Introducing ADPT Strap: The American-Made Nylon Watch Strap

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Today, we are beyond excited to announce a project that is over three years in the making, the only American-made nylon watch strap. Over the years we approached many manufacturers within the watch and textile industry about producing the strap in the United States and heard over and over that it couldn’t be done. Well, if there is one thing that can define the team at Worn & Wound, it’s stubbornness. That, and a healthy dose of patience.

Needless to say, we are very pleased to introduce ADPT Strap: the All Day, Purpose and Terrain American-made Nylon Watch Strap. Or, as we call it, Adapt Strap.

ADPT Strap is the only fully American-made nylon mil-strap currently on the market. Everything, from the webbing to hardware to thread to final stitching and even packaging are sourced and manufactured in the USA, most of which is custom made from the ground up. Based on a military design from the 1970’s, ADPT Strap is a classic design featuring the signature security-band underneath, catching your watch should a spring bar fail. Though originally designed for the military, we see this design as an ideal everyday, sport and outdoors concept, hence ADPT.

For those of you want to cut to the chase, ADPT Straps can be purchased at shop.wornandwound.com, Huckberry, Bespoke Post and Long Island Watch right now. For those who want to read about the making of ADPT, please continue on. We also have a dedicated ADPT site for more info.

ADPT Strap, the All Day, Purpose and Terrain American-made Nylon Watch Strap

Our first big challenge was finding the nylon. Seems like an easy task, but in the US, getting metric sizes means making new patterns. It took a lot of cold calls, starts, stops and bottles of Tylenol until we finally found a partner, but we couldn’t be happier with them. Based in the northeast, they operate a state-of-the-art facility and their client list includes NASA, DARPA and the US Military.

For webbing, our initial series features custom shuttle-loom woven 420D nylon. It’s about 1.5mm thick, making it nice and plush, with a marked tooth that differs on the top and bottom and an attractive bevel on the sides, a sign of the traditional manufacturing technique used. It’s tough and rugged, yet comfortable on the wrist.

Woven, dyed and ready for cutting.

Webbing might seem like a simple, almost stock component of a strap, but trust us, it’s anything but. Our manufacture gave us a tour of their facilities which was truly eye opening. To summarize the process, webbing starts as its most fundamental unit, mono-filament nylon. Thin as a human hair, these delicate strings get wound together through a machine of sorts that I could only describe as a mix between a spiderweb and a prism of light. Hundreds of strands on spools getting sorted, organized and twisted together to create the thread that will later be used on looms. Each thread being a custom thickness for the job at hand.

Next, the loom gets prepared, which requires a days-long manual process setting up a pattern. Once prepared, the loom can begin making the webbing. This is a centuries-old technology that still produces a fine product. The machines themselves are gorgeous, featuring hand-carved wooden shuttles, clacking away in an industrial symphony. You know how selvage denim is well-regarded for its durability and quality? Our nylon is made in largely the same way.

ADPT Straps ready to be stitched

Once woven, the nylon gets dyed to our custom colors, which are perfectly matched from sources via light spectrometer, guaranteeing the same color every time. The dyeing machine alone was bigger than a NYC apartment, feeding the nylon up and down through baths of dye, then curing lights and drying lamps. On one end it’s white and raw, on the other it’s fully dyed and safe to touch. It’s borderline miraculous to watch.

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ADPT Strap – Navy, a gorgeous deep blue with a surprising luster
ADPT Strap – Forest, an earthy and handsome dark green
ADPT Strap – Sage, a silvery gray with a hint of green
ADPT Strap – Coyote, a dark, sandy khaki
ADPT Strap – Black, a soft black with surprising nuance

The second biggest hurdle was hardware. Much like nylon, the challenge was that we wanted something custom, but weren’t ordering in the millions of units. So, we had to find a partner that would be willing to take the long view and see what we’re trying to build. It took a while, but we did it.

For the first style of strap, we wanted to keep the hardware classic, so we went with the tried and true design in 316L stainless steel. It’s all sewn in, so no spring bars or potential points of failure. We went with 316 because it’s what you’ll find on most of your watches. It’s durable, long lasting and corrosion resistant. The hardware finish is something we’re calling “natural”. After being extruded, bent and sometimes stamped, the hardware is very lightly tumbled to pacify it and take some of the machining marks out. The result is a bit darker than standard steel, has a pleasant luster, but still has some visible marks. It’s something between a polish and a brush, and we think it looks great. In the future, we’ll be working with a California-based refinisher to provide alternative finishes.

316L Stainless Steel hardware, American-made, the good stuff

With nylon and hardware out of the way, the next biggest challenge was how to cut the straps to size. After experimenting with different methods and consulting with some great engineers, we landed on laser-cutting. This allows for clean, sealed cuts and minimal, meaning we can change lengths or styles easily.

For finishing touches, we got our thread from a 120-year old company out of North Carolina who makes a gorgeous array of colors, and we sourced textile ADPT labels from California that we sew in between the security-band and main strap, so they stay out of the way. We felt this was an important feature to add, verifying the authenticity of each strap. Our packaging, which was designed in-house, is beautifully printed in California as well, and provides each strap with a fun and unique experience. Lastly, we bring all these components to one of our trusted manufacturers in NYC to stitch everything together.

The straps are precision cut using high-powered lasers

But, this project is about more than just making a nylon strap in the US. We also wanted to make a damn good strap. Something that stood out from the crowd. So, on top of our hearty nylon and rugged hardware, we’ve got five great custom colors with a signature highlight stitch to kick things off.

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ADPT Strap – Sage on a Speedmaster, a striking combo
ADPT Strap – Navy on a Rolex Daytona, clean and modern
ADPT Strap – Black on a Doxa diver for contrast
ADPT Strap – Coyote on a MKII Paradive, rugged all the way through
ADPT Strap – Forest on a Stowa Flieger Chrono, great for a ride

And there you have it: ADPT Strap; the All Day, Purpose and Terrain American-made Nylon Watch Strap. We’re extremely proud of this project as it’s been such an undertaking and we managed to pull it off. And this is just the beginning. In the future, expect to see new weaves of nylon, tons of new and original colors as well as different types and finishes of hardware. And one last thing; a portion of ADPT Strap proceeds is being donated towards conserving and protecting America’s natural resources.

ADPT Straps are available now in 18, 20 and 22mm for $42 from shop.wornandwound.com, Huckberry, Bespoke Post and Long Island Watch.

To learn more about ADPT Strap, check out ADPTStraps.com and be sure to follow @adptstraps on Instagram.

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