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Strap Geek Straps

Strap Review

Strap Geek Straps from The Netherlands

Gijs, a strap maker from The Netherlands who has been a "weekend strap maker" for a few years requested me to have a look at his straps after seeing my earlier strap reviews. Being a Dutchman myself I could not refuse the offer of course!

We agreed that he would send me two straps, one strap that is more or less his standard strap and one that meets more my specification as I like to keep the straps I wear or review as much as possible to my personal taste and preferences.

Two 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.

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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Natural Horween Essex

The Natural Horween Essex leather strap is a strap made of leather with a high oil content and ages beautifully. The color of this natural leather is brighter than the other famous leather type, Italian Vacchetta and I am curious how this will age over time. You cannot get a better strap color than this and slowly watch it change color and character over time. This strap is 150/90 and on my request the holes are made smaller, 3mm and the fitting hole was punched just at the right place for the strap to fit my wrist perfect. I noticed that this 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, with this light color strap you don't even see this. The loop for the buckle is vintage style, I would prefer a sleeker loop when using a screw-in OEM Panerai buckle or after market buckle, for a sewn-in GPF Mod Dep style buckle it would be perfect. The stitching is very precise and straight, the lug side has some more space and still has tubes already installed. The sides are not burnishing and very sharp cut, this gives it an extra clean look and feel. The leather feels very soft and softer than Vacchetta leather.

Italian Whiskey

The Italian Whiskey leather strap is the standard strap, or at least most popular model that Gijs creates. The holes are bigger and buckles with a straight pin fit in easily, the strap is a lot shorter, 130/80. the holes are 1 cm apart from each other and has a beautiful warm dark brown color. Besides the mentioned details the strap has the same sharp stitching, the same style keepers and the same vintage style loop for the buckle like on the Natural Horween Essex leather strap. The sides are slightly burnished and gives a nice effect on the rest of the strap.
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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.

The Natural Horween Essex

This strap gives brilliant contrast with the dial of the watch and one that will change over time when the patina starts to come and ages the leather.

The Italian Whiskey

This strap is great alternative if you like the Panerai OEM Ranger strap that comes standard with the PAM00372, it is at the same time a lot more robust and will last a lot longer.
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The strap on the wrist

The Natural Horween Essex

The leather feels super-soft and doesn't need to break-in. The smaller holes gives the strap a more vintage look and because of the softness of the leather the buckle fits in perfect. The wider keepers give enough support and look good on the wrist.

The Italian Whiskey

The leather of this strap is a bitter tougher than the Natural Horween Essex leather strap and has a beautiful warm color. You will need a very short break-in time. The bigger holes make it easy to fit the buckle. The keepers could have been slightly less wide to give the a bit more visible tail, maybe it is better to use only one keeper and store the second when needed.
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The buckle side

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My conclusion

The straps Gijs sent me confirms again that passion is all that you need. As a "weekend-strap maker", his work is very nice done, the stitching very sharp and offers his work for a very reasonable price.

Unfortunately the straps do not have a logo or name of the strap maker on the lining side of the strap, if you just buy a strap for yourself it should not be an issue, but if you are coming to a point where you like to trade in or sell a few of your straps a logo on a strap always have an extra value for a next buyer.

You need to be very sure on what position the hole needs to be that fits your wrist, the straps I received have holes 1 cm apart, that means there is not much space for error. If you are not sure about what your position would be, contact the strap maker and I am sure he will advice and and on request position the holes closer, 5-7mm apart.

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.

Natural Horween Essex leather strap

Leather type: Natural Horween Essex leather
Special treatment: no
Width: 26/26 mm
Length: 150/90 mm
Thickness strap: 5 mm
Type of buckle: no buckle included
Type of stitching: hand-stitch
Price range: 100 EURO (depending on the destination, VAT & shipping charges vary)

Italian Whiskey leather strap

Leather type: Italian veg. tan leather
Special treatment: no
Width: 26/26 mm
Length: 130/80 mm
Thickness strap: 5 mm
Type of buckle: no buckle included
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!
nice tight fit on the lugs and watch case
on the watch close-up
a nice long tail!
sharp stitching!
The light color of the strap stands out
raw sides
the tail close-up
the tickness of the strap shows
nice fit on the lugs and watch case
on the watch close-up
Elegant on the wrist
Sharp stitching also here
The end of the stitching hided between the two layers
Tail close up
Robust built!