The Seiko SARB033 and SARB035 are some of Seiko’s best affordable watches ever made. While they have been discontinued in 2019, they’re still highly regarded in the watch community, and for good reason.
The SARB033 in particular also happens to be one of my favorite watches in my collection. If you want to learn more about it, you can read my full SARB033 review here.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of owning a SARB033 or SARB035, you know they look good on just about any watch strap.
While the metal bracelet included with the 033 and 035 is well-built, solid, and looks great, changing the watch strap can help breathe new life into your watch.
With that said, I have a few personal favorite straps that I find myself constantly gravitating toward and putting on my SARB033. Hopefully, these at least serve as inspiration for potential straps you can wear on your own SARB033, 035, or any other simple looking and monochromatic dress watch.
Here are my suggestions for some of the best Seiko SARB033 straps to add to your collection.
Leather Strap (Black, Grey or Brown)
You just can’t go wrong with a good leather strap on the SARB. Next to the stock bracelet, I’d say this is the most traditional and best-looking pairing with this watch.
Brown or black leather straps would be my go-to colors, to emphasize the classic and cool look of the watch.
Of course, since both the 033 and 035 are pretty simple and monochromatic watches, just about any color leather strap would look good.
As you wear a quality leather strap, over time, it will start to develop markings and creases that we in the watch community call “patina”. This will create a natural texture that contrasts nicely with the simple glossy dial of the Seiko SARB.
While leather straps look great and can be extremely comfortable, they do come with a couple of downsides. Leather straps are not always the most durable, and certainly not the most water-resistant. They can also be a bit hot and sweaty on warmer days. This is where our next strap comes in…
Canvas Strap (Grey or Olive)
Canvas straps are an excellent casual strap alternative on the SARB033 or SARB035.
Unlike leather straps, canvas straps are waterproof. You’re perfectly fine taking advantage of the SARB’s 100 meters of water resistance when wearing one.
It has a casual-cool, yet slightly rugged nature to it. It’s durable and tough, yet lightweight and comfortable. Perfect as an all-around strap that you can wear in all but dressy occasions.
Adding a bit of texture, and potentially a pop of color, the canvas strap is a cool way to change up the look and feel of the SARB033 or 035, without taking the watch too seriously – all while being waterproof, and easily cleaned in the washing machine.
My favorite canvas straps are from Barton Bands. They’re lightweight, comfortable, come in a wide variety of colors, and quick-release spring bars for easy strap changes.
Perlon Strap (Black, Grey, Cream)
Perlon straps are made of a loosely woven fabric, so it’s great to wear on warm summer days when you want to wear something a little more lightweight and breathable.
They’re single-pass straps, so just one layer of the woven material slides under both spring bars and holds your watch into place. This has the added benefit of keeping your watch on your wrist, should a spring bar pop off of your watch in a freak accident for whatever reason.
Perlon straps are extremely stylistic. They have a hint of elegance to them and are a bit dressier than the previously mentioned canvas strap. This makes them the perfect lightweight, yet still elegant pairing for the Seiko SARB.
The perlon is perfect for a warm summer night when you want to look a bit more put-together. Though it can pair just as well with some shorts and a t-shirt… As long as the t-shirt doesn’t have any graphics on it. 😉
Black or grey perlons are the obvious pairings with the SARB033, but try a cream-colored one if you want to get a bit adventurous, and add a bit of contrast with your SARB033, or a monochromatic, cream-on-cream look when paired with your SARB035.
Suede Strap (Light brown, Black)
Not many watches can rock a suede strap better than the SARB033 or SARB035 can.
Being the slightly more casual alternative to traditional leather straps, suede can add a bit of ruggedness with its rough and nappy texture.
When paired with the 033/035, a suede strap can pull down the “sleekness” of the watch, and instead emphasize its adventerous nature.
Thanks to the lume on the SARB033/035’s hands and markings, it doesn’t read entirely as a dress watch – and a suede strap only emphasizes this point. Rolex Explorer vibes on a budget.
It’s also worth noting that suede straps have a distinct texture to them that contrasts near perfectly with the glossy and sleek dial of the 033 and 035.
You can’t ever go wrong with a black suede strap – it can even look a bit velvety in the right lighting. If you’re feeling a bit festive around the holidays, try a gingerbread (light brown) strap. But of course, since the 033 and 035 are such versatile watches, you can really have your pick of color. Luckily, suede often comes in a wide variety of colors, so you can truly have your pick.
Milanese Mesh Bracelet
While the stock metal bracelet on the SARB series is excellent, it’s always fun to try something new.
A Milanese mesh stainless steel bracelet immediately emphasizes the slightly old-school and almost vintage nature of the SARB033/035.
The weave of the mesh bracelet also has the added benefit of being more breathable and lightweight than the simple oyster bracelet that is included with the SARB.
While the Milanese Mesh bracelet is certainly not for everybody, I’d argue that it’s great to have one in your collection for any vintage-style watch or to make a modern watch feel a bit more retro.
Exotic Leather Strap (Snakeskin, Crocodile, or Alligator)
One of my absolute favorite combinations with the SARB is one I don’t get to wear often enough. Exotic leather straps.
Exotic leather straps such as snakeskin, crocodile, alligator, or even stingray, for the adventurous, tend to look amazing on the SARB.
While they don’t come cheap, exotic leather straps add a level of refinement that elevates the watch and makes it look much more expensive than it really is. Grand Seiko vibes on a… Regular Seiko budget.
If you’re someone who likes to dress up or wear formal attire often, you’ll likely get a lot of wear out of exotic leather straps. Adding a couple to your collection can also set your collection apart from others.
I purchased a genuine snakeskin strap for my SARB033 a while back, and think it’s an absolute dynamite combination. My only problem with it is that it’s definitely a strap best saved for special occasions, therefore I don’t get to wear it often enough.
The Seiko SARB035 and SARB033 are some of the most versatile watches ever.
They look amazing on just about any watch strap you can think of, so it’s a great watch for the collector who wants to change out their watch straps regularly, to change its look and feel.
Leather straps are great for everyday wear.
Canvas and perlon are both water-resistant options that can make the watch feel a bit more casual while being lightweight and comfortable – perfect for warmer months when you might want to take a swim.
Exotic leather straps can add some uniqueness to your collection, and create a pair with the SARB that nobody else will have.
Milanese straps emphasize the vintage aspects of the watch, while suede straps complement the adventurous.
Overall, the best watch strap for your SARB033 or SARB035 will be completely up to your personal preferences. But I hope I was able to shine some light on a few ideas for you to potentially pick.
Read more about the SARB033 in my full SARB033 review.