It isn’t too frequent for me to overview watch straps, however that’s solely as a result of I don’t have limitless time to cowl the issues I’m excited by. Shopping for a very good watch strap could be powerful with all of the complicated choices on the market, and getting a brand new watch strap for an present watch is usually a actually rewarding expertise to carry new life into one thing that’s already in your assortment. Canada-based navy and sports activities watchmaker Marathon not too long ago debuted a brand new rubber watch strap that I believe deserves some dialogue. Principally as a result of along with being out there on lots of its core timepieces such because the famed GSAR (which I put on on this article as we speak), you should buy these rubber straps (presently out there in three width sizes) for any variety of different watches.
They aren’t low cost, although. Every “3-Piece Rubber Strap System” prices $200 USD. Is that too costly? No, it isn’t. However it’s way more cash than a variety of different rubber straps on the market. What individuals who have a variety of expertise with straps know is you could’t choose them primarily based on “tech specs” alone. Not all rubber is created equal (hardly), and the distinction between a high- and low-quality rubber strap encompasses consolation and sturdiness. This needs to be apparent to anybody who has skilled older rubber straps of low high quality actually disintegrating of their fingers. Not enjoyable.
Marathon spent years attempting to get these new rubber straps proper. Till not too long ago, the model sourced straps from a wide range of suppliers, and none of them had been notably unhealthy, however Marathon didn’t like that the straps weren’t all the time an ideal visible match with its instances and that completely different watches in its catalog had rubber straps from completely different suppliers. At worst, the rubber straps beforehand utilized by Marathon had been “generic,” however now, Marathon has entered into a brand new period of high quality with Marathon-branded straps.
Aren’t rubber straps simple to fabricate? As soon as all the things is ready up, sure, they aren’t too sophisticated. The difficulty with rubber straps is that anybody wanting a bespoke resolution must put money into correct tooling and molds, in addition to the lengthy strategy of testing supplies, textures, shapes, and so on. In different phrases, popping out with a brand new rubber strap is definitely a protracted and costly ordeal. Thisis why so many watch manufacturers merely supply present rubber straps from varied suppliers. Now Marathon didn’t do all of this alone. To develop and produce its rubber straps, the model labored with an organization in Switzerland known as Valiance. The corporate is ready up close to the Swiss headquarters of Marathon (the place its watches are assembled) within the metropolis of La Chaux-de-Fonds. The straps themselves are proudly stamped with a “Swiss Made” label, not one thing you see fairly often with straps.
Marathon’s rubber straps have a contemporary, edgy design that I occur to love loads. Actually, the straps make the in any other case timeless GSAR watch instances really feel that rather more modern. I additionally really feel that these straps have a design that isn’t meant to solely complement Marathon’s watches, and the corporate does appear to recommend the brand new straps are perfect for Marathon and different finely made sports activities watches.
The high-quality FKM rubber straps are exactly the suitable texture for a strap, and so they don’t decide up marks by issues like fingerprints. The straps are easy to the contact but in addition textured sufficient to not slip round on the wrist. Getting this combination proper is difficult, and a variety of high-quality straps fail by being too sticky. Meaning issues like placing the strap-ends by way of the strap rings could be annoying — however that isn’t a problem with the brand new Marathon straps. Even on way more costly luxurious watches, I can’t recall rubber straps which are higher than this. Marathon aimed for the highest, and the end result was a extremely wonderful rubber strap that’s most likely “too good” given the comparative price of the watches themselves. That stated, there’s not a better method to make a watch really feel “pricier” than to match it with an excellent strap.
One among my favourite particulars on the strap is the customized Marathon-signed emblem buckle. Tactical of their design, the buckles are distinctive in order that you’re coping with Marathon but in addition not overly massive or meant for flourish like a Panerai buckle. So what comes within the equipment? Marathon definitely labored laborious on the packaging, which features a nice handbook and set of equipment. The strap comes with two lengths for smaller or bigger wrists. Generally you should buy straps of various sizes however it’s unusual for a equipment to easily include each sizes, in order that’s fairly cool. Marathon additionally features a choice of spring bars that safe the straps to the case. This contains shouldered spring bars (that are extra frequent and straightforward to take away with instruments) and shoulderless spring bars which are a bit extra sturdy and designed for watches just like the GSAR which have drilled spring bar holes within the lugs. With out these holes, the shoulderless spring bars wouldn’t be simply detachable, so ensure that to make use of the suitable spring bars together with your case. All of those elements additionally assist clarify the upper worth level of the “strap system” in comparison with different straps that generally don’t include spring bars and even (generally) with a buckle.
At present, Marathon provides its new rubber straps in three sizes (18mm, 20mm, and 22mm-wide types) and solely in black colour with a pure metal buckle. I totally anticipate that Marathon will proceed to complement its strap choice with further colours and sizes, in addition to black-colored buckles. These are true military-grade rubber watch straps but in addition precise luxurious straps. That’s a tough factor to drag off, and Marathon did it fairly effectively. Value for Marathon 3-Piece Rubber Strap System is $200 USD per set. Be taught extra on the Marathon watches web site right here.