By Jason Heaton
on 7.14.09

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It’s time to take the classic “tool” wristwatch back to its rightful place on a dive boat or the racetrack. Most of these marvels of micro-engineering and classic rugged style are languishing on a nightstand or in a desk drawer, while the cheap black plastic (CBP) watches get to have all the weekend fun. Can you blame a man for leaving behind his 1,000-meter water-resistant dive chronograph when it’s blinged out with a faux-crocodile strap or an over-polished bracelet? A rugged sports watch needs a strap that is up to the rigors of its designed use.

Luckily, we’ve found just the thing.

GasGasBones watch straps have a cult following in the online watch geek community, and for good reason. Made to order in England, the straps are of simple design, well-built, and downright affordable. While I like the way my ten-year old Rolex Submariner looks on its classic Oyster bracelet, it’s rattly and loose and not really suited for the running, cycling, paddling, and diving I like to do. I’ve tried rubber straps as well as thin nylon straps but I really wanted something more beefy and comfortable. So I took some measurements and placed my order with GasGasBones. A week later, a Royal Mail package arrived and with it, an alter ego for my watch.

The straps are made of heavy-duty black nylon webbing and utilize a one-piece design. This ensures that, should one spring bar break, you won’t lose your dive watch to Davy Jones’s locker. It also means the watch rests on a nylon pad against your wrist, which is remarkably comfortable. The closure method is simple – hook-and-loop patches (oh, let’s just call it VelcroTM) that make the strap infinitely adjustable for those hot summer days when your wrist swells an extra half-inch. The total package gives any sports watch a whole new look – tough, tactical – while still looking right at home on your Breitling or Sinn. This is no drugstore velcro strap.

GasGasBones straps come in several varieties, suitable for all kinds of watches. You can choose stitch color, width, style, and even labels that recall the golden age of the sports watch, a time when the Apollo astronauts wore their Omegas on the outside of their spacesuit sleeves on similar straps. To order, you need to provide your wrist diameter, your watch’s lug width and the distance between the spring bars across the back of the watch.  Then, when the strap arrives, take your watch on the adventures for which it was designed. Leave the faux-croc strap for the office on Monday.

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Cost: Prices Vary

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