Watch Strap types by durability, specifically for divers.
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Thread: Watch Strap types by durability, specifically for divers.

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  1. #1
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    Watch Strap types by durability, specifically for divers.

    Good afternoon,

    Newbie to the forum here. So I couldn't find any one forum close enough in spirit to my question, but then again, I only looked five pages deep into the sixteen pages of search results that came up for anything related to watch strap toughness/dependability/reliability.

    I'm freshly civilian and have had a Garmin Tactix since my recent Army days. Great watch with every feature you could want for a certain demographic (except depth measurements, of course). Well I discovered one day while out on the town that I virtually cut completely trough the original black rubber watch band and that this $450 tool was hanging like a chad from a few mm's of rubber on one side of the buckle notch. It was together that morning, but I suspect that it failed while I was tearing through morning pull-ups and didn't get noticed till later. Needless to say this was disconcerting and worrying, as it's possible, however unlikely, that I could have lost the watch I have some service history with without noticing given hectic enough circumstances. The watch band, while competent was always my least favorite part of the package, but to be fair, it put up with me for a little less than a year of abuse.

    Instead of requesting a replacement from Garmin, I grabbed two Panatime NATO straps because I don't want to take ANY CHANCES at band failure within reasonable circumstances such as a quick opportunity work out. I also have a dive watch with a rubber strap and this is making me think I should ditch it for a nylon NATO strap, though I actually dive with it and I addition to being a go to for nicer settings, so I'm leaning toward leather straps (questionable in water) and I'm wondering about these silicon straps (which look pretty fragile)... I'm wondering two things:

    1) What is the ranking durability of straps in general (subjectively) and if possible empirically?

    2) What are the considerations in water, cold water, salt water, etc for each strap and given everything, which is the best choice for my situation?

    Thanks all.

    Mark
    Garmin Tactix w/ Ranger Green Panatime NATO
    Timex Intelligent Quartz Depth Gauge Steel Case/Black/Yellow Face
    Last edited by spitfiremac; January 25th, 2015 at 20:19.

  2. #2
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    Re: Watch Strap types by durability, specifically for divers.

    Original poster here, I apologize, I did find a two-page thread on best dive watch band that covers some of the details and considerations

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f74/wha...-233281-2.html

    though I'm still interested in hearing specifically about silicone straps and what happens to leather in seawater. Also interested if the standard nylon NATO straps are as burable as they come... I didn't mention steel or titanium link bands because I'm a little skeptical of their systemic failure rates on active wrists, not to mention there move more than I'd like... what do you think? Am I crazy in my disregard of link bands as weak at the bolts?

    Thanks again.

    Mark
    Garmin Tactix w/ Ranger Green Panatime NATO
    Timex Intelligent Quartz Depth Gauge Steel Case/Black/Yellow Face

  3. #3
    Member Pallet Spoon's Avatar
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    Re: Watch Strap types by durability, specifically for divers.

    Springbars fail more than anything I suppose. In the case of a Nato at least your watch is still hanging there by one of them. As far as materials, not much is going to be more durable than rubber (leather will absorb your perspiration and smell pretty bad in short order), but I think your fears about bracelets are unfounded. Once again I have heard of many more springbar failures than actual bracelet failures. As a really active person I would think rubber would be the most comfortable.

    If you want the ultimate in comfort, look into the Hirsch performance series offered by WatchObsession in the UK. Pricey, but well worth the money. Only straps I know to offer the comfort of rubber and remain breathable.
    Last edited by Pallet Spoon; January 25th, 2015 at 22:46.
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  5. #4
    Member BrentYYC's Avatar
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    Re: Watch Strap types by durability, specifically for divers.

    The weakest link is definitely the spring bar. Screw bars are better, and some divers have them instead of spring bars.

    Any type of strap that threads though the gap between the spring bars and case (i.e. NATO, Zulu, RAF, Braided Nylon or Perlon, etc.) will take the pressure off the spring bars in the event the strap is snagged, and even if one spring bar fails the watch will still be attached to the other spring bar. My Rolex Submariner has been saved on two occasions by an RAF strap when I had a spring bar fail. Stainless steel bracelets and rubber or silicone straps are durable in salt water, but they don't give you the advantage against snagging and spring bar failure that you get with the others.
    Last edited by BrentYYC; January 26th, 2015 at 02:18.

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