Monday, March 31, 2014

Questions for TDP: Men's Watch Straps and Brooks Brothers Navy Blazers


"I have a question for you: I wear a simple gold watch (pic above) given to me as a wedding gift by my wife almost twenty five years ago. I have always worn it with a grosgrain ribbon watchband, usually from Brooks Brothers. I change the band a few times a week, and have maybe a dozen bands. Still, I would like to get some different ones, and have exhausted what BB has to offer. Maybe this is a style that time has forgotten, as I never see anyone else wearing a watch with such a band, but I wonder if you know where I might get some new bands. An online search turned up mostly empty (Orvis sells a watch with a few grosgrain bands, but I don't want to buy a new watch, just the bands). Can you or your resourceful readers offer some suggestions?"



"I recently went to Brooks Brothers to buy a classic navy blazer.  The selection was extremely intimidating. I wanted the 'true classic', but I don't think such an item exists there anymore.  Needless to say, the salespeople will tell you something is the true classic if they think you don't know any better.

Anyway, I found two that I think meet the bill.  One is from their Golden Fleece line, Madison fit, Made in USA.  Price is around $1,200.  Other is a lightweight Loro Piana wool, also Madison fit, made in Canada, at around $640.  I live in Florida, originally from Connecticut.  I'm struggling between the two choices as they both fit the bill looks-wise, but I feel that the true classic points go to the pricier model, whereas the lightweight would be more practical for year-round wear in a climate where we do have pleasant season changes.  Any advice?  Can I go wrong with either choice?  Thanks!"

36 comments:

Seth said...

Regarding the grosgrain watch bands: It may be seen a bit juvenile, but it seems that pinterest.com may have some leads for you. Find a picture of a band that looks appealing and you can typically click through to where it is being sold: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=grosgrain%20watch .


Regarding blazers, consider J. Press here: http://www.jpressonline.com/blazers/ You're from Connecticut after all, and these all seem to be in your price range.

Anonymous said...

Try O'Connell's. They have both ribbon and ribbon bands with grommets.

Anonymous said...

I also have an old watch that I wear with the Brooks Brothers grosgrain watch bands. I found two sites that look promising and worth trying out (I haven't yet myself but plan to) - Centralwatch.com and smartturnout.com. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

The truest classic Brooks Brothers blazer is the sack style (no darts on the front) in the three-button rolled-to-two style. $648 at present: http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Three-Button-Sack-1818-Blazer/793M,default,pd.html?dwvar_793M_Color=NAVY&contentpos=4&cgid=0218

Grosgrain watch bands are available at Central Watch, either at their location in Grand Central or at http://centralwatch.com/

JDS said...

I have 3 BB grosgrain watch straps that I wear with my 30 year old (gold tone/tan bark dial) Bean field watch. I get a lot of nice complements on the watch and straps. I believe Eliza B. and J. Press have watch straps too.
BB Blazer: I have a traditional Navy blue blazer I got from BB about 10 years ago, with real cut through button holes on the sleeves. A "Brooksease", made in Canada, fabric by Loro Priana of Italy. I hope this helps.
I've had to have Brooks "modify" some of the clothing I have from them to be more "classic/traditional" style: i.e.: taking out pleats, put on trouser cuffs, taking off tabs. Things don't usually come "off the rack" the way I want them. Next is to go to "bespoke" clothing.

Anonymous said...

For watch straps similar to yours pictured there are actually a fair number of offerings, though not all desirable. Look at (I hate to say it) J. Crew, I believe Leatherman carries a few, or my personal Hodinkee.
If you do not know I'll warn you, Hodinkee is an online watch everything with a small online store. More importantly, the gentlemen there will be able to point you in the right direction.

WRJ said...

J Press has tons of grosgrain watch bands.

The three-button sack Anon 11:58 links to looks great but the use of the phrase "stretch wool" concerns me.

Anonymous said...

Try searching for "NATO straps" when looking for this style of watch band.

Fred Johnson said...

Try JPress for blazer & watch straps. Try smart turnout.com for the best selection of watch staps.

Anonymous said...

Try eBay for both questions, you should find plenty of watch bands and blazers that meet your criteria.

trip said...

This is really the "Golden Age" of nylon watchstraps. For the most part, NATO straps have replaced the regular plain style of nylon straps. There are tons of places to buy them online, however, paying more than $15 or so per strap is paying way too much. I would personally recommend http://natostrapsco.com/ as well as http://www.cheapestnatostraps.com/

Anonymous said...

Smart Turn Out offers 74 different styles of grosgrain watch bands.
Here is the link:
http://www.smartturnout.com/grosgrain-watch-strap-band.html

They are high quality and the company has wonderful customer service.

Roarbo said...

I agree with the recommendation above to go to O'Connell's. Glen or Ethan will set you up just fine.

Anonymous said...

Central Watch

http://centralwatch.com/

DMA said...

Agree with others about blue blazers. I have several from Brooks, but almost invariably it is my J. Press blazer I turn to time after time. The cut of the Press blazer is slimmer without calling too much attention to itself by being freakishly slim-fit. Would never pay $1200 for a blazer, blue or other-wise.

katy said...

J Press has a variety of watch bands. All the Ivy League school colors and a few other ones. Good Luck!

Sartre said...

If you are looking for the "true classic," you want Brooks's "Three-Button Sack 1818 Blazer."

Heather said...

As someone mentioned, look at Leathermans site. My father always had that style watchdstrap. I am new to the blog but so many of the posts and comments remind me of my father.

Tom Conroy said...

On the blazer issue, If you live close to New York City, try LS Clothier's. True tailors, who observe the Jewish Sabbath. In Midtown. They do made to measure in connection with the H Freeman firm in Maryland. If you can make it to the city, they will take care of you. The best value out there.

Patrick Nix said...

O'Connell's and Leather Man Ltd. are two good sources. Timex also makes some nice bands (available at Target). I got a Timex Weekender with a nylon band, and that started my watchband collection. My wife likes to get me new bands on special occasions, which makes them more special and enjoyable to wear.

John G said...

Agree with the others -- J. Press or the BB 3-button sack. Very happy with my J. Press.

Anonymous said...

I think NATO straps are best used on large sports watches like diving watches and not smaller, dressier watches.

The Glengarry Sporting Club said...

Central Watch is the best value out there for the bands. (I see someone else has mentioned them.) You can order a set of 5 bands for $30.

http://www.centralwatch.com/product_detail.php?pr=1

And as others have also commented, for the jacket, you could either look at the O'Connell's version or the J. Press model. Although I do have an older Brooks sack, my personal preference for a 3 button sack blazer is the Southwick Douglas model. (I have a couple of these and I believe O'Connell's still offers them in addition to their own brand.) There's certainly no need to spend $1200 on such a basic item. That said, they have become more expensive than I would have guessed.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I know most people here are averse to J Crew (when, quite frankly, Brooks Brothers has less preppy, more ridiculous items), but they've got a decent selection of NATO straps: https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/accessories/watchesandwatchstraps.jsp

It looks like you can get two for $30, which isn't bad.

Anonymous said...

try smart turnout for watch bands

Craig Sevde said...

NATO Bands made in Australia. Google NATO watch bands.
Best you can buy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Glengarry, Central Watch is a great deal for ribbon straps, although I really like the Smart Turnout straps I purchased from J. Press.

I purchased a 3 button sack blazer from Brooks about 25 years ago and loved it, but when it came time for a new one, I went with the 3 button sack from Southwick with horn buttons. I got it from Eljos in Charlottsville, VA for around 600. It is the best one I have ever owned.

Chuck R.

Anonymous said...

I like bands, too, particularly when it's warmer out and I'm wearing short sleeves.

Try Esslinger.com or New York Central Watch. Both have the nylon bands; O'Connell's, too. Be careful not to overdo it! :)

I've got a couple of these new NATO style straps and I don't think much of them: too much strap for the watch, and they really only work for field watches, military watches. Right now I'm wearing a Seiko diver watch on one.

I can't tell you which make of BB blazer I've got; all I know is that BB's sizing works fantastic for my build, better than any others, fortunately. I can pretty much wear a BB suit off the rack!

Anonymous said...

I have the same watch in an older version. My mother gave it to my father early in the 60s. I found it on a window ledge in the garage, and I asked my father if I could have it. That was my freshman year at MX, and I have worn it since. I think the simplicity of the face is classic. I bought straps last year at J Press, and I will try Central Watch next time I am in the City. Thanks for the tip.

Mayes Hall said...

Wear them with my LL Bean watch every day. Often get compliments.

Anonymous said...

Another vote for the J Press blazer. I have blazers from Press, Brook Brothers and Paul Stewart. Although all are finely constructed, it is the J Press blazers I wear most often.

Cheers,
Gary

Michael Rowe said...

@Paul, it might be time for a trip to the laundromat and/or the dry cleaner…?

Anonymous said...

These guys seem to stock a decent range of straps:

https://www.crownandbuckle.com/

father wb said...

I echo what others have said: J Press for watch straps and blazer. And Eliza B / Leatherman Ltd. for watch straps.

My current navy blazer came from the the flagship Brooks Bros. in Manhattan about ten years ago. I have not seen them online or in catalogues (or, for that matter, in small stores elsewhere). But it is indeed the classic sack-cut, etc. I went into the store, they measured me, and a few weeks later, the blazer arrived in the mails.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

j press makes the classic ivy blazer. 3/2 button sack, hook vent, patch pockets, welted seams

or you could get what you want custom made for 1200 somewhere

Anonymous said...

Crown and Buckle is my go to for all things watch strap related. They have a good selection and have straps of varing thickness and "toughness."

www.crownandbuckle.com