Straps and Bracelets – OEM and Aftermarket
In the world of watches, straps and bracelets are not generally the stars of the show. But these wrist-hugging strips of material and linked metal do have the ability to change the entire character of a watch, and they play an important role in selecting which watches we favor and enjoy.
Not only are watch brands offering more choices for their customers, but the proliferation of strap craftsmen and other aftermarket strap companies selling their wares online means more and more watch enthusiasts are buying additional straps that reflect their individuality.
The Variety of Watch Strap Options
The myriad of choices includes the wide array of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) straps offered by your favorite watch brand, as well as the dozens of independent strap makers around the world who cater to the impulses of watch collectors looking for even greater variety and custom design.
A quick search online will net numerous results. When buying custom you get to choose the exact size, material, stitch pattern, color, and in some cases the style of buckle.
One benefit of buying straps and bracelets from your favorite watch brand is that their straps are usually fitted to particular watches and provide a cohesive look that, in some cases, is not worth changing. This matters especially for watches with unusual lug configurations that only a custom strap will fit. The OEM straps that come with new watches usually include personalized buckles or clasps, which are crafted to complement the watches they are sold with and can be an important element of overall design and future provenance.
A Superior Bracelet?
When it comes to bracelets, the OEM version is almost always the superior choice. Bracelets are usually personalized with the brand logo or other brand-specific decorations and they are fitted to a particular watch. For this reason, it is far too expensive and impractical for most independents to try and design one-fits-all bracelets.
One good tip is, if a watch is available on a bracelet, buy it on the bracelet and pick up a strap later. You will pay a little bit more up front for the watch on a bracelet, but not as much as you will pay if you decide to buy it separately at a later date.
Like anything you buy, you get what you pay for, so be mindful of inexpensive straps and bracelets offered at prices that are too good to be true. Before you purchase, look into comparable options and ask questions like: is it made from real alligator hide or is it a patterned cowhide? Genuine exotic skins are priced accordingly, as are well-made bracelets and handmade straps, which are not easy to assemble and thus command higher prices.
Changing straps is not like changing batteries or attempting to make repairs. Opening a watch can damage the parts, void the warranty and negatively affect the watch’s water resistance. For repairs, always have your watch inspected by an authorized watch repair center.
About Gevril Group
Gevril Group is the exclusive US representative for select European watch brands, distributing and servicing luxury, fashion and sports timepieces at a wide range of price points. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair department staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.
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