Aftermarket Panerai Review
Horotomo Watch Straps Review
Horotomo Panerai Straps
Materials: New Leathers and Exotics
Buckles & Tubes: Tubes Included
Price Range: $36-66
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: February 25th, 2011
Horotomo is a relatively new strapmaker from Singapore that produces value-oriented straps for the masses rather than the more luxurious stuff. But there's always a market for affordable products, as long as the quality is acceptable, and Horotomo does have a decent quality product. Their straps are all hand stitched and have a couple of unique features, which sets them apart from other budget manufacturers. I picked up two Prestige straps in Coffee Brown and Burgundy.
First of all, Horotomo provides three keepers with their straps. Two regular sized floating keepers and one extra-wide floating keeper so you can set them up as you choose. There are many custom strapmakers out there that will do this on request, but its nice to have something provided without having to ask and without having to pay more. The keepers are soft and have rough leather underside, glued and X-stiched to hold them together.
One of the features that Horotomo likes to highlight is the leather-wrapped edges. While most manufacturers use painted or burnished edges, Horotomo takes the time to wrap the leather around the edges so they have a more finished look. I like the way it looks, but I am a little bit worried about the long-term durability of the wrap since the seams are glued down. I guess only time will tell how long they last.
The straps are extremely pliable and soft, and extremely comfortable. The straps have another layer sandwiched in-between, but I cannot determine if it is a leather layer or a filler layer of some sort.
The leathers are fairly textured and Horotomo lists them as Italian leather. The quality appears to be quite good, but the leather does not have the fragrant smell of the highest quality leathers from Italy. Given that the Horotomo straps cost about one third of many popular strapmakers out there, one can't be too picky, however.
The one thing that I would like to see changed is the tightness of the stitching. The stitches are spaced a bit too far apart for me, and I would like to see possibly even twice as many stitches as there currently are. A couple of the Ostrich straps from Horotomo are available with a thinner, tighter stitch, and the cost is the same so I'm guessing that the spacing is a design choice.
Horotomo also provides a few styles of buckles that you can purchase separately since the straps do not include buckles. When the buckles are puchased with the straps, there is a small discount applied, which is a nice touch. Shown here is the SS Hexa buckle in brushed stainless steel.
Overall, the Horotomo product offers a nice aternative to many of the value brands out there such as BOB, Don and Panatime. For the price, Horotomo offers a more handmade-feeling product and compares very favourably to their value-minded competition.