The straps we are going to discuss this time have nothing to do with the tribe; in fact, there is no clean info about its background. This surprises you big time. But then again, why such an interesting name? If anyone knows, please mail it down to us.
The ZuluTM straps by Maratac were inspired by the NATO straps and that is the sole reason why they are being mentioned right after. The few minor differences they exhibit with the NATO are thicker materials (nylon or leather), increased strength, enhanced durability but lesser adaptability. Being thicker, they do not fit between many of the spring bars.
But wow! If larger and more rounded hardware is what you like, the Zulu is for you. The limitations Zulu faces are with accommodating them due to their increased girth. The NATO’s small, squared-off rings and buckles suit better smaller watches due to their reduced volume. But, the Zulu looks far more gorgeous with their 3 and 5 rings configurations. It has its own aesthetic impact and most comfortable with heavy and thickset men.
If you are not one of them, you might find its break-in time is longer and sometimes, tedious; but the Zulu also lasts longer than a NATO. It’s your personal preference if you can handle the extra bulk of a Zulu.
But that’s not to say the NATO is flimsy!
There’s a third type called the ‘Rally’. They got a touch of the old-school racing gloves. The large perforations (three or more) punched out from the leather below the lugs. That’s the way you keep the weight low in automobiles while preserving basic integrity. The test of speed versus weight needs the latter in appropriate – not overly – measures. It plays directly to the maximum achievable velocity (the momentum thing) and so the holes got drilled through them. It also brings some amount of aesthetic consistency like they did for the driving gloves too. Besides, it keeps you from sweating underneath the strap. Ideal for summer wear; its perforations substantially increase ventilation. Goes best with the vintage-styled chronographs!
“Oh, but where are them in metal? Are we gonna touch them even?” – Okay, I hear that scream, but you want to talk about bracelets! In that case, let’s start with the ‘Oyster’ strap by Rolex. It earns its own place for being an absolute classic. Ever since the 1930’s, the Oyster bracelet makes sense in its weave in metal. Long, thick and with three-piece links, the design is so far the most popular bracelet available. The Oyster is the most widely used bracelet in Rolex models till date and got a massive following.
Over the next few days, we will hover over other storied histories. I suddenly remember I got an early day tomorrow! For the time being, see some of the other types of straps and bracelets here.
No watch (es) were mentioned in this post. Click to see a couple of designs those straps inspired instead: