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: July 13th, 2017

I have the Strap Geek back with a new review! The Strap Geek is Gijs, a very nice fellow from the Netherlands who is as passionate about watch straps as his countryman are about football. I reviewed a strap almost two years ago from The Strap Geek when he had just started, and now that he's made some improvements to his technique he was keen to see what I thought.

The three straps I have for review today are two Horween Cambridge Color 8 in two different lengths and one Horween Natural Essex strap. Lets look at them in more detail.

First we'll look at the two Horween Cambridge Color 8 straps. They're vintage construction, with the fantastic vegetable tanned Cambridge pull-up leather from the USA. Color 8 is such an iconic color from Horween, and really is a very versatile color... dark, chocolate brown that shows some nice lighter browns when it is flexed, as good pull-up leathers should.

See above at a partial exposure of the lighter browns in the pull-up leather. Its a fantastic lighter burgundy-brown, that looks amazing. The leather also smells amazing, as great vegetable tanned leather should. Horween Color 8 also looks great with natural French cable linen thread, and Strap Geek has done a fantastic job of sewing the thread on this one. Nice and straight, nice consistent angling on the stiching. As expected, all holes line up and the straps are generally very well made.

Here's a photo of the side of the strap.. its a burnished edge, with a vintage style loop for the buckle. You can see the knot where the end of the stitching was tied off and hidden between the two layers on the side. This is better than when you can see the tie-off in the stitching on the back I think, though it would be nice if it were totally invisible.

Here is an even better photo of the unique colors in the leather, and a good idea of what the leather will start to look like as you wear it over time. This shot was taking with about 2 weeks of wear time on it. Incredible leather.. I really do love this stuff. And Strap Geek has done a fantastic job of finishing it with a high level of skill and attention to detail. Let's take a look at the Natural Essex strap next.

This one here is pretty impressive - I really like how Strap Geek executed this one. Very nice natural essex leather that should really take on a lot of character as it ages. This stuff is an unsealed leather that really shows color from anything that touches it. It will darken and patina significantly as it ages, developing a personality all its own.

A very well-crafted strap here with white stitching that looks great now, and should also age well with it. Great job on the stitching, and only a small amount of burnishing combined with the leather choice gives this strap a professional finish, yet still feels a bit like a blank canvas, waiting for your to add your character marks to it. This strap will be incredible fun to watch age.

Here's the shot of the back. Like the first two straps reviewed, this one also does not have any stamping on the back. Gijs told me that in order to keep a cleaner look, he decided to stop stamping his straps with a logo. I personally like the logos as it helps me keep track of my numerous straps, but maybe something smaller and cleaner than his original logo which was large and very busy looking, but that again is all personal preference.

One of the coolest features of this strap is the padding. I love padded aftermarket Panerai straps. Not everyone does them, and even then, not everyone does them well. Gijs here does a great job with it - its subtle, and adds just a little bit of sophistication to the strap that the flat Panerai straps just don't have. The keepers on this strap have a thin line of tooling along them that suits the strap very nicely. Great eye there by Strap Geek.

Overall, I'm really impressed with the craftsmanship of Strap Geek's straps. The level of finish and the attention to detail is apparent on all the straps here, with particular kudos to how well the Natural Essex strap was executed. I happily recommend Strap Geek's very nice and customizable pieces!

Straps As Shown (Top Photo, Left to Right):
Model: Horween Cambridge Color 8
Lug Width: 24mm
Thickness: 4.5mm
Keeper Type: 1 Floating, 1 Fixed
Stitch Color: White
Edge Finish: Burnished
Price: $115USD

Model: Horween Natural Essex
Lug Width: 24mm
Thickness: 4.5mm (More at padded portion)
Keeper Type: 1 Floating, 1 Fixed
Stitch Color: White
Edge Finish: Burnished
Price: $115USD