As trends go, it’s currently all about watch straps, with brands across the board offering infinite customisation possibilities and a chance to radically alter the personality of your watch. Changing a smart leather strap for a fabric one or a metal bracelet suddenly means you have three different looks for one watch.
Designer watch straps, such as Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collaboration with Christian Louboutin, have added a much-needed dose of trendiness and glamour to the scene, but don’t think this applies exclusively to women’s watches. The shoemaker-watchmaker alliance has teamed up with characteristic bravado for the latest Hublot watches, and presented a timepiece made in collaboration with the famous Parisian shoemaker Berluti. The Classic Fusion watch not only comes with a handmade leather strap, but the dial is also made from Berluti leather renowned for its rich patina.
Well ahead of other brands in the textile strap department, in 2010 Tudor decided to supply an additional fabric strap for all Tudor watches in the Heritage line, setting a trend that has been adopted by many. They might look like traditional NATO nylon straps, but all Tudor’s fabric straps are hand-woven in France by a traditional passementerie company - one of the few in the country still practising Jacquard weaving. The result is a sturdy, flexible strap that can be exchanged, in the case of the burgundy 41mm Heritage Black Bay dive watch, for either a steel bracelet or an aged leather strap, depending on your mood.
Riding the wave of unisex watches, Boucheron adds customisation options for its Reflet watch. Born in 1947, the Modernist architecture of this watch, with its sculpted gadroons at either end of the case, cabochon crown and sober dial, have made this one of Boucheron’s icons. Now with a Mondrian-inspired selection of watch straps, “uniquely tailored to each moment of life” and a patented interchangeable strap system, you can choose leather, stainless steel mesh, textured or colour-rich straps.
In the same vein, the Chopard Happy Sport watch, the famous model with free-floating diamonds dreamt up by co-president Caroline Scheufele in 1993 and designed for men and women alike, opens the doors to do-it-yourself customisation. Supplied with essential wardrobe staples in the form of black and white rubber straps, owners of the Happy Sport 36mm will be able to change the strap for new colours, making this model a watch for all seasons.