Q: What do the following things have in common? The Sydney Opera House. Japan’s famous bullet train. Nike running shoes. A: Their designs were all inspired by nature. (An orange, a kingfisher in flight and...
For those of you (like us!) with a slightly geeky fascination with design and innovation, it’s amazing just how often inspiration for some of our most hi-tech inventions comes from nature. To that list we could add one of the most commonly used materials in the modern world: Velcro. Used in everything from children’s first shoes to astronaut suits, velcro was created after Swiss inventor George de Menstral took a walk in the woods with his dogs and questioned how the numerous sticky burs were able to cling on to the dog’s fur with such strength. Putting the burs under the microscope, he noted the numerous tiny hooks on the burs, and reasoned that if he could replicate these hooks, he could create a two-touch fastener. That process took 10 years – 10 YEARS! – but he eventually patented the design in 1951. From here, it didn’t take long for velcro to make its way into daily life, appearing on clothing, bags and indeed, watch straps.
At the time of writing (summer 2020) we don’t currently have Velcro straps in our range. Not to say we won’t consider it in the future of course, but for anyone that might have come here looking specifically for a Velcro watch strap, we thought we’d suggest a few alternatives.
Before we do, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of Velcro watch straps:
Advantages of velcro watch straps
We understand that people choose velcro watch straps for a reason, so we thought it would be good to start with a few of the positives first. The most obvious would be convenience: a velcro strap is so easy to take off and put on that you can do it in the dark. So points for ease of use, and it’s also easy to adjust the size if you need to for any reason. What’s more, velcro is surprisingly durable. Even with daily wear, velcro lasts for a pretty long time for what is a very inexpensive material. Which segues nicely into the final benefit: cost. velcro straps are one of the cheapest there is, and so easy to replace when they do start to get past their best.
Downsides to velcro watch straps
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So, there are a few obvious benefits to velcro watch straps, but there are a few disadvantages too. We’ve already mentioned style, and how we feel that velcro watch straps do something of a disservice to a great looking watch. But comfort is another important factor. Poor quality Velcro straps can start to feel a little scratchy if the material wears away over time, so that’s something worth bearing in mind. The material they are made from is usually a blend of plastic and nylon, which can cause rashes as well. We mentioned durability as an advantage, and while it’s true that functionally velcro watch straps work for a long time, it doesn’t usually take long before they start to look a bit frayed at the edges. And while other types of watch straps can be cleaned or repaired if they start to look past their best, velcro is a pretty tough material to fix – ever tried to pull the fur out of all those hooks?!
Alternatives to velcro watch straps
So, now we’ve covered the pros and cons of velcro watch straps, let’s take a look at some of the other options available to you and how they compare.
NATO watch strapsIf the ease of use is what has drawn you to velcro watch straps in the past, then you might want to consider a NATO style strap instead. Because they are made from a single piece of material instead of two like most other watch straps, they are easy to slip on and off the wrist once the buckle has been loosened. NATO style watchstraps are probably the closest in appearance to velcro watch straps too, though they have the added kudos of associations with the army and James Bond (you’ve never seen 007 fastening his Omega Seamaster with a velcro strap before heading off on a mission). What’s more, for durability they beat velcro hands down, every time, and all for an attractive price as well.
Rubber watch strapsIf nylon/fabric straps aren't your thing but you like the look of a NATO, then you may want to consider rubber as an alternative. Typically one of the most durable materials available for watch straps, making it a great option for sports and adventure watches. What’s more, it doesn’t start to lose its appearance after a bit of hard use.
Leather watch strapsMaybe it’s just time to try something new altogether? Sure, a leather watch strap takes a second or two longer to put on than a velcro one, and requires a little more care, but the benefits outweigh these minor inconveniences tenfold. Being a natural material, leather is immeasurably more comfortable to wear around your wrist. What’s more, while a velcro watch strap can make a great watch look decidedly average, a leather watch strap often has the opposite effect, adding a touch of class to almost any watch it is paired with.
See what we mean by checking out our range of leather watch straps here
We hope this has given you a few ideas of alternatives to your velcro watch strap. To see the vast range of options available to you, browse our full collection of watch straps for sale here.