Aftermarket Panerai Review
Strapluxe Watch Straps Review
Strapluxe Panerai Straps
Materials: New Leathers
Buckles & Tubes: Buckles Included Only
Price Range: $98US
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: March 10th, 2009
Strapluxe is a USA-based strap company that sources their leathers from all over, but hand cuts and machine stitches all their straps right in the good 'ol US of A. In addition to Panerai straps, they also manufacture straps for Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshores and IWC, with more brands coming soon.
Initially what caught my eye about Strapluxe straps was this unique grey-colored calf leather strap with white stitching. I'd never seen another strap quite like it, with a semi-gloss finish, and sort of a medium grey color. I also picked up a black buffalo leather strap which is very supple, and nicely grained. In fact, both these straps were incredibly soft, especially given their 5mm thickness.
As you can see, their straps are stamped on the back with their name, and are box stitched. The black buffalo strap is really quite unbelievably soft, and has that great black on black combination along with a PVD buckle that is very nicely done. A very stealthy strap that looks great on any black watch with a 24mm lug width.
As much as I love that grey color, my initial worry was that it would not look good mounted on a watch, but as you can see below, my fears were ill-founded.
It looks fantastic on my PAM90, unlike any other strap that I have, and I mean that in a GOOD way! It gives the watch that slightly more modern look, and I suspect that this strap would look really good on a PAM250 or PAM251.
The second strap with the black stitching on black buffalo leather is probably the most versatile color combination, and I am starting to shy away from white stitching on black straps now because I really prefer the all-black look.
You'll notice that the strap holes are slotted rather than round. This is actually not used as often as round holes, but it makes the strap much easier to take off and put on when the strap is new, and also allows closer spacing of the holes without compromising strength. This ensures you will not be in-between hole sizes, and fits from 6-8" wrists.
Dual floating keepers are 13mm width, and work well. The strap is extremely comfortable for a thick 5mm strap because of the softness of the leather. On my first wear, it felt totally broken in, unlikes most straps out there which require a good few months of break-in time in order to get them comfortable.
I really like the stuff that Strapluxe has to offer. They might not be as "homemade" as some of the guys like Greg Stevens and Micah (which may or may not be a good thing), but their straps are of excellent quality and still made in the USA, if that's important to you. They also offer something different that might not be immediately apparent without having tried one one.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone and their dog is making straps, and its very hard to see what makes each company stand out. Strapluxe truly excels in their ability to make a very supple yet thick strap, with unique colors, and slotted strap holes that allow more flexibility in sizing. Perhaps in time they will expand their line to include some more variety, but for now, the choices they do have are very good. They've also slashed their prices by $20 to $98, which makes their prices pretty good.