Watch straps have become such and essential part of a watch geek. We like to change straps for the watch to change how it looks, wears and to freshen up the looks of the same watch so it feels like you are wearing a new watch. There are many straps in these times. But I haven’t seen many watch straps doing some interesting designs. But Vario does it very well. The Vario firstly attracted me, and I contacted them because I wanted to review watch. But I didn’t know they were making also these straps, so right now I chose to review straps.
So I chose three straps. I also chose two straps for my girlfriend and her watches, so don’t think I’m wearing the macaroon strap 😀 Vario is the brainchild of Ivan Chua, a graphic designer from Singapore. He was bored with the plain looks of the ever popular NATO-straps and wanted to do something different. So expect straps featuring chevron’s, plaids and even macaron’s as decorations. I tested the raindrop, macaron dots and mono plaid. One of the first things you notice is that the weaving of the strap feels much finer
One of the first things you notice is that the weaving of the strap feels much finer than with most NATO-straps. The result is a thinner, more flexible and softer fabric. This makes it not only easier to attach to the watch but it also feels much nicer to the skin.
A NATO-strap is not suitable for every watch, especially not one that features a display back like. For this Vario also offers two piece straps, yet made from the same materials, and designs, as their NATO-straps. I selected a raindrop, macaroon and mono plaid 2 piece nato. Made from the same material as regular natos, also these straps wear very comfortably. A Nice feature is that the straps are quite absorbent, but that the moisture that enters the strap also evaporates quite quickly.
I really like that the quick release spring bars are built into the strap. This is not only very handy, but it also allows for very quick and easy changing of the strap. They also gave me some spare regular spring bars and the spring bar tool which seem to be the regular cheap one. But I don’t know why they did this, maybe so I could change the previous strap? But any case it’s a nice touch. Vario has two fixed, metal loops are sewn into the strap. On one of these metal loops, the Vario logo is nicely engraved, another subtle detail.
Overall the straps are really nice, as you can see they fit not only modern watches, but also vintage too. Of course, some watches will look dumb with these straps I think as they don’t fit everything, but if you take the right design it will fit the watch perfectly. Especially the summer is coming and it is getting crazy hot here in Latvia, I wear my vintage Raketa watch with the mono plaid 2 piece nato and my wrist doesn’t get sweaty like with leather strap. You should definitely take some for the summer, it will be a lifesaver for a hot day, just swap them fast with quick release spring bars and you are ready!
A Vario NATO-strap starts at US$16,- for the plain ones, with more intricate designs like the one in this article priced at US$26,-. They even have special straps for the ever popular Casio G-Shocks, complete with adapters to fit it to the watch (normally a G-Shock cannot be fitted with a NATO-strap.).