Five Fun, Fabric-Strapped Watches Fit For Summer

Words by Mr Chris Hall

1 May 2023

When the sun shines and the humidity rises, watch fans know it’s time to switch up their wristwear. Steel bracelets get too hot and leather’s too sweaty (and prone to damage). Rubber’s OK, but even that can get a bit sticky now and then. Titanium has its advantages. It doesn’t conduct heat like steel and it’s nice and light, but it’s expensive and will still scratch. What you want is a fabric strap: comfortable, light, breathable, flexible, washable and, best of all, likely to add a splash of colour. We’ve picked out five watches that come on threads and make ideal poolside timepieces.

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Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT

This slim, 41mm dual-time-zone model strikes the perfect balance between simple charm and practical application. You will be able to keep track of time back home, if that’s a priority, or just enjoy its blue and grey spin on the classic GMT design. It’s water-resistant to 100m and the strap is an elasticated band with a simple steel hook fastener and a single thin blue stripe that matches the dial and bezel.

Shop the Bell & Ross collection here



The 002 from TOM FORD is a 43mm dive-style watch with a svelte one-piece case, through which its eye-catching woven strap runs. The bright orange material is recycled ocean plastic and has the TOM FORD name embossed along it. With 100m water resistance and a set-it-and-forget-it quartz movement, it’s the perfect easy-going summer watch.

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Oris Diver’s Sixty-Five Carl Brashear Limited Edition

Think of this, if you like, as a distant cousin of the Bell & Ross above. It is 1mm smaller in diameter, cased in bronze instead of steel and attired with a navy blue and pale yellow version of the same stretch-nylon strap. The big difference is the presence of Oris’ in-house calibre 401 under the dial, a five-day automatic made at the brand’s factory in Hölstein.

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IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Chronograph Blue Angels

Cased in blue ceramic and emblazoned across the dial with the squadron patch of the eponymous US Navy air display team, the Blue Angels limited-edition chronograph is no shrinking violet. It is one of the more modern executions of IWC Schaffhausen’s tried-and-tested Pilot’s Chronograph and measures a healthy 44.5mm across. The strap is a bit of a cheat, combining as it does rubber and textile for the best of both worlds – durability and good looks.

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Breitling Superocean Heritage Automatic Chronograph

Breitling was one of the first watch brands to start using reclaimed alternatives to traditional textiles. By partnering with the surfer Mr Kelly Slater’s Outerknown brand, it has been able to equip its Superocean Heritage dive watches with Econyl recycled Nato straps, such as this one in a discreet blue and black stripe. The chronograph measures 44mm across, has a DLC-coated steel case and a 48-hour power reserve.

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Strap yourselves in

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