I’m not an expensive strap guy. I take the original straps off of almost every watch I buy and store it away for later sale and I’m perfectly happy with a big beefy B&R or Panerai clone strap than waste $500 on the original (or, worse, a fake masquerading as an original.)

When StrapsCo offered to send a few straps to try, I was quite curious. I’d seen them around for a few years and I knew they had Apple Watch straps along with regular rubber/leather/steel models. I asked for three – a black leather model, a rubber diver, and grains-of-rice-style steel band.

And I’m very pleased.

The steel strap was the most expensive, clocking in at $64, while the rubber and leather are $20. The soft straps come with quick-release spring bars while the steel strap uses standard pins. All of them were well-sized and big enough for my beefy manwrist.

The leather and rubber straps won’t last for years, definitely. They’re nice quality and solid silicone and leather and they’re perfect for a quick swap out if you’re looking for something more colorful or less expensive.

The real standout and the thing I wanted to test was the steel bracelet. The $60 model I tested was acceptable and thankfully it was completely unsigned so it’s an excellent replacement for any watch. On my new Breguet it looks great and except for some cheaper pressed steel at the clasp I’m impressed by the polish and quality of the band itself. The whole thing as a definite 1970s feel with a set of chainmail-like beats connected by a string of more angular metal studs. Removing links was a breeze with the right tool and installing the band was tricky – it’s exactly 22mm and there is no play in the legs – but it’s fairly easy to get in with out tools.

Again, you’re not fooling anyone with these straps. Real OG collectors will know what’s up and the band styles are far more fashion forward than authentic. But if your goal is to dress up an old watch and get it ready for some fun times, this is a great way to go. I love bold, colorful bands and StrapsCo doesn’t disappoint. You can get orange, black, blue and yellow and they also have nice black bands with colored stitching. There is no real benefit to slapping a $15,000 rose gold bracelet onto your Rolex especially if you’re trying to keep things safe and sane. Adding a StrapsCo is just what the doctor ordered and you can easily save that $15K for something else… like a used Toyota Corolla or a new watch.

ByJohn Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

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