Watch Strap Review Part 35 – Watch Straps from LUGS
I aimed to make two vintage watches that I have, a bit fresh again. When the Swiss LUGS company contacted me to have a look at their straps, I went for their ‘Dandy’ collection to see if I could find something cool for a vintage Rolex Datejust 1600 and an Omega Constellation 168.029.
Two vintage watches that deserve to see some daylight (again), but I wanted them to be on the right type of strap. Not something vintage looking, with the famous two stitches near the lugs, or too much contrasting stitching in general. A grained strap with matching stitching would be perfect for the gold-capped Omega Constellation. Classic, with a twist. Not too classic, like a glossy alligator, for example. I selected a grained navy blue strap for this watch. For the Rolex Datejust 1600, a smooth taupe beige strap.
LUGS Dandy Classic Grain Straps
The Omega Constellation C-case reference 168.029 is quite a classic watch, in 14-carat gold (gold-capped case) with the linen gold colored dial, so I thought it would be nice to make it a bit more casual. But with class. Blue is my favorite color; thus, I selected a dark tone of blue that LUGS offers as Navy Blue in their Dandy Classic collection. Blue and gold are a great combination, also for contemporary watches, and indeed it works out very nicely. I made a rookie mistake, though, as the lug width of the Constellation is only 19mm, and I ordered a 20mm strap. My own mistake, but make sure you don’t do the same. I managed to get the strap to fit, by squeezing it a bit, and because the watch is relatively small, the strap doesn’t have to move a lot (between the lugs). So, in the end, it is OK, but it is recommended to select the right size in advance. Ahum. Anyway, I love the navy blue with the gold, and the grain makes the gold less ‘dressy.’ The 1970 Constellation C-shape watch is good to go again, and I have worn it since with suits and shirts. Despite the blue strap, it is still a bit too classic for me to wear with t-shirts or polo shirts, but it is certainly possible. I just prefer to wear either larger watches or watches on bracelets when wearing short sleeves.
LUGS Gentleman Classic Grain Straps
The Rolex Datejust reference 1600 is a 36mm classic piece as well. The Datejust is one of the most recognized watches in the world, although the smooth bezel reference 1600 seems to be less seen than the fluted (1601) or engine-turned (reference 1603) models. I have all bezel types for this watch, and a Jubilee bracelet, and I have worn it a long time as a 1601, but the 1600 configuration speaks more to me these days. I thought it would be nice to make the Datejust 1600 a bit less ‘obvious’ Rolex by putting it on a strap. The strap from LUGS I selected is taupe beige, according to their website. It matches nicely with the dial of the Date-Just. The stitching is also in the same tone. The navy blue strap that I’ve put on my Omega Constellation C-shape case will probably also match the Datejust 1600. Perhaps it will give the Datejust a sportier look. Vice versa doesn’t work; in my opinion, as the Constellation would turn into a dull-looking configuration on taupe beige.
The LUGS Straps
As you can see below, the lining of the straps is the same for both straps. You’ll also find the LUGS logo embossed in the leather. The quality of the straps is pretty impressive, and they wear comfortably from the start. Not only that, but they also look good. The stitching is nicely done, the sides of the straps are nicely finished, and the leather keeps up quite well. Even after wearing them for three months or so.
All straps are delivered with a signed buckle. I received two buckles with a polished finish, but you can also opt for a brushed finish. Most of the time, I try to use the original buckles from the brands (in this case, Rolex and Omega), so I am not that focused on the buckles. For this review, I left the LUGS buckles on the straps.
Price and Availability
My mission has accomplished with these two LUGS straps. Both watches are freshened up quite a bit. The Rolex Datejust 1600 is something I hardly wear these days, but with this strap, it looks quite neat again. The Omega Constellation 168.029 is something I wear quite regularly, as I love the dial with this linen texture. The grain texture on the strap enhances that, in my opinion. A cool combination!
Although LUGS is a Swiss-based company, their straps are made by artisans in France. The cool thing for customers in the EU is that LUGS can also ship from the EU, so no (risk of) paying customs.
These straps from the Dandy Classic and Gentleman Classic collections are €129 each. All available combinations can be found in their webshop.