Much has been written about the role of the Omega Speedmaster during the space program. It passed NASA’s rigorous testing. It was worn on the moon. And who could forget how it timed the life-saving maneuvers during Apollo 13? It rightfully earned its place in the hearts and on the wrists of watch fans around the globe. But what of Forstner bands? The timeless Komfit bracelet returns…

Lesser known, except perhaps by the most die-hard enthusiasts, is the watch bracelet selected by NASA and worn by astronauts throughout the space program. The Forstner “Komfit” expandable mesh watch band (later branded “JB Champion”) deserves its place in Space exploration history.

The History of the “Komfit” Band

The Komfit was a natural choice for the space program. It was light. It was breathable. Easy adjustment was possible. And, quite crucially, it was easily removable in case of emergency. As a result, astronauts frequently wore it for training on Earth, and in space. It was worn during the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle programs. It was paired with the first Omega worn in space during Mercury-Atlas 8 mission on October 3, 1962. And yes, it also went to the moon.

The Komfit’s connection to the space program is undeniable. And, if nothing else, it looked cool as heck on the wrist. Its unique square-patterned mesh, forward-facing clasp, and distinctive look made it a bracelet for the ages. However, the style was ultimately lost to time. Second-hand examples became highly sought after. For a while, they could only be sourced for exorbitantly high prices.

The Return of a Classic

The Komfit reissue has been improved in several important respects. Firstly, the end piece of the vintage version was not wide enough to properly fit the Omega Speedmaster Professional. The reissue corrects this. The end pieces now extend to over 20mm wide to fit watches with more contemporary proportions. Secondly, Forstner has widened the central mesh portion to 16mm for a more proportional look. And finally, the overall quality and security of the bracelet have been improved.

A great vintage look

The Komfit band now fits virtually every iteration of the Omega Speedmaster. It comfortably fits the smaller-sized Speedmaster Reduced. It is perfectly at home on limited edition and reissued models. And, of course, it looks fantastic on the Speedmaster Professional. But the Komfit is versatile. It works with other models, not just the Omega Speedmaster. It provides a great vintage look for pretty much any watch with lug widths between 16 and 20mm. Why not give it a try?

The Komfit band is available now for $125 on  Several options and sizes are available. Included in the lineup are the classic “horned end” and “straight end” bracelets. For instructions on using the band, see Forstner’s handy instructional videos.