The Black Bay by Tudor is a group of heritage-inspired dive watches with their Pelagos vary masking the fashionable interpretation of a dive watch. Staying near that heritage, the Black Bay is barely out there on distressed leather-based straps, riveted bracelets or cloth straps. Tudor do provide rubber straps that match the top hyperlinks of the Pelagos’ titanium bracelet, however the Black Bay doesn’t have an OEM rubber possibility. That’s left a distinct segment out there for third occasion producers to thrive and develop rubber straps bespoke for the Tudor Black Bay’s lug and case design.
Under are four examples for comparability in ascending value brackets. For the needs of this overview, solely rubber straps with becoming, curved ends shall be examined. The 22mm lug width of the Black Bay permits a number of straps to be related however because of the place of the lug holes, low down and farthest from the case, the non-bespoke straps depart a big, open hole. This isn’t simply unpleasant but in addition could be uncomfortable because it exposes the sharp edges on the underside of the lugs.
Many due to Ben Rexworthy of WristworthyUK for loaning the straps for this overview. Ben did an ideal write-up, which you’ll learn here together with totally different watches on rubber straps. For this overview, just one watch shall be examined with the straps, my private Tudor Black Bay 41mm, with a rotating black bezel and manufacture motion.
The place potential, the vast majority of these straps for overview have a common ‘one-size-fits-all’ size. Nonetheless, at sure factors of the overview, the size of strap is talked about as both optimistic or destructive. My wrists are 18cm, which is pretty common however your put on expertise might differ. Additionally, costs are quoted in US as that’s the largest marketplace for these straps and due to this fact would profit the vast majority of the viewers, however world transport is on the market from all distributors.
With out additional ado, listed here are the four choices:
Crafter Blue Diver Straps – $65.00
Kicking this off with the most affordable possibility is a Hong Kong-based firm, Crafter Blue. While mass-produced East Asian items are a little bit of a cliché, Crafter Blue are dive product specialists focussing solely on 2 manufacturers, Seiko and Tudor. And even then, their rubber straps are just for the dive watch collections. The strap for overview has a black outer coating and crimson internal lining, mixing nicely with the crimson lume triangle on the bezel. Though, the crimson lining continues to be discreet while on the wrist.
Becoming the strap was a bit arduous, as the top curves that sit flush to the case have resistance when being pushed towards the case. Which means that it takes some power to attach the spring bars with the lug holes. Nonetheless, this wasn’t probably the most troublesome to connect on this checklist…maintain studying. As soon as fitted, a tang buckle secures it nicely to the wrist however I did discover the broad, angular tang doesn’t slot easily into the strap gap. This makes the act of placing it on and taking it off extra trouble than it must be. The steel keeper is a pleasant contact however the ‘PROFESSIONAL’ textual content is superfluous and isn’t in line with the heritage nature of the Black Bay.
The strap size was fairly extreme and wrapped round close to to the highest of the watch case including bulk. However I used to be happy with the general really feel of the strap and was additionally glad that lint attraction was not a problem. You’ll see this was not a problem with the opposite straps, however I’ve seen even manufacture provided rubber straps appeal to mud and fluff.
Vanguard Speciality Straps – $130.00
Transferring on to a relative newcomer to fitted rubber straps is Dubai-based Vanguard. Once more, there’s a core deal with standard sports activities watch fashions, however the elevated number of colors and combos provides extra freedom of alternative.
At double the value of Crafter Blue, I nonetheless discovered points with becoming the strap and almost threw within the towel at some factors. The issue is the steeply sloped lugs of the Black Bay that require equally sloped strap ends, which makes it an ungainly form on the underside. The spring bars are shrouded in thick rubber making it troublesome to angle pliers to line up every lug gap concurrently. As an alternative, I used a Bergeon spring bar software, which supplied extra manoeuvrability however left the underside of the lugs uncovered to scratches.
As soon as hooked up, the awkward form is paid off with a seamless match that angles in the direction of the wrist. The comfortable match is comfy and the distinctive buckle differentiates itself from the standard sq. buckle. I additionally just like the delicate fade from the centre part that regularly merges right into a single flat floor. Minor gripe was the strap holes that weren’t angled and due to this fact may very well be seen stretching when the strap was worn tight. This may very well be particularly prevalent if the strap is worn over a wetsuit sleeve. Total, the match was nice however the act of becoming the Vanguard strap was sufficient to place me off from together with it inside my common strap rotation. The underside of my lugs have suffered sufficient!
Everest Watch Bands – $230.00
Going up one other value degree and you may definitely really feel the distinction in high quality of the rubber particularly in the case of the following 2 suppliers from Switzerland.
Everest’s rubber choice has a extra premium really feel to it. Not solely the softness of the rubber however the best way it has been moulded. Clear crisp strains are seen all through with good and considerate design thrives. This was by far the simplest strap to affix. Every size of strap has a variance of the thickness of the rubber, which determines the rigidity and pliability of the Everest strap.
The curved ends have been reassuringly agency while the buckle felt versatile for on a regular basis consolation. The trade-off for having a better density of rubber on the ends is that the straps are likely to bow outwards from the case. It seems to be OK when wanting prime down however from the aspect it’s fairly pronounced. It may very well be considered as providing extra respiration house to your wrist, however in my expertise, it put extra stress on the underside of my wrist the place the buckle attaches.
The buckle is implausible although. A piece of metal that’s nicely machined and is complimented with angled strap holes that the tang effortlessly slips in. This consideration to element helps getting the watch on and off massively bettering the carrying expertise day-in, day-out.
RubberB Rubber Straps – $250.00
Final however not least is the oldest participant within the sport. RubberB have been making rubber straps for Rolex for some time now and have ventured into equally sporty watch manufacturers over time. They’re even affiliated with high-end, modern watch-maker, Roger Dubuis. With such pedigree, I had excessive expectations for the standard, and I wasn’t upset. RubberB is totally different really feel to the rubber than the earlier strap producers talked about above. The outer floor has a matte texture that feels slick to the contact, decreasing the friction towards different materials when sliding below a jacket cuff.
The outer floor has a matte texture that feels slick to the contact, decreasing the friction towards different materials when sliding below a jacket cuff.
This explicit model has the flexibility to be fitted with the Tudor designed deployant buckle in addition to any regular tang buckle. You’ll must have the fold-over buckle from Tudor although, so in case you have the Black Bay distressed leather-based, it’s price switching the buckle over to the RubberB for a safe deployant clasp. As soon as fitted, I discovered the excess strap size slightly extreme. I’m no John Cena however I’m additionally no pipe cleaner, and even I discovered the surplus strap was catching on jacket sleeves and even belt loops as I used to be strolling alongside. The one possibility out there is a common match from RubberB however once more, your put on expertise might differ. The twin rubber keepers did nicely to carry in place, nonetheless.
I got here into this overview with the notion that you just get what you pay for and luxurious watch ought to have an equally luxurious strap. Whereas nonetheless the case (please DON’T put a NATO on a Lange), the worth of the Crafter Blue makes it laborious to argue with. These trying to protect their Tudor bracelet with a strap that’s reliably waterproof, non-toxic and may simply deal with some rough-and-tumble ought to actually think about the Crafter Blue. Whereas it isn’t probably the most refined rubber, a fitted strap for a well-liked dive watch at this value level is a rarity.
My total favorite, value however, was the Everest due to the beautiful easy suppleness and hulking buckle that remained proportional to the case. The RubberB had nice high quality however the extra strap finish simply wouldn’t go well with my on a regular basis life-style. The Vanguard was the toughest strap to position and was extra of an entry level into higher-end rubber with out the upper price ticket.
Throughout all straps, I observed an impaired means to rotate the bezel with my typical finger placement at 12o’clock and 6o’clock. This isn’t because of the rubber inflicting friction to the bezel however extra to do along with your fingers having much less gripping house. Finally, this was an unavoidable design flaw within the Black Bay as even on the bracelet it isn’t simple to grip. I due to this fact didn’t embrace this as a destructive towards any the straps however want to deliver consciousness to anybody desirous about buying certainly one of these rubber straps.