Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean review! This Saturday, I’m taking a look at some new straps from local strap powerhouse, Nomad Watch Works.
I previously did a review of multiple straps from Nomad Watch Works here. Thereafter, Bing (founder of Nomad Watch Works) sent me a couple of their new watch straps to review. Let’s see if they are even better than the ones reviewed previously!
Nomad Watch Works – the Brand
I’ve previously discussed Nomad Watch Works as a brand in an interview with founder Bing. For those interested, the interview is included in my previous review of Nomad Watch Works’ straps, which can be read here.
Suede is probably one of the most popular forms of leather, sought after due to its soft touch and rough appearance. The strap is supple and comfortable on the wrist, whilst the suede and rally-styled design helps dress down the watch, making it more casual.
Despite its very affordable price tag ($28 SGD), I’m pleased to find stitched strap loops, painted edges that have been sanded and smoothed out, as well as some hand-stitched elements at the top and bottom of the strap. As with the other straps reviewed on this list, the build quality of this suede rally strap really punches above its weight!
If you’re looking for a more casual strap to dress down your watch, this suede rally strap is definitely a very attractive value proposition at just $28 SGD. If I had a knock, it would be the design – personally, I would have liked the perforations on the strap to be larger, as we tend to see on rally straps. The minuscule holes on this strap mutes the racing feel of the strap somewhat. Nevertheless, if you’re alright with the smaller than usual holes, this offering from Nomad Watch Works is definitely bang-for-buck! Rating: 8/10.
As we all know, divers are all the rage lately – and correspondingly, the popularity of ISO rubber straps have surged as well. The ISO rubber strap from NomadWatchWorks is made from high-quality silicone rubber, and is waterproof, making it the perfect companion for dive (or sports) watches.
On the wrist, the ISO rubber strap is thick and comfortable. It does not pick up lint and dust easily as well, an aspect of which I appreciated. All in all, if you’re looking for a rubber strap for your dive watch, I think the ISO rubber strap from NomadWatchWorks presents a good value proposition at just $18 SGD! Rating: 8/10.
One of the more unique straps that Nomad carries, the Performax strap features a hybrid construction, whereby a nylon, sailcloth-esque material is used for the exterior, while the inner lining is made of silicone. It comes fully stitched, and Nomad states that the strap is padded for better comfort.
As per the norm with the previous Nomad straps, the strap loops here are stitched. Due to the silicone lining, the strap is relatively comfortable when worn, and is also sweat-resistant! As such, I think this strap would be great for those with an active lifestyle.
My main knock on this strap is that it is slightly stiff, even after an extended period of breaking in. Furthermore, at $39 SGD, it is relatively pricey as compared to other straps from Nomad Watch Works. Overall, I think that this strap fits those with an active lifestyle best, and is most suitable to be paired with an everyday watch (like the BOLDR Venture!). The best asset of this strap is its versatility, and if that speaks to you, get it. Rating: 7/10.
I love this strap – I think it’s the best strap offered by Nomad Watch Works in its extensive collection. It’s so unique – I have not seen batik patterned straps at this price point before! The closest I can think of is Tunx straps, but that’s at the $200+ price point. The exterior of the strap is actually fashioned out of batik cloth – how cool is that?
On the wrist, the strap is soft and supple, and very comfortable. In addition, like all Nomad Watch Works’ straps, the strap loops are stitched for added durability. I love that the strap loops are black here – it complements the batik patterning of the strap so well! Overall, I think that Nomad Watch Works has hit a home run with this batik strap – it’s so strikingly unique. For those looking for give their wrist game some pizzaz, this will certainly do the trick without breaking the bank! I absolutely love this strap, and I hope that Nomad Watch Works can introduce more batik patterns in the future. Rating: 9.5/10.
With the Chevre leather line, it is clear that Nomad Watch Works is moving towards offering higher quality straps, whilst still providing the same outstanding value that they are known for. Chevre, a type of leather made famous by Hermes, is prized for its luxurious look. An average handcrafted Chevre leather strap costs around S$150 – this Chevre leather strap from Nomad Watch Works cost a literal fraction of that amount! It’s not handcrafted, but it is very affordable.
Despite the affordable price tag, the leather used here is of high quality. This isn’t just any standard Chevre leather – it’s top grade Alran Chevre leather. For the uninitiated, Alran is an esteemed French tannery, reputed for producing some of the best Chevre leather on the market. At $39 SGD, this is the cheapest Alran Chevre leather I’ve personally seen offered on the market. Here, one can see the beautiful grains of the leather, with the strap exuding a luxurious feel overall.
The lining is supple and very comfortable on the wrist. As per the norm, the strap loops come stitched. In addition, these come with quck release pins for easy access! Overall, I love this Emery Chevre Strap from Nomad Watch Works. I’ve actually showed this to a strapmaker, and he was astounded that this was being offered for less than $40 SGD. One of the best offerings in Nomad Watch Works’ current line-up, in my opinion. Rating: 9.5/10.
We’ve seen a slight resurgence in the popularity of denim straps lately, with Omega recently offering their iconic Railmaster in denim. However, quality denim straps – like jeans – are hard to find, and when found, are often quite expensive. Here, this affordable denim strap is made from premium 12.5 oz Japanese dry denim, feels great to the touch, and looks amazing as well!
The lining of the denim strap is leather, and is rather comfortable on the wrist. As always, the strap loops come stitched. At just $30 SGD, this is perhaps the best bang-for-buck denim strap on the market! Great for dressing down your watch, and perfect for a casual weekend with a pair of Levi’s. Rating: 9.5/10
NATO straps are a dime a dozen nowadays, but NATO straps with bronze hardware? Much less common. Given the rising popularity of bronze watches, the demand for NATO straps with bronze hardware has similarly gone up, and I think Nomad Watch Works absolutely nailed it with this offering. The NATO strap itself feels premium and robust (unlike the coarseness of lower quality NATO straps), and the bronze buckle + strap loops complements the bronze case of my Vilhelm Talos perfectly.
If you’re looking for an affordable bronze NATO strap for to complement a bronze watch, I think you need not look further. Highly recommended! Rating: 9/10
Nomad Watch Works sells a variety of oil waxed leather strap, but I think the M2 leather strap is the best of the lot. Although priced affordably, the finishing of the strap looks premium, and gives the strap a faux-patina look. The stitching is impeccable, with the colour deep and resplendent – a great option to elevate a dress watch.
Like all Nomad Watch Works straps, the strap loops are stitched for greater durability. In addition, the leather lining of the strap is comfortable and smooth to the touch, none of the cardboard like texture one sometimes get with lower quality straps.
For S$30, the M2 leather strap is definitely bang-for-buck – it definitely looks much more expensive than its actual price tag. I have it fitted on my Orient Sun and Moon, and I’m absolutely loving it, especially in this maroon colour. If you’re looking for an inexpensive leather strap for a dress watch, the M2 leather strap should be at the top of your list. Rating: 9.5/10.
Horween Chromexcel leather needs no introduction – Horween is probably one of the most famous leather tanneries in the world, with their Chromexcel leather straps being immensely popular amongst the watch community. It’s not hard to see why – the rich pull-up look is simply stunning, and it just adds instant splendour to a watch. Over time, the leather will develop patina, though it will probably not be that obvious on this black colourway.
As per the norm, the strap loops come stitched, and the calf leather lining feels premium to the touch. On the wrist, the strap is immensely comfortable, and in line with my previous experiences with Horween leather straps. In addition, the strap comes fitted with quick release spring bars for added convenience, which I love.
As we all know, retro styling is making a comeback in today’s world of watchmaking. Nomad Watch Works’ Horween leather strap, with its vintage two point stitching, makes for a perfect pairing with a vintage inspired watch – or even a dress watch! Honestly, at S$39, this is probably the cheapest Horween leather strap you can find on the market – a quick Google search shows other online strap stores that sell similar Horween leather straps for more than twice the price. Unbeatable value here! Rating: 9.5/10.
The Performax Croc Pattern Leather Hybrid Strap is exactly what its name suggest – a strap with a crocodile embossed leather upper, paired with a rubber lining. In my opinion, the crocodile embossing is executed pretty nicely here, coming close to emulating the texture of genuine crocodile straps. There’s a nice glossiness to the leather upper as well, which adds a nice dressy touch.
The USP (unique selling point) of the Performax hybrid strap is its rubber lining. Being rubber, it absorbs sweat well, and is great for those who spends most of their days outdoors or those who have an active lifestyle. It’s heavily padded too for added comfort.
Overall, the strap looks like leather, but feels like rubber. Personally for me, I found it hard to reconcile the two aspects of the strap. However, I think this strap is great for an everyday watch, or a desk diver – something that you can wear outdoors in Singapore’s humid climate, but also in the office under the shirt cuff. If you find yourself often wearing your watches in both these environments, the Performax Leather Hybrid Strap could be a good strap option that enhances the versatility of your watch. Rating: 7/10.
Nomadwatchworks recently introduced the premium leather NATO strap, meant as an upgrade to their previous PU leather NATO straps. I think this is a long time coming – many of their local strap rivals have introduced their own leather NATO straps, and it was time for Nomadwatchworks to launch their own.
As compared to their previous PU leather NATO strap, the premium leather NATO strap is fashioned out of genuine calf leather, and it shows. For the lack of a better word, the leather feels and looks much more “real”. There’s a slight gloss to the leather NATO strap as well, giving the strap a tad of a premium feel.
All in all, I think the premium leather NATO strap is quite bang-for-buck! At just S$20, I think it’s one of the best value propositions in the market if you are looking for a leather NATO strap. Sure, it’s not going to patina like a full grain leather strap from Cozy Leather would, but that’s almost thrice the price. If you’re on a budget, I think you can’t go wrong with the premium leather NATO strap from Nomadwatchworks. Rating: 9/10.
Conclusion – so Nomad Watch Works Straps “shiok” or not?
A definite yes. Nomad Watch Works remains one of my favourite local strap brands, for a few reasons. Firstly, they offer -by far- the greatest variety of straps on the market. Secondly, whilst their straps are immensely affordable (most are under S$40), almost all of them represents great value, and are all very high quality for the price. Lastly, Nomad Watch Works even offers free spring bars with the straps ordered! It’s a small service, but it adds greatly to customer satisfaction. Overall, if you’re on the hunt for affordable, but still well-made straps to jazz up your wrist game, Nomad Watch Works should have everything you need, and more!
For those interested in purchasing straps from Nomad Watch Works, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” will entitle you to 10% off all products from their web-store! After the discount, their straps can be had for a steal. My personal favourites from them are the batik straps, the Emery Chevre, M2, and Horween leather straps, and the aforementioned denim straps – be sure to check those out. Furthermore, if you require assistance with changing the watch straps, and live in the east, do drop by Nomad Watch Works’ physical store at Tampines Mall and their staff will change the straps for you! Do note that the discount will not be applicable at the physical store itself, though you can simply purchase online first and bring the straps down to the store thereafter.
View Nomad Watch Works’ full range 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!