|  01 feb 2016


A strong trend that we have seen at the SIHH in Geneva this year is the amount of attention paid to the humble watch strap. No longer an afterthought, the strap takes centre stage as watch houses team up with celebrated shoemakers and tailors to bring the frisson of fashion to the world of watchmaking.

A most unexpected alliance is Jaeger-LeCoultre's tie up with Christian Louboutin - the famous French shoe designer. The new look for the Atelier Reverso brings attitude and edginess to this classic watch, as it sashays into its 85th anniversary.

Hot on its heels is another shoemaker who made an appearance at the SIHH. Roger Dubuis teamed up with the legendary Massaro - the cobbler of the catwalk owned by Chanel. The gold strap of the Velvet Massaro watch is inspired by the ruched leather of this vertiginous heel.

You could say that the most masculine of brands, IWC, started this trend of teaming up with shoemakers. In 2011, IWC first introduced straps made by Santoni, the famous Milanese shoemaker, and continues this tradition, offering ever more options in luxurious leather with a rich patina.

And even the most mechanically sophisticated watches are not immune to the charms of the world of gentlemen's tailoring. Urwerk treats its EMC Timehunter in green ceramic to a bespoke strap by trendy London tailor Timothy Everest.

And if that weren't enough, the 260-year-old grand dame of watchmaking, Vacheron Constantin has updated its look thanks to some funky straps that are easy to snap in and out.

They may be small, but these fashion-conscious changes bring a whole new look to these watches.

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