Nick Mankey Hook Strap
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  1. #1
    Member MarkND's Avatar
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    Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    There has been some discussion on these straps and I figure they deserve a thread of their own.

    I find these straps very comfy, probably the most comfortable straps I have. For comparison I have a couple Watch Steward straps, and a non Erika's Original MN strap. The MN strap isn't one of the Chinese knock-offs, but a MN strap made from the parachute elastic I bought off ebay a couple years ago. There are other sellers of MN straps. Anyway, the elastic used on these straps feels thicker and softer than the other 2. The configuration is closer to the Watch Steward straps in that there isn't fabric under the watch which I like. The hardware used is more rounded than the other 2 elastic straps, which adds to the comfort. I can also slip these straps over my hand which is another plus.

    Would I wear these diving? I don't think I would wear any elastic strap diving since they could snag on something and be pulled off, theoretically. I would wear a Zulu if I was going to dive, which I probably never will.

    All in all, these are my new favorite straps.

    Mark

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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    Looks like a whole lot of layers of fabric on the underside. Does it feel bulky?
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  3. #3
    Member MarkND's Avatar
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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    Quote Originally Posted by Tohono Rat View Post
    Looks like a whole lot of layers of fabric on the underside. Does it feel bulky?
    There are just 2 layers. It doesn’t feel bulky, and the extra layer maybe contributes to the comfort of it?


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    Member Michael 808's Avatar
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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    As one that really struggles with strap fitment, I like them, I have a small round wrist so getting the right fit is important to me, I'm gonna try one, thanks for sharing!!
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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    I know these well. I also have his cap strap where the buckle can open bottles. Great summer strap. Lol.

    The hook (I call them his bra straps lol) straps are like jammies for your wrist.

    I also have most of the leather straps he makes, being his chocolate leather is sublime. But that's my opinion lol.

    Ok back to the hook straps here. I have a slew of MN straps and the watch Steward's 22mm and now 20mm version which is much more comfortable than the WS 22mm version. The MN straps, well depending on the style of MN, the EO MN straps are more versatile but not as soft as the hook straps. Not to say any of them are uncomfortable. I mean I continue to buy straps from all of these guys. And I see no stopping anytime soon lol.

    Which do I prefer? It depends on the watch for me. My first grab is an EO MN and then migrate from there.

    All are great straps IMO.

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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkND View Post
    There are just 2 layers. It doesn’t feel bulky, and the extra layer maybe contributes to the comfort of it?
    I see three layers at all of the hardware points. No?
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  8. #7
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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    Quote Originally Posted by Tohono Rat View Post
    I see three layers at all of the hardware points. No?
    Yes but it doesn't feel any bulkier than the WS straps or even NATO's to me. The comfort level is pretty good. Like a comfy house socks.

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  9. #8
    Member MarkND's Avatar
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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    Quote Originally Posted by Tohono Rat View Post
    I see three layers at all of the hardware points. No?
    At the hardware points, yes. Like all fabric traps there is a layer that is folded over and sewn.


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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    These have caught my eye too and I've been sending emails to Mankey. Here's some of his enthusiasm in his work:

    As an owner of an EO strap myself, a total watch nerd, and a product designer, the following thoughts come from a place of simply seeking the best piece of gear in its relative class (elastic watch bands).

    1. From the very get-go of wearing the EO strap, I felt that the closure hardware was far too tricky for such a simple concept. It routinely took around a minute or more of awkward fiddling just to secure it to my wrist.

    2. The closure hardware also felt a bit bulky on the bottom of my wrist. A sensation reinforced every time I'd sit in front of a keyboard.

    3. The metallic closure hardware was also entirely exposed, meaning whatever surface I was resting my wrists on would become a scratch magnet.

    4. The elastic seemed good enough. But felt a bit stiffer than necessary in my opinion.

    5. Aesthetically, the elastic itself, aside from the signature central pinstripe, felt a bit sterile. The dense grid weave, while neutral in appearance, just left something to be desired in my eyes. A patterned weave would go a long way for me.


    That all said, here's what I did for Hook Straps to address these issues:

    1. Priority #1 was getting the elastic just right. I worked with a renowned elastics manufacture to achieve a strong yet soft and breathable elastic with a very tasteful twill weave to provide just enough visual interest on its own. This elastic has shown to meet military standards in terms of durability.

    2. Priority #2 was slimming down the design as much as possible. This means no elastic beneath the watch, no bulky hardware, just a trim and concise package. And having just come from developing the Cap Strap which utilizes a big hook, I had already taken a few steps in identifying the perfect hardware for an elastic watch band: An in-line Hook! So I sourced some appropriate metallic hooks (for strength), and came up with a closure system that kept all hardware between layers of elastic, never contacting the skin, nor able to protrude on the exterior to scratch any sub-wrist surfaces.

    3. Priority #3 was ease of use. Installing and wearing the Hook Straps is (in my opinion) far easier than that of the EO straps. It installs basically like a Nato Band that is then folded through the slider, adjusted, and finally terminated onto the Hook. Once you have the sizing dialed in to your sweet spot, the watch slips off the wrist with your size saved in the loop. It then slides back on, and the Hook just latches onto the loop in a matter of seconds.

    All in all, the result was a truly exceptionally comfortable watch band that ticks all of my personal boxes, and then some!

    In terms of pricing, it might sound a bit too good to be true after all that I've said here. And in truth, I could probably ask for a higher price, but it would be all markup with my current set of costs. So unless an accountant tells me to change my ways, the current price feels fair to me.


    Anyway, sorry for the wall of text. But I hope that sheds some light on my design process and your inquiries about my fabric!

  11. #10
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    Re: Nick Mankey Hook Strap

    From what I've read, I have two cases of reviewers claiming it's more comfortable than Erika's.

    I've preordered an 18mm for a Seagull 1963, the only fear I have is how this fabric handles heat and sweat - something Erika's handles very well.

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