Aftermarket Panerai Straps Review
DaLuca Straps Review #2
DaLuca Panerai Straps
Materials: New and Vintage Leathers
Buckles & Tubes: Buckles And Tubes Included
Price Range: $60-300
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: June 4th, 2012
I'm back with another pair of DaLuca straps - the fabled Horween Shell Cordovan Nato Strap. DaLuca is one of a few makers out there that make this great strap and I jumped at the opporunity to own a couple. The two I picked up that you see above are the Shell Cordovan Color 8 (Darker Color) and the Shell Cordova Brandy (Lighter Color).
DaLuca sells two kinds of NATO straps, one which he calls the 1 piece, and the standard one, which is the one I have here. The standard Nato has a second foldover piece of strap that secures the watch and prevents it from moving around, while the 1 piece does not. I really love these Nato straps.. the Horween Shell Cordovan is such fantastic leather.
The pictures came out VERY odd, as in the above photo the Color 8 strap looks almost black, and the Brandy strap looks very dark. However, I will say that the colors on DaLuca's website are a bit lighter than they look in real life. However, I also noticed that changing the angle slightly gave a very different color as you can see in the photos below. In person, the brandy strap looks somewhere in-between the color of the photo above and the photo below.
Either way, the leather is spectacular. Shell Cordovan has such a wonderful smell to it, especially the Horween stuff. Smells a bit different than regular Calf or Cow leather, but is almost addictive to me. I can't stop sniffing my strap!
These straps are single layer, which is common with NATO style straps, and have no stitching aside from the stitching that holds the rings and tang on. DaLuca chose to use a matching stitch on his Nato straps, and offer two choices of rings and buckles (Brushed or PVD). I went with brushed for versatility. You can see where the first piece ends and the second piece starts in the photo above. Unlike on regular straps which often have adhesive holding the strap together as well as a lot of stitching, the stitching on a NATO is minimal and very important as it is the only thing holding the strap together. Good stitching is key.
Some thing to note which were specific to my straps: The Color 8 strap is a wider 24mm for 44mm Panerai Luminors, and the Brandy strap is 22mm which I purchased to use on my Pilot watches. Something about a pilot watch on a Shell Cordovan NATO... perfect combination. Also, my Brandy strap was noticeably thinner than my Color 8 Strap. Perhaps the Color 8 strap just came from a thicker skinned Horse.
There's the fold back showing part of the Horween stamp. One of my straps had the Horween stamp visible and one did not.. I suppose this depends on which portion of the hide the strap was cut from.
Another interesting fact about Shell Cordovan leather that some might not know is that it doesn't crease like cow leather. When you bend it, it never develops a crease on the surface. It just sort of bends. Those of you that have purchased Shell Cordovan shoes will be familiar with this characteristic of the leather.
Overall these are great straps. I haven't owned any other quality leather NATOs to compare with, but these are definately top notch straps. DaLuca even has a video on Youtube explaining how these straps are put on. I am really enjoying my DaLuca Natos, so if you're in the market for something like this - check them out.
Shell Cordovan NATO Watch Strap - Color 8 (Matte Buckle)
Buckle Finish: Matte
Shell Cordovan NATO Watch Strap - Brandy (Matte Buckle)
Buckle Finish: Matte