Beginner's Guide to Watch Straps: 6 Types of Strap Buckle that Makes Your Watch Special

Not many wearers would notice this upon first glance but the strap buckle is one the most crucial factors determining whether your watch is going to be a comfortable fit on your wrist. Some straps hug very nicely and make your wearing experience unforgettable; others can be more difficult or complex to wear.

Ardillon / Tang buckle

Tang Buckle
Tang Buckle Image Credit: Camden Watch Company
Hirsch Toronto Grey Tang Buckle
Tang Buckle Worn (Innerside) Image Credit: Watch Obsession

Starting with the most common type of watch straps - Ardillon or Tang Buckle, which works in a similar way as your belt buckle. Usually made of stainless steel, the Tang buckle is what you would commonly see in leather and textile watches. The Tang Buckle has a pin that secures the watch to your wrist through the holes on the leather. This would mean that you will have to fold the leather every time you put on and remove the watch. The repetitive bends will cause the leather to crack and damage over years of wear. 

Additionally, the Tang buckle is not as secure as you would think - the buckle can actually break during wear. However, needless to say, the Tang buckle is classic and simple, and is relatively inexpensive.

Butterfly clasp / Hidden clasp

Sekoni Tidal Moonphase Butterfly Clasp
Sekoni Original Tidal Moonphase Butterfly Clasp

Butterfly clasp or Hidden clasp, as its name suggests, closes on the wrist and hides the clasp inside. This secure and inconspicuous clasp is the ideal buckle for a dress watch to create the smooth and seamless look.

Another reason why it’s called the butterfly clasp is because of the two hinges that unfold to opposite sides, similar to the wings of a butterfly. Simply fit the buckle at the hole of the leather that would give a snug fit and clamp down both sides of the clasp. To remove, pull to release the tightened clasp. Check out our Tidal Moonphase’s Butterfly Clasp above.

Deployant clasp

Deployant Clasp
Single Fold Over Clasp Deployant Buckle Image Credit: Watch Ranker

Commonly found on metal watches, the deployant clasp unfolds into thirds.To clamp it onto your wrist, simply fold and close the clasp over the hinge in the middle.  Though it provides a unique and definite fit for your wrist, this clasp is more complex to use and would require you to go to a professional to get it fitted.

Push-button deployant clasp

Push-Button Deployant Clasp
Push Button Deployant Clasp Image Credit: Amazon

Spring-loaded buttons on this clasp allows the wearers to push and remove the watch easily.

Its design ensures the clasp is secure and does not open up during motion - this is one the key reasons why manufacturers are buying this.

Jewellery Clasp

Jewellery Clasp
Jewellery Clasp Image Credit: TimeandTide

Commonly used in bracelets and jewellery, this clasp has two main parts - latch and slot to secure the band. Its mechanism is easy to close and remove where you can lift and unsnap whenever. Jewellery clasp are also mainly used in women’s fashion watches.

One of the advantages of most watches with this type of clasp is the adjustability. Normally, these types will have a number of openings, so you will be able to adjust the length of the watch on your wrist.

Velcro strap

New NASA Velcro Strap for Omega Speedmaster Watch Image Credit: Monochrome Watches

Velcro strap - the most simple yet least classy strap, is commonly used on outdoor watches. Its adjustability, durability and rugged texture ensure years of wear without breaking apart. However, the Velcro Strap isn’t the most beautiful strap to go with your watch. It’s simply used due to its strong textile traits.

These are the common types of strap buckles that watches use. Perhaps you could learn about each of the strap's function and the intention behind every watch design. 

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