Luxury Watch Buying Guide: How to Choose a Watch Strap
Whether you are an avid watch strap collector or a first time buyer, it's important to pick a watch strap that gets you the most out of your investment. Much of this comes down to lifestyle - just as you'd pick an appropriate pair of trainers for the gym, or a pair of smart brogues for work, your luxury watch strap should be as suited to your lifestyle as it is stylish.
To help you make an informed decision on what luxury watch strap to choose, you should ask yourself six questions:
- Do you identify with the brand?
- Does it match your lifestyle?
- Will it compliment your style?
- Is it practical?
- Will it last?
- Does it match your budget?
1. Do You Identify With the Brand?
This part will matter to some buyers more than others, but you should pick a brand that you align with. Whether this is the materials used; how the watch strap is made; where it is made; who makes it; what inspired its creation; or the brand's values, only you can know whether you feel drawn to a brand - and indeed if it matters to you at all.
2. Does It Match Your Lifestyle?
Where you will wear the watch strap is crucial to your final decision. Certain watch straps will not last in certain environments, so it's important to get this right to get the most out of your investment.
For example, although leather is known to be reliable, it doesn't do as well with sweat or water as other watch straps. In this instance, you'd want to go for a waterproof or sports strap made from rubber or fabric. Or, if you did decide to go for leather, you should pick a perforated strap for enhanced airflow.
Pictured: The Bonetto Cinturini 328 Premium Rubber Nato Watch Strap has a novel all-rubber construction for peerless water resistance, while a specially reinforced section around the holes greatly enhances its resistance to wear-and-tear - perfect for the gym, beach and outdoor activities.
3. Will It Compliment Your Style?
We recommend that you have a rotation of watch straps so you can match your watch with your outfit and mood - and make your watch straps last longer in the process! However, if you're making a once-in-a-lifetime luxe purchase, it might not be possible to get multiple watch straps.
In this case, make sure you pick a watch strap that compliments your style the most. If you know you own a lot of smart clothes, pick a universal neutral watch to match. If you wear just pinks and greens, find something that compliments those two colours. Again, this is a subjective process, but trust your judgement - you know yourself best after all.
At this point it is good to mention that, if you're looking for a watch and a watch strap, trying a watch on in person is the best method to find out if the watch is for you - any watch enthusiast will tell you that nothing beats seeing the watch on your wrist, in person. That being said, at WatchObsession we offer free UK delivery and returns so, if you decide a watch isn't right for you once you've purchased it online, you can send it back risk free.
4. Is It Practical?
For the most part, when we ask if a watch strap is practical, we are asking if it is simple to put on and/or change. Most straps should be simple to get on, but if you know you'll want to do lots of strap changes, you should look at quick-release watch straps. Standard straps can be a time-consuming process, but once you've got into the flow with a quick-release change, it should only take a couple of minutes max.
5. Will It Last?
When you purchase a luxe product, you anticipate it to last. As with most items, the more expensive it is, the longer it lasts.
However, it is still important to contemplate the life of a purchase - consider the material, check out customer reviews, and read up on how to care for your new strap to get an idea of its lifespan and if you can maintain that.
In general, a leather watch strap can last between six months and four years, with exotic watch straps lasting for a longer period of time, but this is dependent on a number of factors.
6. Does it Match Your Budget?
The most important question is whether you can afford it. Although this is the least fun step, it is crucial that you define what you can spend and if you need to save up to be comfortable after your purchase.
There are a wide range of watch straps (and prices) to choose from, often dependent on material and brand, but these can start from under £10. You don't need to make an expensive purchase to start - or continue - your watch strap collection.
How to Purchase a Watch on Release
Something else to consider is big watch releases. Much like trainers or designer clothes and handbags, limited edition releases of anticipated luxe watches with a specific launch date also happen. For example, limited editions of Hodinkee, Unimatic and, perhaps the most famous, the Omega #speedytuesday releases all attract a considerable amount of attention.
With a significant amount of "hype" and fast sell times (we're talking minutes), it can be difficult to get your hands on a watch you've eyed up for your collection - especially if you're competing with resellers. If you want to purchase a desirable watch on the date of release then, you should:
- Use a fast and reliable browser, like Google Chrome or Safari.
- Create an account prior to the launch date with all of your details filled out, including name, payment information and shipping address.
- Have your payment information pre-loaded on the browser as a failsafe if it isn't saved on the website.
- Consider an accelerated checkout, like Apple and Google Pay.
What it all comes down to is this: the quicker you can complete your checkout, the more chance you have of securing that limited edition piece.
Written by Holly, for WatchObsession.