Ribbon watches have become popular accessories, especially among teenagers and young women looking to coordinate their outfits or add a splash of color. Instead of a traditional leather or metallic straps, ribbon watches use strips of brightly-colored ribbon threaded through a standard watch face. Replacement ribbon straps are generally sold in jewelry or department stores. A wide variety of ribbon bands and watch faces can also be purchased at online fashion outlets. Watch faces generally cost under $20 US, while the ribbon bands themselves can range anywhere from $5 US to over $35 US.
Several brand name watch manufacturers, notably Fossil, have entered the ribbon watch market in recent years. Some of the higher-end ribbon watches are not formed from one continuous ribbon, but rather two sections sewn directly on the handles of the clock face. Changing out these ribbons may require a trip to a specialty jewelry store or an authorized dealer.
The main benefit of a ribbon watch is fashion coordination. Many fashion-forward teens and young women prefer to match accessories such as watches and purses to the overall colors of their outfits. A traditional leather or metallic watch band looks a little out of place at times. Ribbon watch bands can be changed out to either match an outfit or become an eye-catching contrast. The same watch face can be used for several different ribbons, or different watch faces can be purchased to match the bands. Some designers also add beads to the ribbons for even more visual impact and appeal.
A ribbon watch is usually held together with a metal semi-circular clasp called a D-ring buckle. This buckle allows the wearer to cinch the ribbon until it is comfortably snug, then thread the excess ribbon for tension. Watch faces tend to slip around the ribbon band, so the watch should be kept fairly taut on the wrist.
Changing out a ribbon band is usually just a matter of allowing the non-buckle end to slide through the watch face. A new ribbon can be threaded through the first handle of the watch face, behind the face itself and threaded through the second handle. Center the watch face on the ribbon and cinch the new band tightly around your wrist.
New ribbon bands make excellent gifts for teen-aged female relatives and new styles are constantly being released by designers.