Admittedly, my content is mostly geared towards new watch releases and brand news, seldom do I have the opportunity to cover new brands that only produce watch straps! The moment has finally come, I am covering my first story on a brand that specializes in watch straps and more specifically, NATO watch straps. Welcome Vario, the Singapore based brand is the creation of graphic designer Ivan Chua. Ivan has set out to disrupt one of the most talked about segments of the watch market, aftermarket straps. Aftermarket straps have been the talk of the industry over the past few years. Even large brands such as Tissot have listened and currently include multiple straps with your initial watch purchase-- the consumer demanded it. The push for greater variety in the watch strap market is a recent phenomena occurring over the past few years. Vario enters the market as a brand that seeks to be a disruptive force in this growing space. How Mr. Chua achieves such a feat is pretty simple believe it or not. Vario is strictly focused on one product, NATO straps. You won’t find leather or stainless steel offerings in their lineup which allows Vario to focus on getting NATO strap just right. Currently straps are offered in three sizes (18mm, 20mm, 22mm) not to mention the various buckle materials and strap patterns.
I think the brand is fun and more importantly for consumers, Vario is actively trying to strike the balance between design, affordability and comfort, I commend them for their efforts. Still very much a nascent brand as evidenced by their Indiegogo campaign which ½ of the way funded with 2 weeks left, there is a lot to like here. The patterns are unique and the idea behind the brand is simple, offer more exciting variety for watch wearers. I am unsure about what makes a watch strap company successful but I can say that marketing and price point pay a large role. For now during the Indiegogo campaign you can snag a strap for a little over $20 USD. After the campaign is funded, the straps will retail for $32 USD which I personally believe is a little high for a NATO strap but then again Vario is a small brand with big aspirations. Once scale is reached I am sure the prices will come down, in the meantime if you are interested in purchasing a NATO strap that no one will have on their wrist this summer, Vario has you covered. Let’s see if they can be successful on the open market!
Vario NATO Strap Gallery
Be sure to visit their campaign here