Accessories Watch Straps

6 of the Best Rubber Watch Straps for Summer

Artem Hydroflex Grey Hybrid FKM Watch Strap

Summer is finally here and that means an uptick of vitamin D from the glorious British sunshine. At least, that’s the hope. Whether it actually pans out like that only time will tell, but it’s best to plan for it and in watch terms that means updating your wristwear with some seasonal colour and, just as importantly, a warm weather worthy rubber strap.

Rubber’s the perfect material for a summer watch. Heat means a need for water, and you wouldn’t want to swim in leather. Unless that’s your thing of course, no judgement. Even if you’re staying on dry land though, rubber’s water resistance translates nicely to sweat. Rubber straps also tend to embrace colour more than leather, so you can actually have some fun with them, pairing eye-catching finishing touches with your daily wearer of choice. So, now that you’ve come to the realisation that you’re in dire need of a shiny new rubber strap, let’s take a look at some of the best.

Hirsh NYAD Perforated Rubber Strap, €99 (approx. £85)

Hirsh NYAD Perforated Rubber Strap
Hirsh NYAD Perforated Rubber Strap

While they might be sweat resistant, a good number of rubber straps are solid and chunky enough that breathability isn’t part of the equation. The NYAD from Hirsch changes that equation. It’s still a satisfyingly solid number, but with perforations along its entire length, the NYAD gets some air on your wrist, while emulating a classic racing style in rubber rather than the usual chronograph-loving leather.

It’s a seriously cool twist on standard rubber straps. Just be careful if you forget to take your watch off while sunbathing; three rows of dots encircling your wrist might look a bit odd.

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Wristbuddys Blancpain X Swatch Straps, £59

Premium Rubber Strap for Blancpain X Swatch Navy Blue
Premium Rubber Strap for Blancpain X Swatch Navy Blue

While it didn’t strike quite the same chord as the original MoonSwatch, the Blancpain x Swatch Fifty Fathoms collab comes into its own in the summer, particularly with the brighter colours like the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately for most of us they do have very specific straps, which is where Wristbuddys come in.

Their range of Blancpain x Swatch bands are made from premium rubber and available in matching colours to really brighten things up. It’s not just the strap either; as the Blancpain x Swatch has odd spring bars, Wristbuddys also send a tool to help you switch to your shiny new strap.

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Tropic Waterproof Strap, $79 (approx. £63)

TROPIC Original Strap

Tropic Straps were some of the only straps in history we’d ever call iconic, and synonymous with the early days of serious diving watch in the Cousteau era. So, it’s great to see them back and as dive-perfect as ever. It has the same retro 1960s design with its checkerboard finish and waffle underside, but softer and more durable than any vintage versions you might turn up.

It’s available in a number of colours, but this is one instance where we’d go for the conservative darker shades. You already have that recognisable finish, you don’t need to opt for an eye-catching colour, too. Put this on your Doxa or Fifty Fathoms and you’ll be ready to dive in like the red-hatted underwater documentarian himself.

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ZEALANDE Universal Rubber Strap, £135

ZEALANDE Universal Rubber Strap
ZEALANDE Universal Rubber Strap

Although they have a vast range of watch specific straps, ZEALANDE’s Universal takes a much more general approach, fitting anything with a 20mm or 22mm lug width. Honestly, that’s a smart move because there’s not much that the sporty FKM rubber strap won’t suit, particularly if you opt for the bright red version or even the summer-ready white rather than the more conservative colours.

To make sure it fits your watch completely, you can also choose the colour and finish of the buckle. Pop this on a blacked-out dive watch with a matching black buckle and you’re onto a winner.

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Jean Rousseau Atlantis Watch Strap, £210

Jean Rousseau Atlantis Rubber watch strap collection

Sure, rubber’s intensely practical, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily want that equally intense chunky look on your wrist. Jean Rousseau have you covered. The Parisian strap maker is best known for their incredible bespoke leather numbers, but here they’ve channelled that classical style with textured rubber in a gorgeous buttercup yellow. It’s slim, streamlined and suited to more elegant sports watches, the kind of pieces that epitomise the whole ‘boardroom to bar’ vibe. Or, as it’s completely water resistant, ‘boardroom to boat’.

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Artem Hydroflex Hybrid FKM Watch Strap, £176

Artem Hydroflex Hybrid FKM Watch Strap

A slightly more ‘constructed’ take on the rubber strap, Artem’s HydroFlex is unique in that it’s made from a layer of durable, comfortable FKM rubber underneath, with an embossed upper on top. It means that you have that distinctive textured look, but the hot weather-ready feel of rubber underneath. That underneath is actually designed by an award-winning artist, which is good to know even if you might not ever see it.

If anything, it just goes to show the attention-to-detail Artem have lavished on their strap opus, which is what you want in something that is very much a premium version. It’s available in a good number of colours, but the light grey is perhaps one of the most versatile without being as dull as black.

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