My Seiko SKX 013 is probably my most worn watch, simply because it’s on my wrist all weekend long. Through yard work and pool time, and kids outings and camping (it’s my only watch with functional lume), it takes a beating and gets pretty grimey, so it stays in rubber straps pretty much all summer long here in Phoenix. My previous go-to had been the Bonetto Cinturini Zuludiver 328, but that NATO style rubber strap exaggerates the already thick profile of the SKX, sitting quite high on the wrist with the strap doubled up under the case. Searching for a nice two-piece rubber strap, I came across Belhamel, when they were previously called SkinXStraps and only offered an SKX007 option. After (im)patiently waiting for their re-branding and launch of their expanded offerings, I jumped at the opportunity to pick one up.
In full disclosure, I had reached out to Belhamel before their re-branding to inquire about a possible SKX013 option, mentioning I would love to purchase and review it. As a result of my previous inquiry, this strap was discounted, such that I paid international shipping only.
The strap arrived in a timely manner, fully tracked, and upon opening, the packaging is impressive. Super clean, well executed, and they even include a little spring bar tool and spring bars! The quality is evident the moment you open the box. The materials are all really neatly finished, have a wonderful feel, and the fit is perfect. Installing is very straight forward, and I like that there is a ton of room and easy access to the spring bars when the strap is folded down, and away from the case, making removal a breeze. The other trick feature are the two tiny raised “shoulders” on the sides of the strap to keep the lower keeper in place. This is really well done, very clean, and nearly integrates that keeper while not adding any thickness to the strap.
The light stone gray color is perfect for summer, adding nice character, and proving to be very versatile to match all of your summer attire.
I know I said it already, but the fitment and mating of the strap to the case is perfect, so well executed. the raised center portion creates the elevated design and styling of the strap, and the lower outer surfaces sit flush with the lug surface while perfectly matching the curvature of the case. In fact, the strap sits so flush that the one nitpick-y negative to it is that the raised center section actually makes rotating the bezel more difficult if you’re used to grabbing it at 12 and 6. This is really a minor issue and the bezel still works as normal if grasped anywhere else. I just noticed that it was a bit more difficult to spin at those two touch points.
The curved end sections of the strap are so crucial to providing enough thickness and stability to the watch and making it super comfortable to wear. I find my wrists to be sort of flat on top often causing watches to hang towards the outside of the wrist, especially if the strap isn’t a great fit for the weight or case shape, thickness, or lug design. The curvature of this strap simply sits where the watch should and stays there… comfortably, day in and day out.
I tend to like my watches snug so they don’t spin or slide, and I actually find the shape of this strap to be so stabilizing that I’m able to wear it on the fourth hole (from smallest) as opposed to the third that would be how tight I think I would need it, which allows the watch to be less sweaty and more comfortable on wrist.
It is a touch long for my 6-5/8” wrist diameter, where I have it on the fourth of ten holes, though not absurdly or annoyingly so. And being a dive watch, I imagine this is also intentional and very appropriate. The floating keeper plays nicely with the tapered width and thickness of the strap to keep the tail in check. The finishing is such that you really wouldn’t want to cut the length down, though you could, and I’m happy I don’t find it necessary since the fitment and keeper does such a good job of keeping things tidy
If you’re looking for a high quality strap in general, yet alone a rubber strap, this is end game material for the SKX and other compatible Seiko watches. I’ve never owned an Everest Strap, but I have a hard time believing their fit and finishing on a rubber strap can be any higher than the Belhamel, and those are nearly $200 more expensive.
Simply put, the Belhamel strap for the Seiko SKX is excellent in quality, finishing, fit, and performance. I would gladly pay for one, would strongly recommend to anyone with a compatible watch, and may need to pickup that fantastic shade of blue as well. The SKXR1-3 is just $42 here.