When I was 16, my mom gave me my first Swiss watch: a Tissot Tradition. Immediately, it became my favorite watch. I still wear it to this day. Over the years, I’ve bought and sold other watches, but the Tissot has remained a constant. Despite its dress styling, I wear it with everything: khakis to sweatpants. It came on a brown alligator strap, which recently started to deteriorate. I knew it was time for a new strap, but I didn't know where to start. Whether you have one watch or you’re starting to lose count, a new strap can completely change your collection.
Traditional Pairings and Self Expression
I’ve tried a lot of watches, but I’ve tried even more straps. As we know, there are traditional pairings: dive watches on bracelets, field watches on nylon, dress watches on leather, etc. It’s easy to fall into these blueprints, but I encourage you to think outside the box. I recently got my hands on a rubber strap for my dress-styled Tissot, and it’s one of the best pairings I’ve ever tried. The Tradition's thin profile is comfortable on its own. With the rubber strap, I forget it's on my wrist. Traditionalists will critique the aesthetics of this pairing, but I can't get enough of it.
Straps are 'the clothes' of a watch. If you want to put a red strap on everything like Kevin O’Leary, go for it. If you want to put a chunky, steel bracelet on a thin, gold dress watch, be my guest (that one might be pretty bad). Try everything you can. You never know what will be your favorite pairing.
My Favorite Pairings
First, let’s address the elephant in the room – you’re reading this article on a website that sells watch straps. Of course I’m going to recommend Everest’s offerings, but I don’t take that recommendation lightly. As a watch enthusiast who’s tried a lot of brands, I can confidently cosign Everest’s quality and selection. From Daytonas to Air-Kings, Black Bays to Luminors, you’ve found your place for luxury watch straps.
One of my favorite pairings is the Rolex Daytona on perforated leather. This just feels right for so many reasons. Perforated leather screams ‘high-end automobile’, while the Daytona is cemented in automotive history. I marvel at the Daytona’s dense, organized dial arrangement – not simple, but not messy. The perforated leather continues this theme all the way around your wrist. Each perforation in its place – not simple, not messy. To top it all off, the red stitching matches the red 'Daytona' text above the seconds. There are no dull spots with this pairing. If you still have your Daytona on a bracelet, I recommend giving this perforated strap a try.
Unlike the Daytona, I admire the simplicity of a Rolex Datejust on a rubber strap. The Datejust’s dial isn’t very complicated, nor is the rubber of the strap. However, these two elements are perfectly bisected by the fluted bezel. The watch pictured is a Turn-O-Graph, which further emphasizes the bezel as the star of the show. The strap’s smooth finish perfectly matches the Datejust’s dial; both of which are interrupted by jagged, sharp grooves. Assuming you match the dial and strap color, this feels like a no brainer. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your Datejust, a rubber strap is probably your best bet: comfort, practicality, and durability. I particularly like this look on the Turn-O-Graph.
Finally, I can’t talk about watch straps without mentioning suede. Despite the Rolex Submariner in the photo, I’m not assigning this strap to one particular watch. A suede strap is versatile. It's an easy way to make any watch casual. A leather band on a steel case is timeless, and suede adds a pinch of personality. These vintage-inspired straps perfectly accent watches with modern finishing. It’s a style we’re seeing more and more; people are deviating from the traditional case/strap pairings. If you’re looking for a universal suede strap, look no further.
We all wear watches for different reasons. Maybe you’re interested in the mechanics. Some people just like how they look. Others have sentimental attachment to a timepiece. In the case of my Tissot Tradition, all of these things are true. A watch has meaning regardless of the strap it's on. Straps are ‘the clothes’ of a watch, and you should experiment with how they look. I shared some of my favorite pairings, but I encourage you to find your own, too. Wear what you like, try what you can, and don’t limit yourself to one style. A new strap can breathe life into an old watch.