When one thinks about watch straps, Latin by way of New York and Korea is not, perhaps, the first thought that comes to mind. Nor even the second, really. The Latin in this instance is ‘sui generis’ (of its own genus/ kind) and the new watch brand, hailing out of New York city but with its straps made in Korea, is SUIGENERIC, either a nifty play on words or a puzzling choice of name, depending on how you look at it. As its founder Michael Park puts it, “Our vision is to provide a unique perspective by creating sui generis interpretations of generic objects around us.”
What is it that SUIGENERIC do with their straps that is different? Well for starters they are heavily patterned, with designs not just limited to a traditional ‘camo’ but also including ‘blanket’ (both pictured above) and a rather whimsical ‘snowflake’ that I am rather taken with. The straps themselves are cotton canvas that is handwaxed and double layered, with stainless steel hardware.
This double-layering means that their straps are incredibly sturdy, and their construction very solid and durable. However, one downside of this is that it also means that they are quite thick. Done in a NATO-style, this thickness means that they don’t fit between the lugs and case of all watches, something which I’ve mentioned to them and which they are very much aware of. The NATO also means an added height to the watch.
The Speake-Marin strap from them that I mentioned in this previous post is different, as you’ll note – they made a specific request to get rid of the second layer and have a Zulu style. It is still thick, but it is less bulky, and perhaps doing this on a broader level might be worth considering. If you have older Rolexes, for example, they have found that their straps will fit, but with more modern ones, there are issues. They have also tried them with some other major brands/ models, but this is one of those straps where it’s best to do some careful measurements or better still trying one on for size, before buying.
When the photos were taken for this post (straps provided by SUIGENERIC), I asked a friend to simply bring along a watch with the requisite lug size. We were fortunate that he could fit it through the lug area, with the ‘blanket’ design.
These straps are very distinctive in design and material/ construction, so in terms of standing out, they have met their goals. As mentioned, they are a young brand, so there are many developments underway, such as 24mm straps for those stalwarts of the strap world, Panerai owners, and to meet demand, they have recently released some solid colour straps for those like myself who tend towards the more conservative side of the strap world when it comes to patterns.
If you like the designs but aren’t of a mind to use them as watch straps, I think that they could make good bracelets, in the Zulu-style. With the popularity of men wearing watches and bracelets on the same wrist at the moment, I could see these with a smaller width becoming popular.
There are some fun designs and a myriad of colour schemes, and with great packaging, SUIGENERIC would work well as gifts.
SUIGENERIC refer to themselves as a “lifestyle watchstrap brand”. Given that the selling of watches is a lot about lifestyle, it was only a matter of time before a strap brand also started thinking this way. They are sold in a number of retailers that are listed on their website, and you can also buy directly at their website.
[Suigeneric straps used for this review were given by Suigeneric as a gift to Horologium]