Watch Lover's Gift Guide 2023: Straps, Storage, and Accessories

Watch Lover's Gift Guide 2023: Straps, Storage, and Accessories

In a world where no one really needs a wristwatch, these tiny machines have become the ultimate form of personal expression. Choosing to wear a watch is a statement in and of itself; choosing which watch poses infinite possibilities of self-expression and personal taste. I say all this to say: it’s not easy choosing a gift for a watch lover. Who knows if they’ll wear that strap you picked out? Who knows if it'll even fit their watch? Should you get them something to store their collection in? What about tools? Don’t worry – today, I’ll walk you through three gift categories for watch enthusiasts. If you yourself are well-versed in horology, let this list inspire you – maybe it’s time to treat yourself for the holidays.

Watch Lover Gift #1 – The Perfect Strap

Everest rubber strap on Rolex Submariner

Watch straps come in all kinds of materials, colors, and styles. Generally, you have four main categories: metal, leather, rubber, and nylon. All of these materials are great at what they do and, in my opinion, should all be included in one’s collection. It never hurts to have options. Before we talk about compatibility, let’s explore each material.

Metal bracelets are very versatile, but they’re not always the best choice: they can be heavy, pull hairs, or present as too casual for formal occasions. Generally speaking, if someone wants a metal bracelet, they buy a watch that comes on one – buying aftermarket bracelets is not as common (although it can be done). With that in mind, I’d recommend considering the following straps as gifts.

Leather Strap on Rolex GMT-Master II Batman

Leather has been used as a watch strap material since the mid-1800s. It’s a classic look with plenty of room for personal taste. Generally, it leans more formal, but depending on color and stitching, leather can be very casual. For instance, a gray suede leather with minimal stitching is far more casual than a glossy black leather. Leather is perhaps the most comfortable strap material there is, but you really shouldn’t get it wet. Enter the rubber strap.

In the grand scheme of watches, rubber straps are a pretty new phenomenon. Many claim that they originated in the 1950s with rubber “Tropic” straps. Rubber is comfortable, sporty, and of course, completely waterproof. This makes rubber the best option for swimming or diving. Rubber is probably the most casual material on the list: something to keep in mind when putting together a comprehensive collection. While Everest rubber straps have breathability channels on the underside, some prefer a more breathable material but still want a waterproof option. Enter the nylon strap.

Nylon NATO-style strap on Rolex Submariner

Nylon is my personal favorite watch strap material. It’s breathable, waterproof, durable, and comes in every color under the sun. Originally created for military-issued watches, nylon straps are inexpensive and built to last. Of course, it’s a very casual look compared to leather or even a metal bracelet, but it’s great as an everyday option.

Now, let’s talk about compatibility. To ensure the right fit, you should know not just the model, but the reference number of the watch you’re shopping for. This is commonly found on the back of a watch. Google is your friend here, but when in doubt, ask whoever owns the watch if they know the reference number. I’ll make it easy for you – if the watch is a Rolex, Tudor, or Panerai – you can explore Everest’s collections to make sure you get the right one. All of our products have a “Compatible With These Watches” menu. If the watch is not a Rolex, Tudor, or Panerai, you can use the reference number to look up the lug width of the watch: this is the measurement you need to buy the right strap. Some common lug widths are 18mm, 20mm, and 22mm. If the watch has a lug width of 20mm or 22mm, take a look at our universal watch straps. We have plenty of leather, rubber, and nylon options available.

If you’re overwhelmed by reference numbers, measurements, and compatibility – don’t worry. The next gift idea doesn’t require the headache of obtaining and researching model information.

Watch Lover Gift #2 – Storage (Boxes, Rolls, and Pouches)

Everest Watch Box

Whether you need to store an ever-expanding collection or make traveling with your watches easier, storage should not be overlooked. As a gift-buyer, this is an easy win – watch storage options (boxes, rolls, pouches) are compatible with almost all watches. Let’s take a look at each one, comparing their use cases. 

Watch boxes (pictured above) are a no-brainer for anyone with multiple watches. They make it easy to keep your collection in one place – safe from scratches, spills, or curious furry friends. Most watch boxes have removable cushions that hold your watch, each with a corresponding slot in the box. I received a watch box for Christmas about a decade ago – I use and love it to this day (thanks mom).
Watch RollWatch rolls are similar to watch boxes in that they have removable cushions, but they are softer, lighter, and more portable. Rolls come in various sizes (1 watch, 2 watches, 3 watches, etc.) and are a great way to travel with multiple watches. Rolls can be used in the same way as watch boxes, but with the upside of being able to throw it in a bag.

Everest Watch Pouches

Watch pouches are simple yet effective. Secure your watch to the insert, put it back in the pouch, button it up and you’re good to go. Pouches are an inexpensive way to improve your watch traveling experience; if you want to bring two watches on a trip, wear one and put the other in a pouch. It doesn't get easier than that. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for the watch nerd in your life.

Watch Lover Gift #3 – Toolkits for Bracelet Sizing/Removal

Everest Tool Kit and Cleaning Cloth

If you’re getting someone a watch strap, they’re likely going to need a tool to remove the old strap and/or install the new one. For simple strap changes, you can’t go wrong with a spring bar tool. This is a tool that every watch lover should have, and if you already have one, you should have another (I’ve been known to lose them quite often). Spring bar calipers are essentially a spring bar tool on steroids: the tweezer-like tool makes it easy to remove bracelets, non-quick-release straps, etc. I recommend calipers for anyone who will be frequently changing straps/removing bracelets. 

Aside from removing/installing straps, tools are needed to size bracelets (remove and install links). If the watch lover in your life has a Rolex on an Oyster bracelet, check out our Oyster bracelet tool kit (also available in travel size). Similarly, if they have a Tudor Bracelet or Rolex Jubilee bracelet, check out our Tudor/Jubilee tool kit (also available in travel size). 

Final Thoughts

Whether you know nothing about watches or they’re all you think about, buying gifts for a watch lover doesn’t have to be difficult. Sure, the more info you have on someone’s collection and/or particular watches, the more specific you can get with gifts (e.g. integrated straps). That said, I don’t know a single watch enthusiast who wouldn’t be ecstatic to receive a high quality watch roll, universal strap, or toolkit. When it comes to giving gifts, it’s the thought that counts. But the more thought you put into it – like reading an entire gift guide – the more they’ll get out of it. Happy holidays and happy shopping!

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