Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! On this shiok Saturday, I’m taking a look at some new straps from local watch accessories label, Nomad Watch Works.
Nomad Watch Works (or Nomad for short) is my go-to brand for affordable (sub-S$40) watch straps. Let’s see if their new straps keeps up the good track record!
Nomad Watch Works – the Brand
I’ve previously covered the brand story of Nomad Watch Works in my first review of their straps here. I also reviewed some of their more recent straps here, and covered the watch storage options they offer here.
Nomad Watch Works – Video Review
For those interested in viewing some hands-on footage of the straps, do check out my Youtube review below!
Let’s first take a look at the M1 Vintage leather strap.
The M1 Vintage is a thick strap, one that Nomad says would be perfect for beefier watches like Panerais, for example. I don’t have a Panerai, but I paired it with one of the chunkiest watches I own, which is the TACS AVL II.
I would say that the leather quality is decent, though it’s only genuine leather – for the uninitiated, leather generally comes in three quality tiers, namely genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather in ascending order of quality – so it won’t patina over time. In addition, the strap has a combination of full and side stitching, resulting in a fairly intriguing aesthetic.
The strap loop features cross-stitching for better durability, and is comfortable enough on the wrist.
Overall, the M1 Vintage is a pretty decent strap, especially considering its S$30 price point. Its best attribute is probably its thickness, making it a great affordable strap option for beefier watches.
Despite being better known for their leather straps, Nomad actually carries a wide variety of strap offerings, including the Tropic FKM rubber strap which has proven to be one of the brand’s bestsellers.
Rubber straps have always been popular – after all, dive watches is the style du jour in watches today – but FKM (Fluoroelastomer) straps have proven to be especially so. A high-density rubber than has enhanced heat and chemical resistance as compared to regular rubber, I found the FKM strap to be supple, yet robust.
The strap also features a basket weave that was first introduced in the 1960s. It confers a vintage vibe to the strap. I think the pattern works beautifully with the “tropic” aesthetic of the strap, which features strap holes arranged diagonally.
Nomad’s FKM strap is very comfortable on the wrist. It also feature quick-release tabs for easy interchangability.
Nomad’s FKM strap is one of the best rubber straps that I’ve reviewed to date. It looks sleek – I really like its sharp taper, and the ribbed edges – and is immensely comfortable on the wrist. I think it would pair well with just about any dive watch. It is relatively pricey for a rubber strap at S$35 (you can a basic rubber strap from Nomad for S$18) but I think it’s definitely worth that little bit extra.
However, what Nomad does best has always been their “luxury leather straps”, and that remains true.
As its name suggests, the strap is crafted out of Epsom leather, one of the most popular types of leather in the world. Known for its distinctive texture, Epsom leather is scratch-resistant and is used by some of the biggest brands in the world, including Hermes.
Now, not all Epsom leather straps are made the same – some are better than others. I’m honestly pretty impressed by the quality on offer here. It’s much better than I expected, and feels premium to the touch. It’s comparable to Epsom straps twice, if not thrice its price.
Nomad’s Epsom strap uses Zermatt lining, which is waterproof and resistant to discolouration. Zermatt lining is often used in bespoke strap making, so once again I’m highly impressed that it’s present here on this relatively affordable strap. The Zermatt lining feels great on the wrist, and is a step up from regular calf lining, such as the one found on the M1 Vintage strap. The strap also features quick-release pins, making swapping straps convenient and fuss-free.
Priced at just S$39, Nomad’s Epsom strap punches way above its price point. It looks great on the wrist, and should pair well with most dress watches. I’m astounded at the value proposition here – I believe it’s one of the best leather straps one can find for under S$40.
In a similar vein, Nomad’s Emery Pueblo Leather Strap is equally impressive.
Pueblo leather comes from the Italian tannery, Badalassi Carlo, which is a member of the Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium. It is fashioned from the shoulder of the hide, and thus possesses superb strength and durability. For more information, Nomad actually did a detailed article on Pueblo leather here.
Pueblo leather has a suede-like texture to it, giving the strap a more rustic, well-worn look as compared to the abovementioned dressier Epsom leather strap. Vegetable-tanned, Pueblo leather will patina over time, unlike Epsom leather. If patina is important to you, you would want to opt for the Pueblo option over the Epsom.
Like its Epsom strap, Nomad’s Pueblo leather strap features Zermatt lining for greater comfort, and quick-release pins for enhanced interchangeability.
Like the Epsom strap, Nomad’s Pueblo leather strap is phenomenal value for money. I believe it’s, by far, the cheapest Pueblo strap on the market. If you’re looking for a more casual, robust looking strap, then this will be right up your alley.
Nomad Watch Works – Emery Buttero Leather Strap
Last but not least is Nomad’s latest Buttero leather strap.
Buttero leather is vegetable-tanned, full-grain leather from Conceria Walpier, an esteemed tannery in Italy. More commonly used in leather objects such as belts and wallets, Buttero leather straps are prized for their wonderful patina, as well as rich colour.
Once again, the quality on offer is impressive for the price. For example, one can clearly see the grains of the leather, which indicates that the leather used was taken from the uppermost portion of the animal’s hide. It’s premium to the touch, and has a sleek aesthetic. As compared to the previous Epsom and Pueblo leather, the Buttero strap has a smooth look, and will thus fit minimalist watches the best, such as the Humism Daesin. Its pared-back side stitching also elevates its clean appearance. It feels a tad similar to the Horween Chromexcel strap that I reviewed previously from Nomad, though thinner and more refined.
Like the other “luxury leather straps” from Nomad, the Buttero strap features comfortable Zermatt lining, as well as quick-release spring bars.
The Buttero leather strap may be my favourite out of the lot. It’s well-crafted, has a sleek appearance, and pairs well with a variety of watches. It should be noted that Buttero straps are relatively rare in the local market, especially at this sub-S$40 price point. In fact, Nomad’s new Buttero strap may be the most affordable Buttero strap one can find. For the price, it is amazing bang-for-buck.
Conclusion – so Nomad Watch Works “shiok” or not?
Nomad has been growing from strength to strength, and I think with these latest batch of straps they have really come into their own. All five straps reviewed today costs just S$30+, and are great value propositions. However, I would say that the Epsom, Pueblo and Buttero straps are the best out of the lot. All three leather straps punch above their price point, making them great options for those that want to elevate your timepieces with nice leather straps but don’t want to break the bank.
For those interested in purchasing, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will grant 10% off all straps from Nomad’s online web-store. After the discount, the straps can be had for a steal. Nomad makes some of the best leather straps under S$40, and I can’t wait to see what other leather straps they will be introducing later this year – I would love to see an affordable Barenia strap!
View Nomad Watch Works’ full offering of straps here.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.