3Posted by Robert-Jan Broer on Aug 19, 2004
Besides replacing straps when one is worn out, I am probably not the only one who think it is fun to switch straps once in a while to give a watch a different look.
Ever tried to buy a strap for your watch from the original manufacturer? Ever found a tray of Omega straps at the Omega dealer or a tray of IWC straps at the IWC dealer? It is not easy to get accessoires like straps and buckles at your dealer, especially when it is about watchmanufacturer accessoires. Only a few brands have their dealers stocked with buckles and straps, like Sinn, Panerai and I was at one time lucky at an Omega dealer
Usually, the only other brand for straps at jewelers is Hirsch. However, I canÄôt find myself wearing a 20 Euro strap on a +2000 Euro watch. The quality of the watch and the quality of the strap should be equal in my opinion.
I did some surfing and came up with a few online dealers of straps, which can be ordered online as well. I didnÄôt have personal experience with all of them, but had some rather good feedback on all of them.
New for me is TC Straps, which have a nice selection of leather straps in croco, calf and ostrich. For Panerai as well, because these have a rather ÄòlargeÄô width and not every strapbrand carries these sizes. I liked especially their Firenze Deluxe series. They also have buckles in stock for Panerais, not the original, but Pre-V style in 22 and 24mm. Prices are quite high at first sight, but the finish on these straps looks to be of very high quality.
One of the largest selections (and made on request is also possible) can be found at Banda. They carry croco, rubber and even stingray straps. Available from very small (ladies) sizes to Panerai-sizes. I found the Navy-blue Stingray quite interesting for sports/diving watches. They also have buckles and folding clasps in stock and are included with some straps. Prices are very fair!
Sirtoli has a crappy website but it seems that most customers who report their experiences on TimeZone of WatchUseek are very happy with their straps. They carry a lot of Louisiana croco straps.
I have very good personal experience with the straps by Officina Italia Bros, carried by my favorite watch-store in The Hague. I personally have a croco strap, lizard and python strap from their collection. The python is a bit ÄòkinkyÄô but very impressive. They do have larger sizes for Panerai on request. All handmade in Italy.
Update: Padraig @ WatchUseek came up with The Big Watch Boutique for elephant, python and other sorts of leather for your ‘big’ watch!