Perlon straps. You may have seen them around, but what exactly are they and would you consider wearing one?
That is the exact question I asked myself when Sam from wristbuddys.com sent several coloured straps in for review. Constructed of the same nylon we know and love in a NATO, it takes on a different appearance in this crosshatch braid but functions like any other single pass strap.
A unique trait of the perlon is that there are no dedicated holes for the pin in the buckle, meaning the wearer can get a millimetre perfect fit which cannot always be achieved by other types of fixed length straps. By simply piercing the strap between weaves at the desired length, you can create the perfect fit for your wrist. Another benefit of its signature style weave, perlon lets your skin breathe extremely well even on the most humid of days while bringing an entirely unique aesthetic to the timepiece it is affixed to. Dressy in some ways, sporty in others, it has its own way of supporting your timepiece.
I’ll admit, it hadn’t crossed my radar to purchase a perlon strap for my own collection yet given the opportunity I thought why not try it for myself. I chose to throw the black perlon on my Halios Seaforth which took a bona fide sport watch and gave it a softer appearance. I usually pair the Seaforth on a NATO or rubber strap to stay true to its diving spirit, however the Perlon made me comfortable to reach for it in dressier settings. Conversely, the Seiko SRPD97J1 paired with the beige variation gave this dress watch a more approachable feel that looked apt paired with a t-shirt as it did a shirt cuff. It seems the magic of this strap is to take whichever side of the spectrum your timepiece leans toward and brings it closer to middle ground.
I imagine the collector who has been around and tried all the basic wares in the hobby may want to take a chance and try out a perlon strap, with its appearance unlike any other style of strap on the market. It may very well be the new breath of life you’re after or never knew you needed. From SKX’s to Speedy’s, Perlon straps have adorned many different timepieces and all you need to do is scroll through the gallery below and Instagram to find out just how it looks for yourself.
So how do these Perlon straps stack up?
While these are definitely on the firmer side and will need to be worn in, they will not feel too dissimilar to a nato strap after some wear. Single pass straps are becoming increasingly popular in the market as it minimises any additional thickness to the watch on the wrist which is exactly what the wristbuddys product achieves here. Both the Halios and Seiko sat nice and low on the wrist, proving vital to comfort in the wearing experience. The buckle arrangement is comparable to other providers in this segment and while it is quite basic, it serves its purpose appropriately. I would not describe the straps to be paving the way of luxury and but that’s not what they are trying to achieve. What is on offer here is value. Straps can get very expensive very quickly depending where you shop, but from wristbuddys.com these will set you back $15USD. You may be able to find cheaper options, but by not much more and from potentially questionable sources. With wristbuddys, we have the opportunity to support a fellow watch community member who’s always available should you have any questions about the product. The entry level to Perlon straps starts here and if you find that this style fits in with your aesthetic, there is ample room in the market to explore above and beyond this price point to meet your needs.
It is hard to critique a strap that costs $15USD and positioned to be an entry level product, but there is only one area of improvement that the team at wristbuddys may consider to address. The tip of the perlon strap is heat bonded to prevent the edges from fraying and while it does exactly that, it may not be the most refined option from a visual standpoint. I feel this comment may also be a little harsh, as it is tucked away on the inside of the strap not visible to the wearer once the watch is secured to the wrist. However, it would add an extra level of refinement to the product and really separate the strap from its competitors.
I’d like to congratulate Sam on his new venture at wristbuddys, he has been someone that I’ve interacted with from the early days of my Instagram journey and is always available to chat about watches and now, his products too! You can contact him via instagram @wristbuddys or the wristbuddys website.
Find the full range at wristbuddys.com