Aftermarket Panerai Review
Kaktus Watch Straps Review
Kaktus Panerai Straps
Materials: New and Vintage Leathers and Exotic Hides
Buckles & Tubes: Tube and Buckle
Price Range: $160US+
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: February 2nd, 2011
I haven't seen a lot of Kaktus straps around, but the ones that I've seen are always well made. I finally got one of the Grey Ostrich models from Tomas from Kaktus and it did not disappoint. I've been dying to get a nice ostrich strap for my Panerai PAM320 for a while now, and this one fit the bill perfectly. This one sells for €175 from Kaktus, and is worth every penny.
Unlike many of the other brands out there, Kaktus can make a strap that fits your OEM Panerai tang buckle and even has that OEM style finishing and threading. It might seem like a simple matter of tapering a strap from 24mm to 22mm, but many aftermarket Panerai strap makers out there can't or won't do it. Kaktus is more than happy to oblige, and even puts a nice padding in the middle and finishes it beautifully like an OEM strap.
As shown in the above photograph, the back of the tang buckles are engraved with Kaktus Straps' logo. The engraving work is done by the same company that does the engraving work on Panerai's buckles.
The ostrich pattern is superb, and the grey dyed color is exceptional. The only other aftermarket strapmaker that has make something comparable in quality to this strap from Kaktus is ABP, and their prices are about double. This Kaktus comes with two keepers, one fixed and one floating, which is their standard configuration, though Tomas would probably be happy to do something different if requested. The ostrich is soft and pliable, and very comfortable to wear.
The back shot - the strap goes on perfectly bends easily into the first fixed keeper. Holes are oval shaped and spaced close enough so that you won't likely find yourself between holes. When I wore this strap to the 2011 Paneristi GTG in Vancouver, just about everyone asked where I got the strap because it looked so great with the PAM320 its mounted on.
Overall, Tomas from Kaktus Straps makes an incredible strap. I've recently picked up another Kaktus strap for my Radiomir which is done in more of an vintage style, and it shows up versatile of a strapmaker Tomas is. They're also make in Switzerland, which means you can keep everything Swiss Made! Kaktus strap pricing is a bit higher than Asian and North American made straps, but is on the low side when compared with other European-made straps which in my opinion makes his stuff a good value. I recommend Kaktus straps especially for tapered straps like this Ostrich.