I reviewed the Hadley Roma Genuine Black Alligator strap a couple months ago, and now its time for the little brother to flex its muscles. As I mentioned in that previous review, the Hadley Roma company is a big player in the watch band world, and their straps found in many watch band repair/replacement shops.
For those that don’t want to spend the $200 on the genuine article, there is this embossed Alligator Grain leather strap for just a fraction of the price at $30. That’s a big savings. However, a couple of caveats.. its not just the same straps in leather instead of alligator… its also made in China and the padding isn’t done quite as well as the genuine Alligator strap. Given the price, however, its still a very nice strap.
As stated on the back, the strap is genuine leather and also water resistant, just like the real Alligator version. I wore this strap for a bit and the strap seems to be quite durable. One thing I often worry about with these types of straps is the edging peeling off or rubbing off because it doesn’t look good. This one seems to be built quite well. Stitching is good for the price range, but not in the same league as its $200 older brother.
I would have liked to see the stitching a bit closer to the edge on this one, but it still looks fine. Perhaps it is the 22mm to 18mm taper that is making it look a bit odd to me. Modern Breitling uses a 22mm to 20mm taper now, and Hadley Roma has not adjusted their production to match yet. I think they should consider offering both since buyers of aftermarket straps want to use their old buckles often so it matters that its not the same size. The watch comes with a stainless steel buckle with no logo.
Overall its a great strap for $30. It totally looks in place on a Breitling, and the calfskin feel quite durable. Given that even basic leather straps from Breitling cost in the $200 range, this is a superb alternative especially if you purchased the watch used for $800 or something and don’t want to spend 25% of the value of the watch on a new strap! Only caveats would be the 18mm buckle width and Chinese production.