Most of my everyday watches have black dials and ride on stainless steel bracelets. I’m a creature of habit and I like what I like, but after a while I started to feel like maybe it’s time to introduce a new color into the mix. How about brown? Like any modern collector, I took to the interwebs to source a new brown leather strap to pair with my Omega Speedmaster Professional.
Vintage-style straps abound among today’s popular purveyors, but I wanted something a little more unique than the typical dark leather band with contrast stitching. One thing I love about the OEM black alligator strap is the texture that adds a little something special to the look–but I wasn’t in the mood for gator and I wasn’t thrilled to fork over the $500 for a brown version of the strap I already own.
Enter BandRBands, an up-and-coming retailer of leather straps, many of which are perfectly suitable aftermarket options for Bell & Ross watches (hence the name). After a few minutes, I found it.
Brown suede with a pin buckle. Vintage-style ecru stitching at the lug ends. $70. Sold.
The suede introduces a depth and a richness to the band and the brown pairs nicely with the black dial. The underside of the strap is lined with a cool leather that feels soft against the skin.
My only complaint? The floating keeper is a little roomy, so it can slide off the end of the strap, which is a real pet-peeve of mine.
I’ve owned the strap now for a little over six months now. While comfortable from the start, there was a break-in period. On my 6.75-inch wrist, I initially wore the standard-sized strap buckled to the second-to-last notch, but now it’s a perfect fit on the final notch. If your wrist is smaller than mine, go with the Extra Small size.
The vintage brown suede strap from BandRBands is a good value. Alternatives include similar bands from Hodinkee, Bas & Lokes and DaLuca, but they are more expensive.
Check them out: BandRBands.com