My friend and colleague Anthony Peacock said the answer to this banner question would generate the shortest feature we had ever published, because the answer would be just one word: “YES”.
Personally, I totally agree with Anthony’s observation and my professional belief is still a strong “maybe”, stemming from years of nylon strap use. The debate originated during a late evening office conversation. Anthony and I were comparing the watches we had chosen for the day. He was wearing an NTH Vintage White full lume Night Diver, which we shall review shortly, and I was sporting a Formex Essence ThirtyNine white dial. Two very different watches but at that moment they had one thing in common; both were being worn on a ZULUDIVER Classic Bond Military Nylon strap with metal work complementing the case finish. And both looked amazing! Glancing down at my desk we also had access to a Rolex Explorer and an Amphion Vintage Sub, fresh out of a photoshoot. We put both of those watches on more Bond straps and stood back to assess our handiwork.
“Does everything simply look better on a Bond?”, I asked Anthony. After some thought he replied, “Yes, I think it does”.
Rolex Date on Classic Bond - Credit WatchGecko
If you are not a fan of the battle proven UK MOD Military Nylon Straps then I appreciate your attention may be wandering at this point but please stick with me. If you are a fan then keep reading as this article will serve to re-affirm what you already know and hopefully trigger you to deploy a new strap today.
We have covered the history of these UK Military vintage straps in previous features but what we seldom talk about is how the addition of such a strap changes the appearance of a watch. Modern or old, it fundamentally alters the whole look of it. Of course technically a watch head is an unalterable solid item, but it can look so different when placed on a British Military Nylon.
Rolex Explorer II on Classic Bond - Credit WatchGecko
Take the Rolex Explorer II, reference 16570. No one can argue with the adventurous provenance of this watch. It has been to the ends of the Earth; to places where Nature takes no prisoners. The equipped Oyster bracelet is instantly recognisable, widely copied but rarely equalled for comfort or build quality. It is in every measurable way a superb method of wearing a watch but when you put the same watch on a grey and black striped Bond Nylon it becomes a different machine. Somehow more rugged, more militaristic but in no way diminished in looks and style. If anything, it seems tougher, more…Bond.
The humble Military Nylon strap (not so humble if you buy from a few high end watch brands), has become a must-have fashion accessory in its own right. You only need to look at how many are being produced by watch manufacturers to see how contemporary they are.
Whilst the originals of these straps were Admiralty Grey or Black, today arguably the most iconic style is the Classic Bond Military Nylon in black with twin grey service stripes.
Traser P96 ODP Evolution on Vintage Bond - Credit WatchGecko
Many iterations of this strap are available, including the striking Vintage Bond variant which currently graces my own Rolex. However, that said, the defining Bond strap will always be the grey/black model. There is something purposeful and militaristic about its design and somehow we can all imagine the hero wearing it throughout his adventures. The Classic Bond, whether ZULUDIVER or Phalanx branded, is for me the one strap that just makes all my watches look better.
Tudor Black Bay on Classic Bond - Credit WatchGecko
And it’s not just exclusively Bond watches. I wear the Classic Bond on an eclectic range of watches from Marloe to Luminox. From Bulova to Citizen. As long as the watch is fundamentally a steel or titanium tool design I have yet to find a watch that is not aesthetically improved, or at a minimum made more interesting, by the addition of a Classic Bond.
But don’t just take my word for it. Following these words are a series of great images taken over the last few years of a wide range of watches all retro-fitted with a Classic Bond Military Nylon.
Marloe Haskell on Classic Bond - Credit WatchGecko
Luminox 3050 on Classic Bond - Credit WatchGecko
NTH/WatchGecko Amphion Vintage Sub (wet) on Classic Bond - Credit WatchGecko
Bulova Lunar Pilot on Classic Bond - Credit WatchGecko