Artem’s HydroFlex might be the best rubber watch strap Australia’s ever produced Artem’s HydroFlex might be the best rubber watch strap Australia’s ever produced

Artem’s HydroFlex might be the best rubber watch strap Australia’s ever produced

Jamie Weiss

Editor’s note: Welcome to Watch Carry Wednesdays, a new segment on Time+Tide where we highlight some of the best watch-related accessories, everyday carry items and gifts that are out there in the world. There are plenty of strap makers, watch roll sellers and coffee table book publishers out there – Watch Carry Wednesdays will shine a light on the stuff that’s worth your hard-earned coin.

With that in mind, we’re kicking things off by spotlighting Artem Straps’ latest creation, the HydroFlex. Artem Straps is an Australian watch accessories brand based out of Adelaide, South Australia. Founded by two mates with a passion for horology, Artem Straps has gained a cult following for their exceptional attention to detail and premium materials – as I mentioned above, there are plenty of businesses selling watch straps out there, but Artem’s are a cut above the rest.

artem hydroflex

Attention to detail is really the name of the game with Artem. For instance, not only do all their straps feature high-quality materials and accessories such as proper deployant clasps, but they even make a range of ‘PAM-style’ straps for that OEM-plus look for Panerais. The HydroFlex, however, is their best strap yet: a hybrid strap crafted with a premium FKM rubber base and layered with Artem’s signature synthetic embossed material, HydroFlex straps are water-resistant, flexible, and durable – yet butter-soft in a way few rubber straps can match. 

artem hydroflex range

“We consider this our flagship, and our best strap to date,” Artem explains. “This strap is really nothing like anything out there currently.”

artem hydroflex back

I’ve tried (and bought) a huge number of watch straps in my time, but I reckon Artem’s HydroFlex is easily the best I’ve ever had the chance to sample. There’s rubber and there’s rubber: the FKM rubber used in the HydroFlex is robust and premium-looking but remains exceptionally pliable and comfortable, without any break-in period needed. Aesthetically, it ticks a lot of boxes too: the weave-patterned upper is convincing enough that this rubber strap would work well on even dressier watches.

artem hydroflex front

The attention to detail is pretty impressive: OEM-quality stitching, quick-release spring bars as standard, beautifully finished metal hardware… It’s little things, too, like how a stainless steel tang buckle is also provided with the strap if you select a deployant clasp option. Call me overly patriotic but I’m pretty impressed that an Aussie company has come up with a strap this good – I reckon this is the best rubber strap in Australia. Maybe even the world. It’s that good.

artem hydroflex art

“Some customers value obsessiveness over all else, and with our new HydroFlex range, they will find it in truckloads. Attention has been paid to details that we don’t even expect the customers to notice, but that’s just the way we do things at Artem Straps,” Artem tells T+T.

The Artem Straps HydroFlex retails for A$332 / US$218 and is available in grey, green, blue and black. Find out more at Artem Straps’ online store here.