When it comes to straps I usually choose leather straps and rarely choose rubber or canvas straps as I never (at least before) could find a good quality strap that fits nicely and has everything I need like quick release spring bars and fun colours. But recently I was contacted by Barton Watch Bands and they offered me to look at their 3 collections (Canvas, silicone, elite silicon). I was noticing about a year ago that everyone was reviewing their straps on Youtube and talking very good things about them. I wanted to buy a couple to test them out but somehow forgot about them. Anycase I got to say, I was blown away by the quality of the straps and how well they fit my wrist!
Barton Watch Bands was born out of one man’s recurring frustration over poorly designed watch straps. An avid traveller, fun enthusiast and relatively obsessive watch guy, he couldn’t find watch bands that achieved his desired balance between fashion, function and fit. So, a mechanical engineer that he was, he started designing them himself. Barton Watch Bands are based in the USA (Austin).
So the straps arrived in a really nice packaging. The canvas straps were in small cardboard boxes, the silicone straps were in small plastic packages, but the elite silicones straps surprised me a lot. It came in a plastic bag, but the part with holes, there were two. The first one is regular size and the other one is a longer strap for bigger wrists. They also threw in some quick release spring bars in 22mm and 20mm, and a couple of stickers (one of them went on my laptop right away 😀 ). The first impression was that the silicon straps were really soft and they bend so easily. Probably the best fit I ever had for a silicone strap. Also, I have to mention that all straps have quick release spring bars built in.
Before we start looking at each strap, I have to mention that I’ve put each strap on a watches in rotation so they all were worn and tested to its fullest for 2 months straight. The canvas straps are the first one we will look at. Barton sent me 3 straps (sand, cream and orange). The material is pretty rugged by the touch, but pretty the strap itself is supple and bends your wrist nicely. The stitching is really good, each hole is stitched so it wouldn’t come apart. The tang buckles are made of stainless steel and they all have a satin brushed finish. Under the strap, you will find a nice black Barton tag which actually is very cool detail. I chose light colours because I wanted to test if I can wash them if it gets dirty. And yes, you can wash them, I took off the spring bars and buckle, put it in the washing machine and it came out looking new.
Now let’s take a look at the regular silicone straps. Right when I took them out the packaging, I noticed that these are probably the softest and supplest silicone straps I have ever had. The material is so soft that it wraps your wrist nicely and they feel very comfortable throughout the day. These straps also come with built-in quick release spring bars as all the Barton straps do. The buckle is regular tang style buckle and also in the same satin brushed finish. The underside of the strap is signed with Barton logo. These are mostly diving watch straps, as you can see I’ve put them on dive watches, but I’ve seen that people have been putting them on field watches, chronographs and even on classic design watches and I get why. Because they are super comfortable and you just don’t want to get back to leather straps at all.
The third style of strap is probably the coolest. This is the Barton’s one of the higher end straps. They are called “Silicone Elite“. I didn’t know that they are sending me these ones, but they threw them in as a surprise. So these also are silicone straps, but the difference from the other silicone straps is that they have a slight taper to them rather than just a straight cut like the previous ones. They also have that hump at the end with spring bars, they also have a waffle style pattern and underside colour is different than the one on the top. These ones are as just as soft and supple as the other silicone straps and because of the hump, they wear even better. The buckle is again a regular tang style buckle. They also have the quick release spring bars and all that usual stuff. Another great stuff is that the strap came in two different lengths (particularly the part without buckle) and that is a very useful thing, especially for big wrist guys. The one thing that Barton could improve these straps, in my opinion, is to make them reversible. If they replace the spring bars with a regular one and make them without the hump, it would be very interesting to flip the strap each day for a different colour, kind of like 2 straps in one deal. Actually saw one Youtuber saying the same thing and I can’t agree more, haha.
Overall the straps are really good, they are comfortable, they have good quality, price and presentation. I fairly can say that Barton makes the best silicone and canvas straps right now for a price that low. They also have some nato straps and leather straps that are also very good as far as I heard from another source. So go check them out at bartonwatchbands.com