Pro strap tips – How to transform your watch with straps

Watch straps

You know that leather thingy keeping your watch on your wrist… If you take your watch game seriously, you should really treat your strap game with the same commitment. It will raise your watches to new heights and offers massive potential for variation and personalization. We would like to share some pro strap tips to help you get started!

By Thomas van Straaten on May 12th 2020

Switching straps

Many people only switch their watch strap when it has completely worn out or starts to smell. Does that sound like you? You are missing out on an extremely fun part of our beautiful shared passion.

A watch strap has a major impact on the look and feel of any watch. An Omega Speedmaster on a dark brown crocodile strap looks fit for the boardroom and the opera. But put it on an army green suede strap and it looks effortlessly casual and sporty! So these two straps effectively give you two entirely different watches.

Gold Speedmaster on our vintage strap in green suede

Switching straps is far easier than you might think. You just need the right tool and a tiny bit of practice to get it done in seconds. Yes, you can switch straps every morning. We do it too!

If you are unsure how, have a look at our simple tutorial:

Switching straps should not be a matter of utility. It is a way to change your watch to suit your mood, outfit, activity or even the season. The added benefit is that three straps in rotation will wear out just as slowly as three straps worn out consecutively. So you can have much more enjoyment for the exact same amount spent.

Our favorites:

Toesja: I love green crocodile straps. From the unique high tail-scale dragon straps to our lacquered olive green croc straps. They add glamour to any watch. And I just love a little glamour in life!

Frans: My favourite is the sting ray strap. The skin is exotic, exciting and mystical but at the same time elegant and distinguished. For a lifetime experience you can pet a stingray in Dolfinarium Harderwijk.

Hilde: My favorite strap is definitely the lizard strap in Burgundy. I like the playful texture and the natural variation of color adds depth. Even though Burgundy is my favorite color, I change my straps to match the season and my outfit. I will opt for lighter tones in summer.

Special materials

Yes, a calf strap can be absolutely stunning. But at AWCo, we like to offer a host of high quality materials to choose from. From smooth Barenia leather, known for being used in luxury hand bags, to exotic leathers such as crocodilelizard or stingray. From the instantly recognizable sheen of Shell Cordovan to the matte, sporty aesthetic of Suede. And of course our canvas and Nato alternatives for an even more sporty vibe.

"If you suit up on a daily basis with dress shoes and a matching leather belt. You will look truly suave when you match your watch strap too"

Two particularly fashionable favourites at this moment are our Rooster leg and Nubuck straps. Rooster leg is a great alternative for croc leather. It has the same elegant, dressy appearance through its exotic pattern and gloss. But it is a little thinner and just a little less common. Nubuck is on the other end of the spectrum, much more sporty and youthful. It has a dynamic look as it changes colour when the fibres are brushed from one way to another. It is a little more refined and smooth looking than your typical suede straps.

Of course if you suit up on a daily basis with dress shoes and a matching leather belt. You will look truly suave when you match your watch strap too.

Our favorites: 

ThomasI love the so-called Olive-beige-green smooth strap. A rather cumbersome name for a Taupe strap in beautiful soft, smooth leather with white stitching. I love how this strap adjusts to different watches and outfits, sometimes looking grey, other times almost green, hence the triple name. It is subtle and does not detract from the watch, but it still adds some visual interest through its very specific color. Not something you see everyday. 

Sandra: I am a real sucker for color. And there is no strap more colorful than the rainbow NATO! A close second is a good bright colored Stingray strap. To me, there is just nothing better than a colorful strap on a vintage dive watch or a modern Squale. 

Roel: I am a big fan of our vintage watch straps. The thick leather and two distinctive stitches just look great. The olive suede variant is my absolute favorite. Especially on a nice vintage Speedmaster. It tends to bring out the warm tones of aged tritium. It does not get much better than that!

The alternative colour

At AWCo, we pride ourselves in having an absolutely massive collection of watch straps. Of course we have your browns and blacks, but we also have numerous beautiful alternatives that will really elevate your watch game.

Most people come to our store looking for a black or a brown strap. But two alternatives are particularly big hits: Moss green and Taupe. Absolutely nobody walks in asking for those, but nearly everybody loves what these colours do to their beloved watch. These tones are subtle enough to match most outfits and occasions, but they are just different enough to really boost the overall look and feel of most watches.

If you want a bit more of a statement, you will find your yellows, reds and blues at AWCo as well, of course!

Our dark green nubuck strap with two stitching options

In-color or contrasting stitching

Besides materials and colours, it is the tiny details that make all the difference in watch straps. Experiment with in-colour versus contrast stitching. From the full in-colour or white stitching options on our Nubuck straps, to the two characterizing side stitches on our vintage straps.

Contrasting stitching works great on more sporty watches. It is also particularly attractive when details on the watch are reflected by the stitching. A watch with white hands and numerals usually looks amazing on a contrast stitching strap. A gold-on-gold themed watch might look better on an in-colour stitched strap, as not to take too much attention away from the watch itself.

Rolex Ref. 5513 Submariner on our brown textured strap with contrast stitching

Padded or flat watch straps

The thinner your watch, the sooner we would gravitate towards a flat strap. Watches with more body can benefit from padded straps, to ensure they do not look top-heavy. Current watch fashion is leaning towards the flat Barenia, Saffiano and Nubuck straps, so of course you will find a lot of those at AWCo.


Our favorites:

Roy: My favorite watch strap is without a doubt the ostrich strap. I love its timelessness. Especially when you choose it in a typical color like blue, cognac, or army green. These straps can be beautifully combined with a sporty watch such as a Rolex Datejust or a more dressy model such as the Jaeger-LeCoultre or a gold Omega.

Janneke: I am a fan of the dark blue Rooster leg strap. It is slightly reminiscent of a crocodile strap through its scales, but at the same time something completely unique. This strap is just so special, not you something you see every day. The dark blue version is just so classy and elegant. I love it!

Bram: I love the dark green suede strap with contrast stitching. It looks great on pretty much any watch and I love that the green is just a little different than your typical blacks and browns. The liveliness of nubuck leather also adds visual interest. A real winner in my eyes!

AWCo straps

At AWCo, we enjoy switching straps as much as we enjoy switching watches. So it is safe to say that our personal passions have resulted in our big watch strap collection. Just like with our watches, we are rather picky in terms of quality. That is why the vast majority of our collection is sourced from small scale, high quality manufacturers. There is a lot of manual labour involved in making the greatest straps out of the best materials. We feel this is the only way to complement your prized watches.

Several shades of flat nubuck

Our familiarity with the watch world comes with a few more benefits. For instance, we have a large selection of 20x16mm watch straps. These have a stronger taper than most, to facilitate vintage buckles. If you have an original Rolex or Omega buckle, for instance, chances are that they are only 16mm wide. Many of our straps effortlessly facilitate these buckles, ensuring you can keep your watch and buckle paired perfectly. Furthermore, we offer both steel and gold-plated buckles on all of our straps. Did you know you can switch buckles with the same tool you use to switch straps? If you are uncomfortable about it, do not hesitate to ask us. We are happy to switch your straps and buckles any time.

Our Rooster leg strap on a Rolex Datejust

Switch it up!

So let’s not stick to a single strap until it is at the point of nearly breaking. Switch it up and multiply the number of available looks from your watch collection. We are happy to help you find the perfect straps to suit you. And we are equally happy to show you how to switch them yourself.

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