For Baume & Mercier, Chopard and Hermès, the interchangeable nature of the Linea, Happy Sport and Heure H straps is well established and each new season brings new creations flaunting a whole new colour palette. Other brands have however succumbed more recently to the vogue of interchangeable straps. A brief anthology of feminine watches that thereby offer several models in one…
Happy Sport © Chopard
Racing could ensue, the thunder of pistons bashing away as the riders pinned back their throttles at the beginning line, hammering their brakes a 1/4 mile afterwards, then ripping through the gears again back to where they had started from. A blend of drag racing and barrel racing; every rider would start in neutral using their left hand in their own helmet, and when the flag fell, they would change into gear, race down to the barrel, whip a u-turn and return-to-home as fast as they had left it, all while riding side by side with their competitor.In involving all the racing would be an simple, lively, peg dragging 3 hour joy ride beginning along HWY 101 afterward into Templeton, Paso Robles, and Big Sur.The weekend would be all about the Clifton Club collection of watches and, later in the weekend, the unveiling of this Burt Munro Tribute Limited Edition. I was excited about trying out this collection as I had to get some hands-on time with those watches. I am a sucker for daily use sailors, so my very first watch of this weekend was that the stainless steel Clifton Club using a sunburst satin-finished blue dial, strapped to a textured orange rubber NATO. The daring colour blend was fitting for the coastal city setting as it reminds me of the ocean and the sun reflecting off the water’s surface. The rubber NATO was a fantastic touch as it felt like a miniature hi-viz wetsuit round my wrist and it was amazingly comfortable, since the material would give a bit during small impacts and vibrations with consistent wear. The 42mm case dimensions and the 10.3mm thickness fit snuggly around my 7.25 inch wrist, fitting comfortably under my riding gloves during long miles and hours of road vibrations. The Sellita SW200 movement isn’t glamorous, but it is dependable and with the road vibrations being subjected to it over this weekend, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be a in-house, handmade marvel.
Heure H © Hermès
Bulgari opts for color and personalization as a full-fledged style element with its Bulgari Bulgari Lady and Serpenti collections. While epitomizing the timeless nature of Roman style, these watches also adopt their owner’s changing moods thanks to a whole panoply of interchangeable straps. The new Serpenti models are for example sold with two leather double wrap straps that can be complemented by a wide choice of additional colors – why not royal blue or ruby red ? The Bulgari website offers an extremely convenient configurator enabling one to try on almost all the straps available for a given watch.
Glashütte Original does likewise with its Pavonina collection and its 20 or so colorful straps in leather or satin. The same goes for Jaeger-LeCoultre, via its Atelier Reverso. It is however the supremely feminine Rendez-Vous collection with its top-flight horological functions that reigns supreme in terms of elegant transformations by means of numerous alligator, ostrich or satin straps.
Rendez-Vous Night & Day © Jaeger-LeCoultre
All brands are jumping onto the (watch)band-wagon
Another Fine Watchmaking ladies’ model, the Blancpain Calendar Moon Phase by Blancpain comes with five interchangeable straps. Whoever said that Haute Horlogerie is not compatible with a joyful touch ? Nothing could be simpler than to remove the black satin strap and fit another in red, midnight blue or sky blue alligator leather, in order to enjoy a brand-new watch ! And how about the elegant and sporty Overseas small model by Vacheron Constantin, sold with a steel bracelet plus leather and rubber straps ; or the new Reference 7140 Ladies First Perpetual Calendar by Patek Philippe delivered on a gray strap, accompanied by an additional turquoise strap ?
Reference 7140 Ladies First Perpetual Calendar © Patek Philippe
Hublot has even added its patented interchangeable strap-change system to the name of several collections. Be it the Big Bang One Click Cuddly Cuff, with its leather and fur cuff straps, the flashy One-Click Pop Art, or the One Click Steel White Diamonds with its rubber strap, they all reveal a range of fascinating facets.
Big Bang One Click Cuddly Cuff © Hublot
The Shine “Etoile” by Raymond Weil also features a patented strap-change system activated by rotating the caseback. No tools and no risk of spoiling your manicure ! These smooth and easy move frees the watch from its attractive steel corset and enables it to team up with a a pleasingly light black or pink Repetto leather strap.
Shine « Etoile » © Raymond Weil
Renowned fashion experts, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton have adopted accessory-style straps as a natural showcase for their timepieces. The classical RL888 is accompanied by a colorful range of leather or satin straps, while the French-based Maison is innovating with an interchangeable strap concept suited to all its Tambour models, including older ones.
The Tambour Moon and its array of interchangeable straps © Louis Vuitton
Smart bands from smart brands
Smartwatches naturally deserved to be customized, notably via their bands. The Modular 45 from TAG Heuer, Summit by Montblanc and Tambour Horizon by Louis Vuitton also appeal to women, while Frederique Constantin offers its E-Strap that can be fitted to any given watch in order to connect it. This strap available in several colors features a discreet connected module integrated via the buckle.
The E-Strap is available with a buckle in stainless steel or pink or yellow gold-plated steel © Frédérique Constant