First, a kind of peace in Europe by finishing the Cold War (though that could be going pear shaped). Secondly, a Godsend of an alphabet for those who have names like mine, meaning that I, too, can enjoy the freedom of ordering pizza at any moment. Third, and perhaps the least significant to non-watch people, is that the Nato strap, the nylon fabric strap that’s easily removed, cleaned and swapped about, which such as Hansel, is hot at the moment.
Confusingly, the original Nato strap was devised by the British and its most famous wearer was MI6 superspy James Bond, who sported a lovely two-tone Nato strap with his Rolex Submariner in the 1964 classic Goldfinger. Now, the now omnipresent strap a part of a fad that is adding a bit more personality and color to a wristwatch, and the Daniel Wellington Classic Canterbury (far right) is a great example.As the name would suggest, the timeless Canterbury takes its design cues from watchmaking suspended in the last century, so the dial is fresh and almost empty and the outer ring is again a classically appropriate rose-gold steel. Mixing classic design with an eye-catching red and navy strap may seem jarring to a few but it’s bang on the current trends, and the big benefit of the Nato strap is, if you don’t like it, then you can swap it. The timeless Canterbury watch is a comparatively simple Swiss watch, using a quartz Japanese movement inside, and can be priced at an eminently attractive HK$1,750. Named after Givenchy creative head Riccardo Tisci’s favorite number, the timepiece is the brand’s first foray into watchmaking. Fashion brands, unsurprisingly, are much faster on the Nato strap fad compared to traditional watchmakers, and the Givenchy Seventeen comes in a multitude of colours and straps, although the grey on grey is especially nice. The military nature of the strap can also be complimentary into the design of this Seventeen, together with the eye attracted into the robust-looking steel instance with the oversize drag and crown protector. The dial is simple but includes a series of curved indentations that catch the light and add depth to the watch, which is powered with a Swiss-made quartz movement. Priced at HK$6,600, the Givenchy Seventeen comes bundled using an extra calfskin strap as well as the Nato variant.
Ultimately, we’ve got among the large boys rocking the Nato strap and pushing it to new and more luxurious areas. The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary limited edition (below) is a party of the lunar landings but, actually, most people will be more interested in the PVD dial and chocolate backsplash combination. Omega will inform you that given the”era” of this watch the Nato strap is appropriate. However, what it really means is that it is cool right now – and it is not erroneous. It’s a Speedmaster, hence the sporty chronograph dial face along with also the tachymeter outer ring is instantly recognisable, but luxury is added by means of Omega‘s proprietary Sedna golden for the hands, indexes and the outer instance ring. Omega’s heritage informs not just the appearances but also the interiors, and there is a modern update of the wound chronograph movement, the Omega in house calibre 1861, with 48 hours of power reserve, which was worn on the moon. The 42mm titanium case is also pleasantly controlled.