When we created the Oceaner 41, our goal was to introduce a new interpretation of the legendary professional diving watches first created in the 1950’s. The watch needed to be practical, functional and cool, which is why we paired it up with a NATO strap available in a range of different colours. If you don’t know what a NATO strap is, you can learn all about it here. Sometimes, however, the occasion calls for something a little more formal, which is why we also offer the Oceaner 41 on a crocodile-style black leather strap or a silver mesh bracelet. Don’t worry if you can’t decide which one is right for you, we’re here to help.
THE LEATHER STRAP
Ever since men and women first began to wear watches on their wrists – around the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th Century – leather straps have played a major role. Back then they were more commonly referred to as wristlets, and in the very early days they were basically just strips of leather crudely attached to the watch case. Louis Cartier, the charismatic founder of Cartier, is often credited with being one of the first people to popularise leather watch straps when he made a wristwatch with a leather strap for his friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont.
Santos-Dumont was an early pioneer in aviation and he would often complain to Mr. Cartier that it was very difficult to steer his rudimentary planes when he had to continually fumble around in his clothes looking for his pocket watch. Mr. Cartier had the idea of making a watch he could wear on his wrist and the Cartier Santos model was born in 1904. It proved so popular, that the model that is still made by Cartier to this day.
The need for wrist-worn watches became even more pressing with the advent of World War I, and the humble watch quickly became an essential part of an officer’s kit. It was more convenient and practical than a traditional pocket watch, which was still considered the height of fashion at the time (hard to believe, right?)
As the wrist-watch started to grow in popularity and stature, so too did the quality of the leather strap attaching it to the wrist improve. By the late 1920’s/early 1930’s, now iconic dress watches, like the Patek Philippe Calatrava, the Rolex Datejust and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, were all worn on tasteful leather straps. These days, leather straps continue to be incredibly popular among watch enthusiasts, and are perfect for those times when you want to dress up a little more, such as a special dinner or a formal event.
For the Oceaner 41, we have chosen a stylish black leather strap with a faux crocodile finish. It gives the watch the appearance of more expensive models but at the same pocket friendly price of $99.
THE MESH STRAP
At the opposite end of the scale is our super funky mesh strap, or ‘Milanese’ watch strap, as they are commonly known. As you might have guessed from the name, this style of bracelet was first invented in Milan, Italy, in the 19th-century, and was worn as a type of jewellery. It was German companies like Staib and Vollmer, however, both based in the gold and jewellery manufacturing city of Pforzheim, that really pioneered the idea of making Milanese mesh watch bracelets back in 1922.
Milanese or mesh bracelets were super fashionable during the 60’s and 70’s and were often found on dive watches, such as the Omega Ploprof and the Breitling Superocean Chronograph. More recently they have come back in vogue, appearing on popular models like the IWC Portofino and the Tissot Visodate. Not only does it give your Oceaner 41 a nice retro look, it’s also super comfortable on the wrist and can be dressed up or down. Plus, it looks great on ladies or men.
Again, priced at $99, the Oceaner 41 with silver mesh braceletrom the crowd.