The truth is, I’m pretty easygoing. I can get along. Very few things get anywhere near grinding my gears in the watch world – I’m a fan of, and can appreciate, just about anything that’s associated with the little timekeeping marvels that we love.
That is, unless you are talking about Bund straps. Because Bund straps are terrible. I don’t use the word hate very often, but when I do, it’s in reference to the Bund strap.
Here’s a fun game. How many redeeming qualities do Bund straps have? Answer, none. The only man who could pull one off was the coolest man who ever lived, Paul Newman … and even he only barely got away with it.
For starters, the etymology of the word “bund” is troubling, as it’s an abbreviation for Bundesrepublik Deutschland or Federal Republic of Germany. That’s right, the Bund strap was first popularised by nascent Nazi pilots in the 1930s … not a great origin story. And once the National Socialist German Workers’ Party was destroyed, the Bund strap should have gone with it, forever.
Except it didn’t. The abhorrent, overtly thick and ungainly wrist-wear just went into hiding. The next time it would rear its ugly girth would be in a decade many consider to be fashion’s decade horribilis. Sorry dad, but that was the ’70s.
This was a period in time when sartorial flair abandoned its duties, and vagabond chic took hold. No jeans were too flared, no T-shirt too tie-dyed, no facial hair too disheveled. And the Bund strap thrived in this countercultural rebuke of anything and everything that was aesthetically pleasing. How could it not? When the rest of your attire looks like you’ve been sleeping rough for the past six months, what better way to tie it all off than with what looks like a thicc leather belt attached to your wrist?
Finally, let’s assess this crap strap on its actual wearability. Also, a raging fail. Bund straps are ungainly, sweaty, uncomfortable, thicc, impractical and almost impossible to pair with anything except a flared pair of stained Levi’s and a paisley shirt that’s got too many buttons undone.
Unless you want to look like you fly vintage Messerschmitts or someone who gets jacked while solving crimes with a cartoon dog, there really is no need to wear a Bund strap. So, please, just don’t. Thank you. I’m glad we had this conversation — James