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
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 end result? Well, in theory, a more even, inherently secure chronometric functionality and greater long-term precision. Granted, we are going to have to withhold judgement until we’ve tested one in the real world. But for now, it’s interesting to watch as an increasing number of brands go from Nivarox (and by extension, the Swatch Group), instead deciding to develop proprietary technologies as a means to compete. Despite being the oldest adage in the novel, it’s also the most intriguing expression to witness firsthand — innovate or perish, right?n addition to the special hairspring, the 18-jeweled, hand-cranked BM12-1975M motion itself hums along at a recognizable 4Hz over the course of its generous power book of around 90 hours. Nicely finished using deep Geneva stripes, blued screws, and circular graining all visible beneath the exhibition caseback, the motion itself can be adjusted in five positions for accuracy.The 18k red gold case of this Baume & Mercier Clifton Manual 1830 watch is 42mm wide and 8.9mm thin, with a water-resistance rating of 50m, and it comes on a black aligator strap. The reference M0A10359 Baume & Mercier Clifton Manual 1830 is available now, even though it’s being produced in very limited amounts, apparently only sold in Europe, and is retailing for a price of $12,045. An extension of the Baume & Mercier Capeland Shelby Cobra watches we covered, these pieces are designed with specific drivers’ heritages in your mind and deliver all of the super-charged aesthetics that we have seen up to now from this team-up. Let’s take a moment to see what’s different this time around.
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