.
It’s quite easy for anyone to determine their size if they follow the proper guidelines. Don’t worry, it’s not very complicated, and you won’t need any super special tools. By the end of this, you should have the two measurements you will need to order your strap, and they are your watch's lug width (the width between the areas where your watch strap fits) and your wrist size.
STEP 1: How to determine your lug width
To do this step, you can use any regular metric ruler, or you can use a digital caliper. Both are fairly accurate, but the closer you can get to the actual measurement, the better.
You will need to take your watch case and measure the distance between the inside of the lugs of the watch face in millimeters (mm). If you’re unsure of what the lugs are, they’re the four protruding parts, two on either side of your watch, and can be compared to two small horns. Depending on the brand of the current strap you have, you may also be able to check it to see if there is a number imprint anywhere on it that shows the lug width that it currently goes with. When measuring your lug width, we encourage you not to use metal rulers, as these can scratch the surface of your case quite easily. Once you have this measurement, you can then go ahead and move to the second and last step in this process.
STEP 2: How to determine your wrist size
Some persons attempt to do this part with thread, but we do not recommend using this as thread fits quite closely to your wrist and can leave you with a measurement that is much too small. Instead, if you want to take a measurement using your wrist, you should use a sewing tape, and if you cannot, a piece of cloth that has roughly the same thickness as a watch strap.
However, what most persons usually choose to do is make use of one of their previously owned leather or fabric watch straps that already fit around their wrist quite well. If you have one of these, you can set it on a table, and using your ruler, measure both the long strap and short strap lengths separately in millimeters. Be sure not to include the buckle in the length of your measurement when measuring the strap size. To find the correct strap or band for your watch, you will need to know various lengths and sizes. In order for your watch band to sit correctly, you need to buy one that's the right length for you. To do that, make sure you measure the length of the last watch band that fitted you.
The lug width and the length are especially important and should definitely be checked before you buy a watch strap to ensure the strap will fit your watch and your wrist correctly. Now that you have the correct measurement, it is time to go about choosing a strap.
The sheer number of watch straps available in online and offline stores can be overwhelming. While you may want more unique and lesser-known designs after some time, a good starting point is to check out popular watch trends, and people tend to love specific types of watches and brands for a good reason.
Watch straps that are trending now
There are many designs and materials, but as a general rule, we recommend choosing a NATO strap if you are active, spend a lot of time outdoors, and want a watch strap that can stand up to the elements. Of course, this is not a rule that must be strictly adhered to, as NATO is very versatile and is worn by everyone from business executives to teens and young adults in school. More than anything, be sure to choose straps that you will love to wear. NATO straps have found their extreme popularity due to their great history and wide acceptance across the globe.
Originally developed for British army soldiers in the 1970s, although similar designs can be traced back to World War II, it's first major significant appearance was in the 1970s when it was debuted under the name "G10.” NATO straps have become widely accepted by all and sundry due to its rugged nature and durability, NATO straps have spread across the globe and are sure to remain significant for years to come.
The most amazing feature of NATO strap is its single-piece model; other straps are mostly made of two separate pieces and can only be fixed by removing both of the spring bars that attach to the watch. With this, changing strap can be a time-consuming process, but NATO straps are simply woven underneath the spring bars, so they can be applied within a few seconds
Whichever watch strap you choose, it will help complement your watch and having a sizable collection will aid you in personalizing your look.
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