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Anyone that has spent some time collecting and enjoying watches knows the disappointing feeling of slowing denying certain pieces from their wrist time. It’s most likely unintentional, but a lot of it has to do with “losing the spark” or having the honeymoon phase slowly fizz away. It happens, but it’s the kind of thing that can really be turned around by quickly changing the overall look of your watch. While swapping hands, dials, and date wheels typically falls beyond the expertise of most watch lovers, changing straps can be a fun and easy way to revitalize the look of your watch without burying yourself in tools or totally breaking the bank. There also happens to be many different watch strap styles (both factory original and generic watch straps) to choose from that range from light and casual, to heavy and durable, that will keep your watch interesting for years to come. 

Different types of watch straps and bands- generic and OEM watch bands
Different types of watch straps- generic and OEM watch bands

Besides allowing the wearer to refresh a watch’s overall look, strap changing makes it really easy to creatively channel your own style. So even though you might feel that a certain watch doesn’t necessarily express what you want to communicate stylistically, it’s usually pretty easy to remedy that situation with generic leather watch straps or even with generic rubber watch straps. A word of warning though – the process can be highly addicting and before long you might find yourself actually owning more straps than watches!

Another huge advantage of experimenting with strap changes is the fact that you rarely need an extensive set of tools. Most of the time, a basic spring bar tool available off of Amazon can typically get the job done. Some brands like Rolex make it slightly more difficult and recommend the use of their own significantly more expensive proprietary tools. Nevertheless, the process is still simple.

Once you have your tooling in order, it’s very important to select a generic leather or rubber watch strap that is cut to accurately fit the watch case in terms of width. Most watches are typically fitted with 18mm, 20mm, or 24mm wide straps but you might find outliers here and there. One example would be older Rolex Oyster Perpetual models that utilized 19mm wide straps and bracelets. While OEM watch band replacements coming directly from the original manufacturer are your best bet for a perfect fit, their generic aftermarket watch strap counterparts are still very serviceable and likely much more affordable.

Rolex Daytona with leather and rubber watch strap variations
Rolex Daytona with leather and rubber watch strap variations

If the bracelet you’re replacing is attached with a standard spring bar system, then it’s simply a matter of angling your spring bar tool properly and applying adequate pressure until the bracelet pops out. And if you happen to have a Rolex Submariner with a “holes” case, well, you’re going to have one heck of a fun time with easy strap changes.

Perhaps the best part of swapping straps is the kind of variety you get to choose from. The most popular option, high quality generic leather straps, offers a luxurious solution to your strap changing needs. Gray & Sons carries a ton of options ranging from crocodile, to lizard, and even ostrich leather varieties. For an even sportier, vacation-ready approach, an aftermarket rubber strap can really set off the look of your watch. Experiment, be bold, and browse our selection of high-quality factory replacement and generic watch straps today.