The Best Way to Travel With Watches: The Strap Monster Solution

The Best Way to Travel With Watches: The Strap Monster Solution

Traveling with watches has never been more complicated. With increased rates of watch theft, airport customs horror stories, and the hassle of packing multiple watches, you might just want to throw on a G-Shock and call it a day. However, with a little bit of planning and a handful of straps, traveling with your luxury timepiece won't just be easy, it'll be fun. Let me explain.

The Planning 

MONTA Skyquest Straps and Tools

You probably see where I’m going with this. Instead of bringing multiple different watches – the sports watch, the dress watch, the casual watch – just bring one. Swapping out your watch’s strap can completely change its identity, allowing you to dress it up or down as needed. Watches that do this best are often called "strap monsters", and they're perfect for travel. The Monta Skyquest is an ideal candidate: its versatile styling looks great on most straps and its GMT functionality was built for travel. 

If you’ve never changed your watch’s bracelet or strap, our installation guide has you covered. All you need is a spring bar tool and, of course, strap or two. First, let’s look at the bracelet that comes with the Skyquest.

The Monta Skyquest Bracelet – Travel Day

Monta Skyquest watch on bracelet

Monta is known for offering one of the most comfortable steel bracelets on the market. With a healthy taper, tooless microadjustment, and exquisite finishing (visually and tactilely), the bracelet is a no-brainer to pack on any trip. While steel bracelets are generally considered a sporty look, it all comes down to finishing. Here we see polished chamfers contrasting satin brushed links, splitting the difference between elegant and rugged (which is true of the watch as a whole). I'd call a steel bracelet the most versatile option. If swapping straps isn't your thing, the bracelet is the one to pack – at least in my opinion.

Monta Skyquest GMT bracelet

For whatever reason, I always wear a watch on a bracelet when I’m flying. I honestly have no sound justification for this — a steel bracelet just feels right to me on travel days. While the next two straps are specifically geared toward getting dirty, sweaty, or going swimming, the bracelet is no slouch at those things either: it's just a bit heavier. Steel is easy to clean. If it gets dirty, run it under the sink. 

Monta Skyquest on Nylon or Rubber – Day Trip

MONTA Skyquest on Nylon strap

In the same way that a bracelet just feels right on travel days, nylon straps just feel right in the great outdoors. If you plan on sweating in any way shape or form, throw your Skyquest on a nylon strap and embrace its sporty design. If you get the strap dirty, throw it in a load of laundry. If it starts to fray, melt it with a lighter. Nylon is just about the most utilitarian strap material there is. Because it’s waterproof and breathable, nylon is a far better day trip option than leather (which you shouldn't get wet) or a bracelet (which weighs as much as the watch itself). Perhaps this is my love for nylon speaking, but the Skyquest feels right at home on a NATO-style strap. With a screw-down crown, 300 meters of water resistance, and incabloc shock protection system, this watch is ready for whatever you might throw at it. 
MONTA Skyquest Everest Universal Rubber

If nylon isn’t your thing, rubber is another great choice for a day trip. While it doesn’t have the same breathability as woven fabric, it’s similarly durable and waterproof. The newly-restocked Everest Universal rubber strap fits all 20mm lug width watches  including the Skyquest  and it’s easy to install/remove with quick-release spring bars (pictured above). If you like the look of integrated rubber, I have a pro tip for you: Everest’s Curved-End Rubber strap for the Rolex Submariner 14060 fits the Skyquest like a glove.

Monta Skyquest on Leather – Night Out

Everest Leather straps on MONTA Skyquest

As versatile as bracelets, nylon, and rubber can be, sometimes life calls for a collared shirt and a pair of clean shoes. In this case, leather is the go-to choice. It’s a timeless look and, depending on the strap’s stitching and grain, it can truly elevate your watch’s appearance. Compared to a bracelet or double-pass nylon, leather also has a lower profile, preventing your watch from catching on the cuff of a dress shirt, sweater, etc. When it's time for a night out, it's time for a leather strap. Like the aforementioned rubber strap, Everest Universal Leather Straps have quick-release spring bars: no tools required.

Final Thoughts

You don't need to buy a collection of watches to have your bases covered: if you're willing to spend 60 seconds changing out a strap, the watch you already own can work for many occasions. If you don't have a watch collection, buying a new strap is cheaper than buying a new watch. Even if you do have a collection, straps are just easier to pack. Next time you travel, I highly recommend the strap monster solution: you'll be surprised how far one watch can go.

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