Orient Place

Orient Place

Sunday, 4 September 2022

Strapcode's Super-J Steel Band for Orient Kamasu

The blog's review of the Kamasu is our most read review ever, and remains among our top five most popular posts of all time. This goes to show how much interest Orient's humble diver-style watch continues to draw, just like its predecessors (Ray/Mako) did.

In light of its popularity it only made sense that Strapcode, a well-regarded source of aftermarket watch bands, would offer a steel bracelet compatible with the Kamasu; and, it also made sense to post our impressions of this bracelet on the blog.

Now, it's not that the Kamasu's original bracelet is particularly bad – it isn't. For the price, it is a decent product that does its job well. However, the Kamasu is generally seen as a watch that goes beyond mere decent (for its price that is) and so many owners rightfully feel they can make this sapphire-equipped, good looking diver even more perfect if only they upgraded the bracelet.

This is where Strapcode steps in, offering a range of aftermarket bands in different styles. These claim to deliver some technical advantages over the stock product, with a generally finer level of finishing, and addressing two specific downsides of the original: the hollow end-links, and the pressed clasp.

Question is, how do these specs feel in person, and does the Strapcode bracelet live up to the expectations? To answer these questions I've examined one particular sample – The Strapcode Jubilee-style bracelet, "22mm Super-J Louis JUB Watch Band compatible with Orient Kamasu, 316L Stainless Steel Brushed V-Clasp".

The sample bracelet came attached to a lovely red-dial Kamasu, courtesy of Mr. Eitan R., who offered some wrist time with his watch (and which luckily also fit my wrist perfectly, no adjustments needed).

Before anything else I should say the choice of jubilee makes perfect sense. Strapcode's oyster-style bands would at least from afar look too similar to the stock bracelet design, and I think the jubilee does stand out as the most versatile among the other options. But of course, this is down to personal taste.

Holding the Super-J bracelet in your hand, it takes a few moments to appreciate. The initial impression is "okay, it's a Kamasu on a bracelet". Let this sink in for a moment, and you understand that's good thing: you don't notice it's an aftermarket product. The end-link fits the case perfectly, and the metal surfaces match the case as well.

The parts where an upgrade is expected, are indeed as promised. The milled clasp feels good; I have to admit that at the Kamasu's price point, its pressed clasp never really bothered me, but for those who care about this the Strapcode certainly offers an improvement. Unfortunately this clasp does not include a divers' extension – you can get that from Strapcode for an additional 63 USD, which is not far from the price of the bracelet itself.

The solid end-links make for a more substantial upgrade in my opinion, as hollow ones always seem a bit of a weak link when you connect a steel case to a steel bracelet. And it seems that not just the end-links but also the entire bracelet is very solid, with the half-rounded jubilee pieces just slightly thicker than the Kamasu's original oyster links.

On the wrist, the Strapcode Super-J feels comfortable, and well balanced. Its 83g weight is just right for the watch. There is just the right amount of flexibility while retaining its shape, and certainly no hair-pulling.

The owner of the watch, who wears the bracelet tighter (on his larger wrist than mine) did mention the clasp would sometime dig more sharply into his skin, but I would imagine that is what you get when you wear steel that tightly! I did not feel any such sharpness.

To sum up, the Strapcode steel band does indeed provide an upgraded wearing experience. The jubilee styling works great with the Kamasu, and seems just a tad more luxurious, and the added solidity and good finishing complement the style very well.

Costing 87 USD, the Super-J is close to a third of the price of the watch itself. However if you look at the absolute numbers, what you get for less than $400 is a good looking, mechanically reliable, robust watch with a bracelet to match. Seems like a good deal to me!


1 comment:

  1. The jubilee does look good on it. I have the oyster style and yes it does look similar to the stock bracelet but definitely feels better and more solid. I chose it for its more sport style everyday wear the jubilee to me is more elegant to go out but that’s my opinion. Overall great watch and the stock bracelet isn’t bad at all. I still switch out to th stock bracelet when i know ill be banging the watch around more like yard work or other work that im going to be moving my arms more.