After shuffling off this mortal coil a while back, Massachusetts-based watch bracelet brand Forstner has been resurrected in the 21st Century — and the brand is celebrating its rebirth by recreating some of the most iconic styles of decades past. With the ongoing enthusiasm for vintage watch styles, it's only surprising that more companies haven't made this move sooner.
The "beads-of-rice" bracelet has seen a boom in popularity in recent years, but there are many more funky and charming bracelet types that'll match that vintage or vintage-inspired watch on your wrist. From the Komfit style on which NASA astronauts wore their Omega Speedmasters to the oft-forgotten "bonklip," Forstner is producing several archetypal vintage bracelets — and doing so for pretty reasonable prices.
There are many different types of mesh watch strap, from Milanese to shark. The Komfit in particular, however, is associated with NASA and the Omega Speedmaster — and when you spot a Moonwatch on NASA personnel in old footage, it's often worn on this type of bracelet. Available in several variations, it's not only uber-retro in looks, but as the name suggests, is meant to wear comfortably.
Though this bracelet's got a familiar three-link look when viewed dead-on, from the side the rivets give it a unique, mid-century feel that's hard to find today. Originally produced by famed bracelet maker Gay Frères, Forstner's Rivet comes with either "solid" links or stretchable links like those found on mid-century Rolex models.
Beads of Rice
The beads of rice is an obligatory inclusion in an offering an assortment of vintage-styled bracelets. There are differing takes on the concept, but Forstner offers a non-tapering version in which the individual links alternate between brushed and polished finishes.
The Forstner Klip is based on the "bonklip" style the company's namesake produced in the 1940s. (It's also called the "bamboo-" or "ladder-style.") With a military background and unique look, this is one of the most distinctive bracelet types you can find.
The Flat Link replicates a bracelet made specifically to fit the Speedmaster — a type which Omega has even offered on some of its modern remakes. It's not only thin and comfortable, but it offers a spring-loaded stretch effect just like the vintage examples did.