Monochrome Watches
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Buying Guide

Can’t Make Up Your Mind? Here Are Some of the Best Watches With Interchangeable Bracelets/Straps

Looking for a versatile watch that can look good anywhere? We have you covered!

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Automatic 4500V black dial

We all know that a watch is probably a man’s most important accessory (along with his wedding ring). It reflects his personality, his way of life, it must comply with the situation and his wardrobe. There are, of course, no rules but you’ll admit that a dive watch won’t be the best option for a night at the opera. The solution to that (non)problem: having a watch for every situation… Or, having a versatile watch that can change personality by just changing its metallic bracelet for an alligator leather strap. Convenient, isn’t it? If that’s something you want to experience, we have found four extremely good watches that are delivered with more than one style of bracelet/strap.

Note: this selection is based on the preferences of MONOCHROME’s editors. If you have other models in mind that would fall in this category of watches, feel free to share them with us in the comment box.

Cartier Santos Large Model

In 2018, Cartier revamped one of its most iconic men’s watches, the Santos – a watch that can be traced back to 1904, a former pilot’s watch that became a model of true masculine elegance. First of all, the watch has been slightly redesigned with more curved lines, newly finished surfaces and is, overall, a more modern take on this icon. Elegant, casual, well-executed… But there’s more, as Cartier decided to equip the new Santos with a clever, quick-release button to remove that steel bracelet and switch it for a leather strap (which is also included in the box). Quick, easy to do, but that’s not the end. The bracelet features a clever system; in order to adjust its length, Cartier developed a system called SmartLinks. No need for tools anymore, you can do everything on your own. Simple, ingenious and greatly executed.

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Quick facts: 39.8mm width x 47.5mm height steel case – Calibre 1847 MC, in-house – automatic – fast interchangeable system – steel bracelet with SmartLinks for adjustment – additional leather strap included – EUR 6,800

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic

This isn’t the first time that the Maurice Lacroix Aikon ends up in one of our buying guides… And there’s a good reason for that. We are all well aware of the hype surrounding the luxury sports watch category. And besides the rather problematic availability (to say the least), the price of these watches reserves them to an elite. The Aikon is the accessible take on this concept, yet with great execution and design. What is even more impressive is that, despite its sub-2K price, it features an easy strap exchange system, which allows changing from steel to leather in less than 10 seconds. One style for the week, one style for the weekend. Available in 38mm or in 42mm.

Quick facts: 38mm or 42mm stainless steel case – calibre ML115 (Sellita base) – automatic – easy strap exchange system – stainless steel integrated bracelet, leather strap sold separately as an option (from EUR 185) – EUR 1,690

Tudor Pelagos

The Tudor Pelagos needs no introduction. It is the definitive tool watch in the brand’s portfolio. Robust but light, thanks to its titanium case, resistant to great depths (500m), made to withstand action, well-powered (manufacture movement), modernly designed but still classic enough… There’s a lot to love about this watch, including its great quality/price ratio. What fewer know is that this watch is not only delivered with a titanium bracelet (with diving extension system) but a rubber strap is also included in the box. Ok, it isn’t per se an easy interchangeable device but with five minutes and the required tool, you can change style pretty easily.

Quick facts: 42mm titanium case – calibre MT5612, manufacture – automatic – titanium bracelet with folding clasp and safety catch in steel with bracelet extension system – rubber strap also included – EUR 4,190

Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V

A luxury sports watch is the type of watch that is meant to look good anytime, anywhere. It is supposed to be thin enough for business attire, elegant enough for a tuxedo, robust enough for a plunge in a pool or behind the wheel of a yacht… When Vacheron Constantin launched the 3rd generation of Overseas, it had the great idea to fit it with a “DIY interchangeable bracelet mechanism”. By just pressing a button on the back of the bracelet, you can change from steel to leather or to alligator in a few seconds – because yes, Vacheron includes these three options as standard in the box. No tools required, multiple personalities.

Quick facts: 41mm stainless steel case – Calibre 5100, in-house – automatic – interchangeable strap system – steel bracelet on folding clasp plus additional rubber strap, alligator strap and folding buckle included too – EUR 20,100

9 responses

  1. All great examples. Obviously one of them is my favourite, which looks best on the bracelet, but I must say that the Santos looks brilliant on the leather strap.

  2. Though no doubt the Overseas is a better watch overall, I do think the Santos really handles the strap and bracelet equally well.

  3. The Overseas comes with steel, alligator and rubber. wish other brands would offer the same.

  4. It’s also worth mentioning that Overseas has micro-adjustment on the bracelet.

  5. Obviously the VC is officially the best of this group but the Cartier is so classy I find myself wanting it instead. I tried on the Drive Extra Flat and I did not feel that anything was missing. It was “complete”.
    I would hope that in person, the quality of the Overseas would be clear, but still, it’s more..serious, more….alpha male.
    It’s quite a testament to the Aikon that it looks good in such exalted company.

  6. Yeah, the quality of the Overseas is thankfully exceptional. But the Cartier looks amazing on the tan strap. For square cases, maybe the Glashutte Seventies white dial *just* edges it for looking better on a bracelet (and having a date that suits the dial more), but it’s not as classy as the Santos.

  7. Now if VC would just fit the double butterfly clasp to the non metallic straps I would have been a buyer long ago.

  8. Peculiar description “sports watch” My sports watch is a £17 Casio quartz. If you are dinghy sailing and end up in the sea the best that will happen is salt in the bezel, you could easily loose it. I wouldn’t dream of sports in one of my mechanical watches.

  9. How about a black leather strap on a Rolex Explorer? Mine is due a service and I’m thinking of changing the bracelet for a strap.

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