Explore the 11 Best Affordable Watches with a Nylon Strap
When choosing a watch, one of the many decisions you will have to make is what type of strap do you want. The strap or bracelet is an important part of the watch. After all, it makes up most of the surface area of the watch so you definitely want it to look nice. Also, it’s going to wrap all the way around your wrist so it should be comfortable to wear as well. There’s the classy options like stainless steel and leather. You can also get a nylon strap, and we think you should. Here’s why.
Why Get a Nylon Strap?
A nylon, or fabric, strap on a watch leads to a casual and sporty look. This is why field watches, which are supposed to be functional and utilitarian, usually use nylon. Sometimes you don’t want to go all out and look super formal. It’s good to have a casual watch for daily use that can still pair with a more upscale outfit if need be. Another advantage to the nylon strap is comfort. Fabric is a lightweight material so it won’t feel heavy on your wrist. A good nylon strap will be breathable, too. You may not even feel like you’re wearing a watch at all.
Nylon straps and field watches are great for outdoors purposes. It’s the perfect watch type to wear while hiking or spending time outside. It’s durable and can take a beating without a problem. Another pro of nylon straps is affordability. It’s a common and cost effective material. You can find a good one on a watch for cheap. Due to their low price and versatility, you can easily buy extra straps in a variety of colors and swap them out whenever you feel like it. This way, you get to experience multiple watches and designs without actually spending the money to buy several separate watches.
Now that you know why you should buy a watch with a nylon strap, here are some of the best out there today.
Timex Expedition (w/ Optional Chronograph)
The Timex Expedition is a perfect match for a nylon strap. As the name implies, it is designed to be a rugged, outdoors field watch for the adventurous type. When fitted with a nylon strap, this effect is even more apparent. You can get the basic one which will have a simple dial with easy to read numbers. Readability is a hallmark of field watches. You want your daily wearing watch to be easy to read so you can quickly glance at the time throughout the day without spending extra time. These models even come with Timex’s INDIGLO backlight for easy reading in the dark too.
If you want a more elevated version, you can get the Expedition chronograph. This watch still has the same robust design, but with added features. The chronograph means that there is a stopwatch built in to the watch itself. You can control it using the extra pushers on the right side of the case. This model will measure the time up to an accuracy of 1/20th of a second! At this price point, that is some serious capability.
Stopwatches can be genuinely useful in the real world for many people. If you fall under that category, we would recommend going with the chronograph. If you think the dial looks a little bit too busy, we say go with the basic model. Whichever one you choose, you have the reliability and reputation of Timex behind you. Both models have great reviews and are well under $100.
Citizen Eco-Drive Garrison Field Watch
Citizen is a well regarded watch brand out of Japan. They offer some great field watches with nylon straps as part of their Eco-Drive line. Eco-Drive is Citizen’s light powered watch technology. When you wear your watch out in the sun, or even under indoor lights, it gets charged up. This means you will almost never have to replace a battery to keep this thing running. The Garrison model has a nylon strap to pair with its simple field design. It also has a day and date display window which comes in handy. The Casual Garrison has a 37mm case size, making it great for smaller to average wrist sizes.
For bigger guys, don’t worry because there is a Citizen Garrison for you too. The second option has a 43mm case width for those larger wrists. It also has several sub-dials to display extra information and give a more high end look. Citizen has fitted both these watches with luminous hands and time markers so you can continue checking the time even in the dark. With solid reviews, a tough stainless steel case, and Citizen’s knack for reliability and accuracy, these are some of the best nylon watches out there now. They are both offered in various colors so take a look and see which one you like.
Casio Field Watch (MTPS120L-1AV)
When discussing affordable watches, it is would be a shame to not mention Casio. Casio churns out several easily accessible and affordable watches without compromising quality. The MTP-S120L-3AV is not only a mouthful, it is also a great alternative to the Citizens we showed above. This model is even cheaper than those ones, coming in at $145. There is currently a massive sale on Amazon for 38% off so act fast.
Casio does not specialize in field watches, yet they did an amazing job with this one. It is solar powered so you don’t need to worry about changing the battery as long as it gets some sunlight. However, it doesn’t need much since it will last for over 6 months with no sun at all. It has a day/date display just like the Citizen. We really love the minute markers around the (stationary) bezel. It adds a touch of uniqueness to the watch. We also the love the brightly colored, arrow shaped second hand.
Seiko Watches with a Nylon Strap
There are many nylon strap watches from Seiko, the renowned Japanese watchmaker. This model has an automatic movement, unlike the previous examples which used quartz. Automatic movements are more complex, which is why they are considered higher end and more luxurious. Seiko offers this advanced and reliable movement to you at an affordable price. This model comes in a beautiful deep blue color. It has large hands that light up in the dark. The silver stainless steel case is silky smooth, making this a great watch for formal occasions even with the nylon strap.
Seiko 5 Sports Field Watch
The last one didn’t really qualify as a field watch, but this one definitely does. It is part of Seiko’s 5 Sports line, which is famous for its affordable quality. It has an easy to read dial and, again, an automatic movement. Both this model and the previous one have transparent case backs. This allows you to see the complex automatic movement in action. It truly is a beautiful sight of craftsmanship and precision.
Seiko Core Chronograph SSB401P1
This Seiko comes with a quartz movement instead of the automatic. However, it also has a chronograph and tachymeter on the bezel. It comes fitted with a beautiful, multicolor strap. Remember that if these colors don’t get you excited, the strap is easily replaced for cheap. This watch is also super durable with a high quality crystal covering that pristine white dial. This is a true sports watch with unique flairs. This is one of our favorites on the list because of that dial.
Seiko 5 Sports
Rounding out our list of Seiko’s with a nylon strap, we have two more from the Seiko 5 Sports line. This is one of those watches that fit any occasion. The all black one gives you a sleek, stealthy look. We actually prefer the one on the right just slightly. This is because of that large black bezel which gives a sporty look. With a 42.5mm case size, these watches will fit most wrists well. They both come with Seiko’s 4R36 automatic movement, which is reliable and has self winding included.
Bulova Retro Caravelle Quartz Watch
Bulova is an American watch company that is owned by Citizen, so you know quality is going to be good. These retro models from Bulova are designed to be fun and casual. They harken back to the colorful past with a modern twist. Our favorite part about these watches is the two color bezel which adds to this watch’s playful quirkiness. We also love the dial which reminds us of a sniper’s scope. Just like a sniper, these watches are precise with quartz movements. You can shop for more colors here on Bulova’s website.
Hamilton Khaki Field Watch
Perhaps one the most iconic field watches of all time is the Hamilton Khaki Field Watch. Hamilton is a storied watchmaker originally from the USA. Back in the day, they made watches for the military during WWII. Their military history and tradition shines bright with this piece. It is simple, easy to read, and durable, which is what you would need when on the battle field. This watch has a self wound, mechanical movement adding to the traditional and historical vibe. At 38mm, this is a fairly small and lightweight watch as well.
BOLDR is a relatively small watchmaker based out of Singapore. Their Venture line of field watches uses Japanese made automatic movements for accuracy and dependability. These watches come with a titanium case. Titanium is a very strong and very lightweight material. Combine that with the high quality NATO nylon strap, and you have a watch that is super comfortable to wear all day. It also has a sapphire crystal over the dial. Sapphire is a high end material usually used on more expensive pieces. It is strong and resistant to scratches so you can feel carefree wearing this anywhere. You can shop the many different variations here.
Last but not Least: Boderry Voyager
Boderry is a Chinese brand that makes some serious high quality watches, despite the negative connotations associated with Chinese products. It has all the same features as the BOLDR above: lightweight titanium case, sapphire crystal, Japanese automatic movement. Adding to all that, the Voyager has a uniquely placed day/date window at 4, instead of at 3 like most other watches. It also has a screw down crown. This aids in water resistance by making a water tight seal that protects the movement housed inside. The best part? All of this is available for just $97. A true steal.
Conclusion to Nylon Strap Guide
Overall, nylon strap watches are an integral part of any watch collection. You need a watch that you can wear comfortably on the daily. With their casual style, nylon straps excel at being daily models. Many of the pieces on this list can even be worn with suits if you want to. As you probably noticed, most (but not all) of the watches on this list are field watches. Whether you are looking to take your collection to the next level, or looking to buy your first watch, we highly recommend field watches with nylon straps because of their versatility. We hope that this guide inspired you to love nylon as much as we do.