Everyday Carry

The Best Watch Straps for EDC in 2018

Authored by:
Ed Jelley
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
The Best Watch Straps for EDC in 2018

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While the case and dial are usually the focus of your EDC watch, that doesn't mean you should ignore the strap or bracelet it's on. The strap actually plays a huge role in the overall look and feel of a watch. So if you're feeling bored of staring at the same old watch everyday, you can breathe new life into your EDC watch in a matter of seconds with a different strap or bracelet. And swapping in a strap isn't always just for show, either — a new strap can make your favorite watch more lighter and more comfortable, more secure on your wrist, or better suited for wet conditions. Luckily there are plenty of styles to choose from, and  in this guide, we're highlighting our strongest watch strap recommendations available so far.

Crown and Buckle Supreme NATO

The Supreme NATO from Crown and Buckle really lives up to its name. The weave of the nylon is smooth and comfortable with a woven edge that gives it a unique look. The custom hardware is low-profile but sturdy, and finished with a matte look that suits a ton of different watch styles. Even their color options have that custom feel. For example, their Midnight and Cypress colors are shades apart from your generic navy and green. The culmination of details results in a handsome, durable, and comfortable strap. While they aren't cheap at $34, they're a solid investment for your timepiece.

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BluShark Original NATO

While there’s no shortage of offerings in the NATO strap category, BluShark stands out for their solid hardware and well-finished nylon straps. A lot of strap companies have several tiers of straps, but BluShark’s Original NATO is probably the best “standard” offering of the bunch. They’re available in dozens of colors with different hardware options too. You’re sure to find a color way that suits the rest of your EDC. For under twenty bucks (or lower as they're frequently on sale) they represent a good value as well.

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Eulit Palma Perlon Strap

Perlon is a style of braided nylon that’s ultra lightweight and comfortable on the wrist. Eulit’s Palma Perlon Strap is one of the best out there because of its premium hardware and thick nylon weave. Another bonus of the Perlon strap is that you can adjust the size to any spot on the strap. Since the buckle threads in between the nylon weave, you get a much more custom fit than you can on straps with preset holes.

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Worn and Wound Model 2 Premium

Worn and Wound’s Model 2 Premium strap is made in the USA from the best quality leather out there. They choose their material from Horween Leather and Wickett & Craig—two of the top tanneries in the states. Each strap features double stitch construction near the spring bar attachment for a vintage, handmade look. The edges of the Model 2 Premium are coated with several layers of paint in a complementary color that adds a premium look and improves wear. The soft leather and the gentle taper from lug to end result in a comfortable strap that adds a level of class to any style of watch.

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One Star Leather Goods Two Piece Veg Tan Leather

This two-piece leather strap from One Star Leather goods is made from a thick, vegetable-tanned leather. EDCers will appreciate the way this sturdy strap molds to the wrist, becoming more comfortable with wear. Veg-Tan leather starts out very light in color then ages to a beautiful warm brown over time. Each strap is 100% hand made in their LA-based workshop with top-quality materials. Since the watches are made to order, you can specify your preference in stitch color and hardware finish.

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Strapcode Bracelet for the Seiko SKX Series

The Seiko SKX series of divers is one of the most popular out there, and for good reason. They’re packed with features like a 200m depth rating, solid steel case, rotating timing bezel, and more. The only thing that leaves something to be desired about the watch is the included rubber strap. That’s where the Strapcode bracelet comes into play. This 3rd party bracelet is built to the same solid specs as the watch itself. There are solid end links for a sturdy feel, and a heavy duty double locking clasp to make sure the watch stays on your wrist. At only $60, it represents a tremendous value that will give your watch a premium look and feel.

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Note: This only fits the Seiko SKX007, SKX173, SKX009 and SKX011. We included it because of the popularity of that watch, and the lack-luster included strap. 

Uncle Seiko Tropic Rubber Strap

Inspired by the dive watch straps of the 60’s and 70’s, this Tropic rubber strap from Uncle Seiko combines vintage looks with modern materials. Tropic style straps feature a unique basketweave pattern on the outside of the strap with perforated holes throughout. On the under side of the strap, you’ll find a waffle weave pattern that limits rubber-on-wrist contact for while easily draining water through one of the many holes in the strap. Not only is the strap’s pattern functional, but it also adds a unique textured look to your watch.

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Barton Bands Elite Rubber Strap

Barton's Elite Rubber strap is great for those who like to frequently switch their straps. Its quick release spring bar mechanism on the underside of the strap requires no tools, making the process even easier. It's hard not to pick up a few of these premium silicone straps just to have options from day to day. They're available in sixteen different colors in 18, 20, and 22mm widths.

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Want to up your watch game across the board? We have plenty of guides that cover all sorts of categories and styles of watches that you can check out right here:

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (11 total)

You should check out Erica's originals. Great and unique straps
Mark Joseph ·
A great strap that I wish was mentioned is the ToxicNATO’s Shiznit. Seatbelt style strap. Soft, yet super durable. Check out the Jungle Green one!
Michael ·
Huge fan of cheapestnatostraps.com For the price and the quality you get they are worth it. I've got a few different bands from them and they've been great.
Jacob Smith ·
Holben's Fine Watch Bands. Vanilla-scented straps!
natostrapco.com has 12 inch nato&zulu straps for those of us with large wrists. I own many.

fast delivery.
Tim Chadwick ·
Can someone please tell me what the 3rd watch down is on the worn and wound model 2 premium strap is please?

bring your wallet...

Charlie Bown ·
Great article! I'm a huge fan of Eddie Platts' Time Factors NATO's. Superb quality and longevity (tuff as old boots). Check them out a the Time Factors site.
Great article. I hadn't heard of the Barton Elite silicone before, and now I am jonesing for one. The W&W Model 2 is very handsome also, but I don't know if I can bring myself to pay $95. Choice Cuts on Etsy makes some nice custom straps in the same vein as the Model 2 and can be had for around $65, although I am sure the W&W is of superb quality. And these are some nice "premium" NATO straps. There are also plenty of budget-grade NATOs for sale on eBay and Amazon for around $10 that do the job, but aren't quite as nice, for those that are reading this and like the look but want a cheaper price point.
Edmundo ·
Some great straps n the list, and some that I need to check out. For EDC, I really have no complaints at all about my Maratac Mil Series strap. For the money, it's an unreal value ~ I've been wearing mine for a solid year on a few different watches and other than some paint wear on the buckle, still looks like it did when I bought it