Marco Carag

Expert er of things.

My new favorite watch is my old one

I just got a springbar tool from Amazon, and I think it’s the best nine bucks I’ve spent in a while. Why? Because it lets me do this:

My Parnis pilot watch on a beige NATO strap.

That’s a light-brown nylon NATO strap on the very same Parnis pilot watch that I reviewed a while back. If you’ll remember (or as you’ll see, if you never knew to begin with and proceed to read my review of it), one of my least favorite things about the watch was the strap. It so happens that’s exceedingly easy to remedy, thanks to this cheap tool.

Crucially for me, it’s allowed me to do this:

Match made in wrist heaven: my Parnis watch with my old broken Garton’s strap.

That’s the ruddy brown strap from my broken Garton pilot, which I think is an amazing match for this watch. The reddish color plays well with the tiny red “60” in the seconds sub-dial, and the stainless steel rivets make it look even more classic — not to mention that it’s a softer and more comfortable strap than the stiff affair that came with the Parnis originally.

My new favorite thing: a watch springbar tool.

But most importantly, I’ve increased the versatility of my watch with this tool. I can dress it up with leather, or make it more breathable with a nylon or canvas. And I never have to worry about the strap not matching my belt and shoes (yes…I do worry about that a little).

Instructions abound on Youtube on using springbar tools, but honestly there’s not much to figure out, anyway. Just don’t store it where you’d be reaching for it blindly; some of the tips are pin-sharp.

By the way…on the topic of straps, the aforementioned NATO strap, from a company called Clockwork Synergy, is great, and comes in more colors than the rainbow. I was concerned that I’d have to melt holes in it because these straps are notoriously long (probably to accommodate James Bond’s massive Soviet-choking wrists), but — unlike its leather cousins — this one didn’t need any modification. I recommend them.

The NATO strap — a cheap way to bring variety to your watch.
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