Paneristi, people who own a Panerai, are known to change straps on their Panerai often. Having owned a Panerai I know everything about the strap-changing-disease. But is wearing a watch on different straps only a Paneristi addiction? I asked myself this question, especially because I change straps on my watches all the time. I guess for me changing straps started with my Panerai, but soon I was changing straps on almost every watch I own. Let me give you some examples.
When I saw an aftermarket 22 mm Panerai strap for sale at a Dutch watch forum, I just couldn’t resist. The idea was actually inspired by the TAG Heuer Monaco with brown dial and python strap. This combination looks awesome on a sunny day, wearing a white shirt and jeans! Besides this aftermarket strap, I also have three OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer – TAG Heuer straps for the Monaco. Originally it came on a black calf strap with folding buckle and later I bought the brown calf strap and the black alligator strap. This last combination is currently my favorite.
Since I started to change straps, there was no stopping anymore… Especially when I saw a photo of an IWC Pilot Chronograph on Big Pilot strap. A strap maker from Hongkong named Aaron Tan (he’s known on the forums as HKTan) made beautiful Big Pilot style straps. And one of his straps also suits my IWC Pilot Chronograph very well. When I still owned the IWC, it was one of my favorite combinations.
I used to wear my IWC Pilot Chronograph on the OEM black alligator strap, which I still consider an excellent combination. After seeing an older IWC ‘Doppel Chrono’ on a black alligator strap with thick white stitching, I felt the urge for another strap again. The strap makers of Inspire Workshop offered tailor made service. I emailed the measurements and a few weeks later this beautiful and soft alligator strap arrived.
Another option is to use an OEM strap of a different brand. I’ve always loved the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor series and the tan calf strap with double rows of stitching are just awesome. And guess what… it fits perfectly on the IWC Pilot Chronograph!
During vacations my Citizen Diver’s Automatic, my leisure watch, gets strapped on my wrist on different NATO straps, the kind of straps used by military forces. Because I like to spend my holidays in warm places where I can dive, I needed a strap that feels good in those conditions. And although the NATO straps are not the most comfortable straps for normal daily wear, they are excellent for this purpose.
I’m curious if more people change the strap of their watches. Of course changing to some sort of aftermarket strap is an option, but OEM straps are also available in different colors and styles.
ACE Juwelers has a web-store offering OEM straps from Breitling, IWC and more brands.
Inspire Workshop has a very easy to use webshop, where you can order your straps in different sizes or email customs wishes.