Aftermarket Panerai Review
DaLuca Straps Review
DaLuca Panerai Straps
Materials: New and Vintage Leathers
Buckles & Tubes: Buckles And Tubes Included
Price Range: $60-300
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: October 7th, 2009
Daniel Luczak of DaLuca straps is fairly new to the Panerai strapmakers scene and I have seen a huge variety of styles and techniques used in the straps that he produces. While not all of them are to my tastes, there are many that are, especially the vintage ones and the basic styles. I picked up two straps, and will review them separately. The first strap is what he calls the "Deadly Silence".. cool name right? The strap is pretty sweet too. Dan offers a full money-back guarantee if you don't like the strap he makes for you, which is nice - it means he stands behind his product.
Here's a close up of the distressed vintage-ness of the strap.. lots of character! This strap is a bit on the stiffer side as many vintage ammo straps are, this one from a K98 ammo pouch from 1944. I dig the pattern and black dyed leather. Vintage ammo straps don't often come in black, so I really quite like this one. It has that smell that vintage ammo leather often has, I've never really grown fond of that smell, but I can live with it.
Check out the DaLuca ammo strap mounted! Looking pretty nice. The stitching is very precise, and Dan uses a larger diamond punch than most I've seen that use a diamond punch for hand-stitching, and it leaves a neat pattern, creating a unique look to it. Its much more apparent on the brown strap reviewed below. The dark brown stitching also goes really well with this one, matching the visible distressed brown parts of the leather. The sewn-in buckle is great, and bears his logomark.
Since the ammo leather strap came pretty stiff, I added some leather conditioner to soften it up. I know some other strap makers actually include leather conditioner with the ammo straps for this purpose, as it can change the color of the strap. After softening, the strap bends nicely. I asked Dan about the conditioner and he said that he does not provide conditioner with his Ammo straps because many of his customers have their own preferences in leather conditioners.
This strap has an extremely long tail, about 154mm long. The short end is standard length at around 82mm. One minor complaint I have with the ammo strap is the keeper is a bit narrow for a strap of this thickness, and especially with a tail that is 154mm long. I think I would ask Dan to make the keeper wider next time, but its still a minor issue, and one of personal preference. He allows customization of the length of strap and keeper width you when you are ordering a custom strap.
This is the second strap I got, and Dan calls it "The Intruder". The strap is very cool, and the stitching is sort of a forrest green, giving the strap a hint of military styling to it, without dominating. Dan tells me this strap is made from leather scavenged from a vintage designer Italian briefcase. The leather has a beautiful even tone and like his ammo straps, are made from one entire piece of leather folded over itself, which I personally think is a nice touch - gives it a more handmade feel.
Up close and personal, you can see the diamond punch marks on this one give off a sort of lightning bolt look to the stitching which I really quite like. Edges on this one like all DaLuca straps are raw and unfinished. I have no preference as I like both finished edges and raw edges, though feel that sometimes unfinished edges are not hiding as much. The green stitching in this strap is a very subtle and nice touch and has grown on me as I've worn this strap over the last week or so. Like the ammo strap, I do wish the keeper was a bit wider, but it is still acceptable.
As you can see, the tail on this one is just as long as the DaLuca ammo strap at 154mm. On the hole I wear it on, the tail wraps all the way almost up to the lug again! I kind of like that.. its longer than any other straps I have and means that Dan's not shy on using large cuts of leather - wouldn't mind seeing him make a Crocodile strap!
A good shot of his maker's mark and signed sewn-in buckle, and also shows the uniformity of the back stitching. All of his stuff is hand-stitched, not machine stitched, which gives it that nice thick stitch in the back. While it doesn't make a huge difference in durability, its adds an extra hand-made appeal to the straps.
The all-necessary wrist shot, showing the super long 154mm tail. Looks pretty cool I think! Overall Dan's straps are definately unique and Dan said that each one is one-of-a-kind, and while I personally do not like all of his designs, he has many that do appeal to me and would be more than happy to wear. I think initially when I visited his site I was just amazed at how many different styles and designs he made, and still am. Wading through all of them to find the ones that I liked did take a while, but I am quite happy with the ones I have here.
I like his choice of sewn-in buckles, as I find that screw-in buckles can get de-threaded over time. His long tails and no-nonsense construction give the straps a custom made feel, and 1-2 day turn around time on custom straps plus a full money-back guarantee make the purchases risk-free - I figured why not give it a shot.