When, one day a few weeks ago, we received an email entitled “BandLiners”, I opened it with some trepidation. We get a lot of odd emails from brands, factories and internet marketing companies, so I wasn’t sure if this was going to be legit or not. What I found was a strange, but oddly ingenious concept from a young entrepreneur. Disposable, adhesive liners for watch straps to extend their longevity? “Hmmm…” I thought. “It’s odd, but actually a great idea”. Now, I’m sure plenty of people are going to not bother actually reading what I write here, instead jumping to the comments to express their disdain, but for those willing to take the time, hear me out… There is something here.
My interest in Bandliners is two-fold, first as a watch wearer of many, many years, and the other as a designer of straps. When I think back to all of the straps I burnt through back in the day, both leather and rubber, I get a chill up my spine. Recollections of leather straps that were delaminating, smelled like a locker room and had a general “crustiness” to them… or rubber straps with that gross buildup of dead skin that would eventually crack… straps that friends would eventually complain about, prompting me to replace them. And I know I’m not alone in this… I’ve seen plenty a dude in the last couple of years with this same issue. You have your watch, it has a strap, and you wear it to death. You wear it when you work, when you play, when you shower, when you run, when you everything… and it gets nasty. If I could have cheaply slowed down this wear and tear, I totally would have.
As a designer of straps, my thoughts are more specific. First, we make what is for a lot of people an expensive accessory. Ranging from $65 to $150 (currently), these are luxury goods that are meant to be cherished and enjoyed, like fine shoes or watches themselves. We use high-quality, natural leathers that will eventually be affected by sweat. Sweat is brutal stuff. It’s salty and can be fairly acidic. Since we use leathers that are not coated in plastics or infused/spliced with vinyl, sweat effects it. It’s just reality. Most leather goods don’t make as much direct contact with your skin as a watch strap does, so they take a beating. I want our customers to get the most out of their straps, so a simple product that doesn’t effect how the strap looks or wears (well, not greatly, more on that later) seems like an obvious product to recommend. To me, it’s like adding rubber to your leather soled shoes, a must if you walk around NYC. This makes them last longer, so you can enjoy them more and get more value out of your purchase.