How to Choose the Right Type of Watch Strap

A watch strap is generally made of leather, or fabrics like nylon. These attachments for watches are versatile for casual to business wear, and are the great foundational timepiece starter strap.

Leather straps are great for wear with business suits, semi-dressy, and casual attire, while the fabric straps are best for jeans casual, beach going, and similar low-key attire venues and affairs.Watch straps come in a variety of styles, many with interesting histories behind them.

NATO Strap
The NATO strap is made of a nylon material or thinner leather. It was designed to be a durable band for watches, specifically worn by the military. They were originally debuted as the “G10,” and were worn by British army soldiers in the 1970s. This type of strap was originally seen in World War II, but the name NATO strap was attached to them in the 1970s.After the Cold War ended, NATO straps became available to the public in military surplus stores, and have grown in popularity since then.

Zulu Strap
The Zulu strap is similar to the NATO strap, except that it is made from a thicker material. This makes them slightly stronger and little bit more durable.Because Zulu straps are thicker, they also have heftier hardware to accommodate the size and weight of the materials. They’re still easy to attach to your watch, and switch out as the occasion demands.Zulu straps are best for larger faced watches, as the bulk of each will work better together than more delicate options.

Rally Strap
Old style racing gloves inspired the rally straps. These leather straps are easily identified by the large holes punched into the material on either side of the watch.Race cars in the old days were perforated in various locations to decrease the amount of metal, and therefore weight, on the machine. This helped with racing speeds. These perforations on cars translated to racing gloves with their perforations, and eventually to the rally straps used for racing watches.Others claim the holes in the rally strap are there for ventilation. Either way, this type of strap adds a certain class and unique personality to a great watch.

This watch strap also has a military background. The Aviator strap was made popular through usage by the German air force during World War II. They were originally designed with extra-long straps, in order to be worn under the pilot’s jacket, to avoid them flying off.