BluShark Strap Review
Straps for watches are a pretty big market and the choice available is huge, but often i have found when it comes to NATO style straps there is simply nothing out there for someone as fussy as me. Ordinarily i hate NATO or Zulu style straps as they seem to never sit comfy, have poor buckles , or have that annoying extra flap bit at the end. My dislike for such straps is long standing but i also like the appeal they are supposed to offer, quick secure fit with comfort and quality, sadly until now id never found this with any prior NATO/Zulu strap.
Despite being unimpressed by previous offerings i decided to keep and open mind, having looked about there are a few suppliers who seem to offer some good straps that tick some of my fussy boxes ( BluShark/GeorgesStraps/Geckota ), so today we take a look at BluShark offerings to see if they measure up. James at BluShark was very kind to send me a few random samples of which two i have found work well with a couple of my daily watches so lets take a look at these and see how they fare.
First up to the plate was this dark blue strap with brush finished buckle and savers, the stitching is great quality and the fabric has no loose threads, the feel is smooth with no scratchy bits to annoy the skin. I decided this would work well with my vintage Pulsar diver, quite often i wear this watch so testing comfort during these hotter months was gonna be a tough call but so far so good.
As for looks, this strap sits perfectly on this watch and compliments the dial nicely, the excess strap length folds over nicely and does not get in the way or foul long sleeve shirts. Despite being worn day in day out in rather hot weather i was surprised to find no irritation on the wrist, that irritating itch you get from some straps simply did not happen. So after wearing it for over a week and doing various activities i found the strap sits very comfy indeed, the fact it did not cause my wrist to become itchy is somewhat of a miracle as this is so often the case with my other watches i wear.
Next up was this " Bond Style " strap of similar type to the first but this was to go on my Marloe Black Edition Swiss watch. The Haskell Black Edition is a more modern watch with a flat back so i was not sure whether this strap would sit or fit as comfy as the first but it turns out it works just fine.
The original strap on the Marloe was very comfy and worked well but i must admit this two tone strap certainly makes a bigger impression and brings out the dial design much better than the flat leather band before it. Comfort was again no problem at all, all day every day wear saw no irritation, end piece folded over and did not come loose or get caught on sleeves. On both watches with these straps fitted i did find getting the strap on a little fiddly but far less so than previous straps of this type, i think partially this is just getting used to this type of strap.
Overall my experience with NATO straps has been horrible and ive been put off buying any for years due to the repeated disappointment, and sure i know the end flap can be trimmed but i think a strap should work out of the box and be functional without need to reach for scissors. The straps James @ BluShark had sent me were completely random and by no means have i been paid to say these are awesome, in fact he could not of picked a more cynical person to review them but im glad he did as i may just be converted.
Whilst ive not tested hundreds of straps i can say without doubt that the straps in this review have lived up to and beyond expectation, i started out with absolute dislike for this type of strap and now feel there are actual options out there. I have yet to get hold of some other straps from Geckota & Georges Straps to make a comparison but im sure in the near future i will be getting some in.
So to break it down here's the pros & cons
- Excellent quality materials with well finished buckle and savers
- Great all day comfort and no irritation or sore wrist from sweat burn
- Secure fit with excess easily tucked away
- Washable ( should you really need to )
- Good pricing/quality ratio
- Brings new life to unworn watches
- US Based so no UK supplier making import fees a potential put off
- Fiddly to put on the wrist ( but this may just be my cack handedness )
With great ease i can highly recommend buying from BluShark, they offer a wide range of colors and styles as well as brushed and polished finish buckles. The materials used are not cheap but then you want them to last so the value here is very good. Smooth and comfortable materials used in the main strap are worth the extra costs just to save your wrists from that horrid itchy burn. Whilst there is the potential to incur import costs ( here in UK at least ) id recommend buying several straps to make it worth the fee ( should you be unlucky with customs ). So if you are looking for good quality NATO style straps then head over to BluShark as they are seriously worth considering.
View BluShark website here > BluShark