Aftermarket Panerai Strap Review

Saxon Verreno Straps Review

Saaxon Verreno Panerai Straps

Origin: Hong Kong
Construction: Lock-Stitched
Materials: New Italian Leathers
Buckles & Tubes: Both Included
Price Range: $50+
Website: Click Here
Date of Review: April 17th, 2012

Saxon Verreno is a new player in the Strap game based out of Hong Kong. As many of you know, Hong Kong is loaded with Panerai and other Watch enthusiasts and as it seems, also a popular strapmaker headquarters too. The majority of the Hong Kong based strapmakers have moved towards a higher quality of leather, using mostly Italian sourced and tanned leathers, and Saxon Verreno is also of that school.

Saxon Verreno's straps lend themselves to be compared with several of the other similarly priced Hong Kong based strapmakers, in particlar, Strap Culture and Heroic18. What many buyers are going to be looking for is what sets them apart.

Right off the bat you might notice that Saxon Verreno shares some similarities with its Asian competitors, especially the construction style. However, Saxon Verreno does have some differences that I sensed right away as well. The tighter, thinner stitch lines, slightly thinner construction and softer more pliable leather. Overall, these two characteristics are enough to differentiate them from their peers. Whether you prefer them is going to be a matter of personal preference.

Buckles are the higher quality screw-in variety, engraved with the Saxon Verreno logo. You get a choice of brushed, polished or PVD with the strap you buy.

Above is the Vintage Red Brick Brown strap, made with "A Grade Italian Leather". I'm not sure what kind of leather it is exactly, but it feels like it is of a very good quality. The smell is a mixture of sorts (Not just nice Italian Leather) and might be because there is a third filler leather layer in the construction of these straps, which is very common with the Asian straps. While I prefer a two-layer construction with burnished instead of painted edges, I understand that there is a need to make the strap thicker in this case.

One thing I really dig about this strap is that the color changes when the strap is bent. The grooves in the leather light up a brighter color than the higher parts giving it a bit of character, and you know its just going to age really nicely. The keeper has a fake ammo latch cut into it to give it a bit of ruggedness. I don't mind it, but I think I would prefer two smaller keepers like on the other strap.

This is the other strap, Italian Vintage Brown, which I like more than the Red Brick Brown. This one has a smoother finished cowhide, also from Italy. This one has much more of that natural Italian Tannery smell, though I smell something else mixed in there, perhaps the filler layer again or maybe the type of adhesive they used in construction. This one also has that very cool changing-color effect when you bend the strap. I wore this one a few days and it got a few great character marks in it from use. Like most lighter brown straps, this one will definately darken with age.

Overall a very satisfying experience with Saxon Verreno straps. While they lean towards the safer side as far as strap designs, they do a good job with what they have. The leathers and colors offered are a slightly different kind that what their closest competitors have. I haven't handled a recent strap from some of the similarly priced Hong Kong based strapmakers, but these do compare favourably with what I've seen in the past. Overall a reasonable priced strap, with good stitching and very nice leather. What else could you ask for?

Specs As Reviewed:

Italian Vintage Brown (24mm/135x80mm)
Made by Italian Vintage Cowhide
Soft and comfortable
Strap width 24mm x 24mm
Strap length 135 x 80 cm
Thickness approx 4.3 mm
With 1 cm float keepers x 2
HQ screw-in Verreno buckle Polished
Distance from the lug to the 1st hole is around 45cm

Vintage Red Brick Brown (24mm/135x80mm)
Made by A Grade Italian Leather
Soft and comfortable
Strap width 24mm x 24mm
Strap length 135 x 80 cm
Thickness approx 4.3 mm
With 2 cm float keepers x 1
HQ screw-in Verreno buckle Brushed
Distance from the lug to the 1st hole is around 45cm