Aftermarket Panerai Strap Review

Strap Geek Straps Review

Strap Geek Panerai Straps

Origin: Netherlands
Construction: Hand-Stitched
Materials: New Italian Leathers
Buckles & Tubes: Tubes included and Buckles extra
Price Range: $70-200
Website: The Strap Geek
Date of Review: October 14th, 2015

The Strap Geek is a relatively new Dutch strapmaker that clearly has a passion for Panerai watches and straps and primarily markets his straps through Instragram. He goes by the name Gijs and crafts his straps all by hand using premium leathers from Italy or from Horween, with this particular strap here being a beautiful, thick full-grain leather from an Italian tannery.

The Italian tanned leather features a deep patterned grain, with the crevices in the grain showing lighter coloring than the raised parts. I am interested to see how this leather will age, as deeply grained leathers often smoothen out over time and when this leather is bent, it shows more of the lighter colors as well giving it some interesting character.

This particular example measures 24mm at the lugs with no taper, and is approximately 5mm thick.

Construction is the tried-and-trued fold over style, with no filler layer, so the back looks almost exactly the same as the front, save for the stamped "Strap Geek" logo. The saddle stitching is straight and consistent, with a natural color thread. There are two keepers, one fixed and one floating, and the leather is quite soft and pliable especially for such a thick strap. The leather has

Here's a close-up of the edge burnishing, which is well sealed but maybe could be a little bit smoother. Still a solid job and given the thickness of the strap, its always a bit tricky finishing thick edges nicely I think. This leather also doesn't burnish quite as smoothly as more uniform grained leathers in my opinion. I think this strap would look better with just a raw or brushed edge, but it still looks great the way it is.

The price of this strap is $99, which is a bargain for a completely handmade European-made leather strap using premium leather. I think with more time and experience the Strap Geek will get even better and will be an even better value. As you can see, the tubes are included, but buckles are extra.

Here is a closeup of the texture of the grain in the leather, which is quite nice. Under high magnification you can see the pores in the surface of the leather, which is sometimes visible with certain leathers. The leather feels like very good quality stuff, though I wish it was a little bit thinner. I find I prefer straps around 4-4.5mm best. It doesn't seem like much, but that extra 1mm can make quite a difference in look and feel on the wrist.

Having said that, that's just a personal preference and there are plenty of buyers out there that love thicker straps for their rugged good looks and I'm sure this strap would appeal to them. These are priced very nicely and Gijs seems open to customization and criticsm, which means there is a good opportunity to find a very nicely customized quality strap for a bargain price from the Strap Geek!

Straps As Shown:
Model: Italian Brown Veg Tanned
Lug Width: 24mm
Thickness: 5mm
Keeper Type: 1 Floating, 1 Fixed
Stitch Color: White/Natural
Edge Finish: Burnished
Price: $99