From basic to iconic, these are the bracelets and straps you need to know about.
NATO The Nato strap made its first appearance in 1973 and was created by the British Ministry of Defence. Those straps were characterised by 20mm wide double nylon straps with spring bars, in a colour called Admiralty Grey, though their popularity led to the adoption of more colours and a slimmer 18mm version. They are often confused with Zulu straps, which differ from Nato ones by having only one long strap made of thicker nylon. OMEGA SEAMASTER DIVER 300M “COMMANDER’S WATCH”
RALLY The perforations in these leather straps – usually three large ones under the lugs on either side, though variations have seen numerous holes across the entire strap – were inspired by old racing gloves and car parts that had holes drilled into them to minimise weight and increase speed. While it’s not necessary in a watch strap, the added ventilation makes them ideal summer accessories. CHOPARD GRAND PRIX DE MONACO HISTORIQUE 2016 RACE EDITION
ROLEX PRESIDENT It may not have as long a history as the Oyster or Jubilee bracelets, but Rolex’s President band, introduced in 1956, is the brand’s most luxurious – and is used only for its highest-end Day-Date models. It combines the Oyster’s three-link design with the Jubilee’s semi-circular links, and is only ever crafted in gold or platinum and paired with the Rolex Crownclasp for a smooth, comfortable fit. ROLEX DAY-DATE 40
AVIATOR Now purely used as decoration, the rivets located below the lugs on pilot’s watches were originally meant to keep the straps together, particularly during the turbulence of air combat. First popularised by the German air force during World War II, this historical detail can still be found on modern pilot’s watches today. IWC BIG PILOT’S HERITAGE WATCH 48