Aftermarket Panerai Review
Heroic 18 Watch Straps Review #2
Heroic 18 Panerai Straps #2
Origin: Hong Kong
Construction: Hand-Stitched and Lock-Stitched
Materials: New Leathers, Shark, Alligator, Carbon
Buckles & Tubes: Both Included
Price Range: $85-184
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: May 10th, 2009
With the addition of two new Heroic18 straps to my ever-growing watch strap arsenal, I figured it was time to update my review of Heroic18's straps. As you can see from the photo above, the straps come packaged very niceley, first wrapped in tissue paper, and then placed in a very sturdy drawstring pouch. Finally the are slipped into pop-top Heroic18 Boxes, which all makes very a very professionally finished product. Definately a step up from when I first purchased from them, and the price has not increased.
The first strap I got is the Black Arrow Italian Black with Copper stiching. This strap is lock-stitched and made with fine Italian leather, and has the tanning smells to prove it. Notice the faint distressing to the leather - it adds a nice subtle character to it, giving just a bit more personality than your typical black, but not quite as much as Ammo leather. Mine has the Big Pig Submarine buckle attached instead of the Black coated buckle. Strap is about 4.6mm thick according to the Heroic19 website. Its fairly supple, and the copper stitching a really nice option, giving sort of a medium ground between the typical white or black stiching. With increasing strap producers and selection, manufacturers are starting to branch out as far as colors and details and Heroic18 is doing a good job of this.
Here is a close up of the Submarine Buckle that I got with my straps. Notice not only does it have machined H18 logo on the top, but has the model engraving on the side of the buckle as well. This is a small detail, but makes the product again just stand out a bit against the flood of watch producers out there. The Submarine buckle is their highest-end buckle, and costs $55 when purchased separately. I can say without a doubt that of all the production buckles out there that I've tried as of this writing, Heroic18's are my favourite and in my opinion of the best quality.
The second straps I got as seen above is an amazing Shark Skin strap, also mounted on the upgraded Submarine buckle. This one is a beautiful strap, and one of the nicest Sharkskin straps I have ever owned. I have to say upfront that this is the first Sharkskin Panerai strap I have ever gotten, so I am comparing it to Breitling and other shark straps that I have owned. Heroic18's Shark is sourced from a Japanese Source, and is of an exceptional quality. Like the Black Arrow, this one also has two keepers, one fixed and one floating.
In my mind, Shark straps have a tendancy to look plastic due to the way the hide reflects, but this one looks right, and has a fantastic color to it. This one is the Dark Brown with matching stitch. Though it is called matching stitch, I have to say that it really doesn't match all that well, however it provides a nice subtle contrast. The shark is very pliable and comfortable, and has just the right amount of the characteristic black striping.
Here it is, mounted on my PAM90. The Dark Brown goes exceptionally well with the black dial of the PAM90, and that Submarine buckle is such a great compliment as well. Unlike the Black Arrow, the Shark Strap is hand-stitched, as you can tell from the thicker thread on the backside. Its also mentioned on the website :)
The proverbial wristshot. I titled it a bit so you could see the tail flapping a bit there. The dark brown and black striping of the Shark goes so well with the Black dial, and the great texture and workmanship of the strap make it look better than most Sharks I've seen. I'm very happy with both of these straps - Good work Heroic18!