This article is from the WatchTime Archives and was originally published in June 2022.
I once had a charming Seiko 5 with a jade green dial that I bought for about $50. I was less excited about the bracelet, but in my drawer, I still had a light brown alligator leather strap from a watch I recently sold that happened to fit. It turned out to be a match made in heaven as I don’t think that I have ever gotten more compliments on a watch as that one. Some might consider it ridiculous to fit a $50 watch with a strap costing seven times as much, but it taught me the valuable lesson that a strap can make or break a watch.
Looks are only part of the equation, as wearing comfort is another. When a strap doesn’t sit comfortably around your wrist, it reflects on the watch as a whole. What often happens is that you simply wear it less, even when the watch itself is great. A mere strap change can make a difference. While I am an avid advocate of buying quality, getting the right strap doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg. In particular, when looking for a rubber or NATO strap, many cost-effective examples can be found that won’t disappoint.
If you want to ensure that you get it right, a custom-made strap might be the way to go. While this sound expensive, in my experience, the cost is not much higher than if you would buy a strap from one of the well-known Swiss brands, with the advantage that now, you are in the driver’s seat. You are in command of the type of leather, the color of stitching, and the thickness and material used for the lining. It often results in a strap that matches your taste and usually also elevates the way the watch looks. This will increase the wearing comfort as well as the pleasure you get from your watch.
How did you elevate your wrist game by changing the strap? Tell us in the comments