The first watch of this series is the Victorinox Swiss Army Mach 8 Special Edition Automatic Chronograph with its original black leather strap. It is an amazing design that is purposely monochromatic in execution. As such, the black watch band and semi-matte dial work together to create a dark stage from which the hands, markers, and sub-dials become the stars.
Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 8

Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 8 on OEM leather watch band

I use Photoshop to digitally mock up new bands on watch bodies that I own. Pixels are free and this pre-visualization technique can prevent me from buying expensive watch bands that may not look right in the flesh.

Below are 3 virtual examples of 23mm watch straps on the Airboss Mach 8. This width is not as common as you would think and I had search beyond the generic offerings. Luminox makes a fantastic suede leather band with double adjustment holes. The buckle has twin tangs and a knurled diamond pattern cut into the buckle. It also has 4 metal brads near the lug ends. The orange saddle leather band is a thick single layer of leather and perhaps a little more traditional.

For me, the contrasting colors and textures make the bold monochromatic design of the dial take center stage shifting visual emphasis from just the dial components to the dial as a whole.

Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 8 on digital leather watch bands

Photoshop mockup of Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 8 on various 23 mm options

Which one will I pick? I just don’t know. I don’t think that I could go wrong with any one of them, and if I want to go back to basic black, it is easy to reverse.

UPDATE - September 2015

I ended up buying the top band which is actually less of a golden amber and more pinkish brown. It’s a nice strap, but not what I had envisioned. This is yet another case of eBay seller photos being inaccurate which wastes time and costs me money.
The 23mm brown suede Luminox Atacama band was nice, but I ultimately used it for a different watch

The 23mm brown suede Luminox Atacama band was nice, but I ultimately used it for a different watch

I then bought a 22mm HELLO NATOSTRAP to try. I had to send the first set back because the colors of the two parts looked so different that it annoyed me. The new ones match, but it was a hassle. I like the watch band, but not for this watch because it does not look special enough. I took this band off too and it has yet to find a new watch to partner with…but it will.
Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 8 on leather Hello Nato G10 watch band

Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 8 on leather Hello Nato G10 watch band

Ultimately, I chose a gray Luminox Atacama suede 23mm band from TacticalWatch.com. I am backtracking slightly on what I said about monochromatic colors. To me, it still works because there is a contrast between light vs. dark and smooth vs. rough. Plus, the gray is much less harsh than the OEM black leather watch band which looked like a big mass of heavy black on my wrist.
Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 8 on Luminox gray suede 23 mm watch band

The gray suede, black dial, and silver case look phenomenal in person. It’s a real looker.

I think that I will be sticking with this combination for a while. I like it… that is until the¬†Strap Swap urge hits again.

Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 8 on Luminox 23 mm suede watch band

My “final” choice on the wrist.

Andrew Hughes

Author Andrew Hughes

A graphic designer and photographer in Atlanta, Georgia who came down with a serious obsession for things that wind up, tick and tell time.

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