I don’t know about you, but I like having my options open when it comes to menswear. I can’t stand feeling stuck or stagnant — that’s why I enjoy switching up my look often. Sure, I have my go-tos, but variety’s the spice of life, isn’t it? I extend this philosophy to the accessories I wear on my wrist. Nothing makes me feel more restless than a stainless steel bracelet that’s hard to change — and even harder to have stand out.
Enter the military watch, my favourite style of timepiece. They’re built to support interchangeable nylon straps that come in myriad designs, perfect for expressing your personality. Casual beers with your buddies? Slide on some preppy stripes. Business meeting? A leather band or a premium nautical look will suit your investment piece just right. A well-rounded collection ensures you’ll be ready for anything life throws at you without having to cheat on your favourite time-keeper. To get you there, here are five basic strap styles you should have in your rotation.
Perlon Now considered a broad category that includes most woven nylon straps, perlon straps are all about versatility. Their braided design makes them an easy fit for any size wrist, eliminating annoying watch climb. Even in a solid colour, the added punch of texture makes perlon straps a suit-ready alternative to your basic bracelet.
Bold pattern There’s nothing wrong with minimalist watches (I’m actually a pretty big fan), but your choice of strap doesn’t always have to feel so, well, plain. Switching things up with a bold pattern — such a floral or camo print — gives you another good reason to check your wrist.
Classic tri-stripe Nothing pairs with the Omegas and Rolexes of the world quite like a sporty and colourful three-stripe NATO strap. In fact, once you do make it big enough to splash on your dream watch, it’s your Sean Connery-approved secret weapon for dressing down your wrists without losing cred in the boardroom.
Leather For Take your retro-style military watch (like the classic Timex) from boot camp to officer material with a leather strap that’ll dress up your timepiece. Quality leather will age over the years for a wearable record of your adventures.
The classic For everything else, there’s the classic admiralty grey strap originally issued by the British Ministry of Defence — 20 millimetres wide, 12 adjustment holes, one timeless look. Can’t go wrong whether you pair it with denim and blazer combo or a minimalist athleisure look.