Clockwork Synergy recently reached out to me, asking if I’d be willing to review a few of their aftermarket watch bands. I’ve been meaning to get more strap reviews up on this site, so I gladly accepted their offer to send over 5 straps of my choosing at no cost.
I try not to let free product bias my reviews, but still wanted to include that information for you all to be aware of while reading my take on the Clockwork Synergy straps below.
- Two Piece Double Braided Perlon Watch Strap
- Perlon Single Braid NATO Watch Strap
- Leather Rally 3-Hole Watch Strap
- Leather NATO Watch Band
- Two Piece RAF Nylon Watch Strap
About Clockwork Synergy
Clockwork Synergy is a small business originally founded by one man in 2005 with a focus on providing straps with quick-release pins that are easy to swap out. They’ve grown since then, and now have a good size collection of NATO straps, silicone straps, perlon straps, and leather straps. Clockwork Synergy also focuses on providing custom straps for many smart watches, including the Apple Watch.
If you’d like to know more about Clockwork Synergy, check out their About page here. Enough introduction, on to the review!
Clockwork Synergy Watch Band Review
My 5 selected straps showed up in this nicely branded small box:
Nothing fancy, but personally if I’m buying a < $20 strap I don’t want most of that money just going towards the packaging.
Each of the Clockwork Synergy straps came individually wrapped in plastic with a clear label of what they are:
I’ll cover each of the straps I received separately below, I got a pretty good mix of Clockwork Synergy’s offerings.
Two Piece Double Braided Perlon Watch Strap
The first one I have here is a double braided Perlon watch strap in black. Clockwork Synergy has these in a huge variety of colors and widths – you can check them all out on the Amazon.com listing.
This two piece did not come with spring bars already inserted, unlike some of the other two pieces below (they include quick-release pins).
It took some finagling to get the spring bars through the ends of the strap. They kept wanting to get stuck in the braids. I’d recommend setting aside a set of spring bars to leave in this strap if you’ll be swapping them out often.
The double braided perlon is a lot stiffer than the single braid perlon below, which surprised me. I think it’ll probably loosen up after getting some wear, but I haven’t put enough use into it yet.
This type of braided band is extremely adjustable – there’s no pre-punched holes, you simply slip the tongue of the buckle through the braid.
Overall this double braided perlon strap is very thin and low profile, if a bit difficult to get setup and on the watch.
Perlon Single Braid NATO Watch Strap
I got a second perlon watch strap that is only a single braid instead of the double braid. Instead of a two piece strap like the one above, it’s a single piece NATO band.
This single braid perlon is quite a bit more flexible than the double braid above. It’s very thin, but this is definitely a positive when it comes to NATO’s due to the strap doubling under the watch. A thin strap will keep the watch lower profile. The leather NATO below is thicker and really makes the attached watch stand up off the wrist.
The buckle hardware is polished stainless steel and seems to be of good quality.
Single piece NATO’s are the easiest of all watch bands to swap around, since you can just leave the spring bars attached to the watch.
Clockwork Synergy’s colors seem to be very nice – this strap came in a very vivid blue that matched nicely with my blue Orient Ray II.
Overall, I really like this one – it’s comfortable, nicely colored, and well made.
Leather Rally 3-Hole Watch Strap
I received two leather watch bands from Clockwork Synergy. Yes, yes, leather straps on a diver. Many people say don’t ever do it. I love it personally. It’s easy enough to swap a strap before actually taking the watch diving.
The first one I’ll review here is a 3-hole ‘rally’ style two-piece strap. In my hands is a smooth black strap with white stitching.
I’ve always liked the look of the ‘rally’ style straps, but hadn’t gotten my hands on one before this. I’ll just say that I’m happy I finally have one.
The Clockwork Synergy rally strap is made out of ‘Genuine Leather’, which tends to be generic low grade leather. It still looks nice though, with the edges nicely stitched.
This two piece strap from Clockwork Synergy comes with quick-release spring bars already installed. The quick-release is a tiny little switch that sticks out of the strap, allowing you to release the spring bar with only your fingernail.
It’s easy to use and is a very nice feature to have if you’re planning on swapping straps semi-regularly.
Out of the box the leather on this rally strap is pretty stiff. It can be hard to wrap around the wrist (maybe because my wrist is kind of small). It’s a bit of work to get the pin of the buckle through the holes in the right place.
I also think the first keeper is a little bit close to the buckle. It’s difficult to get the tail of the strap through it. Shifting it a little bit down the strap would have helped a lot. Hopefully as the leather loosens up it’ll get easier.
Overall I’m very happy with the Clockwork Synergy Leather Rally 3-Hole Strap. Putting it on a Seiko Turtle (which is a sizable watch) makes for a big and loud combo.
Leather NATO Watch Band
The second leather strap from Clockwork Synergy I’ve got is a brown leather one-piece NATO style. The same watch band is available in a huge variety of different color finishes, so be sure to check out the product page if this color doesn’t appeal.
This strap is also stamped ‘Genuine Leather’, like the rally strap above. So it’s your basic low-cost, low quality leather.
Doesn’t mean it looks bad though, just that it might not hold up for a lifetime like some of the premium leather straps available (for much more).
This Clockwork Synergy leather NATO is much more flexible than the rally style above, especially where there’s only a single layer of leather. The buckle side is much stiffer due to there being two layers of material stitched together.
The two layers of leather that sit under the watch are pretty thick, causing the watch to really stand up high off the wrist. This really isn’t a strap to try if you’re looking for something low profile.
Overall, this leather NATO looks good, especially at it’s very reasonable price.
Two Piece RAF Nylon Watch Strap
Finally, I’ve got a two piece nylon ‘RAF’ style watch strap.
It’s made out of pretty heavy duty nylon, and is really quite stiff out of the box. I’ve worn it quite a bit on my Orient Ray II, and so far it hasn’t really loosened up yet.
Construction is nice, with clean edges and tidy stitching. The stainless steel buckle hardware is nicely polished and solid feeling.
The colors are deep and vivid, this strap has a lovely blue stripe running down the middle. Clockwork Synergy has these in all sorts of color options and combinations, be sure to check them out on the product page at Amazon.com.
This two piece strap also comes with the quick-release spring bars pre-installed, just like the leather rally strap earlier in this review. Again, this makes it nice and quick to swap out various bands.
I’ve saved this strap for last because even though it looks good, it’s my least favorite to use out of this bunch. I’m not sure what it is, but something about the stiff nylon rubs my wrist the wrong way on any watch I’ve put it on.
It’s also either always too tight or too loose, I haven’t been able to get it comfortable. It probably would work fine for others, so don’t take that as a firm “don’t buy”.
Overall, Clockwork Synergy has good quality strap offerings in a huge variety of styles, all for reasonable prices. If you’re in the market for some new watch bands, definitely don’t shy away from Clockwork Synergy.