Review of the black Cordura® strap by Unimatic

Back in July, when I bought the Unimatic stainless steel bracelet, I also decided to treat myself to another strap. I was considering their TPU rubber and a Cordura® strap. In the end, I went with the black Cordura® because it has a slight taper. That was a wonderful decision!

nenad pantelic profile photo Nenad Pantelic • November 9, 2023

unimatic cordura strap
80
Cordura® strap by Unimatic StrapHunter rating 80 out of 100
Quality 83
Comfort 79
Design 76
Durability 82

The verdict: An attractive Cordura® strap that is surprisingly versatile and comfortable, although not ideal for top-heavy watches.

What we like?

  • Very soft and supple
  • Thinner than other synthetic straps
  • Fully stitched construction
  • Deep black color
  • Signed buckle

What we don't like?

  • Leather underlining
  • Only available in 22mm

The Full Review

Back in July when I bought the Unimatic stainless steel bracelet, I also decided to treat myself to another strap. I considered their TPU rubber and a Cordura® strap. In the end, I went with the black Cordura® because it had a slight taper. That was a wonderful decision!

Cordura® is a strong fabric made of high-tensile strength fibers that can withstand long-term wear. Technically speaking, the material has a non-porous construction, which means it repels water. As you can imagine, it is a great choice for watch straps.

As you've already seen, I referred to this material with the ® symbol. That's because Cordura® is a registered trademark of INVISTA.

Initially, I wrote that buying this Cordura® strap from Unimatic was a wonderful decision. Let me explain why I am very satisfied with this strap. I'll start with the tech specs breakdown.


Technical details

Brand Unimatic
Width 22mm
Tapering 2mm; from 22mm to 20mm
Length 120mm+74mm
Material Military grade Cordura® fabric
Color Black; black stitching
Finishing Matte
Keepers One fixed & one free; Cordura®
Buckle Brushed stainless steel; signed;

As noted before, this one is only available in 22mm. That's a reasonable choice for the Unimatic collections, but it can be a limitation for other buyers who may need a quality Cordura® strap in 20mm or 21mm.

There are two colors available: black and a sand variant.

When it comes to the metal hardware, you can choose between stainless steel or black PVD.

Design and Materials

The material is Cordura® fabric. "Thank you, Captain Obvious" you might say. Actually, there is a lot more to cover. The strap it's not 100% Cordura. There is also a leather lining on the underside.

Everything is nicely stitched across all sides apart from the top of the strap. We are talking about machine stitching here, and that is completely OK for the price.

One really cool detail is the color of the stitching. On the top side, the thread is black, and the pale leather lining is stitched using white stitching. Interesting!

Unimatic uses military-grade Cordura, which is a big plus.

The strap is made from quality Cordura® fabric
The strap is made from quality Cordura® fabric.
There is a leather lining on the underside
There is a leather lining on the underside with a Unimatic branding.
Everything is nicely machine stitched
Everything is nicely machine stitched.

The buckle is nicely finished, made from stainless steel, and has Unimatic branding. The clasp uses a thin tongue pin, which I prefer.

The holes are well-made, and none of them show any signs of fraying thus far.

The thickness is between 3mm and 4mm. There is also a large Unimatic branding embossed into the lining of the longer strap piece.

The thickness is between 3mm and 4mm
The thickness is between 3mm and 4mm.

The strap does not use quick-release spring bars, if that is something that interests you.

Overall, the strap has a solid construction and uses quality materials.

Comfort and Durability

The strap is very soft and supple. The pieces are flexible, and they do not require much force to bend them. Of course, the area near the spring bars is a bit stiffer than the area near the buckle or the buckle holes on the longer piece.

When I press a finger into the material, there is a slight cushiony feeling. I can press into the strap by a millimeter.

This black Cordura® strap perfectly pairs with Unimatic watches
This black Cordura® strap perfectly pairs with Unimatic watches.
The strap is very soft and supple
The strap is very soft and supple. The pieces are flexible, and they easily follow the shape of a wrist.

All of these parameters make the strap easy to wear. Of course, as with any new canvas two-piece strap, you need some time to break in the strap and let it conform to the shape of your wrist.

Honestly, I wore it occasionally a few times during the last two months, and that was enough for the break-in to settle.

I really, really appreciate the taper. For a 22mm strap, that makes a big difference. Tapering helps in wearability, especially in the area around the buckle. It is so much nicer to have a slim setup on the underside of the wrist.

Since I wore the strap less than 10 times, I cannot give my final judgment on the durability. But I can say that so far, the strap has held up nicely. The stitching is as new, there are no creases or weak spots, and there is no fraying of the fabric.

As I continue to wear the strap, I will update the review. Below is the current timeline:

Initial Usage I didn't expect the strap to feel this nice. Other Cordura® straps I've had were coarse and rough, but this one from Unimatic is very soft. The color is deep black, and the construction is good.

Two months of use It took a bit of time to break in the strap in the area close to the lugs (where the spring bars are attached). Now, after two months, it wears nicely. All other aspects are great: the color hasn't faded, there is no fraying or loose threads, and the holes for the buckle are not stretched. So far, it has held up nicely.

Compatibility and Pairing Recommendation

It's difficult to find a modern watch that wouldn't pair well with this strap. Because of its monochromatic design, this strap is incredibly versatile. It looks awesome on divers, field watches, and even busy GMTs like the Nighthawk.

Just refrain from using this fabric strap on ultra-thin dress watches with polished cases, as the overall aesthetic might not be ideal in such pairings.

Since the strap is on the thinner side, I would not recommend pairing it with top-heavy watches like the Big Pilot, Planet Ocean, Seadweller, or Navitimer.

This Cordura® strap and water? Well... not too much. While the core material is Cordura® fabric, which has some water-repellent properties, the underside of the strap is lined with leather. There's also a possibility that the core of the strap incorporates leather (I'm not entirely certain). Swimming and snorkeling with this strap is not recommended. Better safe than sorry.

unimatic cordura strap with U4
Here it is on a Classic Quattro...
unimatic cordura strap with U1
... and here it is paired with a fan-favorite U1 diver.

Price and Value

On the Cordura® straps category page, I have set a price cutoff at $60. This demonstrates that Cordura® straps are not your typical budget-friendly replacement bands.

I'm pleased to report that, as of the time when I'm writing this review, the Unimatic strap is priced at 40€, which translates to $43 USD or 35£, making it an affordable option.

Given the materials used, its construction, and wearing qualities I would say it is a value purchase.

Yes, it's machine-made, but overall it is a quality product that can withstand frequent rotation and daily wear.

It is available directly from Unimatic. They have an easy-to-navigate website and offer great customer service.

Browse around, add a few more products, exceed 75€ in your total cart, and you'll get free express shipping.

Closing Words

Discovering hidden gems like this strap is always a pleasant surprise. The combination of softness, flexibility, and the thoughtful design, particularly the taper, truly improve the overall wearing experience.

While I may not be able to provide a final assessment of its long-term durability just yet, the initial performance is quite promising.

So far, it's been a welcomed addition to my collection, and I can't wait to see how it holds up in the long run. A true sleeper hit in a making.



80
Cordura® strap by Unimatic StrapHunter rating 80 out of 100