Whenever I look up articles on vintage exploration watches, I notice that they used to be sold on leather straps. Immediately, my mind goes into the following train of thought: most watches were sold on leather straps in the 1950s/60s, so what else could they be sold on? Well, I’m wrong of course because Rolex and Omega used to also sell watches on straight-end metal bracelets. As a bracelet guy, I never questioned what could be wrong with a bracelet in the winter. I think I’m too much into them to realize that my wrist feels colder than it should.
That got me thinking. What are the best straps to use during the cold winter months? We layer up so we have more fabric bunching up on our wrist, our clothes feel heavier and more clunky. This is the time to try on a few options and see what works best. So, below are a few options for straps to wear in the winter so that you don’t shock yourself by allowing a cold bracelet to make contact with your skin. These straps will provide you with all day comfort.
First Option: Leather
Yes, it only makes sense to start with leather straps. Of all types of straps mentioned in this article, leather ones are perhaps the best choice for the winter for two reasons. First, leather is a natural material that has been used for thousands of years to cover our bodies. Leather is treated so that the underside (the side touching the skin) is soft and generally lined. Second, because leather is a material that can handle harsh climates and temperatures. That’s why leather straps equipped the first exploration watches. Everest Bands provide a wide variety of high quality leather straps for your favorite watch.
Second Option: NATO
NATOs are nowadays made of nylon which is a synthetic material. But the first ones were made of canvas, a natural woven fabric. Although I would assume that modern NATOs are more comfortable to wear than the old ones, what makes NATOs a good option for the winter is the fact that they are adjustable and comfortable on the wrist. Especially well constructed NATOs made of fine weave like the new Everest universal nylon straps. The only downside of any NATO strap is the two metal keepers that can feel a little cold at first. Leather straps, on the contrary, have leather keepers.
Third Option: Perlon
I know, perlon is typically recommended for the summer because it’s light and breathable. But I find that perlon straps also make for good winder straps for two reasons. First, they can be adjusted to any length which is practical depending on how many layers of clothes you are wearing. (If you are stylish and daring you can strap your watch outside of your winter jacket.) Second because nylon, like a NATO, doesn’t get cold during the winter—you know, unlike stainless steel bracelets. Nylon is a synthetic plastic material that is rather comfortable.
Four Option: Rubber
When thinking of straps for the winter your mind may not directly go to rubber straps. But they represent another good option, and perhaps the best. That’s because rubber straps are made to work in wet and hot conditions, which means they would also work in cold and dry conditions. Natural rubber, like the one used on the Everest rubber straps, is ultra resistant and long lasting. When I think of winter I think rain, snow, and hail (depending on where you live in the world,) all of which lend themselves to rubber straps. They also add an air of robustness to your favorite timepieces.
To be fair, there are many other types of straps that would work in the winter. Or, should I say more specifically, different variations of the straps mentioned above. Just like nylon is used in both modern NATO and perlon straps, it can also be found on certain sailcloth straps as well. So, what you could choose to wear does not entirely depend on material but also on style and wearability. Although I wear my watches on bracelets 99% of the time, I do like to switch to a leather strap in the winter for all day comfort.
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