This episode of Strap Swap stars the Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 Titanium Limited Edition Chronograph Automatic Watch. It is an amazing watch that will be detailed in future MEET THE WATCH SERIES. Below is the stock Victorinox image showing the included titanium bracelet. Stop drooling and keep reading….
The first thing I did when I acquired this watch was to remove the titanium bracelet and put it in a safe place. I will swap it back onto the watch for special occasions, but I wanted to use a daily strap that would show less wear.
Titanium is strong and light but is not necessarily scratch resistant. Victorinox chose to use a bead blasted semi-matte finish for this limited edition model. That gorgeous surface quality is nearly impossible to touch up at home if scuffed. Scratches and scrapes can reduce the value of a used watch so the strap swap is a way of protecting its value.
I randomly came across an alternate option for a rubber watchband from Tsovet.com, a California-based watch company with cool timepiece designs and lovely straps. This one, in particular, was a marked down $50 olive drab rubber dive band on sale for $10.
The clincher was that Tsovet offered buckles in a gunmetal finish that would closely match the look of the watch’s titanium. Before I bought the 22mm strap for this watch, I made a digital composite from available images and came up with the custom watch below.
Conceptually it worked and I now had a one-of-a-kind custom watch unlike any of the 332 other owners that were lucky enough to grab one of these limited edition chronographs. However, I thought there may be yet another option that would work better to tie the dominant dial components to the band creating a more cohesive unit.
The dominant design features of the dial are the dots, arcs, and circles of multi-colored Superluminova that makes this dial glow like a deep sea creature in the dark. In lighter conditions, these features appear as a creamy mint.
I digitally worked up several watch+strap concepts from watch bands for sale online and on eBay. Each one gave a different personality, and it was an extremely difficult choice. There were no wrong answers here… only differences of opinion. I can’t tell you how many times I second guessed myself and even now, I think I might have made the wrong choice by picking the second strap from the top.
Part of this was based on cost and part was based on trying something new in style and texture. I try not to repeat myself with the same watch and band solutions because I want each watch to have a custom look…. Maybe I think of myself as the “watch whisperer” and want each model to silently tell me what it needs to evolve. ha ha. Who am I kidding… I’ll likely change it again next month. Until I get the real band in my possession, you can check out the digital version below.
Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you would have picked.
Here is the actual Dassari Heritage Beige watchband (update: this company seems to be out of business, but the watch bands can still be found on eBay and Amazon). I think it looks great, but this exercise shows that the color of watch bands that you find for sale online are rarely accurate. Expect a little of the unexpected. Sometimes it works better than anticipated.