Aftermarket Panerai Strap Review
Combat Straps Review
Combat Straps Panerai Straps
Materials: New, Vintage and Exotic Leathers and Hides
Buckles & Tubes: Tubes and Buckles
Price Range: $125-190
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: July 11th, 2013
Combat Straps is based out of Montreal, Canada, and operated by strapmaker Aaron Pimentel. Don't let the name fool you, while they're called "Combat Straps", their style and speciality is hardly limited to chunky ammo straps and their ilk. Combat Straps specializes in many exotic hides and materials and makes beautifully crafted tapered and padded straps, unlike most of the strapmakers out there. Aaron uses such exotic materials as Tilapia, Toad and Stingray in his straps.
The back is applied with some kind of gloss-finish on the sueded grey leather that feels pretty good against the wrist. It is also hand-signed "Combat Straps by AP", rather than the usual stamped backs - which is what makers like Shane Delaurian and Dangerous9 do, two of the premier makers in the biz. A very nice level of finish on the back, and little more creative than the usual black and more comfortable than keeping the suede finish wrapped around.
The quality of the suede is very good on this one. I've only owned a few suede straps, but this one is clearly the best. Aaron tells me this leather is from John Lobb, the illustrious English bespoke shoemaker and that he has a very limited amount of this leather. The stitching is very well done and surprisingly the thickness does not seem out of place on what is a semi-dressy strap. I think the combination was very well executed - good job, Combat Straps.
Here's the Strap mounted on my Panerai PAM320, and it looks great. I think that the padding that Aaron added to this strap, while subtle, really sets it off. Without the padding, this strap wouldn't be nearly as polished and leaves the strap with a thickness of 5mm tapering down to 3mm where the tang holes are. In general, I am finding I really like the look of padded Panerai straps these days - maybe its just because the ones I have had the pleasure of owning are so well executed! The keepers are also well made and are finished on all sides - nice.
Overall, the Combat Straps John Lobb Sueded Grey leather strap is a superbly crafted piece of kit from a Canadian Strapmaker that doesn't charge nearly as much as similarly quality straps from other North American makers. I have to say that I was not expecting this level of quality when I saw his prices, and was pleasantly surprised. With Crocodile Straps priced at $189.95, Combat Straps represents one of the best values in aftermarket exotic Panerai straps available. His exotic leather choices in particular are priced very competitively and in my opinion should definately be considered when shopping for a new strap.
Strap As Shown:
Model: John Lobb Sueded Grey Leather
Thickness: 5.0mm tapering to 3.0mm
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Thick Patina
Edge Finish: Painted