New Watch Strap Design! The Hook Strap Series
Hey everyone! Nick Mankey here comin' atcha yet again with my latest attempts in watch band innovations! It is my pleasure to introduce you all to one of my favorite projects to date: The Hook Strap.
Initially developed as a bit of a personal project for the 'Cap Strap' (a bottle-opening watch band), the concept of using elastic with a hook-like piece of hardware seemed like an idea worth diving into a few leagues deeper.
Priority #1 was getting the elastic just right. So I worked with a renowned elastics manufacture to achieve a strong yet soft and breathable elastic with a tasteful twill weave to provide just enough visual interest on its own. This elastic has actually shown to meet military standards in terms of durability.
Priority #2 was slimming down the design as much as possible. This means no elastic beneath the watch, no bulky hardware, just a trim and concise package. And having just come from developing the Cap Strap which utilizes a big hook, I had already taken a few steps in identifying the perfect hardware for an elastic watch band: An in-line Hook! So I sourced some appropriate metallic hooks (for strength), and came up with a closure system that kept all the hardware between layers of elastic, never contacting the skin, nor able to protrude on the exterior to scratch any sub-wrist surfaces.
Priority #3 was ease of use. Installing and wearing the Hook Straps is (in my opinion) far easier than that of other elastic straps on the market. It installs basically like a Nato Band that is then folded through the slider, adjusted, and finally terminated onto the Hook. Once you have the sizing dialed in to your sweet spot, the watch slips off the wrist with your size saved in the loop. It then slides back on, and the Hook just latches onto the loop in a matter of seconds.
And a few months later, this was the result!
An extremely comfortable, low-profile, easy-to-wear, micro-adjusting, water-proof, shock-resistant watch band in a clean and concise package. It's not often enough that a project destroys all of my design element tick boxes with such flying colors, so I am very proud of these! And quite honestly, have a hard time finding myself wearing anything else on my watches. They've certainly proved to be fantastic in this unseasonably cold weather we're having 🥶
A quick shot of how the strap comes together.
The first complete Hook Strap I made was actually a NASA-themed build for my Fortis Cosmonauts space watch to wear in attendance to a showing of The First Man (yep, nerd status confirmed). But it really brought up an interesting perspective; Immersed in such epic spaceman heroism, I couldn't help but to feel as if I were indeed sporting a space-age Nato strap, fit for everything from a hike through dense alien forestry, to a critical EVA repair out in deep space. Color me romantic, but at the very least, the comfort of one of these straps is definitely other-worldly.
But before I further novelize this post, I'd greatly appreciate to hear from all of you; My favorite watch community! (seriously, you guys are the best). I welcome any and all feedback. Lend me your gut reactions, thoughts, concerns, and anything else that comes to mind. And if it turns out that there's any interest, I'd be happy to set up a drop for the community!
Thank you for your time ❤