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Zirdiva Panerai Strap Reviews

A review from Thai-based strap making house Zirdiva. Some very nice straps coming out of Thailand from these guys, with very high production quality for very attractive prices.

Model: VT Enfold A.T.E. X Type
Thickness: 4mm
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Natural
Edge Finish: Burnished
Price: $48US

Model: Firework Silk
Thickness: 4.5mm taper to 3mm
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Gold/Brown
Edge Finish: Painted
Price: $46US


Check out the full review here: http://www.paneraisource.com/aftermarket_straps_zirdiva.shtml

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Attirail Shell Cordovan NATO and Ammo Straps Reviews

Model: Horween Shell Cordovan NATO Strap
Thickness: 1.5mm
Keeper Type: Double Rings
Stitch Color: Black and Red
Edge Finish: Raw
Price: €65

Model: Ammo Strap
Thickness: 4.5mm
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Gold and Red
Edge Finish: Burnished
Price: €85


See the complete review on Paneraisource:

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Hadley Roma Alligator Grain Leather Breitling Style Strap Review

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.

Hadley Roma Black Alligator Strap for review kindly provided by Total Watch Repair.

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Combat Straps John Lobb Sueded Leather Strap

Material: Sueded John Lobb Leather
Price: $160US
Thickness: 5.0mm tapering to 3.0mm
Style: Padded Untapered Panerai Style Strap
Size Reviewed: 24mm

See the Review on PaneraiSource:

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Hadley-Roma Black Alligator Breitling Style Watch Strap

Material: Alligator
Price: $199.95US
Thickness: 2.5mm to 4mm
Style: Breitling Style
Size Reviewed: 22mm x 18mm

Hadley-Roma started in 1905, and has evolved from a small jewelry company into one of the largest manufacturer and distributor of watch bands in the world. One of the products that produce that is quite popular are their Breitling style watch straps. Since I’m a Breitling guy, having an affordable, yet high-quality alternative to Breitling’s OEM straps is something I’m always looking for. I picked up this 22mm Genuine Alligator Hadley-Roma strap for my Breitling Datora.


Here is the strap as it arrived. The box it comes in is a snap-tite plastic affair, which is really common with most of the big watch band manufacturers. When you go to a watch repair place, and look at the watch strap selection, there’s a good chance they’re all in one of these. Not the most impressive way to present a $199.95 strap, but what do you do. Speaking of price, these are a bit less than retail where I got them at Total Watch Repair for $169.95.


These are high-end straps, and are hand made in the USA to ensure that the quality of the strap is commensurate with the price. I am quite happy with the overall quality of this Black Gator: It has straight, consistent stitching; nice, natural leather scent; good grain pattern; and great overall construction quality. The stitching is an ivory sort of color, that seems to be consistent with what Breitling is offering so that’s a plus.


The strap has a bit of that “puffy” Breitling look to it, and while it doesn’t match it perfectly, its pretty close. The Alligator scale pattern is the large square type, which has a very high quality look to it. Breitling’s straps are actually made of Crocodile, which has a slightly different feel to it. Both are fantastic exotic strap materials.


The strap is a 22mm, but tapers down to a 18mm. Older Breitling straps had this taper, but Breitling has now graduated to a 20mm taper on their 22mm straps. That’s my only criticism on this strap, otherwise its fantastic. Really well made, and looks great. A superb aternative option over the $590US that an OEM Breitling Crocodile strap will cost you now, and you still get a beautifully crafted, USA-made genuine Alligator strap. Sounds like a deal to me.

Hadley Roma Black Alligator Strap for review kindly provided by Total Watch Repair.

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Atelier Du Cuir Panerai Strap Review

Material: Leather
Price: $55US
Thickness: 1.8-1.9mm
Style: Leather Zulu
Size Reviewed: 24mm

Atelier Du Cuir

See the Review on PaneraiSource:

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Nubo Straps Fixed Lug Hidden Screw Strap

Material: Leather
Price: $129.95US
Thickness: 7mm
Style: Straight Vintage Panerai
Size Reviewed: 26mm x 26mm

I’ve been a fan and friend of Norman at Nubostraps for many years, and have owned many of his straps in that time. When I needed a new strap for my fixed lug RXW MM25 Cali Dial Homage, I turned to Norman to come up with a unique strap to wear with my watch that didn’t look like the other rivet staps that came with it. He suggested that he could make hidden screws! I was like Bring it baby! And so he did:

I told Norman I wanted the stitching to be as close to the edge as possible, and I also chose the colors. He definately got that stitching close to the edge and i think it looks awesome. The leather has a wonderful deep oil finish to it and a nice soft hand. Stitching is a black color to blend in better with the oxblood leather of the strap.

Here’s a shot of the back of the strap, and you will notice that the holes in the back look oblong while they look circular from the front. That’s because Norman punches the holes at an angle so the tang can sit nicely without bending the leather around the holes, resulting in a better strap feel.

There’s Nubo’s cool and funky stamp on the back of the strap on the tail. Strap has a single wide floating keeper, executed very nicely. Strap slides in easily and doesn’t rattle loose. I actually really like the contraste between the front and back leathers. Most makers would have made it with a black leather back, but not Nubo… always the doing something different and refusing to conform. I like that!

Here’s a close-up shot of the grain and tanning on the strap. Great feeling leather on this one.. no Italian smell, but none of that cheap leather smell either. Its kind of neutral smelling, but has a great feel and great look to it. Thanks Norman for the great strap!

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Di-Modell Pilot Brown Strap

Material: Leather
Retail Price: $54.95US
Street Price: $47.95US
Thickness: 6.5mm
Style: Pilot/Chrono
Size Reviewed: 22mm x 20mm

The Di-Modell Pilot Strap is very similar to the Chronissimo Strap, but lacks the additional layer of leather and the lug area over-wrap which gives the Chronissimo it’s iconic look. However, the Pilot strap is no slouch… it wears very nicely and looks fantastic on pilot and chronograph watches.

The Pilot Strap from Di-Modell features a double row of two-tone stitching. The outer stitch is a sort of Ivory colored stitching and the inner stitch is a matching Brown stitch. While the strap looks a bit black in the photographs, it is really a dark chestnut brown. The Tang buckle side has the leather tab below it that some people don’t like and is often found to be cut off by owners.

As you can see from the markings on the back, the Strap is proudly made in Germany (Deutschland) by hand and measures 22mm at the lugs. Both rows of stitching are brown on the backside. Unlike its bigger brother, the Chronissimo, the Pilot is not waterproof.

The leather has a nice subtle grain and has a great touch to it. Its a softer, almost brushed feeling but does not have the delicate feeling of Calf, so the strap still has a sense of robustness to it. One fixed and one floating keeper make sure the strap fits any size of wrist.

The holes in the strap are a longer hole and allow a more snug fit to the tang buckle than round holes. This makes the strap sit better on the wrist and is a nice subtle touch. As with most Di-Modell straps, especially the ones in this price range, the stitching is impeccable, and the build quality is exceptional. For a strap that costs under $50, it is very nicely done. Most OEM straps in this quality range can be expected to cost upwards of $150.

As usual, Di-Modell does a great job. Recommended.

Posted in Watch Strap Reviews | 2 Comments

Steinhart Nubuck Buffalo Pilot Strap

Steinhart is known for it’s affordable watches, and its association with sister company Debaufre. Most of Steinhart’s watches are very affordable, and most are under $500US. Correspondingly, their watch straps are also very afforable, in the $30 range usually.

When I bought my Steinhart Limited Edition Nav B-Uhr, I received two straps. This Nubuck Buffalo is the one under review here.

As you can see, it is a non-tapering 22mm Pilot style strap, with large tang-holes for Panerai-style thumbnail buckles. The buckle that accompanies the Nav B-Uhr is a thumbnail style buckle, so works well with this configuration.

The rivets are for show only, and only go through the first layer of leather, with no exposed rivet on the bottom. Higher quality straps will use real Chicago Screws to hold the strap together. Stitching is machine done, and straight and looks good. I really wish the leather smelled nicer as properly tanned leather always smells better than the cheap stuff that is done in China. I don’t know where this stuff was tanned, but it does not have the aroma of the good stuff.

As you can see, the rivets are slightly crooked, but this is to be expected on straps like this. I have noticed time and time again that cheaper straps never get the Rivets quite right. Given the modest cost of the straps, however, it is not really a major concern. The color of the strap could be desribed as black, but the nubuck finish of the leather gives it a somewhat lighter appearance.

Looking closely in the holes, and based on the heavily sealed edges, the strap is probably has some filler material on the inside in order to reduce the cost of the strap. While this is common, or even expected at many of the very low price points, it is often seen even in $100 Panerai style straps.

While the straps are of decent quality and work well with the watches that they accompany, they are not tremendous value for money or anything special. Decent stuff, nothing more, nothing less.

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Nilsen Leather Bund Pilot Strap

The first time I saw a “Bund strap” it was at Sunglasses Hut, and it was mounted on a Gaudy looking Diesel fashion watch. After seeing that monstrosity, I decided that I would never want a strap like that! I never knew that there was actually a rich history associated with the straps and that there were tasteful ways to wear them without looking like a fashion victim – no offense to you guys out there with these types of watches, you can keep wearing it along with your square toe dress shoes, its just not for me.

I found a guy on eBay that sells these straps, and operates under the business name of “Nilsen’s Leather Straps”. He sells affordable straps that seem to keep his customers happy, and so I decided to gamble and pick up one of his Bund Straps, since he was the best compromise between quality and price that I could see. It was either that or move up to the $100+ range. The whole thing cost me just over $30US shipped.

As you can see from the above photograph, I have mounted it on my Eterna Cambridge Automatic watch. Its a 39mm busy-dialed pilot style watch that suits the bund strap quite nicely.

The strap arrived this way with some paper inserted between the strap and the pad, which I assume was to protect it from damage. This worked but there was some damage to the strap from contact on the top side which you can see on the photo below.

The leather has a pleasant smell to it, and is very soft and comfortable to wear. I purchased the strap with the screws for extra pilot authenticity.

You can see here that the edge-kote came off where the strap was inserted into the pad. This is not the natural position of the strap, so this wear spot is visible when wearing the strap, but its not the end of the world. Still would have been nicer had it not been there, however.

The leather is not of the highest quality, and I can’t even say for sure if it is top-grain leather. It has that wrinkle to it that lower-quality leathers get when it is bent backwards. While this is not the best quality strap out there, I’ve seen much more expensive straps with lower quality, and this one is certainly not expensive.

As you can see, the leather used for the watch is two different kinds. A softer spongier tan leather is used for the backing, and the black harder leather is used for the exposed side. The spongey tan leather almost has a synthetic feel to it.

Regardless of the leather quality issues, this is a sharp looking strap. It looks absolutely stunning on my Eterna Cambridge, which is the watch I purchased it for, specifically wanting the black leather/white stitch combination to set off the watch dial. I think its a beautiful looking combination, and am extremely happy with my purchase.

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