Strap changes are one of the easiest ways to change the character of a watch, and no strap is easier to swap out than the nylon NATO straps that are available all over the place. Recently, I came across a Swedish brand that has embraced that flexible strap.
The company, South Lane, was founded in 2011, and they’re focused on creating minimalistic designs in Stockholm. If you head to their watch page, at first it looks like they’ve got eight models on offer. In reality, it’s a single watch, available on a variety of straps.
The watch itself is fairly clean – a thin steel case (40mm wide) with minimal bezel; under the crystal you’ve got a black dial, chrome numerals, and chrome hands. With the compact size, and monochrome color pallete, this watch is ready to be a chameleon.
To help in that regard, they’ve got eight different straps available, each representing different design capitals (so yes, you’re not imagining things – some of those straps are reminiscent of flag colors). These are all in a standard 20mm width; length is, I’d say, average (260mm = 10.2″). On my 7.25″ wrist, I really didn’t have enough left over to tuck the strap back in to the last ring – so I left it loose.
In terms of daily wear, I was anticipating this watch to be harder to read than it was. Really no issues with excessive glare, or losing the hands in the black dial. I was disappointed, however, in what appears to be a film/dirt under the crystal. At first I thought that I needed to wipe things down, but quickly realized it wasn’t the top that had the issue.
Given the strap and smaller case, it should be no surprise that this is a very light watch. The downside of a smaller/thinner case, on a quartz watch, is that you’re very likely to hear the movement. It’s not as loud as some I’ve run across, but you’ll definitely hear this in a quiet room (I’l leave it to you if that’s a good or bad thing).
Now, in terms of pricing, these are truly on the high side. AT $149 for the watch, and $29 for each additional strap, you’re going to want to be sure that this is a design you’re in love with (I do like the clean lines). Past that, you’ll probably want to get some additional straps to make this more versatile – but that makes for a rather expensive package for a simple three-hander.
For me, while the watch looks nice, it’s too highly priced, at least for what the American markets I think are used to. Add in the dirty crystal on the watch, and I’m less enamored with the piece (that said, it could be we were sent a factory “second” for the review; customers I would be could exchange for a clean example).
As with everything, it’s all in the eye of the (watch) beholder though. If you want to add one to your collection, head on over here.