British watch straps and US watch band sizes...
These are two subjects which are always on the minds of the ZULUDIVER and WatchGecko staff. Most straps we create fall within the 20-22mm range for obvious reasons, but we do recognise that some very popular brands, such as Luminox, do not always follow the norm on lug width. Take for example the beautiful but strap challenged 19mm lug width Omega Speedmaster 3220.50. The good news is that Team ZULUDIVER is here to help.
The US Navy SEALs are an elite combat unit who have earned a reputation as one of the finest fighting forces in the world. Synonymous with underwater missions they are equally at home on the land. SEAL standard issue equipment is tested to extreme levels and to have your kit selected by the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) is quite an accolade. As soon as Luminox watches were deployed by SEALs they became instantly recognisable and desirable. So how were they selected?
Luminox came to the Special Forces from an individual spotting a gap in the market and working hard to fill it. Barry Cohen discovered a self-powered illumination system utilising multi-coloured tritium gas trapped in tiny vials which glowed with a soft light for over 25 years after sealing. These vials were small and light enough to be fitted to a watch dial and crucially, hour, minute and second hands. He formed Luminox in 1989 driven by a commitment to offer high-performance sports watches which offered clear legibility in all light conditions.
23mm ZULUDIVER Classic Bond on Satin
In 1993 Nick North, chief of SEAL tactical equipment procurement, was tasked with finding a bullet proof watch for night missions and saw a solution at a trade show when he met the Luminox team. He subsequently worked with Cohen to develop a watch specifically for the Navy SEALs – the now legendary Military Dive 200m Model 3001. In North's own words: “After testing a variety of brands in the most arduous conditions, Luminox was the only one still functioning at the end of the evaluation”.
Undeniably a Spec Ops icon of the military watch world, the Luminox 3050 COLORMARK needs little introduction. It is no longer made but relatively easy to find good condition examples. The rubber strap that came with my watch is good quality however an OEM replacement is £37 ($44) and if you fancied a change to nylon or webbing it would set you back a not inconsiderable £43 ($51). Fortunately, ZULUDIVER makes two bespoke 23mm Military Nylon Watch Straps, both of which are fully compatible in colour and tactical ethos with your Luminox.
ZULUDIVER 141 23mm Military Nylon Watch Strap
The classic webbing watch band was the foundation for the bulletproof 23mm ZULUDIVER 141 which comes as standard in black or, if your mission is more undercover, classic Bond grey and black stripe. Whatever your choice I would recommend choosing the Satin or Black PVD keepers as both finishes match the watch case and crown.
A quick history…
Military Nylon Watch Straps as we know them today first appeared in 1973 as a standard issue strap to the UK Military. Based on a WW2 single pass canvas strap designated the A.F.0210 the 1970s UK Ministry of Defence Standard 66-15 laid down the specifications for a grey 20mm nylon strap with chrome plated metalwork which was capable of resisting water, dirt, and provide comfort in all temperatures. Colloquially the straps were called “G10s” (pronounced G-Ten). This nickname deriving from the MOD Form G1098 which was required to requisition a new strap.
ZULUDIVER 23mm Black/Satin
I have been running both ZULUDIVER 23mms on my Luminox 3050 and they work as efficiently as expected, both enhancing and transforming the look of the watch. The black model gives a much sought after Special Operators look whilst the dual striped alternative presents an unmistakable " secret agent" look. My watch is currently living on the Classic Bond. The satin metal really complements the flat silver colour of the watch crown and the light fabric of the strap adds nothing to the modern ultra-light Carbonox package.
If you own a 23mm Luminox Navy SEAL, Nighthawk or Field then explore the ZULUDIVER website where you will find two dynamic military straps to change your look. If you feel like an alternate look for any other polymer tactical watches, be it Luminox, Marathon, Traser or Nite then click here to see all the Military Nylon Watch Straps we have analysed also available in 18mm-24mm.
RB note: The images in this article were taken in daylight by myself; not our usual amazing studio work. The intention was to show the colour matches in real light.