What’s the best watch strap to complement your black dial timepiece? We review your options here, and consider black, brown, grey and metal straps.
Black dial watches have always been popular, and it’s likely that they always will be. At once stylish and contemporary, the right slick black timepiece looks fantastic and is an excellent choice of gentleman’s watch.
And it’s no surprise to see why. The dark face is effortlessly swish and goes equally well in both formal and more casual settings.
Black dial watches for men? Sold!
But what about the strap? Which is the perfect colour and material to complement a watch with a black face? How can you be sure you’re hitting the look that you’re aiming for?
Well, we’ve got a few recommendations. We’re going to be taking a deeper dive into brown, black and grey straps - chiefly made out of leather - and ending on metal straps. So let’s check out our options in turn.
Brown strapsBlack and brown have seldom gone together as a colour combination traditionally. So surely a black dial watch strap which is brown is a big no-no, right?
Actually, not so much. A brown strap for your black watch is an unexpected winning combo here. This is because it can soften the watch, and give it more of an easy-breezy look for casual occasions.Our first recommendation for a black dial brown strap is this Besford premium-quality leather number, which goes a treat with classic Rolex and Omega timepieces. There are a few colour options here, but we’d edge towards the dark brown. Looking for something a bit slimmer, while also being great value? A Painswick Leather strap could be the one for you. Again, the dark brown option would be our go-to here. They’re available in two different types of leather, both a distressed style and smooth calf leather. Plus given these straps don’t have padding, they fit very comfortably in a slim watch case. And at around £30, they’re also lighter on the wallet. Finally in brown, the Vintage Highley from Geckota is a really high-end leather watch strap - super stylish, filled with character, and it ages incredibly well. One of the brown straps available uses Gump leather, which lends it a dusty, vintage look.
Matching black dials with black watch straps obviously gives the overall look of your watch a stylish coherence.
A word of warning, however… The black and black look can be a bit severe. Which may be desirable for situations such as meetings or work events where you want it to be clear that you mean business. But less so for less formal situations. This look isn’t really right for letting your hair down.
We’re going to recommend leather across the board here. And a great black leather watch strap to go for is a Simple Handmade Genuine Leather Strap. These vintage Rolex-type straps are made from exquisite calfskin leather, and feel and even smell terrific. The matt look also mutes the effect of matching black with black.Likewise, the Besford Premium-Quality Leather Strap mentioned above, but this time in black. Both the matt style and the stitching offset the potential severity of the combination. We’re also big fans of the The Hinxhill using Horween leather. These are really refined, comfortable straps, which feel as smooth as silk on your skin. For a real talking point though, the Ostrich Leg Watch Strap from Geckota is right up there. Handmade from genuine ostrich leg leather, these straps are both luxurious and striking. And the way the light strikes the leather will stop the black and black pairing from looking overpowering.
These are also a great alternative to genuine crocodile or alligator straps - not least because they’re much cheaper. And yet they’re still of comparable high quality. We’re not in the least surprised that the ostrich leather straps have had such glowing reviews.
It’ll probably come as no surprise that grey straps are among our favourites. Given that grey goes with literally anything, this choice of strap is endlessly versatile. We also think that grey watch straps will lend your black dial watch an element of fun.Again, the Painswick in distressed grey is a classic slim watch strap, and is smooth and supple on the wrist. We’d also strongly recommend a Cheswell Vintage Leather Strap in distressed grey. With these, you’ve got that lovely aroma from the Italian calfskin leather, and that beautiful vintage look. They also feature a hand-stitched signature "V" stitch, from waxed thread in a contrasting colour. A bit more unusual is the Dartford Racing watch strap, made from genuine French calf leather. The staggered perforated holes not only give these a unique look, but allow for better airflow around the wrist. As such, they’re still comfortable to wear in warmer conditions. And we think the dark grey is a particularly stylish choice.
And from luxury leather watch straps to sleek, cool metal...
Moving away from leather entirely, here are the options for the metalheads among you. Metal straps are generally a good option, as the focus tends to be retained by the dial. In other words, the timepiece is the centrepiece.First off, we really love these high-quality Oblique Milanese mesh watch straps. Made from sturdy stainless steel, these watch bracelets have a sublime polished finish. They also come with the Geckota stamp of quality. What if you’re looking for something a bit more chunky? Well, also from Geckota, we’re big fans of the new Slim Warrington push-button Jubilee-style metal strap. These are available in brushed and polished looks, and also silver and gold if you fancy a splash of colour. And the Beads of Rice Stainless Steel watch strap is also a solid choice.
Finally, and most chunky of all, we have the Vintage Rivet Berwick watch bracelet. These take inspiration from 60s and 70s riveted metal bracelet designs, which lends them an iconic, vintage air.Please also note that we’ve chosen metal straps which don’t need a degree in engineering to adjust - they’re all nice and intuitive for the wearer.
Generally speaking, another consideration is when and where you’re planning to wear your watch. Read our guide to picking the best watch strap for the occasion for more info.
It’s worth mentioning that a bit of reader discretion is advised… These are our general recommendations to go with black dials, but ultimately the strap needs to complement your specific timepiece. However, we’re sure that these men’s watch strap suggestions should give you an excellent starting point from which to consider your pairing. All of the straps mentioned are of utmost high quality, and we guarantee that you’d find them all comfortable and hard-wearing. But of course, the final decision is down to you.
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