Woven in a traditional style in Eastern France, Tudor’s fabric straps has become one of the brand’s characteristic features, adding an extra touch of style to the wearer’s wrist.
The origin of the use of fabric straps can be traced back to the military. In the early 70s, NATO standardised the use of nylon thread-through watch straps. Since 2010, Tudor has offered an additional fabric strap for all its models in the Heritage line. Woven in a traditional style in Eastern France, it has become one of the brand’s characteristic features, adding an extra touch of style to the wearer’s wrist.
In 2009, while most of the Swiss luxury watch brands were not yet aware of the fabric strap or did not consider it worthy of the level of sophistication of their products, the fabric strap, which had already gained popularity within the intimate circles of collectors of sporting watches, found in Tudor an ideal environment for its further interpretation. Tudor recognised the stylistic potential of such an accessory and, in line with its pursuit of perfection, had its own version manufactured.
Economical and not very comfortable but sporty and easy to change, from the year 2000 onwards the fabric strap saw a resurgence of interest amongst keen watch collectors. Once Tudor decided to become involved, it completely reassessed the design and made it adjustable in length, taking its inspiration from the seat belt system of vintage sports cars. It then found a solution for incorporating “tunnels” in which the strap bars of the watch could be inserted in order to keep the latter fixed firmly in place. Finally, Tudor approached a well-established traditional passementerie company, one of the very few remaining in France still practising the technique of “Jacquard” weaving, thanks to which the room for experimental manoeuvre, in terms of the complexity of the motifs, is practically limitless. The “Jacquard” also has the added advantage of producing a dense weave with a high thread count which ensures the sturdiness and flexibility of the straps made using this technique.
It was at the 2010 edition of the Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show that Tudor presented its Heritage Chrono model, together with an additional fabric strap. With its stripes of woven colour that matched the dial, it reflected the racing stripes seen in the world of car racing. It was immediately acclaimed by the public. Since then, each timepiece in the brand’s Heritage line has included its own version of the Tudor fabric strap. The most recent example, and one of the most outstanding, is the Heritage Ranger model in which the camouflage motif is not printed onto, but woven into the fabric with different coloured threads. The use of such a production method creates an incomparable richness of texture and guarantees the utmost in comfort and longevity.
Nowadays, Tudor offers a number of fabric straps of different styles and workmanship, using polyethylene fibres, silk and cotton to achieve the specific weaves and desired effects. The fabric strap has become a classic in the watch-making landscape, but its interpretation as created by Tudor remains unsurpassed in terms of technical quality and aesthetics.