Today we are gonna look at a strap with a unique and completely original way on how it attaches on your wrist. I have never seen such a design and I bet neither are you! The company that makes these unusual straps is Olaaf which is based in France. “Olaaf revisits the watch strap “à la française” by placing the user experience in the centre of its development, in order to gain more practicality, more safety and more comfort combined with an avant-gardist design.” The company started selling these straps only recently, but from their Instagram, I see that they are selling in quite a lot of places and people who have a vintage or new watches are using these straps on their watches more and more. So is this strap the new way of strapping your watch on the wrist? Let’s find out!
The Olaaf straps ship from France and to Latvia it came pretty fast despite the holiday season. The strap actually was delivered to me just before New Year’s eve so I had a lot of time to spend with it and wear it on all sorts of different watches. The strap has a nice and simple packaging with that cardboard sleeve. Inside you will find the strap and instructions on how to put it on a watch as it might be a bit confusing at first. I also have to mention that they make all their straps in France and they are very high-quality ones too! The first impressions were that it looks a bit weird and not like everything else I have reviewed thus far.
The strap that I chose is the orange one with stainless steel hardware. They also have other colours: black, dark blue, light blue, green and you can choose between rose gold, yellow gold, stainless steel or black hardware colour to match your watch. When you will be ordering your strap, you will need to use the configurator on Olaaf website and you can customize your strap to your needs. Right now they only sell 18mm and 20mm width straps, but I hope they will come out with 22m versions too as I think there is a big market there too. The strap is composed of an innovative elastomer which is more resistant and as agile as most rubbers and silicones used on the market. This feature allows Olaaf to be thin enough to slide through the bars while remaining extremely solid. Moreover, Olaaf is the only single-stranded watch strap equipped with a double fixing patented clasp. The hardware is polished and signed with Olaaf logo.
First time putting on the strap was a very strange experience as usually I just pop off the spring bars and switch the straps, but here you have a bit more different process. Olaaf already made a video explaining how to put the strap on.
In my opinion, this is a very strange way and I started to swap this strap by just using the quick release spring bars. I just put the strap on the watch case back and put in the spring bars. And if I want to change it, I just pop off the spring bars and the strap is out and you don’t need to stretch the strap, take out the closing mechanism to put it on the watch.
On the wrist, the strap feels really good. As all rubber straps it is very comfortable and for summer it is perfect on a diver. The only thing that looks a bit weird and needed some time to get used to was how it closes. But after some time you get used to it and it really is really secure, I can surely say that it is more secure than a nato strap. Another thing was that it looked also strange on the wrist as one of the strap sides is much thinner than the other one. Anycase after wearing it for 2 months I quite like it and it is one of the most comfortable straps I have tested in a while.
Overall the straps are pretty good. If you can get used to the strange closing system and how it looks on the wrist then I highly suggest you to consider buying it. I wore it on different style watches (pilot’s, diver’s and even vintage classic looking watches) and it still looked really good. The strap costs 55€ which is a bit pricey for just a strap, but in my opinion worth it. The strap is exceptionally well made and feels just like a Made in France product should!