This article about a free product was originally published by TheJohnP at MoT’s Watch Deal Forum on March 29, 2020.
Made from meticulously handwoven and certified Harris Tweed, each strap is backed with genuine leather that sits so comfortably on your wrist you might forget you’re wearing it. They are water resistant, breathable and flexible. VARIO’s exceptional Harris Tweed straps comes in a variety of colours and breaks in wonderfully, attaining its own unique patina over time.
- Cost is $40
- Harris Tweed fabric with leather backing
- Available in sizes of 18mm, 20mm, 22mm.
- Stainless steel buckle available in polished silver, polished gold, polished rose gold or matte black.
- Strap lengths measuring approximately 4.7″/115mm long end, 3″/75mm short end and 5mm thick
- Strap tapers from 20mm to 17mm on long end, 20mm to 18mm on short end.
- Buckle is 17mm long and 22mm wide.
- Comes with standard spring bars.
I definitely wanted a chance to review one of their Harris Tweed straps, as that is a relatively unusual offering. With a choice of 14 different colorways, I wanted to try out one that wouldn’t be considered a normal or safe option, so I went with the Pistachio Herringbone. (And to be perfectly honest, thought that one would go well with my Ball Trainmaster Legend…)
To test versatility, I wore the strap a week straight on various watches with different colored dials. A couple that were more complimentary, a couple of neutral, and a couple that you wouldn’t think to pair.
I placed the order with Vario and the package arrived from Singapore within 10 days. The items were well packed. And the strap came in a plastic sleeve with a pocket for each part of the strap.
I thought the tweed would be a little scratchy, but in fact, it is rather soft. When you get in closer, the wool strands seem to stand out more. But looks more cohesive and in place from a regular distance on the wrist.
The backing leather is nice and supple and features the Harris Tweed logo on one end and the Vario logo on the other.
The keepers are a dark brown leather, which reminds me of the elbow patches on a nice tweed jacket.
The buckle is signed with the Vario wordmark.
The first two watches I tried this strap on were more complimentary, with the gold dial Ball Trainmaster Legend and green dial Orient Tri-Star. Both worked out quite nicely, as suspected. Wanted to like it more on the Ball, but still a great option for it.
Then I tried them on a couple of watches with neutral dials, the grey dial Minuteman A11 Field Watch and the black dial NTH Antilles. I wasn’t sure how the black dial would work with so much brown in the strap, but I liked it. Grey was also a fine option, although not a favorite.
Finally thought I’d see how this strap would work with something completely different, the burgundy dial Orion Sylph and the blue dial Codek Spiral. I didn’t hate these. Think it worked better on the Codek than the Orion. But good to know you can play around with strap and dial colors.
The strap was a little stiff the first couple of days, but quickly broke in and became more comfortable and pliant throughout the week.
Even without a quick-release spring bar, was easy to swap out with all the watches I tested it on during the review period.
I think this is a well-made strap and seems like it will last for years to come.
I was impressed with how quickly it arrived from overseas. I liked how it was packaged to minimize damage en route. And I definitely enjoy how it is different from other straps I have.
This was my first experience with Vario and suitably impressed.
Would I Buy This?
But the question is, would I buy this strap for the asking price of $40.
I’m not sure if I have a watch that I would pair this with full-time right now, but glad to have it in the arsenal. It is a more versatile strap than you would think given the yellow/green/brown color combination. If you see something they offer that catches your eye, but you worry it won’t match, just give it a try. You might surprise yourself.
Thanks again to Ivan at Vario for allowing me a chance to review this strap!