It’s summer, it’s hot and your watch strap keeps sticking to your wrist. We all know the feeling and the almost desperate need to loosen the strap immediately. But instead of leaving your precious timepieces on the shelf, you can actually find summer friendly watch straps that are both comfortable and good looking.
And it’s not that difficult to change the strap! We guide you to the best watch straps for summer and explain how you easily replace the strap.
Why go for a strap?
Think about the last timepiece you bought and why you decided to get it. Was it because of the design, the great looks, interesting history or something else? There might be many reasons to invest in timepieces but if you’re like most people…the strap wasn’t one of them.
Still, how the watch feels on your wrist will directly impact how much you use it. During the hot summer days, traditional leather watch straps or bracelets can cling to the skin and leave your wrist irritated because the skin can’t breathe.
Instead of taking your watch off, you need to find a strap suitable for warm days. Luckily, there are different types of watch straps designed for summer (and sports) where you don’t need to worry about sweat or ‘that sticky feeling’. If you prefer leather, you can opt for a lighter rally edition. If you need something more durable to take to the beach, you can choose between rubber/silicone, nylon in a classic NATO strap or maybe a perlon strap with a braided look?
Dive into each category below and find your favorite strap among our top-12 watch straps for a hot summer.
Disclaimer: Article contains affiliate links*
Rally leather watch straps
The leather ‘rally strap’ is made from perforated leather which makes it lighter than traditional leather straps and allows the skin to vent through the holes. In addition, the strap weighs less which was the original idea from the so-called “weekend racers” who put holes in everything hoping to shave off a few grams and save a tenth of a second on the lap time.
Rally strap in perforated brown suede by Armogan
The classic rally strap by Armogan is made from high-quality brown suede. Over time, the natural material will develop a beautiful and vintage patina. The 22 mm strap has a black buckle, white stitching and comes with spring bars, spring bar replacement tool and instructions.
Soft rally strap in perforated brown leather by Stunning Selection
This soft rally strap is made from genuine full-grain perforated leather and has a steel buckle. The quick-release stainless steel spring bars ensure a quick and easy swap.
|Color options||Brown, black and tan|
|Sizes||18 mm, 20 mm and 22 mm|
Premium rally strap by Nezumi Studios
The Nezumi Studios rally strap ‘Rindt’ is made from premium vegetable tanned Italian leather. A pattern of small and larger holes creates a nice feature and ensures an even more comfortable fit. The white stitching is a classic element and adds a nice retro feel to the 20 mm strap.
|Color options||Brown and black with brushed or polished buckle|
Rubber and silicone watch straps
Straps made from rubber and silicone are often seen on dive watches as the material is perfect for swimming and diving. With a good quality natural rubber, you’ll have a very durable and light strap for years.
Black rubber watch strap by famous Jacob & Co.
The 20 mm rubber watch strap is made from black polyurethane and features a steel buckle with the brand name. Jacob and Co. is famous for creating advanced and bold timepieces with lots of colors, rare stones and gems.
|Color options||Black, red, pink, yellow, white, blue|
Orange silicone watch strap by Barton Watch bands
The silicone watch strap by Barton is ideal for an active lifestyle. With a textured back to prevent slipping, this strap will keep your watch in place without it feeling stuck on your wrist. The strap is waterproof and washable.
|Color options||Black, red, yellow, white, blue, brown, orange, grey, bordeaux|
Alpine perforated silicone watch band by Stunning Selection
This premium silicone strap is made from superior grade silicone with high tensile and strength that ensures the strap will not easily deform or crack. The strap is super soft, comfortable to wear and hypo-allergenic. The perforated design with stitching adds a nice touch and a more classic look.
|Color options||Black, red, pink, yellow, white, blue, brown, orange, grey, bordeaux|
Of course, the Nato strap!
The NATO strap is a true icon: if you don’t have one yet, get one! Originally developed by the British Ministry of Defense for wartime usage, this strap prevents the metal of the case back from touching your skin and it keeps your watch securely on the wrist even if one of the spring bars pops out. The nylon strap is comfortable, easy to adjust and requires no maintenance.
Classy Terrain NATO strap by Nezumi Studios
The ‘Terrain’ NATO strap by Swedish Nezumi Studios is made from premium laser cut nylon and is very comfortable to wear. It has brushed 316L stainless steel hardware and a small logo on the buckle. The 20 mm straps come in three great colors that are perfect for any classic or retro watch.
|Color options||Black, burnt gold, grey|
Army green NATO strap with heavy buckle by Ritche
The stylish NATO strap by Ritche is soft and breathable. Thanks to the material, the strap is dirt and water resistant as well as non-allergenic. The black steel buckle adds a chunkier look and the army green color is the perfect option for any military-inspired watch.
|Color options||Army green, black, grey, blue, red, striped, khaki and combinations|
Striped NATO strap by DaLuca
To add a bit more focus on the strap, go for this black and grey striped NATO strap by DaLuca. The 20 mm strap is made from ultra-durable ballistic nylon and has heavy duty stainless steel hardware.
|Color options||Black and grey stripes|
Perlon watch straps
A new version of the nylon watch strap is the so-called ‘perlon’. The braided strap is made from synthetic fibre nylon and is even lighter than the traditional NATO strap. The construction makes the strap more flexible and you still get the advantages of nylon making it a strong a durable strap for all conditions. Instead of the limitations with typical pre-cut holes, a perlon strap gives you full flexibility as the buckle can be inserted anywhere.
Classic braided perlon watch strap by DaLuca
The black perlon watch strap by DaLuca is made in Europe from ultra-strong waterproof braided nylon. Being just 1 mm thick, this strap is super light and still has a classic look with the stainless steel buckle.
|Color options||Multiple colors|
Dark grey perlon strap by Wrist and Style
This dark grey perlon strap has the same classic design and is made with high-quality materials to ensure a great fit and a strap that lasts. Wrist and Style offers a premium buckle made from molded 316L stainless steel which adds a really nice touch.
|Color options||Multiple colors|
Black perlon with gold buckle by Davis
For a watch with gold casing or details, go for this black perlon strap by Davis with “gold” buckle. The 20 mm strap is made from high-quality materials and has a polished steel buckle.
|Color options||Black with gold, rose gold or silver buckle.|
Easy 6-step guide: how to replace your watch strap with a spring bar tool
Follow the steps of this guide to easily replace your watch strap. Please be aware that there are many different types of straps so before getting started, make sure that both your current and the new strap have spring bars.
- New replacement strap (See inspiration above)
- Spring bar tool (there are ways to change the strap without it, but this small tool is cheap and super handy!)
- Soft and clean microfiber cloth
- Sturdy level surface for a stable workspace
Warning: Please be aware that spring bars are spring-loaded and can easily fly off.
Step-by-step guide to replace your original strap or bracelet:
- Lay out the microfiber cloth on a level surface: for instance a stable desk with good lighting.
- Place your watch on the cloth face-down with the straps to the sides of the watch.
- Start by removing the existing strap: hold the watch with one hand and hold the spring bar toll with your other hand – just like you would hold a pencil. Position the fork end of the tool between one side of the strap pieces and the lug. When the fork is in position on the flanges of the spring bar end, gently push the end of the spring bar out of its lug hole and move it out from between the lugs. You only need to do this on one side to be able to free the strap. Rotate the watch 180 degrees and repeat the procedure on the other part of the strap.
- If needed, take the opportunity to clean the lugs of your watch.
- Installing the new replacement strap: hold the watch with one hand and hold the new strap with the other hand at the spring bars. Position one end of the spring bar into the lug and rest the other end on top of the opposite lug. Use the spring bar tool to compress the spring bar, and lower the end into the inside of the lug. The ends have to fit into the lug holes for a secure fit: listen for a small “click”. If they don’t snap into the lug holes, simply try again. Rotate the watch 180 degrees and repeat the procedure on the other part of the strap.
- And of course – here’s how to put on a nato type watch strap:
Use the clean cloth to wipe away any smudges on the watch and enjoy your new strap.
Related: What is a chronograph, and how does it work?
Related: Why Do Watches Need Jewels?
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