Jan 4, 2019903 views

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.
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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!
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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 🥶
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A quick shot of how the strap comes together.
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Fully assembled!
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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 ❤ Kindest Regards, -Nick
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TDYRanger, xbarx1, and 25 others
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I'm really interested in these-I've never been completely happy with any of the bands. I love the look--very comfortable on the wrist. Thanks.
Love this design. I love original bracelets, but when I don't get a vintage watch with bracelet I usually do canvas or suede for the adventure/sporty look. I want several of these hook straps!
xbarx1
Hey thanks! I've just added more elastic colors too. They're listed on my site here: https://nickmankeydesigns.com/shop/the-hook-strap-elastic-watch-band

I got one from the last drop and it is officially my favorite strap out of the 50+ I own. Please make this drop happen again and with more color/size choices. Great Job!!
I'd definitely be interested in a drop!
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They're actually Black (as opposed to gray). And me too! However, that was a decision simply made from a wholesale logistics/pricing point of view. I'm not really set up to offer that level of complexity on such a large scale and still make a profit due to the cost of having to have each custom material on hand in bulk quantity, and more importantly afford the labor costs from the constant machine setup, production etc. Hope that helps to shed some light on the situation. But the other colors are available from my site! And I'd be happy to honor Massdrop pricing for your build if you just drop a comment with your order :)
nmankey
Thanks and appreciated.
Isn't this just a french military strap? And the olive green and yellow isn't that a direct rip off?
Glen8
I am not sure what you're referring to. Every aspect of the Hook Strap design was developed from the ground up. All materials are custom made, and built right here in the States by me. Any correlation outside of that is pure coincidence.
nmankey
Right on man, good luck
Great design. Where can I get them?
Erikesp
Thank you! I currently have them listed on my site here: https://nickmankeydesigns.com/shop/the-hook-strap-elastic-watch-band
I can approve of this message XD
I love the design, very well thought out. I’d definitely be interested in a few depending on color options!
I've been meaning to order one up, just need to figure out which watch/what color.
I really dig the design and materials, but not so sure about the clasp. Working in/around any tools or shop environment and I've noticed that fabric watch bands will catch on edges much easier than any other material. Couple that with a clasp that is only held by elastic tension, and I could easily see a watch being pulled off by a sharp edge and possibly lost. Personally, I'd like to see that design with a deployment buckle, or even a cobra clasp. Well done though, looks tight!
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Understandable... the environment I work in will vary throughout the day from an electrical test bench to wrenching on a tractor implement or tuning a bicycle drivetrain. All of my watches (even my G-shocks) are mounted on NATO/ZULU straps w/ 4 buckles for that very reason. Over time, the webbing will wear, get picked, and I'll finally break down to replace it, but NATOs are cheap and easy to swap. My personal favorite for material is the "seat belt" weave because it tends to have a smoother surface and is less prone to snagging on edges.
ADVcyclist
Very cool! That's a perfect choice of kit for the job I'd say.