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Thread: The death of style?

  1. #1
    Master
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    The death of style?

    Has the fashion for new straps…especially rubber..ended the practice of releasing new models with elaborately fine straps to match the watch? So everything gets more ‘samey’. The trouble began when Rolex used Oysterflex rubber, You all know the models.
    End of moan….but there are endless examples flooding the market. Everything is changed, and it’s cheaper, coarser?
    Yes? No?
    Last edited by paskinner; 23rd July 2021 at 09:57.

  2. #2
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    A lot of Seiko divers seem to have that almost identical looking rubber strap.

  3. #3
    Master
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    Different market, and essentially no more competition than a decent Nato.

  4. #4
    The implication with what you're saying is that only leather straps have style and thus rubber does not; I can't agree with that as there are some lovely rubber straps out there.
    Personally, I'd far rather a watch came with a decent rubber strap than a leather strap as all too often the stock leather looks far too dressy and lies unused in the box.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    The implication with what you're saying is that only leather straps have style and thus rubber does not; I can't agree with that as there are some lovely rubber straps out there.
    Personally, I'd far rather a watch came with a decent rubber strap than a leather strap as all too often the stock leather looks far too dressy and lies unused in the box.
    Agreed as the Overseas rubber option is quite appealing, but ‘all watches’? Not sure about that, Calatrava on rubber anyone?

  6. #6
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Different market, and essentially no more competition than a decent Nato.
    You should have clarified that you were only talking about expensive watches, mainly in PM - the kind you buy and not the crap that the rest of us wear. Clearly a bit of old rubber is far cheaper than an 18ct WG bracelet, which answers your question.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    Agreed as the Overseas rubber option is quite appealing, but ‘all watches’? Not sure about that, Calatrava on rubber anyone?
    There are some really very 'leather' looking rubber straps out there now if that's your thing. But I do agree, some watches are extremely unlikely to ever come stock on rubber.

    I am somewhat biased though, as not once has a stock leather strap fitted me remotely well. Therefore I've always had to buy aftermarket leather or rubber straps instead, meaning the stock strap was basically just wasted on me (and therefore so was the cost of it).

  8. #8
    Master
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    I came to admire the Oysterflex. Clever design. But what I really like is a ‘case/bracelet’ pure design. Look at an old Daytona with steel oyster bracelet. It feels and looks ‘right’ on the wrist. But The version with Oysterflex, feels quite wrong. The weight is ‘off’ ( in my taste) because it all becomes too insubstantial and missingg’heft’.

    Stripping-out fine bracelets (greetings Patek) loses too much. I sympathise with fine leather, but I fear it’s missed the fashion-buss.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Stripping-out fine bracelets (greetings Patek) loses too much. I sympathise with fine leather, but I fear it’s missed the fashion-buss.
    Don't AP make a big thing of their leather straps? I seem to recall a lot of ROO coming on very expensive leather straps. Though it's entirely possible those are not really AP and rather a collaboration with a strap maker or the like.

  10. #10
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    Personally, I'd far rather a watch came with a decent rubber strap than a leather strap as all too often the stock leather looks far too dressy and lies unused in the box.
    That's the bit I find disappointing, people have developed an aversion to looking 'dressy' and for me that's the definition of style. Rubber straps will never cut it for me, I would never wear one on any watch. It's either a leather strap or preferably a bracelet. As for faux aged straps.....don't get me started.

    Same applies to Nato straps, I really don't like them, they're OK if you're in the environment they're designed for but that's about it, to me they're scruffy bits of cloth and they're about as appealing as the scruffy old overalls I wear when mending the car.

    As most of my watches are vintage, designed and sold in the days when people were a lot smarter, they look best on original bracelets or decent leather straps, preferably black.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    That's the bit I find disappointing, people have developed an aversion to looking 'dressy' and for me that's the definition of style. Rubber straps will never cut it for me, I would never wear one on any watch. It's either a leather strap or preferably a bracelet. As for faux aged straps.....don't get me started.
    I think you'd be hard pressed to see this on a wrist and know it wasn't rubber?

    Lots of stealthy rubbers out there! This one's too dressy for me...at least I thought it was and I'm now considering it for my SBGA041.



    https://www.watchobsession.co.uk/pro...31815632519239

  12. #12
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    The world has become less formal and leather straps are a casualty. I was never a fan of leather so it doesn't bother me.

    I'd say 90% of the VC Overseas alternate between the bracelet and the rubber with the leather left rotting in the box just as Hugh said.

  13. #13
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Style is personal. There is less desire and pressure to conform.
    Less people dress to impress these days as such they wear what they feel comfortable in with accessories that suit their style.
    My personal style follows the bag of sh1t tied in the middle with a bit of string / compo from last of the summer wine model and I am very happy with it.
    Rocking a Calatrava on a gator strap would look odd on me. (Plus a mate of mine owns a croc farm that sells to high end fashion labels - I would not buy their leather products based on what I have seen there) I might buy one a stick it on a NATO though.

    There is also the simple fact the leather is not as practical on a day to day basis as rubber, steel or nylon.
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 23rd July 2021 at 13:41.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Wallasey Runner View Post
    A lot of Seiko divers seem to have that almost identical looking rubber strap.
    All equally horrible

  15. #15
    Master
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    To me, it is always about the quality of design. A strap has a profound effect on the look and feel of a watch. The watch looks a different size, different bulk, and different appearance. The effect changes the watch, it’s never just a casual strap. You can no more simply change a strap than change the case without changing the look.
    Or, in one approach, you can see a strap as an essential part, never just as ‘optional extra’.

  16. #16
    Grand Master Wallasey Runner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert75 View Post
    All equally horrible
    Agreed, not a fan of rubber straps, especially in this weather. A nice leather racing strap with plenty of holes in it does the trick.

  17. #17
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Rubber B on a polar explorer looks ok to me!


    Overall though, I prefer a bracelet but rubber and leather certainly have their places.

    I also think Daytonas suit rubber, whether oysterflex or aftermarket.

  18. #18
    Master
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    That seems to actually fit well……. Nice.

  19. #19
    Craftsman
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    I'm not sure a well integrated bracelet has been a necessity for horological style in any era.

    - It's *an* important part of *some* styles (eg ss sport watches) for *an* era (or two?).
    - Bracelets only seemed to have boomed in, say, the last fifty years - plenty of stylish watches before that (pocket, trench, dress, early divers).

    R

    P.S. I'd also draw a distinction between between a rubber bracelet with a clasp designed with the watch (which could be far more stylish than an afterthought OEM bracelet) and an aftermarket rubber strap.

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  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanB View Post


    R

    P.S. I'd also draw a distinction between between a rubber bracelet with a clasp designed with the watch (which could be far more stylish than an afterthought OEM bracelet) and an aftermarket rubber strap.

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    Yes, that sounds smack on to me…..the best clasps, often solid gold with a glide lock, are quite something. But you pay, and pay.

  21. #21
    Master
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    I'd much rather they used rubber than bits of animals so it's all good as far as I'm concerned.

  22. #22
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    I like leather straps, but can't help feeling that many OEM straps are horribly over priced.

    Having had or seen a few watches on manufacturer's original straps and many others on after market straps, I've often found that you can pick up a leather strap of equal or better quality for a 1/5th or a 1/10th of the price of the manufacturer's.

    You lose the maker's logo on the buckle, but it's hard to justify the cost of a watch on a leather strap when it's very close to a bracelet, which probably partly explains the decline in popularity.

    Rubber/Silicone straps are just a fashion and will decline in popularity, I suspect, but never go away as they are practical for many watches.

    M

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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by RyanB View Post
    I'm not sure a well integrated bracelet has been a necessity for horological style in any era.

    - It's *an* important part of *some* styles (eg ss sport watches) for *an* era (or two?).
    - Bracelets only seemed to have boomed in, say, the last fifty years - plenty of stylish watches before that (pocket, trench, dress, early divers).

    R

    P.S. I'd also draw a distinction between between a rubber bracelet with a clasp designed with the watch (which could be far more stylish than an afterthought OEM bracelet) and an aftermarket rubber strap.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using TZ-UK mobile app
    Am not sure what is an aftermarket OEM bracelet.

  24. #24
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    I like leather straps, but can't help feeling that many OEM straps are horribly over priced.

    Having had or seen a few watches on manufacturer's original straps and many others on after market straps, I've often found that you can pick up a leather strap of equal or better quality for a 1/5th or a 1/10th of the price of the manufacturer's.
    The same can equally be said of any OEM parts; the absolute worst IMHO are Omega NATOs at over £100 each.

  25. #25
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    The same can equally be said of any OEM parts; the absolute worst IMHO are Omega NATOs at over £100 each.
    Very true.

    I rarely buy NATOs, though, and have never bought a watch on one to gauge the difference.

    M
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  26. #26
    Master
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    I found Omega NATO’s rather good, not least the excellent quality of finish and a lovely protective case. Should last for decades. Most watch ‘accessories’ overprice. That’s life.

  27. #27
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    The same can equally be said of any OEM parts; the absolute worst IMHO are Omega NATOs at over £100 each.
    https://www.panerai.com/gb/en/home/p...ollection.html

    £180 for the Panerai version.

    Confusingly, it includes a 'dedicated' 24mm buckle only available on these straps. If it were available separately, it would probably be priced at about £190, as that's what a bog-standard 22mm buckle comes in at.
    ______

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  28. #28
    Master
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    Expense is always a factor. But we have drifted a long way from ‘greats’ such as the integrated Nautilus and the Royal Oak. Straps and cases as one. All gone? Are watch cases and straps little to do with each other?

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    I found Omega NATO’s rather good, not least the excellent quality of finish and a lovely protective case. Should last for decades. Most watch ‘accessories’ overprice. That’s life.
    Agree. Cheaper alternatives are always available and law of diminishing always applies but most higher prices straps have something or the other that makes them better. And that goes for Omega Nato straps as well. Ridiculously expensive but the best Nato straps, though I havent tried Panerai Nato straps yet even though have been meaning to.

  30. #30
    Hmm. A NATO strap is a strip of Nylon ribbon, with a few bits of steel hardware. I can’t think of a better example of overpricing. I wonder how much an Omega NATO costs to produce - perhaps £5-£10?


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  31. #31
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Hmm. A NATO strap is a strip of Nylon ribbon, with a few bits of steel hardware. I can’t think of a better example of overpricing. I wonder how much an Omega NATO costs to produce - perhaps £5-£10?


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    I would have thought less than that, they are nice though, I have 2. Yes I am a mug.

  32. #32
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Expense is always a factor. But we have drifted a long way from ‘greats’ such as the integrated Nautilus and the Royal Oak. Straps and cases as one. All gone? Are watch cases and straps little to do with each other?
    Not at all. Maybe integrated bracelets (and straps) are not so popular at the moment but there is enough love for them that I’m sure they’ll make a resurgence at some point.

    The current big thing appears to be offering a watch with more than one strap/bracelet option which I don’t think has yet been done with an integrated system.

    I’m sure I’ll be proved wrong though!

  33. #33
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    Style cannot die, only change. I do prefer dressier watches and leather straps or bracelets, but dressier watches are definitely out of fashion. That makes for a happy hunting ground for those of us that prefer them.


  34. #34
    I always find decent rubber straps comfortable but fine leathers such as the Santoni ones that IWC use on some models are superb IMO.

  35. #35
    Isn’t the problem less with the manufacturer and more that the consumer is becoming less confident, and therefore less willing to move beyond the mainstream?

    Look at the quality, innovation and panache of the bracelet on something like the Piaget Upstream, vs what buyers are putting a premium on in the market.

    Last edited by JGJG; 24th July 2021 at 20:19.

  36. #36
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caruso View Post
    Style cannot die, only change. I do prefer dressier watches and leather straps or bracelets, but dressier watches are definitely out of fashion. That makes for a happy hunting ground for those of us that prefer them.


    I like a mixture - this one suits my style.



    Good on leather (or anything else) and has an integrated strap.

    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so”. HHGTTG


  37. #37
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    Not at all. Maybe integrated bracelets (and straps) are not so popular at the moment but there is enough love for them that I’m sure they’ll make a resurgence at some point.

    The current big thing appears to be offering a watch with more than one strap/bracelet option which I don’t think has yet been done with an integrated system.

    I’m sure I’ll be proved wrong though!
    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    I like a mixture - this one suits my style.



    Good on leather (or anything else) and has an integrated strap.
    I knew someone would prove me wrong; it didn’t take long!

  38. #38
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    I knew someone would prove me wrong; it didn’t take long!
    Pleasure Dave! I think the latest AP ROO has an easy strap changing set too.

    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so”. HHGTTG


  39. #39
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    I like a mixture - this one suits my style.



    Good on leather (or anything else) and has an integrated strap.
    Very nice and versatile too.

  40. #40
    Master
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    This is one of those ‘how long is a piece of string’? Issues. My oyster bracelet fits fine, but I’m now spending a lot of money to add an extra link. Not strictly needed, but I think part of the need is lots of adjustment, for lots of circumstances.

    And I wish Rolex could come up with some easy names….’easy glide’ ‘glidelock’ and so on.

  41. #41
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Am not sure what is an aftermarket OEM bracelet.
    "afterTHOUGHT OEM bracelet" as in a fairly standard one that looks like it's been chucked on by a manufacturer once the rest of the watch was finished.

    Could be a new niche out there though ;)



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