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Hi guys,

I am about to buy a water-resistant watch strap. What are the pros and cons of cordura and sailcloth strap? Does anyone have side by side comparison picture?
 

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I have a number of sailcloth straps. Very stout and durable and so far all have been very water resistant. They just seem like better quality fabric/materials than cordura to me.
 

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Make sure to clarify the full composition of what you are purchasing. Most straps marketed as sailcloth are actually leather with an embossed pattern on it. Furthermore, most sailcloth and cordura straps I have seen are lined with leather on the bottom side, so neither of those would be truly waterproof.
 

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Make sure to clarify the full composition of what you are purchasing. Most straps marketed as sailcloth are actually leather with an embossed pattern on it. Furthermore, most sailcloth and cordura straps I have seen are lined with leather on the bottom side, so neither of those would be truly waterproof.
I'm not really sure you can say which material is better since there are just too many other variables to consider. I've seen some amazing sailcloth straps and some subpar ones, and same goes for cordura.
That being said, the sailcloths by Brady Straps are very nice although like C&B mentioned above I'm not sure if they're water resistant. Nicely padded, great exterior finish and very soft and comfy after break in.
The Omega cordura straps are probably my favorite straps ever, however they're very expensive. I know for a fact that although they're not described as waterproof the leather liner they use has been immersion tested for an hour and shown to have no ill effects afterwards. Granted it wasn't in seawater but still good to know that a little sprinkle will not completely ruin the liner.

I tend to prefer the finish of cordura vs sailcloth, as the cordura is a bit more subdued (think finely weaved military pack) while sailcloth has a bit more sheen to it. But to each their own.
 

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I have no opinion on which material is better. I just wanted to mention that the straps I have seen made of those materials may not be waterproof, and that is the main criteria that the OP is looking for in his strap.
 

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I have no opinion on which material is better. I just wanted to mention that the straps I have seen made of those materials may not be waterproof, and that is the main criteria that the OP is looking for in his strap.
I think the OP was looking for water resistance, not necessarily waterproofness (is that a word?), as well as pros and cons. As stated before the variation in implementation of the two materials is so great it's near impossible to do a "which is better." It's like asking if leather or cloth is better, even though there are a million types of leather and a zillion types of cloth.
But I agree that you should keep a keen eye out for the lining material since it's often overlooked. Besides the liner comes into contact with your skin and more often than not takes on more elements that cause degradation.
 

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How does canvas compare to sailcloth?
I'm looking for lighter colored straps like sand or olive. The sailcloths looked to be all black or blue.
 

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Finding a genuine sailcloth strap and not one that is "sailcloth style" or "sailcloth effect" may be a fool's errand. Brady says theirs as water resistant but, as with most advertised as sailcloth, it is a leather strap. The best you could hope for (short of finding a used Blancpain Fifty Fathoms strap for sale somewhere) is a leather one with a sailcloth pattern and a caoutchouc (rubber) lining. I'd go with corder if real water resistance is the goal.
 
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I have a cordura strap and over time, it has begun to fray a bit. It is especially susceptible to Velcro. I have been very interested in sailcloth, just haven't got my hands on one yet.
 

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Cordura looks great. Anyone ever try a Nato Cordura? I imagine its so thick that one risks damaging spring bars...
Thick NATOs don't work on some watches that have standard spring bars but there is a workaround -- Esslinger and Otto Frei sell an inexpensive tool that can bend the spring bar in the middle without damaging it, just enough to slip a NATO between the case and bars. A Cordura NATO would be about as thick as a leather one btw, roughly 3.0-3.2mm, so some quick measurements should provide a good clue as to the fit and whether the bars would need bending.
 

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Thick NATOs don't work on some watches that have standard spring bars but there is a workaround -- Esslinger and Otto Frei sell an inexpensive tool that can bend the spring bar in the middle without damaging it, just enough to slip a NATO between the case and bars. A Cordura NATO would be about as thick as a leather one btw, roughly 3.0-3.2mm, so some quick measurements should provide a good clue as to the fit and whether the bars would need bending.
I'm not sure if your measurements are quite correct when it comes to a Cordura Nato. The total thickness might be 3-3.2mm including both the pass through and the bottom pieces, but the part that slips through the space between the spring bar and the case can't be more than 1.5-2mm. Even 2mm is exceedingly thick for a single piece of leather or cloth, and they're usually only reserved for heavy pilot or rally straps.
But I agree that bent spring bars are a good workaround for getting some clearance. I bought a bunch from ebay user twenty(o) and they're very high quality, and something like 10 for $5 with free shipping if I remember correctly. Takes about 1-2 weeks to arrive, but a welcome alternative to having to purchase a tool AND springbars just to get bent ones.
 

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I'm not sure if your measurements are quite correct when it comes to a Cordura Nato. The total thickness might be 3-3.2mm including both the pass through and the bottom pieces, but the part that slips through the space between the spring bar and the case can't be more than 1.5-2mm...
Yinzerniner, you're right -- I should have pointed out that leather NATOs are either a single strip of 1.5mm material or a sewn double strip that has been split in the middle to fit through the gap between case and spring bar - example below. IMG_2200.jpg
 
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