Watches are the big initial expense but straps are what get you in the end. You save up some money and purchase your first nice watch. You love it. It’s everything you want it to be, does everything you want, and looks just the way you thought it would. Something festers in your mind though… You saw your watch on Instagram, on a leather strap.

The wheels start turning and you have to find a leather strap so you can be as cool as that Instagram influencer you saw. You spend a week looking at Veblenist, Bulang & Sons, and a handful of others until you arrive at the perfect option for your new watch. It arrives, you install it, and feel at peace. But…you just saw your watch on a grey NATO strap and you’re off again.

This is a story we all know and love. The watch world is saturated with strap brands and I hope that this article (or in the future, a series of articles) can serve to be some sort of guiding light toward which brands are good, and which aren’t. Today, we’re talking about Artem Sailcloth Straps. Specifically, we’re looking at Artem’s “Loopless” system on their sailcloth straps.


I think the first thing we should probably talk about is: What is Sailcloth? Sailcloth as a term has a fairly broad definition. It’s, technically, a cloth made from a variety of materials used in the fabrication of sailboat sails. There have been many iterations of Sailcloth over the years from Flax and hemp, later to Canvas, and then into synthetic materials like Nylon, polyester, and carbon fibers. None of these materials (apart from perhaps Canvas) sound like things I want to attach to my watches and strap onto my wrists. So what are strap makers using? Generally a “sailcloth strap” is some sort of synthetic upper with a rubber, leather, or combination of the two on the underside. Artem is using a somewhat secretly stated, “embossed synthetic material” with a leather underside that’s coated with natural rubber.

One of the largest complaints I’ve seen with Sailcloth watch straps is that they require a decent amount of time to break in. They can come out of the box straight as boards and need some heat and wear to get a good bend in them. But… the Artem straps are a little bit of an exception. I attribute this largely to the materials used on the straps but also to the way the buckles are constructed. We’ll get into the Loopless Clasp details a little later, but I think the way this strap folds over itself forces the trap into contouring around your wrist nicely, straight out of the box. As you continue to wear it, the curve will become more natural.


Artem straps come in one of three different strap options. You can get them on a normal pin buckle, a deployant buckle that’s modeled after either Richard Mille or Blancpain’s buckles, and lastly the Artem Loopless buckle. The Loopless buckle is for all intents and purposes an Omega deployant buckle clone, and it works oh so well. The “loopless” portion of the buckle name connotes the fact that these straps don’t have any keepers (or ‘loops’) on them. In my opinion, this is the best implementation of a deployant that I’ve had the pleasure of using in a long time. What makes it so great is simple—that the tail of the strap tucks nearly underneath the opposing side of the strap out of sight and out of mind. The Loopless clasp folds back over itself when closing. When closed the clasp is about 1.7” in length, which sounds large but what I have found is that the length of the clasp helps the stiffer sailcloth material bend and fold around your wrist.

Sizing the strap is pretty straightforward. On the tail side of the clasp you insert the strap straight through the clasp and line up the holes with the post, then you bend the strap with your fingers and fit it under the tabs that will secure it in place. This effectively locks the clasp in place. Once you get it fit to your wrist it functions perfectly. It may just take a little trial and error to get your right size. Lastly, the buckle closes with a very secure click. It’s opened by pressing the two buttons on either side and lifting. This is a super pleasing interaction with the watch strap. I’ve even caught myself idly playing with it in my spare time.
The loopless clasps are available in Stainless Steel or with a DLC-coated.


As I stated above, getting your correct fit with an Artem sailcloth is done by finding the correct hole, pressing the post into it, and securing the strap under the locking tabs. Once you’ve achieved a fit that’s comfortable for you, the Artem Sailcloth straps are extremely easy to wear day after day. The material of the straps themselves offers just enough give as your wrist swells and flexes throughout the day. I’ve found these straps to be extremely versatile throughout the day, even on large watches like my Darth Tuna.


When it comes to strap versatility the question I ask myself is… when would I feel like this strap would not be appropriate to wear? Well, let’s be honest it’s a strap on the more casual side of life. Probably not something suited to adorn your vintage gold dress watch. Likely not a watch that would be at home on a red carpet somewhere. It’s not supposed to be those things though. Sailcloth straps are intended to be more “toolish” straps. The materials are tough, resistant to the elements, and meant to last. All of that being said, I feel pretty confident that most people could use an Artem Sailcloth strap most of the time. If you’re wearing what most folks would consider a tool watch (think diver, pilot watch, steel chronograph, etc…), then Artem’s straps are perfect.

Final Thoughts

Man… so this is a strap review eh? Here’s the thing: watch straps are immensely subjective. Some people love NATO straps, others do not. Some people have a coronary when they see leather on a diver, other’s are normal and of sound mind. So when we talk about Artem straps I think it’s important to explain that while I am enthusiastic about their straps, Sailcloth might just not be for you. That is a-ok.

One of the biggest complaints that I’ve had/heard about Sailcloth straps at large always revolves around stiffness. So the million-dollar question remains, are Artem sailcloth straps as stiff as some of the other options on the market? Well, the answer is a little complicated. The material used by Artem does have a level of rigidity to it but the loopless clasps help the material to bend and curve around your wrist during the break-in period. That’s what makes Artem Straps different in my opinion.

Now, Artem straps are $133 for the strap part alone. You can add $13 if you want quick-release spring bars, which I would recommend. Then the clasps themselves are another $68 ($78 if you want DLC). So a full strap setup with quick-release bars will run you $214. That is one spicy watch strap, but once you have the buckle you can swap it between other straps if you want. Depending on the watch you’re putting it on, I’d also make the argument that good watch straps are worth it, it’s one of the largest touch points you’ll have with a watch and as a result, it’s worth spending a little bit of money on them.

Artem Straps

2 thoughts on “Artem Straps | Testing Aftermarket Sailcloth Options”

  1. I have number of Artem straps, all with the standard buckle, which are expensive enough at $99.00 a throw. However, on each one the “sailcloth” material has cracked on the edge of the strap in one or more places, some after no more than a month or so of use. The cracks always occur at the tail, where the strap has to be bent somewhat after passing through the buckle in order enter the fixed keeper loop. This has happened on both newer and older iterations of the straps, with the newer ones in fact failing substantially sooner that the older versions did (the newer iterations are also stiffer and don’t form to the wrist as well, causing the watch head to “hover” instead sit directly atop the wrist. Maybe Artem straps simply don’t work for smaller wrist sizes (6.5″ in my case) or I’ve just been incerdibly unlucky with them. Or maybe the Loopless version is intended to alleviate this issue. I don’t know, but I also don’t have enough level of comfort with their product to spend $214.00 to find out.

  2. I have a couple of Artemis straps with the traditional pin and buckle. The black with white stitching started cracking and split after about 9 months, so it was still under warranty. They were happy to replace it as long as I cut it up and sent them a photo (🙄). The new one has a glossy finish which I don’t particularly like, although the material is softer. The strap I have (black with black stitching) is so far holding out…


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