Aftermarket Panerai Strap Review
Kastantona Leather Straps Review
Kastantona Leather Straps Panerai Straps
Materials: New & Vintage Leathers & Canvas
Buckles & Tubes: Buckles Included
Price Range: $45+
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: November 30th, 2016
This is my first review from Cypriot strapmaker Kastantona, who specializes in handmade Panerai straps at very affordable prices. The small company is run by a fellow named Constantinos, who makes all the straps from start to finish in-house by hand. I was fortunate enough to pick up two pretty cool straps from this maker, both which are quite different from each other.
The strap on the left is an Olive Oil Tanned Italian Pull-Up Leather strap, and the one on the right is an authentic World War 2 Canvas strap which is a limited edition strap. They come in nice little boxes with a hang tag showing the name of the strap.
First lets look at the more unique of the two - the WW2 Canvas in 22mm. While Canvas straps are available from several different strapmakers, the majority of them do not offer canvas, and when they do they're all quite different in style and construction.
Kastantona does the canvas strap different than the others I have owned and definitely has a much more complicated construction. Most canvas Panerai straps out there are basically the same as the leather foldover style straps, except the strapmaker glues a piece of canvas on the top of it. The Canvas does not wrap around the entire strap and is not in contact with your skin. Kastantona does a full wrap around with rolled edges in has a padding material on the inside which gives it the profile of an OEM strap rather than vintage style Panerai. This is kind of cool because I don't see any other strapmakers doing it this way by hand.
The result is a more gentlemanly looking canvas strap that has two leather keeps on it. I personally prefer canvas keepers in general since it compliments the look a bit better in my opinion but to each his own and I've been told by the maker that it is available with canvas keepers if you request it that way. Stitching is good and I definitely commend Kastantona for their creative approach to the canvas strap, its a nice looking piece.
The next strap up here is the Olive Oil tanned Italian leather strap with a 24mm width. This is a pull-up leather, which if you don't know, changes color a bit when you bend it. The brown shows some light colors when it is bent and develops a lot of character over time when its used a lot. I really like pull-up leathers and the leather used in this example is solid stuff. Its very pliable with great color and smell - I always love great smelling leather and this one is no exception.
Here's a close up of the Oil tanned Pull-up Leather... you can see that it has an interesting greenish hue to it, and it also has a great combination of density and pliability. Its a heavier leather, but is ultra-pliable so it is very comfortable to wear. I really like the properties of this leather! Its stiff, but not too stiff. Just right. The edges of the leather and the keepers are lightly burnished, and quite smooth. The thread is of a synthetic variety and of medium thickness and matches quite well with the leather.
Here is a shot of the back of the strap, which basically looks the same as the front due to the foldover construction and lack of a makers mark. The threading is different on both sides and only the front side has the light tooling marks along the perimeter so you should be able to tell. I've said it before, but I really like it when straps have a maker's mark on them because it helps me keep track of my straps. I know these have a logo buckle, but I usually end up swapping those out unless I really like the buckle.
Two very nice straps with subtle differences that make them stand out a bit. The leather strap uses some very good quality leather that feels fantastic and the canvas strap is different from the other canvas straps that I have so overall I'm impressed with the products here, especially at the prices which are less than many other makers out there for a fully handmade strap.
Straps As Reviewed:
Model: Olive Oil Tanned Italian Leather 24mm
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Tan
Edge Finish: Burnished
Model: WW2 Authentic Canvas Limted Edition 22mm
Keeper Type: 1 Fixed, 1 Floating
Stitch Color: Gold
Edge Finish: Folded