The WatchBandit Straps: Part 1
Spending time with the WB Original Canvas
When the WatchBandit guys asked me to review some straps of theirs, I was mad psyched. And not just, you know, because I could high-five myself in a very holy-sh**-someone-actually-wants-my-opinion-on-watch-related-things-is-this-what-success-smells-like, but also because I’ve dealt with these dudes in the past and been crazy happy with their products and service, and so I knew that whatever I got in for review would probably be pretty excellent. Which turned out to be a solid prognosis for the straps I got to test out.
So, the first strap I tested was the green WB Original Canvas Strap (I received a blue one as well, but have yet to get a fitting watch for that guy), that I quickly threw on my A-13A pilot watch. Thin but sturdy, the fabric perfectly matched the big chunk of a case sported by this aviator, and sat comfortably on my wrist from day one. This, despite the fact that I’d heard it would be a bit stiff from the beginning, which really wasn’t the experience I had. A fact that, of course, could have been a result of me having worn super-duper heavy canvas straps in the past and, in turn, envisioning that “a bit stiff” meant that the strap would have to be forced around my wrist with an industrial plier, but in any case it was comfortable from the start, and felt broken in after only a an hour. No pliers required, and no uncomfortable wear and tear on my wrist.
Now, in my experience, one often has to make some sacrifices. You know, either it’s gorgeous but uncomfortable; authentic or super-comfy, but this wasn’t the case here as it actually looked and felt pretty mad sweet. Which is to say that the comfort didn’t take away from the tool-ish nature of it all, and with the matching stitches, heavy-duty, brushed buckle and stitched adjustment holes, the strap felt as if made and crafted to go through swamps, sand, and deserted highways somewhere off Montana, only to come back with battle scars that only add to its character. I.e, this guy seemed made to be a companion for whatever tool watch one has in the box, and gives an old-school romantic like myself a sense of wanderlust — you know, a craving to leave the comfort of my desk and go adventuring in true Nathan-Drake style. Which is exactly the kind of idea a strap should inspire, and that is enough to make one stand up screaming “h*ll yeah” at the top of ones lungs
Ok, I take that back because, there does need to be something more for the strap to be awesome. Namely that, while it should look like a natural extension of your watch and invite you into the world said watch projects, it should also be up for the wear-and-tear of this very world if one chooses to take it up on its challenge (which is my overly-explanatory way of saying that it should be/perform as awesome as it looks and feels). Which I believe that the WB Canvas actually does, though I have yet to try this out in real life. My adventuring days being mostly behind me, and me being more likely to sit around looking for Eldorado on Playstation than in some sick jungle somewhere.
Still, it’s nice to know that one could, potentially, head on out on this adventure, and the strap, just like the tool watch it’s strapped to, can take the battles of the open road and then spit them out. As that means it could probably handle the vibrations of a Playstation controller without that much of an effort.
Ok, so the quality is there, and so is the aesthetic appeal. But there has to be some downsides, right?
Right. Because no matter its mad decent sides, it’s not the perfect strap (yet); not the be-all-end all canvas that will make all others obsolete. Though it could certainly be, depending on one’s own preference and with some minor tweaks.
Because, personally, I prefer the super-stiff, waxed feeling of thick canvas that tears into my wrist; that’s so thick those industrial pliers might very well be needed each and every morning; the kind that may hurt a bit that first week just like a pair of 37 oz dry denim (I imagine). Which is actually a pretty good way of explaining the difference between the WB canvas straps and, say, the super-waxed, vintage-canvas ones from RedRockStraps: If the latter is the 20 something oz denim that (as you may know, if you’re a denim head) is so stiff that the act of sitting down makes one look like Kramer trying out a pair of skinny jeans in some old Seinfeld episode, the WB strap is the chill 10 oz that is comfortable from the start. Which may explain why I personally like the heavier canvas with no flimsiness what so ever, as my daily jeans are a pair of Naked and Famous Rainbow Selvedge that, while not being 37 oz monsters, did initially make me look a bit like Kramer when trying to sit down at the end of that episode (“The Wait Out”).
But I digress, and my point is that if you like your watch straps as comfy as your soft Uniqlos, without compromising on quality, then the WB Canvas may be for you. If you, on the other hand, feel that the heavy watches should have the heaviest straps, and that it should take a few weeks before one doesn’t have to use the Force to get it all wrapped and strapped to one’s wrist, then these may feel a bit thin. Though, one should also note, here, that the price difference between the WB straps and the RedRock ones is approximately 3 to 1 in WB favor, and so maybe this comparison isn’t exactly fair to start with.
Other than this personal preference, I really have nothing negative to say about these straps. That said, if there was something I’d want to see slightly changed, it would be to offer shorter lengths — the one WB so kindly provided me with was just a tad too long for my tiny, sub-6 wrist, leaving a tail that my slightly (yeah, right) obsessive mind cannot quite let go of. So a suggestion would be to include offer different sizes (or just a short/long version). But that’s about it.
Oh, and they’re 29 euros, and currently available at WatchBandit.com.
In part 2, I talk about the WB Original Suede Strap. Find it at Watchbandit.com!
Disclaimer: These straps were given to me free of charge by WatchBandit. Other than the inherent bias that this sweet act creates, they did not direct/dictate what I wrote. Meaning I’m aware of the subjectivity, but am trying to be transparent about it to. Which just feels like the right thing to do…
Thank you for reading!!