The Tudor Ranger is an interesting beast. An adventure watch inspired by expeditions to the Arctic in 1952, it was essentially Tudor’s answer to the Rolex Explorer. However, there’s more to the Ranger than a robust 39mm stainless steel case. It’s also beautifully understated and elegant.
Which raised a question for me, what kind of watch strap would suit it best? Because, just like the Ranger, there are straps that are rugged and there are straps that are elegant. To answer this question, I tried the Ranger on five exciting and unique straps from French maison Jean Rousseau.
Nato Cordura Khaki, £175
First up and in the spirit of adventure is the Jean Rousseau Nato Cordura Khaki. Nato straps are designed to be hardy and resilient, making them a favourite of groups like the British Special Forces, who need a strap that can withstand all environments while being flexible and accessible. This example in a fatigue-like shade of khaki highlights that military aesthetic.
On the Ranger it emphasises the watch’s field watch aspects, ready to take on all eventualities.
Classic 3.5 Tan Calf, £120
Much as its name suggests, the Classic 3.5 strap is, well, classic. It’s a tapering calf leather piece with padding that goes from 3.5mm thick at the case down to 2.5mm at the tip, making it supremely comfortable to wear. The traditional vegetable tanning techniques used brings out the subtle grain and gives the strap a vintage feel.
Which naturally pairs really well with the vintage styling of the Tudor Ranger.
Compass Sawaya Sarasa Grey-Blue, £190
Now, this one might seem like a stretch on paper but I don’t think the Compass Sawaya Sarasa Grey-Blue should be dismissed out of hand. In principle a fabric strap woven by a heritage Japanese brand who are famous for their silk brocade doesn’t seem like a natural fit for the Ranger. However, the grey-blue tones of the Sarasa’s floral pattern add an intriguing contrast to the understated dial and the wintery colours are evocative of the Arctic where the Ranger was born. An elegant alternative that will make your Ranger unique at the party – partly because every Compass Sawaya Sarasa Grey-Blue is itself unique.
Nato Alcantara Grey, £190
While Nato straps are traditionally cordura style textiles, Jean Rousseau also offer them in their technical materials such as Alcantara. Alcantara is a synthetic fabric with a soft texture and suede-like appearance. It’s not quite so visually rugged as the classic Nato design although in terms of actual specifications, it’s just as durable.
Plus, the grey colour really suits the Ranger, offering a utilitarian, tool look when paired with both the black of the dial and the white of the numerals and indexes.
Compass Cordura Dark Green White Stitching, £175
The Compass strap is designed to bridge the gap between practical and stylish, the perfect accompaniment to the Ranger. It has a slightly padded design with rubber pinholes, making it comfortable to wear while also providing support for the area of the strap that typically experiences the most wear and tear. Similar to the Nato Khaki, the dark green colour of the cordura gives this strap a tactical, adventure ready flair.