Forstner Klip — Stainless Steel Ladder-Style Watch Bracelet: Vintage Vibes Just A Click Away…
I’ve written extensively in the past about the stunning effect bracelets can have on a watch’s character. It is perhaps most apparent to us as watch wearers, consumers, and analysts, just how important bracelet design is to the overall impact created by a new product whenever we shift a watch head onto a new band or bracelet. The transformation is immediate. The watch’s mien becomes something else entirely. Whatever the original designer intended disappears from your wrist and a fresh, personal hybrid remains. I myself have fully transformed from an after-market bracelet hater into a bracelet/strap specialist rater. My teammates are partly responsible for this. The other guiltiest party? Forstner Bands.
The Klip is one of the slickest bracelets produced by Forstner so far. While my out-and-out favorite remains the Komfit mesh (the original narrow-body version) due to its millimeter adjustment, the Klip offers a striking visual and incredible lightness on the wrist. Its adjustment is also perhaps the most straightforward of the Forstner catalog. Simply, the bracelet has what I call a “hook and ladder” set-up (and yes, I did borrow that term from an American Football playbook). The bracelet is, like the Komfit, one long band, adjusted by hooking the “tail” side over whichever rung of the ladder you please and then clipping the wordmark-emblazoned fastener on the opposite side.
On the wrist
For me, with my 16.5cm wrist, this results in a very pleasing placement of the fastener. It is almost exactly on the inner side of my wrist, which means I get a completely unhindered view of the branding, and — even better — there is no bulk on the underside of the wrist. Yes, this is, like the Komfit again, a two-ply bracelet but it is so, so thin, you won’t notice.
The size I am wearing on both the Nezumi and Echo/Neutra watches I’ve used as photographic examples is a 20mm lug width. Unlike the Komfit, the lug width of this bracelet is fixed. However, five sizes are available. In one millimeter increments, you can choose from 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, and 22mm. I personally think that the 20mm the sweet spot for this design. It is so thin (about 1mm) that the wider sizes don’t look as cohesive to my eye, but they would be perfect for a large-diameter slimline diver, for example.
Give it some time
My honest assessment of the Klip is that you need to get used to it on the wrist. I think it takes a little longer than the other Forstner bracelets to “locate” itself and can feel pretty awkward for the first few minutes. Thankfully, it passes very quickly and benefits from frequent fiddling as soon as you put it on. Give it the odd wiggle, move it up and down your wrist, and persevere. Once you acclimatize to it, it really comes into its own.
A true vintage aesthetic
It can’t really be overstated how legit the Forstner Klip looks in action. Having Forstner as part of the industry is a real boon. I’m sure many of you have read about and even worn the greatness of Gay Frères bracelets. Forstner is, clearly in my mind, the modern equivalent. The ability to freshen up endless watches with these historically accurate bracelets adds an extra wrinkle to our hobby that I simply adore. While the Komfit remains my favorite bracelet (ever) to wear, I really love moving my Klip between the chronographs in my collection as that’s where I really feel it comes into its own. But what about you guys? How do you wear this $125? If you’d like to add one to your stable, you can find it here.
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