Welcome to Strapaholics!

Strapaholics is the premier community for Watch Strap enthuisiats discuss and review watch straps.

 Latest Blog Posts:

Dodo Leather Handmade Watch Straps Review

I’ve recently reviewed a Ukrainian Dodo strap for Panerai watches on Paneraisource, but I also picked up a couple of their general straps for use on all sorts of other watches that don’t necessary follow the Panerai style. These straps are more cost effective and use much simpler assembly techniques and follow the trend of several other recent strapmakers selling on Etsy and generally compete on customer service and providing value for money. Lets look at these straps in more detail.

The two that I have here are a brown non-tapered strap with a gold buckle, and a black strap with a silver buckle. I also included a photo of the premium Panerai style strap in the top left that has already been reviewed. There is quite a bit of price difference between the premium and basic straps, but also the construction and quality are significantly different justifying the price of the premium straps over the basic ones.

Lets first look at the 20mm brown strap. This is a basic strap, and sells for $35 from Dodo’s Etsy shop. It features basic edge-only foldover construction and minimal stitching. One floating keeper is provided. Dodo also does personalized initial stamping for no cost. You can see my initials NHC stamped onto the straps. The strap is well made, though the amount of features and stitching is very minimal.

The leather is 2mm thick, and very pliable. It is only 1 layer thick as you can see from the back. It looks like a Vegetable tanned leather that is painted by Dodo afterwards to suit. The exposed natural vegetable tanned leather on the back may or may not bother some buyers, but again, at this price point we can’t expect too much. It is difficult to paint the fleshy side of the leather since it does not take leather dye or paint too well.

Next up is the black strap.. which basically has the same construction features as the basic brown strap so there isn’t much I can add to it. This strap also measures 20mm at the lugs but tapers down to 18mm at the buckle so may be more suitable for watches that have a 20mm-18mm original strap if you want to replace the buckle with your OEM one.

The back of the black strap is the same, with the exposed vegetable tanned leather. I believe both straps use the exact same leather as they look, feel and measure the same as each other. The vegetable tanned leather feels and smells like its of good quality and the company takes great pride in their work so I would be inclined to believe that they use quality raw materials. The owner Andrey is very responsive and very enthusiastic and willing to help with orders.

Overall they’re a good bet for a value strap and their premium straps start at $75, which is very affordable. They are also doing a crowdfunding campaign that will offer a significant discount over their shop prices for these straps. Hope you enjoyed the review!

Straps Reviewed:
Model: Brown Basic Leather 20mm
Length: 118/75mm
Thickness: 2mm
Keeper Type: 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Brown
Edge Finish: Burnished
Price: $35 Shipped

Model: Black Basic Leather 20-18mm
Length: 118/75mm
Thickness: 2mm
Keeper Type: 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Grey
Edge Finish: Burnished
Price: $30 Shipped

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

Kastantona Panerai Straps from Cyprus

Brand new review on Paneraisource for Kastantona Straps of Cyprus. These are some very nice straps for a good price, customizable as well. I think that Kastantona has some great ideas brewing and their stuff is just different enough to warrant a look for those of you that are seasoned strap buyers.

Model: Olive Oil Tanned Italian Leather 24mm
Length: 135/80mm
Thickness: 4.5mm
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Tan
Edge Finish: Burnished
Price: €82.00

Model: WW2 Authentic Canvas Limted Edition 22mm
Length: 135/80mm
Thickness: 4mm
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Gold
Edge Finish: Folded
Price: €90.00

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

Hadley Roma 20mm Tan and 22mm The Collection Leather Straps

Got a couple of straps in from my friends at Total Watch Repair in Los Angeles. These are some very well-made straps out there for the money. I’m usually reviewing the hand-made stuff and what not, but the big production strap houses make good stuff too and often at a better value. Companies like Hadley Roma and Hirsch actually probably offer more value at the low end than most boutique watch strap makers. These two straps are prime examples of affordable straps that are of superb quality.


Packaging is uneventful, but at this price point I wouldn’t want to see any “added value” wasted on packaging. We’re looking for no-nonsense straps at this price right boys?


First lets take a look at the Hadley Roma strap. Its a nice tan color, flat and unpadded with a Panerai-esque style to it. At 20mm, this wouldn’t be for a Panerai, but would definitely let you get some of that Panerai style on your Seiko or similar diving watch. Leather is of a good quality, and the strap is made in China though the overall quality is very good.


Nice texture on the leather there, giving it some character. The stitching is very straight and nicely done and overall the production of the strap is top notch. No complaints, especially with the $50 price tag. The strap is fairly stiff, and will take some time to break in.


A shot of the back, it is a foldover style construction, with a sandwich layer in-between. Two keepers, one fixed and one floating. The buckle is a polished chrome, with a mini-Panerai bent buckle style. Overall a superb bang for buck at $50, especially when compared with most of the handmade stuff at $50 out there. This is a fully finished, complete strap.. all the edges are finished, the back of the strap is foldover instead of raw. More and more I see handmade straps offered at lower price points but they don’t line the back of the straps, or they don’t provide two keepers among other things to cut costs. Lets look at the next strap.


This strap is from “The Collection”, which I am not too familiar with. Its a really nice strap though, and even nicer than the Hadley Roma for a few bucks more at $65. This is a nice oil-tannded pull-up leather, which gives a nice color when you bend it as seen in the photo below.


Sort of a Chocolate brown in color, it has contrasting white stitching which sets off the brown nicely. This is more along the lines of a Breitling style strap and is even made in the USA. Stitching is perfect, and certainly presents as a solid value OEM replacement for Breitling straps or other similar brands.


This strap is much more flexible than the Hadley Roma, and features a more common production construction style with the soft leather liner on the back side. This usually results in a more comfortable strap, though less durable and rustic than a foldover style construction – though realistically you probably aren’t going to break either of them! Its plenty robust just the way it is.

Overall a nicely made pieces and both present a solid value to buyers. Thanks again to Total Watch Repair for providing us with these great straps!

Reference: Hadley Roma TAN 20R MS913
Size: 20mm
Color: Tan
Length: 130/80mm
Thickness: 5mm
Material: Leather
Price: $49.95USD

Reference: The Collection Brown Oil Tan
Size: 22mm
Color: Brown
Length: 120/75mm
Thickness: 4mm
Material: Leather
Price: $64.95USD

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

Lac Crado Panerai Straps Review

Model: Handmade HQ Silver Double Hornback
Length: 125/75mm
Thickness: 4-5mm With Horns
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: White
Edge Finish: Painted
Price: $169

A newer Singapore-based strapmaker that specializes in exotic hides and materials. See the full review on Paneraisource here. Focus is on Panerai-style straps, but they can make just about anything that you want. This silver double hornback crocodile is indicative of the style of straps that they’re producing.

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

Visconti Marble Green Alcantara Strap Review

I just received a brand new strap from this company based out of Milan, Italy called Visconti Milano. They specialize in bespoke straps but also have a large selection of ready-to-wear straps like this Marble Green Alcantara strap that I’m reviewing today. For those of you not familiar with Alcantara, its often referred to as Ultrasuede, and is considered a premium synthetic suede alternative, so its good for those of you who are vegans or vegetarians out there.


Here it is pictured with all the accessories it comes with, which is quite decent. While it doesn’t come with a buckle, it does come with a spring removal tool, a semi-rigid plastic lug measuring card, and is all nicely packed in a special Visconti bag. These straps are well presented and are well crafted. The Alcantara is nice stuff, and has a great soft feel to it and is a great alternative to leather.


These straps are all handmade in Italy, and with incredible precision. Each one is very well-crafted, with no flaws that I can see. The stitching is straight and even, and the edges finished professionally. Definitely a top-notch product. These straps are premium straps, and certainly feel the part. I would be very interested in trying out one of their Panerai straps in the future.. maybe I will review one for Paneraisource.com!


These Alcantara straps are backed with rubber, which looks and feels fantastic against the wrist. Its a nicely, professionally finshed material with sizing and logos stamped on the back of it. I actually really like the choice of material for the back of the Alcantara. I’ve seen some alcantara straps backed with leather, which actually doesn’t make sense because it would turn away buyers that want a vegetarian product.

This strap has a 22mm lug, with 18mm buckle width, which is a common size. They call this their Patek style, but it is compatible with most watches that have a 22/18mm strap configuration. The 115/75mm length is pretty standard and should fit most sizes of wrist as well.


Here it is in the original packaging that it came in. These are definitely premium straps, but they definitely earn their price tag with their premium craftsmanship. I look forward to experiencing more Visconti straps in the future. Hope you enjoyed the review!

Reference: Patek Style
Size: 22/18mm
Color: Marble Green
Length: 115/75mm
Thickness: ~3mm
Material: Alcantara Leather
Col Code: T640SD
Price: €120

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

Mays-Berlin Vintage Panerai Straps Review

Mays-Berlin has been producing some incredible vintage style Panerai straps, faithfully recreating the originals right down to the last details, for the past five years. They’ve been a household name (for strapmakers, at least) in their native Germany as well as many other European countries but now they are growing their following in North America, and we’re lucky to have them! Check out their full review here.

For the month of May 2016, enjoy 10% off all vintage straps on their website with coupon code: ‘paneraisource’

Mays Berlin

Model: Argo
Thickness: 4.8mm
Length: 75/135
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Khaki
Edge Finish: Used Edges
Price: €200.84 (Excl. Tax)

Model: Classic 74
Thickness: 5mm
Length: 75/135
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Khaki
Edge Finish: Vintage
Price: €167.23 (Excl. Tax)

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

Dassari Bell & Ross Cayenne Saffiano Black with White Stitch Review

Dassari has been making mid-priced straps for some time, and is quite known among watch buyers. Information on their site is sufficiently vague as to their country of origin (or countries), which means they are likely made in China or somewhere in Asia. At any rate, that doesn’t really mean much as there are plenty of fantastic straps coming out of Asia these days. I see a lot of them on eBay, but this sample was procured from Strapsco.


I picked up this strap for my Bell & Ross BR03-92, since I wanted a black leather strap for it but wasn’t sure if I wanted to fork out the cash for something custom made yet. I already have several straps for it, but nothing that is black and leather surprisingly. You can see the Saffiano texturing on it, reminds me of Prada’s Saffiano leather, though not quite as nice. I’d like to make one observation on the strap, and its a small complaint regarding the quality control. There is a funny stitch close to the lug end of the long tail of the strap, where it looks like three short stitches instead of two regular ones making the stitching look uneven. It doesn’t drive me crazy, but I can see it bothering many people.


It comes in a quaint little double cello bag that works well, courtesy of StrapsCo. No frills, but it does the job and doesn’t look cheap. I also like it better than those hard plastic snap cases that Hadley Roma and some other companies use that look so dated. They remind me of buying straps at the department store “watch repair” shop. The places that really only know how to change your batteries. I’m not sure what kind of packaging another online retailer would use, however.


The back of the strap features nice soft tan leather lining, which is very comfortable against the wrist. I wore this strap quite a few times and it is quite soft and pliable. It does have some rigid padding at the wider part of the strap so it conforms to your wrist after a couple times of wearing it. Its marked with the Dassari logo, and the lug width.


Here’s a close up of the Saffiano leather, and as you can see, not quite Prada quality close-up but it does have a nice look to it. Its got a slight sheen to it, but not overly shiny and goes well with the Bell & Ross. My wrist is 6.75″, and the strap wears on the middle hole, with roughly an inch to spare in size both larger and smaller.


Finally here’s a shot of it mounted on my Bell & Ross BR03-92, unfortunately to get the best shot I had to show it from the back! But I also wanted to show it mounted with the original B&R buckle. As you can see it fits perfectly, with the wide tang perfectly fitting the holes. Overall very happy with the strap, especially given the modest cost and great service from StrapsCo.

Size: 24mm
Color: Black w/ White Stitching
Total Length: 190mm (115/75)
Buckle: Black Coated Stainless Steel
Thickness: 5mm – 3mm
Material: Genuine Leather

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

PVR Punavuoren Ranneke Burbot Fish Skin Strap Review

I’ve just posted my second review for PVR Punavuoren Ranneke straps from Finland. This is an incredibly interesting strap from the strap company and features a Burbot Fish Skin strap crafted by Liisa Saarni, a native of the Finnish Archipelago. I hope you enjoy the review!

Model: Galateia Burbot Fish Strap
Thickness: 1.5mm
Width: 24mm
Length: 270mm
Keeper Type: 2 Rings
Stitch Color: Red
Edge Finish: Raw Cut
Price: €99.00

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

LPV Bespoke Genuine Crocodile Panerai Strap Review

A review of a premium strap brand from Vietnam, this is LPV Bespoke Leather. They make some very nicely priced premium exotic leather straps like this Crocodile strap here. Their straps are padded and can be made to fit OEM buckles as well, making them an affordable OEM replacement. Check out the full LPV Bespoke Leather strap review.

Model: Anticatura Godiva Brown
Thickness: 4.5mm at thickest padding
Length: 78/122
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Golden
Edge Finish: Painted
Price: $160.00

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment

Jack Foster Watch Straps Review

I’ve reviewed a couple of Jack Foster’s Panerai Straps on PaneraiSource, but now I have a couple of his straps for non-Panerai watches that I’m taking a look at. Hope you guys enjoy the review. Jack Foster is a new strap maker that has only been around for a year or so, from the USA. All straps are handmade by Matt Crowder, the owner of the company.


From left to right, the first strap is the Desert Tan Horween Chromexcel strap in 20mm width and the second one is the Goldenrod Horween Chromexcel in 22mm width. The Desert Tan strap is from their Premium line, and the Goldenrod from the standard line. These straps generally follow a minimalist approach to their designs, and have a distinctly vintage feel to them as well. What appears to distinguish the two lines of straps is the amount of stitching and handiwork required to construct the straps, as both lines use the same premium leathers.


First lets take a look at the desert tan Horween Chromexcel strap from the premium line, featuring a single black floating Black Chromexcel keeper. I like the look of the wider keeper, but I kind of like fixed keepers as well so I guess this is a good compromise if you are going for the single keeper look. But then again I don’t mind a little bit of tail sticking out past the keeper so I could live with a single fixed wide keeper on this. I do like the idea of it being black though, adds a bit of contrast. The stitching is minimal, but is single strip across on all major stress points.


The backs of these straps are raw and unfinished, which gives it a style all its own, though I generally like to see a lined back I can understand that it takes time and costs money which also drives up the price of the strap. Jack-Foster straps are priced very competitively and unfinished strap backs are I think a good way to keep the costs down for the buyers without sacrificing the quality of the leather. These are 100% American Hand Made straps using Premium American leathers here – and priced at under $50 for many of them! That’s almost unheard of value. I can think of maybe a handful of strapmakers (mostly on Etsy) maybe that are comparable but not the exact same product.

Overall the premium strap is solid, and I kind of like the way the stamping is done on the back as well. A superb value at $58USD. Next lets look at a standard line strap that features a bit less stitching.


This is the Goldenrod Chromexcel strap, and is from Jack Foster’s standard line, featuring minimal stitching, only at the edges at major stress points. Super simple construction, but prices the strap at only $49USD, which is a very good price. Same as the premium strap above, this one features premium Horween Chromexcel leather, and is unfinished on the back. This one has two keepers, one fixed and one floating, however, which I think gives a slightly more secure fit on the strap. The Goldenrod Chromexcel has fantastic character and great texture. I really love this stuff.

The thread is from Main Thread Company, which is also all made in the USA. Everything about these straps is made in the USA, which is kind of a cool thing.


The back of the strap is pretty much the same as the premium line strap, showing the exposed underside of the leather and unlined. Jack Foster also carries some higher-end premium straps that feature a full foldover construction so that the backs are smoother on the wrist, like the Panerai straps I reviewed, priced at right around $85USD. This adds to the comfort level of the straps, but of course also adds a little bit to the price of the straps as well. But really for $49 I am not going to complain!

Great straps for this American Strapmaker, providing some very affordable high-quality leather alternatives for watch collectors. His Panerai line is a very good value and I am excited to see how it expands as this is just the beginning for this new Strapmaker.

Desert Tan Horween Chromexcel
Stitching: Black Waxed Cord from Maine Thread Company
Keeper: 1 Floating Black Chromexcel
Buckle: brushed metal
Edges: Raw
Width: 20mm
Length: 120/80mm without the buckle
Thickness: Approx. 2mm
MSRP: $58

Goldenrod Horween Chromexcel
Stitching: Black Waxed Thread from Maine Thread Company
Keeper: 1 Floating, 1 Fixed
Buckle: Brushed Metal
Edges: Raw
Length: 120/80mm without the buckle
Thickness: Approx. 2mm
MSRP: $49

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | Leave a comment