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Strap Geek Padded Straps

Strap Review

Strap Geek Straps from The Netherlands

Gijs, a strap maker from The Netherlands who has been a "weekend strap maker" is creating straps that can easily compete with straps made by full-time strap makers.

Here you will find a review of Gijs his versions of padded straps, the type of strap that could become very popular this year

Two padded straps

The two straps I received from Gijs came without a pouch or box, for me that is not really an issue as what is most important is the look, feel and wear comfort of the straps. However for a strap maker it is an easy way to make the straps recognizable, if you do not have that many straps it can be even a logic storage solution. Gijs made one strap as per personal taste, a padded grey nubuck 26mm straight, 140/85 length and the holes at 7mm distance. The second strap is a strap he wanted to show me that is pretty popular, a rich dark brown padded 26-24 tapered strap that had an extra treatment with a 24mm buckle.

Comforting to know is that the leather used by Strap Geek Straps is only vegetable tanned leather sourced from tanneries who are a member of The Genuine Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium (Il Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetale).
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Grey nubuck padded calf leather

This strap is a straight 26mm version and suitable for a 26mm OEM or after-market Pre-V style buckle. It has a double sewn loop, this give a tighter fit for the buckle and looks more dressy. At the same time the thickness of the strap is more than the OEM versions 4mm on the outsides to 7mm on the padded part and gives a more robust look & feel. Just like with his other straps, Gijs is hiding the end of the stitching between the two layers instead of at the inside of the strap leaving a knot, an interesting extra visual detail.
The stitching is very precise and straight, the lug side has some more space and still has tubes already installed. The sides are burnishing. The leather feels somewhat stiff and will need some break-in time.

Italian dark brown padded extra treated

This strap is a 26-24 padded strap. For me not a very practical size, as Officine Panerai only makes their screw-in buckles either 22 or 26 mm. At the same time 26-24 makes more sense to me as still I think the 26-22 tapering is too extreme on a 47 mm watch. This one also has a double sewn loop like the Grey Nubuck. With the same thickness of 4mm to 7mm this strap looks very nice on the PAM00389, much better than the OEM strap that came with the watch! The leather is a bit softer and more bendable than the grey strap and had an extra treatment that has given the strap some extra texture. The sides are more burnished than the Grey Nubuck and looks super-smooth.
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On the watch

Both straps fit nicely on the watch and have a tight fit. The buckle was easy to mount as the strap is made with a double sewn loop and both straps have tubes already installed, a nice touch as they are fitting tight and no need to swap them when changing straps.

The Grey Nubuck

This strap blends in nicely with the watch. The grey will for sure get darker over time and will turn into a real leisure strap.

The Italian dark brown extra treated

This strap has a nice rich dark brown color and could be a used as a dress strap, as far as you can wear a PAM00389 as a dress watch of course!
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The strap on the wrist

The Grey Nubuck

The leather feels somewhat stiff when putting it on for the first time. As this is a thicker type of strap of course not a surprise. This strap will remain more solid than the OEM padded version for the simple reason that the strap is thicker. At the same time the strap does not feel that massive on the wrist as the sides of the strap are thinner than an average ammo or vintage strap.

The Italian dark brown extra treated

The leather of this strap is a bit softer than the Grey Nubuck as it got an extra treatment, it's tumbled leather and needs a shorter break-in time. The tapered is less extreme and the thickness is more than the OEM versions, at the same time in my opinion more in balance than the OEM versions.
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The buckle side

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My conclusion

The straps Gijs sent show nothing else than craftsmanship, dedication and eye for detail. As a "weekend-strap maker", his work is at least at par with most of the better professional strap makers. As it is a hobby for him, he keeps the prices of his straps very reasonable and as it is his hobby and passionate about it, he uses the best possible Italian vegetable tanned leather hides for his straps.

Unfortunately also these two straps do not have a logo or name of the strap maker on the lining side of the strap, Gijs did brand his straps before. Those who know his work will be able to recognize a Strap Geek strap right away!

You need to be very sure on what position the hole needs to be that fits your wrist, Gijs keeps the holes standard 1 cm apart, that means there is not much space for error. If you are not sure about what your position would be, contact Gijs as he is very open for individual preferences as long as you share them before he starts making your strap. The holes in the grey nubuck were as per preference, 7mm apart punched as an example. Of course you could also opt for no holes at all and punch them yourself like some Paneristi do.

The extra details like hiding the end of the stitching by hiding them between the two layers on the side, the very sharp stitching and the quality of the leather hides used makes these straps a perfectly safe buy.

If you are looking for more info about Strap Geek Straps, you can find the strap maker at his Instagram account 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 strap, the prices mentioned are only indicative just to give you an idea what you could expect if you order one.

Grey Nubuck padded strap

Leather type: Horween leather, nubuck
Special treatment: no
Stitch: French cable linen
Width: 26/26 mm
Length: 140/85 mm
Thickness strap: 4-7 (padded) mm
Type of buckle: no buckle included
Type of stitching: hand-stitch
Price range: 75 EURO (depending on the destination, VAT & shipping charges vary)

Italian dark brown padded leather strap

Leather type: Italian veg. tan leather
Special treatment: yes, tumbled leather
Stitch: French cable linen
Width: 26/24 mm
Length: 130/80 mm
Thickness strap: 4-7 (padded) mm
Type of buckle: 24mm screw-in buckle
Type of stitching: hand-stitch
Price range: 75 EURO (depending on the destination, VAT & shipping charges vary)

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A few additional images of the strap. Enjoy!
The thickness of the strap
despite its thickness, still elegant
The Grey Nubuck fits tight to the case
tight fit
the smooth burnishing!
Great buckle fit!
This strap will age beautiful!
Elegant fit!