Over the past few years, I’ve gone on a journey of discovery with straps from Artem. With its name coming from the Latin phrase ars est celare artem (loosely translated, “true art conceals the means by which it is achieved”), the brand has steadily evolved and refined its products. From the initial black pin-buckle and two-piece sailcloth straps to Hybrid FKM and NATO options, Artem has a lot to offer. The standout strap selection is the Loop-Less sailcloth, which has gone on to replace official OEM straps in my watch collection. Now available with an XS strap length (73/87mm) and widths ranging from 18mm to 21mm in five colors, the time has come to check out the Artem Loop-Less collection.

In this article, I’ll look predominantly at Artem’s Loop-Less range in various shades and sizes. I’ve covered the Black Loop-Less on Fratello before, but a lot has changed since that article two years ago. Some of the product updates directly address my initial criticisms. It shows Artem’s ability to evolve and create what I believe to be a perfect product. The durable synthetic sailcloth material remains the same, but some proportions and dimensions were slightly off in the first Loop-Less strap. As I said before, when affixed to the wrist, the buckle extended too far to one side rather than sitting centrally. This affected wearability, comfort, and adaptability for various wrist sizes. Artem swiftly upgraded the strap design to make the ends more similar in length, and they are now 97mm and 100mm rather than 97mm and 109mm.

Artem Straps Loop-Less sailcloth

The Loop-Less strap translates to two strap ends connected with an Omega-style deployant buckle. This concept is not new, but it was the evolution necessary for Artem to improve its product. A pin buckle is still an option on the Classic Strap version for people who prefer the thinner profile to affix the strap. However, the wear-in time for a sailcloth strap in a pin-buckle configuration is significantly longer than it is with a deployant clasp. This is the case for many strap materials but is particularly prevalent in the more rigid sailcloth. It’s not the actual cloth used on sailing vessels, however. Instead, Artem’s sailcloth is made from an embossed synthetic material. On the underside is a leather base coated with a layer of natural rubber (caoutchouc) glued and stitched to the sailcloth, with various choices of matching or contrasting stitching colors.

Artem Loop-less straps

The wear-in time for the Artem Loop-Less strap can vary between one to two hours. The straps do not contour immediately because they’re sent disconnected, with each end packaged flat. Artem allows all customers to discover the appropriate hole to adjust the straps to their wrists. The technique is to slide the strap through the gap where it’s narrowest. Before committing, you can hold the strap in place to find which size is best for you. Once you’ve determined the appropriate adjustment hole, you must pinch one side under the metal tab and then the other. This method prevents the strap from twisting from side to side. Once in, slowly slide the strap until the clasp pin precisely lines up with the hole. Then, apply pressure until it’s securely in place.

Artem Loop-less straps

Getting comfy with Artem

Each strap end gradually molds to your wrist for comfort in one to two hours. With a deployant clasp, you no longer have to pull and stretch material through the buckle. Therefore, you don’t end up with a misshapen look when laying the strap flat on a surface. Instead, deployant straps hold their shape, which resembles that of your wrist. Some people are vehemently against deployant clasps due to the increased bulk of the overlapping strap ends. However, in my experience, the benefit of securely fastening the buckle with less risk of dropping the watch already outweighs the size issue. Adding to that is how deployant systems preserve the shape of the strap and elongate its life by avoiding the stretching that happens when using a pin buckle.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Artem Loop-Less strap

The blue Artem Loop-Less strap with white stitching sits nicely on my Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy 50th Anniversary. The blue Cordura strap that comes with the Snoopy looks nice but feels quite stiff. I also prefer to keep this strap in good condition and wear alternative straps. Thankfully, the Artem Loop-Less imperceptibly resembles the supplied strap. I can keep the Omega Cordura with the Lunar Module trajectory pattern unworn while maintaining the premium look with a third-party strap.

The cost of going OEM

You may prefer to keep things official with only OEM accessories. But, as an example, an Omega nylon fabric strap and steel deployant buckle together is US$540. The Artem Loop-Less is US$201 with a newly redesigned deployant buckle included. Even if you add US$13 for the quick-release spring bars (which you should), that is still less than half the cost of the Omega OEM deployant fabric strap. And even if you buy two Artem Loop-Less straps from the five different color options, it still works out cheaper than a single Omega fabric strap. This is the same fabric strap that’s fitted as standard on the latest Hesalite Speedmaster Moonwatch.

Artem Loop-less straps

As we repeatedly say on Fratello, always buy the bracelet option if available since acquiring the strap independently is typically cheaper. The OEM strap is still expensive in this case, but if you like the look, the Artem strap is a premium alternative for less than half the cost. You can also try out the Loop-Less strap on other watches thanks to the reasonably anonymous Artem logo on the folding clasp. Furthermore, the sailcloth aesthetic lends itself to various watch styles, from chronographs to pilot’s watches and divers. The texture appears more utilitarian than a leather strap but is dressier than rubber, landing sailcloth in a sweet spot of versatility. I’ve affixed it to my Oris Divers Sixty-Five and Breitling Aerospace, and it’s fantastic on the MoonSwatch (much better than the supplied Velcro strap).

Quick-release and deployant clasps

Another criticism of Loop-Less’s first edition was the lack of optional quick-release spring bars. Including those in the second generation didn’t take long. But even in that second generation, I received the release latches on the left rather than the right. As a righty, I find it challenging to maneuver the latch with my left index finger instead of my right. But since I fed this back, all the straps have the latch on the right side. The opposite would be the case for left-handed people, so maybe there will be a future option to select left- or right-handed quick-release spring bars at checkout. The ability to swap out straps quickly is convenient. Some days, the black strap suits my Moonwatch and attire well, but I’m constantly surprised by how versatile the Khaki Green version is.

There is no central indent on the buckle end of the strap into which a standard buckle pin would fit. Consequently, you cannot swap the Artem deployant out for a regular pin buckle. But you can replace the Artem clasp with an Omega deployant. You can choose the Artem Loop-Less without the buckle for US$133 if you already have an Omega folding clasp. I mention Omega because the Artem design precisely mimics its style. Other OEM folding clasps may fit, but I cannot guarantee it. Also, it’s worth clarifying that specific strap widths will only work with particular clasps. The Loop-Less deployant clasp is available in 16mm, 18mm, and 20mm sizes. The 16mm clasp fits the 18mm straps, while the 18mm clasp pairs with the 19mm, 20mm, and 21mm straps. The 20mm clasp is only for the widest 22mm straps, such as the one on my Bremont MBII.

Artem Loop-less straps

Durability and comfort

To keep the strap in good shape, there is silicone protection around the holes on the adjustable end. This is so that the clasp does not wear away the external surface of the sailcloth, and you may recognize it from the Silver Snoopy watch or the Dark Side of the Moon. I’ve seen other sailcloth straps that crack in the inner lining due to rigidity, but the Artem straps remain smooth on the inside no matter what. Furthermore, the external surfaces retain the textures with no discoloration or crease marks.

The straps are resistant to both water and weather, and it’s easy to wipe off any dirt or grime. Previously, only a 20mm width was available for the first-generation Loop-Less sailcloth. But now, with a range of 18–22mm in 1mm increments, Artem covers a swathe of watch styles. It’s worth ensuring that your watch allows for the articulation of a strap, though, as some lug holes are too close to the case sides.

An example is my Bremont MBII. Its OEM strap has curved ends, and the holes only allow for a hair’s-width gap with straight bars. The Loop-Less fits it fine, but the HydroFlex Hybrid FKM from Artem is too thick on the ends for the strap to move freely.

Now, let’s talk about length. The standard strap lengths suit me, but the XS size with 73mm and 87mm pieces opens the Loop-Less strap to a new audience. This shorter version is available in the same Gray, Sand Beige, Khaki Green, Blue, and Black variants. While you can only get 18–21mm widths in the XS size, a 22mm option will come in the next few months. It’s worth noting that the base price of the XS is US$146 compared to $133 for the standard.

Final thoughts

As Artem steadily caters to multiple wrist shapes and tastes, you may think it dilutes the core aesthetic. But the signature comfortable, rugged sailcloth material is retained across all colorways and sizes. The brand frequently updates its product lineup and restocks popular configurations, so keep a close eye on Artem’s website and its social media account. As mentioned, the standard Loop-Less is US$133 on its own, $201 with a steel buckle, and $211 with a PVD buckle. For the XS size, the price is US$146 for the strap, $214 with a steel buckle, and $224 with a PVD buckle. You can quick-release spring bars to any of these for an extra US$13. Finally, the Artem buckle also comes pre-attached to the strap, so you only need to fix it to the adjustable end and the watch itself. For more details on Artem, stay tuned to @artemstraps on Instagram.

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