In article about Balticus ‘Black Dust’ in July last year, I mentioned the Nick Mankey Desing straps , on which I was wearing the Balticus Gray Seal, during the Złombol rally. This strap I also used to wear on Phoibos, which was my holiday diver.
Because the new year means that I need to find a new holiday diver, Phoibos went to the people and was replaced by Aquatico Bronze Sea Star. And here a problem arose because the black strap will not match the blue Aquatico, and I’m already so used to this strap that the only way out was to change to the same, but in a different color. I went to the Nick Mankey Design website and saw it there:
But unfortunately it was already sold out … As I later read it was a limited to 50 pieces version of the Hook Strap strap, which I liked so much. Fortunately, an unlimited version of these straps is still on sale, which are almost similar – the inscriptions have only one side … but you can choose among a large number of colors of straps, stitching and buckles. Finally, after a few days of intense reflection, I chose 2 straps in the most original size for me (22mm)
and the colors that I think will best match the colors of the watches I usually choose.
Ordering the strap is very simple; on the site you choose the size, colors, etc. Importantly, when you order, you also choose the size of the wrist. These straps have the ability to be adjusted, but it is small and to fit well on the hands, they must be adjusted in size for a specific wrist. If our wrist is on the verge of size, we take the larger one. I chose the first navy blue strap with white inscriptions, white stitching and antiqued bronze buckle and the second in army green with black inscriptions, black stitching and antiqued steel buckle. And so after a few (or maybe a dozen or so?) days from the order, a tiny package with 2 straps of Nick Mankey Design came to me from the United States. I decided that this manufacturer’s Hook Straps are so special that they deserve their separate, short review.
The straps are packed in a very simple, but also aesthetic way … They came to me in a plastic string bag, on which a cardboard box with the data regarding the strap was attached. In the bag you will find a strap fastened with a brown paper ribbon and instructions on how to put it on your watch, and in addition bars in the right size with the option of quick release, i.e. with the ability to set up and take off without the need for additional tools. Nick sews it himself and adapts the strap to the order and you can see it also by the packaging method.
When we take the package, we truly feel that it was made by human, not a machine.
Putting strap on the watch may seem complicated at first, but if you follow the instructions, it quickly turns out that it’s simple (however, unlike the nato strap, we cannot have spring bars first, and then we thread the strap through them, this time spring bars have to be fastened with a strap already placed over the watch). After all, the strap creates a double layer fastened at the bottom of the wrist with a hook, which is important – no layer of the strap passes under the watch … so the strap does not add unnecessary millimeters to the watch.
The strap is very good quality, the colors are juicy, the embroidery is nicely done. The material from which they are made is very elastic, the strap can stretch so that its length will increase by 100%. This allows you to put on a watch with this strap on hand without unfastening the buckle! If we adjust the strap once in such a way that it will not be too loose or too tight, then we don’t have to do anything more. We slide the watch on the hand and enjoy the incredible convenience of wearing a watch that you basically don’t feel on your hand.
I like both straps very much and it’s hard to say which one more. Blue, obviously goes well with blue watches, and white inscriptions even more bond the whole composition. Green, on the other hand, thanks to its black inscriptions has an incredibly military vibe and will be perfect for military style watches. The addition of inscriptions on these straps made the straps that visually I liked average, changed into straps acquired a strong character and which in my opinion look great!
The most important thing in this case, however, is comfort, because it was primarily the point for I bought them. And in this respect, Nick Mankey straps are second to none and I dare say that due to their extensibility and perfect fit to the wrist, they are the most comfortable straps in the world … and I’ve already had a lot of straps, of various types and quality.
Because of sleeping through limited Hook Straps models, I wrote an email to Nick to find out if he is planning any interesting new projects in the near future. I received the reply that within a few weeks there would be another limited series of printed straps that would refer to the James Bond film series and to the character of James Bond, which was created by Daniel Craig in his last role in the series about agent 007 – “No Time To Die “. Unfortunately, I haven’t received more details or photos of how the straps will look.
Ps. In bags with straps there were codes for a 15% discount on the next purchase in the Nick Mankey Design store, the codes are the same in both bags, so it is rather universal and reusable. Below is a photo if anyone would like to use it.