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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Some of us collect watches and keep all of them, some of us just buy and later sell and like me probably had over hundreds of watches since your watch ''addiction'' started.

Some of you also buy alot of watch strap and bands to satisfy your taste.

I've learned many things in the years about watches, the different parts, material used for watches, crystal material this vs that, etc... but one thing that is still not clear to me is all the different kinds of materials used for making watch straps.

I've had straps made of: Rubber, Silicone, Urethane, Polyurethane, etc...We know also that sometimes more expensive does not mean more quality.
For exemple the most durable one I've owned is the Citizen strap with the depth rating printed on which can be purchased for $25. ( which I don't know the material it's made of)

What is the difference between all these materials?
Which is the most resistant in the long run?
Which has less tendency to tear?
Which is the best for a watch that will be used for diving?

:think:
 

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Ive only had rubber and silicone, which I got from watchadoo. Its the most flexible and comfortable band I have. That said, the Maratec and Maratec Elites are supposed to be comfortable also. You may want to consider checking those out too
 

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I had the same Citizen strap, and your right, they were great.
My experience with Silicone, is it perishes more quickly than other types.
But i think your a touch wrong about expensive is not always better. While that is semi true, i have found, no matter the product, down to the shoes on your feet, " you get what you pay for "
 

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Discussion Starter #4
But i think your a touch wrong about expensive is not always better. While that is semi true, i have found, no matter the product, down to the shoes on your feet, " you get what you pay for "

I think I'm right since I did say ''We know also that sometimes more expensive does not mean more quality'' ;-)
 

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I think I'm right since I did say ''We know also that sometimes more expensive does not mean more quality'' ;-)
Yes Mate, thats why i put " Semi true "

You dont always get what you pay for, but i try to buy things once, and have even converted my Wife, who has very tight purse strings, to the same way of thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You dont always get what you pay for, but i try to buy things once, and have even converted my Wife, who has very tight purse strings, to the same way of thinking.
I totally agree with trying to buy things once. Talking about the wife, I'm trying to convince mine that the Volvo CX90 would be a good thing for us. We'll see how she buys that! :-!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Any rubber, plastic material specialist here on the forum that could put some light on this thread?
 

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Rubber -
1. A yellowish, amorphous, elastic material obtained from the milky sap or latex of various tropical plants, especially the rubber tree, and vulcanized, pigmented, finished, and modified into products such as electric insulation, elastic bands and belts, tires, and containers. Also called caoutchouc, India rubber.
2. Any of numerous synthetic elastic materials of varying chemical composition with properties similar to those of natural rubber.

Silicone (rubber) -
1. A rubber-like material composed of silicone—itself a polymer containing silicon together with carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. During manufacture heat is required to vulcanize (set or cure) the silicone into its rubber-like form. This is normally carried out in a two stage process at the point of manufacture into the desired shape, and then in a prolonged post-cure process.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) -
1. A thermoplastic polymer. It is a vinyl polymer consisting of vinyl groups (ethenyls) that are bound to chlorine. Polyvinyl chloride is the third most widely produced plastic.

Polyurethane (aka urethane) -
1. Any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane (carbamate) links. Polyurethane polymers are formed through step-growth polymerization by reacting a monomer containing at least two isocyanate functional groups with another monomer containing at least two hydroxyl (alcohol) groups in the presence of a catalyst.

Which is "best"? Since, all of these compounds are general categories of material, the specific properties are defined by the specific formula used in each, i.e., there are many different compounds used in rubber, silicone, polyurethane and PVC, each have slightly different properties that have to (or, can be) tailored to fit the specific application.
 

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The best is rubber. I have had some of my rubber straps for years and they still look great. Silicone is junk and should not be used for straps. I have had a few that I had tear on me in a short period of time. Beyond that they are lint collectors. PVC lasts a long time but is plastic and does not belong on a high end watch. Urethane is my second choice behind rubber but it will break down after a few years. I have noticed that a few makers have been advertising straps as polyurethane but they have been silicone.

Regards,

Ren
 

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Discussion Starter #10
PVC lasts a long time but is plastic and does not belong on a high end watch.

Well other than the fact that you think that plastic does not belong on a high end watch, would PVC be more resistant therefore last longer than rubber? To me if a strap looks good and is resistant I would not mind that it's PVC. I'm a diver and alot of my gear is made of plastic probably PVC and I can say that it is top notch gear. My watch is part of my equipment also...so a bit of PVC won't bother me! So in that case what would be the difference between Rubber and PVC on a material proprety aspect?
 

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Okay, PVC has no place on a good watch period. PVC bands will crack and break just not as soon as silicone bands will. Rubber is the best material for waterproof watch straps. Just because some diving equipment may be made of plastic doesnt mean it belongs on a higher end watch. I have a MARES dive mask from 1993 that is still serviceable but doesnt mean I want my watchband made out of the same material. All of my watches reside on rubber (a few silicone and polyurethane) and by far the rubber is superior. So in my experience over the years rubber is the most durable and best material for dive watch straps. The rubber also has a higher tensile strenght than the PVC and the rubber is resistant to ultraviolet rays and saltwater. Trust me rubber straps are much more durable than pvc, urethane, and silicone.


Regards,

Ren
 

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I'll agree that natural rubber straps are highly regarded as being both durable and comfortable, but the OP stated: "best for a watch actually used for diving"

In that criteria I would recommend a 4 ring Zulu nylon strap. They pass through both lugs so a broken spring-bar will not lose the watch, they lock the watch head to the strap so when you are wrapping the watch over the dry suit on a rocking boat deck the watch head won't slide off the strap across the deck and out a scupper, and they are long enough to fit over pretty much any dry suit I've seen. Plus, they are fairly inexpensive and are easily replaceable if they become damaged.

If I am going to take a watch that costs $$$ diving, I want a strap that pretty much guarantees I won't lose it. Pick a watch with drilled lugs and swap the strap when you dive - one strap for comfort and another for the sea.
 

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Each material has it's own advantages and disadvantages IMO. The most comfortable material for me is polyurethane. Specifically, the isofrane straps that Omega used to make in the 70s.

Interesting that you find the Citizen straps durable. I love the Aqualands and have owned a pile of them, but my experience has been that after a few years the straps disintegrate. This has been with exposure to heat/UV and salt water of course, but I'd expect a dive watch strap from a prominent maker to do a bit better.

The strap for the Auto-zilla is different and shows as few signs of wear as the Duratect case does, six years on.
 
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