There are lots of decisions to ponder when purchasing a new watch, many of which are simply matters of personal preference. What case material do I go for? What dial colour? But perhaps the most important one is whether you want it on a strap or on a bracelet – and turns out there’s an objectively right answer…
Derek Mon (a.k.a @theminutemon), a New York-based watch dealer and noted watch geek, has recently explained why you should (almost) always – if given the choice – opt for a bracelet over a strap when buying a new watch.
As he explains below, you’ll end up saving money if you end up changing your mind later down the track: watch brands tend to price bracelet variants of models only slightly higher than strap variants, but when they sell bracelets or straps individually, the price delta is significantly larger.
WATCH Derek explain why you should go for a bracelet over a strap below.
There are two other reasons why you should consider going for a bracelet over a strap that Derek doesn’t mention in his video.
The first reason is that cost aside, it’s always easier to find a decent leather strap for your watch than a bracelet – especially if your watch has an integrated bracelet.
You can always (theoretically, at least) cut or modify a leather strap to suit non-standard case lugs. Also, popular watches with integrated bracelets, such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Patek Philippe Nautilus or Tissot PRX, have myriad high-quality third-party rubber and leather strap options. In comparison, third-party metal bracelets are almost universally inferior to their factory counterparts.
Quality aside, third-party leather, fabric or rubber straps are far more acceptable than third-party metal bracelets… To watch nerds, at least. It’s a weird double standard but it’s one that exists.
Secondly, if you’re ever likely to part way with your watch down the line, you’re more likely to fetch a higher price for it if you’re able to supply it with the original bracelet. Of course, if you can supply it with the original strap, that’s good too, but bracelets are almost always prized more by collectors than straps.
Our tip? If you’re really looking to maximise resale value, buy both options – the bracelet and the strap – and don’t use either of them. Instead, find a decent third-party leather strap and wear that, or just throw it on a NATO strap (if it’s not a dress watch). Alternatively, buy both, wear the leather, and then keep the bracelet mint.
Of course, all this faff only matters if you’re planning on reselling your watch. Watches are meant to be worn and enjoyed, so wear your watch however you want.