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Fletch04 & L15 Egiziano Grosso Trentatre review

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Fletch04 & L15 Strap




Personal Strap Review


Corrigia Straps from Germany


Cengio Bilgiç from Karlsruhe Germany started making straps from 2011 onwards. Before this happened he was reading a lot about vintage Panerai watches and was especially interested in the old original straps he found that were displayed in Ralf Ehler's Panerai books. Those straps were treated with salt water in order to build patina on the leather.

A very well-know Panerista made an original old strap available that was mounted on his vintage Panerai Luminor Ref. 6152/1 and allowed Cengio to take the strap apart in order to study the building structure and design of the strap and renew the stitching. He did something more than that by making a 1:1 replica of the strap that he called Corrigia Reborn 1960 Fletch01.

Presently he creates quite a variety of handmade vintage straps for various models. You can choose between "uniform thickness" or since recently three different types of vintage folding, I prefer his "true vintage style", this is a trifold technique that makes the strap stronger an a bit thicker at the lug side. The straps are created with an old antique awl, antique leather knife, antique plane and antique tools. The vintage and worn look is created by many hours of grinding and polishing. The straps are finished with a saltwater and a natural leather balsam treatment. When you order a strap you can choose out of a variety of buckle to make your strap even more personalized or order it without a buckle in case you prefer your own buckles..

Made to order

If you like to get a strap from Corrigia you need to take a delivery time of approximately 2 weeks into consideration as his hand-made straps are made to order. That means you need to share your preferences beforehand. I like my vintage straps to be not only vintage looking by the material used but also by the dimensions of the strap, that means for my wrist a 140/85 to 150/90 length and 27mm width that give a tight fit on the watch, of course I prefer "the true vintage style" (trifold technique) option and a flat GPF Mod Dep and am now introduced to the Knife-Edge buckle.

Comes in a pouch

The straps came in a pouch that is branded with Corrigia, a nice detail and can hold a lot of straps. As mentioned boxes and pouches are always welcome with straps, it makes it easier to store them.
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The straps, Corrigia L15 Egiziano Grosso Trentatre & the Fletch04 Master Edition 1:1

When you wear a special watch you need special straps and I think I found to ultimate expressions of that.

Fletch04 Master Edition 1:1

This is based on the strap Cengio started his journey, he was able to replicate a strap that belonged to a well-known vintage watch collector from Germany who needed his original strap to be repaired and Cengio was allowed to try to replicate the strap. Over the years he improved the strap and now it's available in a few variations. The one I got is made as close as possible to the original strap! The usage scars, smears, aged leather looks like this one is used in combat!

L15 Egiziano Grosso Trentatre

This strap is made for my PAM389 and as most Corrigia straps this one looks worn, has numbers on both sides that reminds of the days the Italian Navy divers used these watches as part of their equipment, tagging the straps with numbers is part of that. The holes are closer punched compared to my other straps and makes it easier to adjust when my wrists gets thicker when its hot outside.
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The finish of the straps

Like with the other straps I have from Corrigia, the finish is fantastic and will discuss the minor differences that still make these two straps completely different:

L15 Egiziano Grosso Trentatre

The leather of this strap is till date the softest calf leather I have experienced. The color is greyish brown. The look and feel of the leather is silky and smooth and has had a vintage treatment to give it a worn look. The sides are rough and the strap has a black filling layer. The buckle is connected with a single sewn loop that give a bit extra body at the buckle side. The thickness is slightly different between the long and the short side of the strap as on the short side the strap has a triple folding, but hardly noticeable.

Fletch04 Master Edition 1:1

The leather of this strap must have had more than one vintage treatment, as it not only has a worn look, small paint stains are noticeable. Still the leather smells absolutely new. The holes are 12 mm apart just like in the old days. The color of the strap is really nice, a beautiful dark warm brown-red color that gives a fantastic contrast with the PAM00372. The stitching is done by hand and still very sharp and straight. This is my first strap with a so-called knife-edge buckle.
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The Knife-Edge buckle

The buckle on the L15 is a sandblasted GPF Mod Dep style buckle just like on my Roger Blue strap, if you want to read more about the buckle, click here. The buckle on my Fletch04 strap is a so-called Knife-Edge Buckle, these types of buckles were the first buckles the Italian Navy used on the Panerai watches. It looks super-cool and has at the same time a dressy look. There is no GPF Mod Dep engraved on this type of buckle and was normally made in brass with a coating, the buckle I got is made in brushed steel and the edges are polished. Some bend the buckle to make it a bit more comfortable to wear, l leave it the way it is.
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On the watches

It's time now to put the strap on the watch. With my PAM00372 it is an easy task to do with the screw-in pins, but takes longer than with the quick-change strap system of my PAM00389, still no need to visit a watchmaker to do it for you. The first time you put on a strap that is 1 mm wider than your lug size of the watch and the leather is as thick and rough burnished you will need to put a bit of more effort to get it on the watch, just be patient and it will work. This will be easier after you have worn it a few times. I have been wearing both straps for some time now and indeed it gets easier to mount them now.
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Both the straps are tight against the watch case due to the thickness of the strap and the extra 1mm width. The Fletch04 gives a beautiful contrast with the PAM00327 and the ecru stitching works fine. The L15 looks fantastic on the PAM00389 and gives the watch a complete nice bulky look and feel . The numbers "17" and "33" on the strap reminds of the time the Italian Navy numbered all their equipment and makes the watch look ready for combat. The black filling layer complements the watch ceramic bezel and the sandblasted buckle looks similar to the brushed titanium case of the PAM00389.
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Look & Feel on the wrist


Fletch04 Master Edition 1:1

I am surprised that although the strap is thick and bulky it still feels almost like a dress strap. No need to break in, this strap is soft and very comfortable.

L15 Egiziano Grosso Trentatre

This strap is as I mentioned probably the softest thick vintage style strap in my collection, absolutely no break-in period needed, the thickness of the strap feels solid and works very nice with the PAM00389. The brown color matches the watch in a way I did not expect and has become one of my favorite straps for daily wear.
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The buckle

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My conclusion

The Fletch04 and L15 Egiziano Grosso Trentatre are both made in more or less the same way, both true vintage-folding on the short side and yet are completely different. Both straps look used and worn and at the same time are brand-new and smell brand new.

The Fletch04 has got an extreme vintage treatment and despite the thickness of the strap it doesn't wear that big, probably because of the rich warm brown color of the strap. It is true vintage with holes 12mm apart that means you need to be sure about your wrist size to get the hole in the strap you fit on the right spot. The double sewn loop makes the strap slimmer on the buckle side. The Knife Edge buckle is amazing and will definitely go for a same type of buckle with a next strap. The fact that this strap is a 1:1 to the original strap that was mounted on a Panerai ref. 6152/1 makes it extra special.

The L15 Egiziano Grosso Trentatre is a great example of combining modern with vintage. the leather is super-soft and really like the colour that matches the PAM00389 nicely. The buckle is fitting very well with the titanium watch case. The strap is thick and makes the watch looks a bit smaller and at the same time creates a presence. The numbers on the strap makes the strap more alive. The holes are oval and 7mm apart that means you can adjust the strap easy to the weather condition.

If you are looking for more info about Corrigia Straps, you can find the strap maker at www.corrigia.com and if you interested in more details about the strapmaker of Corrigia Straps, Cengio Bilgiç, click here

I hope you like the review, feel free to post your comments here

The strap specifications:

Below you find summarized the specifications of the straps, the prices mentioned are only indicative just to give you an idea what you could expect if you order one.
Strap: Fletch04 Master Edition 1:1
Leather type: Italian cow leather, vegetable tanned
Special treatment: grinding & polishing followed by seawater & natural leather balsam treatment
Width: 27 mm
Length: 145/85 mm
Thickness strap: 5.5 mm to 5 mm at tail
Type of buckle: Knife Edge flat buckle
Buckle material: Brushed steel
Type of stitching: hand-stitch
Price range: 320-380 EUR (depending on folding technique and buckle choice, VAT & shipping charges may vary depending on destination)
Strap: L15 Egiziano Grosso Trentatre
Leather type: Italian calf leather, vegetable tanned
Special treatment: grinding & polishing followed by seawater & natural leather balsam treatment
Width: 27 mm
Length: 145/85 mm
Thickness strap: 5.5 mm to 5 mm at tail
Type of buckle: GPF Mod Dep style flat buckle
Buckle material: Sandblasted steel
Type of stitching: hand-stitch
Price range: 280-320 EUR (depending on folding technique and buckle choice, VAT & shipping charges may vary depending on destination)
Below a few more images of the Fletch04 & L15 straps:
Fletch04
Fletch04 lining side
The Knife Edge buckle
Branding of the strap
on the watch
side view
Buckle
L15
33 and the black filling layer
Sandblasted GPF Mod Dep buckle
GPF Mod Dep buckle inside
branding of the strap
on the watch