“When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May. Well, I guess you say, what can make me feel this way? My watch (my watch, my watch), talkin’ ’bout my wa-a-atch — MoonSwatch!” Isn’t that exactly how that song by The Temptations went? No? Well, thanks to them for the inspiration anyway. Honestly, it couldn’t be any more fitting. Since I got my MoonSwatch Mission to the Sun three months ago, it has brought plenty of wrist-worn joy to dark, dismal days. And with autumn in full effect and winter not far behind, some May vibes will come in handy over the next six months, I’m sure. But let me tell you, that MoonSwatch Velcro strap had to go! Was it a cool concept? Sure, but the stiff, plasticky “fabric” (?) wasn’t for me. Thankfully, though, Perpetual Straps came in clutch with two fitted rubber straps in yellow and white.

You may have seen Ben’s article on the MoonSwatch-specific Rubber B VulChromatic strap that costs more than a MoonSwatch itself. Several other fitted rubber options are quite pricey as well, such as those from Horus, which retail for US$235. Call me a cheapskate (you wouldn’t be wrong), but I just couldn’t justify spending that much on a strap for a $260 watch. I’m sure the quality is fantastic, but the principle of it didn’t sit well with me. Texas-based company Perpetual Straps, however, offers straps with a very similar look and style for just $40 each. After discovering the company on Instagram through one of my colleague Dave’s stories, I knew who I would turn to once I finally got my MoonSwatch. And soon after some luck and persistence paid off at the Swatch boutique in Osaka, I was off to Perpetual Straps to get some new kicks.

Choices, choices…

Out of the 11 MoonSwatch models, I picked the Mission to the Sun because no watch screams fun like a yellow watch does. To me, fun is precisely the MoonSwatch’s reason for being, and the yellow sunburst dial and lemony case drive that point home. Then, from the 22 different rubber options that Perpetual Straps offers, I went for the Solid White and Yellow Accent straps. While my top choice was the white one for its contrast with the case and dial, I thought yellow would also be great for when I’m feeling extra frisky!

Perpetual Straps

Jason, the owner of the Perpetual Straps, was incredibly personable in our interactions on Instagram. He shipped my order out quickly via USPS, and it arrived to me in Japan in 10 days or so. Before the straps arrived, I hardly wore the watch at all because I didn’t want the original Velcro strap to spoil the honeymoon experience. In my mind, the MoonSwatch and fitted rubber straps were soulmates, so I was willing to wait for them — you know, delayed gratification. And that turned out to be a great decision!

Perpetual Straps

Perpetual Straps Solid White option… and a surprise!

After opening the package, I immediately grabbed the Solid White strap to make my first swap. I was impressed with the feel of it in my hand. It felt soft, smooth, and supple but also solidly made. And I was incredibly surprised and elated to find that Jason included adhesive crystal protectors in the package too! Admittedly, along with its delicate pushers, the MoonSwatch’s scratch-prone plastic crystal is one of its biggest flaws. Should we need to use a crystal protector in the first place? No. But it is what it is, and I love that Perpetual Straps is looking out for its customers. The flat, adhesive plastic cutout measures 30mm across and covers most of the crystal’s 33mm diameter. If you apply it correctly (it took me two tries), it’s barely noticeable and offers great peace of mind.

Once I applied the crystal protector, I set about attaching the strap with a standard spring-bar tool. The strap ends are curved to match the shape of the case perfectly, and the tolerances are pleasingly tight. It did take a bit of fiddling — 20 seconds or so — to hear the sound of the spring bars clicking into place. Once I did, though, and gave the strap “the tug test,” I was convinced that the connection was secure. The ends not only follow the curve of the mid-case but also extend inward to rest against the case back. I like this a lot because it provides greater support and adds to the bespoke feel of the design. At its thickest point, the 20mm strap measures roughly 6mm thick between the lugs. Past the lugs, it measures about 4.5mm thick, tapering to 2.5mm thick at the 18mm buckle end.

Perpetual Straps

The look and feel

I stand by my initial feeling that the Solid White option would be the best for the Mission to the Sun. Along with the white sub-dials and tachymeter bezel, it’s a perfect contrast that balances out the vivid yellow spectacle. As wise people say, life is all about balance, and though I’m not the best at applying that philosophy to myself, at least I can do so with my watch strap. I also adore the raised central portion of the strap and how it fades away as it approaches the holes. Along with its ovular recess, it lends a great amount of visual interest to the mono-color design.

It’s also neat that the brushed stainless steel buckle has a raised portion too. I think it helps everything feel that much more congruent. The buckle feels more than acceptable for a strap at this price, and I have zero complaints about its construction. I also appreciate the tabs on the strap’s shorter end that hold the keeper closest to the buckle in place. Having to adjust two keepers on a rubber strap is always annoying, but these tabs largely mitigate that. The rubber itself has a satin-like finish that also feels incredibly comfortable on the wrist.

I do wish, however, that the holes were a tiny bit closer together. I often alternate between the second and third holes depending on if I want a snug or relaxed fit. Ideally, for my ~17cm (6.75″) wrist, a hole right between them would be perfect. But unless a strap is fully bespoke, this is often just how it goes. It doesn’t seriously detract from my enjoyment of the strap.

The Yellow Accent strap

And when I want to get a little crazy — because, as Seal said, “We’re never gonna surviiiive, uuuunless… we get a littlllle craaaazy” — the Yellow Accent strap fits the bill! So far, I haven’t worn this strap as much as the white one, but it’s on the watch currently and will stay there for the next few weeks. I will say, this strap gives the MoonSwatch much more of a “Swatch!!!” vibe. Remember, though: this is a Swatch product and not made by Omega. I didn’t buy the MoonSwatch as an alternative to the Omega Speedmaster, anyway, so I welcome the frivolity that a strap like this brings.

In both construction and design, the Solid White and Yellow Accent straps are the same. The only difference, of course, is the color scheme. The latter has a saturated yellow base with a painted white accent running down the ovular recess in the center. Notably, the yellow shade is different than that of the dial and case, appearing slightly darker with an orange undertone. It’s not quite different enough to look like a purposeful contrast, but it’s not close enough to match seamlessly either. To me, the color gives the strap a more aftermarket look, and in a perfect world, it could be a shade or two lighter. However, I know it can be extremely difficult to reproduce the exact shade of another material with rubber. Considering the affordable price of these straps compared to the competition, I don’t expect perfection either. If you do, it’s probably best to look elsewhere.

Perpetual Straps

But it does its job well

Despite my slight mental hangup about the shade of yellow here, on the wrist, it doesn’t really bother me at all. The Yellow Accent strap does what I think it’s intended to do — send an already expressive watch over the top. On certain days, that’s exactly the type of wristwear I want, especially when I need to give off a lighthearted vibe. This is the perfect pairing to wear when trying to motivate a class of 17 Japanese first graders at English Saturday school. It’s a flamboyant source of genki on the wrist, sending energy beams through my fingertips and into their hearts. At least that’s what I tell myself… The power of positive thinking, right?

Perpetual Straps

Perpetual Straps — My verdict

Overall, I’m very happy with these two rubber options from Perpetual Straps. Are they flawless? No. But they are a joy to wear and perfect enough for my purposes. For a fitted rubber strap with great tolerances and good construction, I do think that the $40 price is more than fair. Plus, with over 20 options available, I think it’s nearly impossible to find one that doesn’t suit your chosen MoonSwatch.

As you can see here, my colleague Ben wears his Mission to Neptune on the Navy Blue Accent strap. Though much more toned down than my two vivacious pairings, I think the dark navy base and brighter blue accent suit the dial and case to a tee.

Perpetual Straps

I’ll be thrilled to continue wearing these fun rubber straps for as long as I own my MoonSwatch. If I had just one selfish wish, however, it would be for a white strap with accent stripes in a brighter yellow color and holes that were slightly closer together. Wait, is that a cheeky way of making three wishes in one? Possibly. I guess I’ll leave it up to Perpetual Straps’ genie Jason to make the final call.

For more info on Perpetual Straps and its products, check out the brand’s official website and Instagram page. Also, if you have any experience with these straps on your MoonSwatch, feel free to sound off in the comments!