Three from BluShark Straps

The Time Bum is always looking for a few good straps, so when BluShark offered to let me have a couple in exchange for a review, I couldn't say no. I’ve reviewed BluShark’s wares before and liked them, although, at that time, the company’s offerings were all variations on nylon pass-through straps. Nowadays, BluShark has far more variety, including canvas, Cordura, silicone, and nylon two-piece straps in addition to their many NATO-style items.

BluShark Straps

For this review, I tried a bit from each category: an Olive Cordura, a Juliet Blue silicone rally, and one of their newer pass-throughs, the AlphaShark Slim in Malbec Red. All three are only available in 20 or 22mm widths. Those seeking larger or smaller sizes will need to browse BluShark’s other collections.

AlphaShark Slim

Of the three, the $32 AlphaShark Slim is probably the strap you would most likely associate with BluShark. It is a traditional NATO-style pass-through design in a soft seatbelt weave with stainless steel keepers. Like all BluShark straps, the construction is top-notch. The collection uses BluShark’s premium hardware that may be brushed, polished (like the sample), or with certain colors, PVD black. Its stainless steel buckle is engraved and drilled for easier spring bar removal.

BluShark Straps AlphaShark Slim Malbex

What really sets this strap apart is its 1.2mm thickness. NATOs have their uses, but I have found many to be bulky, especially if I need to tuck in the excess tail, as is often necessary on my smallish 6.75” wrist, and was the case here as well given the Slim’s 280mm length. The AlphaShark Slim goes far to alleviate this problem and offers the additional advantage of being thin enough to slip into those watches with tight gaps between the case and spring bars.

BluShark Straps AlphaShark Slim Malbex Manchester Watch Works

I loved the smooth texture and vibrant red color and appreciated the way the fabric bent flat against itself when stuffed back through the keeper. It looked particularly fetching on my Manchester Watch Works Vergennes. I’d like to see this thin premium seat belt weave used on even lower profile designs, like a conventional two-piece or a single strip Army style with a fabric keeper.

Cordura

The $26 Cordura strap is a two-piece design in 20 or 22mm widths and a standard 115/75mm length that should accommodate most wrists. It is fully stitched, lightly padded, leather-backed, and tapered, making it the most tailored of the lot. Quick release pins are a useful touch.

BluShark Straps Cordura Olive

The fabric looks more casual than a similarly styled leather strap would, but a low profile and tight construction go far to dress it up. BluShark does not list the buckle as “premium” but the signed, drilled, square frame unit appears to be just as nicely finished as those on the other straps.

I tried the Cordura on my Collins Hyperion, replacing the rugged and thick stock leather strap. The svelte 3.5mm thick BluShark gave the watch a whole new look,  trimming it down so it could fit neatly under a shirt cuff. I also liked the way fabric’s sheen complemented the Hyperion’s glossy carbon fiber dial.

BluShark Cordura Collins

Silicone Rally

BluShark’s $26 Silicone Rally strap is the biggest departure from their norm, both in terms of material and style. It is also one of the most complex. Two-layer construction allows a contrasting color to show through the upper layer’s perforations. There is a great deal of sculpting here; the lug ends curve down to better hug your wrist, a raised center section on the top adds even more dimension to the already layered design, and channels on the bottom keep the stitching off your skin. It tapers to meet its signed and brushed premium buckle. Quick release pins are standard. 

BluShark Juliet Blue

They offer 20 or 22mm widths and a number of colors. I chose the fancifully named Juliet Blue, which looked fabulous on my trippy Deep Blue Diver 1000 Abalone dial. At 130/85mm, the strap is on the longer side, but not so much that ended up with an unruly tail. I found the soft silicone to be delightfully comfortable, especially when wet, and it while it did attract its share of fuzz, it seemed less of a lint magnet than other similar straps I’ve owned. 


I thoroughly enjoyed all three straps. They are not the least expensive straps out there but BluShark’s high standards for quality materials and manufacture were apparent in all of them, and the prices get far more appealing when you take advantage of their volume discounts and free shipping offers. To browse more and order your own, visit BluSharkStraps.com. ⬩

BluShark Silicone Rally Deep Blue

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