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OEM Vintage

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OEM-Vintage 07 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 the "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.

The review

I have been into straps from the moment I got my first Panerai and my wife appreciates straps but prefers Panerai OEM straps. After I got my last Corrigia strap she started asking me more about the strap and got more and more interested.

The only thing that was keeping her from a Corrigia vintage strap was the thickness of the straps available. She has a very small wrist size and for her Corrigia straps would look too bulky. I asked Cengio if it was possible to create a strap for my wife that is not so thick, at least not more than 3.5 mm. To my surprise he replied that he was working on a new strap line that is now called OEM-Vintage that would be something she might be looking for, as another requirement is that she likes her straps to at least have a Panerai OEM buckle. The new OEM-Vintage straps are not even standard orderable with a buckle as these straps are meant to use with a Panerai OEM pin buckle. I have written this review by translating what her findings are and have included her conclusion.

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. My wife has a very small wrist and wanted a strap that would fit her, the tail could be a bit longer than she is used to with her Panerai OEM straps in sizes LL & XS. In this case she chose for a 110/65 length and 22-20mm width that gives a same fit on the watch as her Panerai OEM straps as this strap is still slightly thicker than Panerai OEM straps.

Comes in a pouch

The strap came in a canvas pouch that is branded on a leather band with Corrigia and an SLC human torpedo, a nice detail. This pouch has the same dimensions as the one I got with my Zeitmaschine strap.
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The strap, OEM-Vintage 07

Corrigia has very recently come up with a new series of straps that are 3.5mm thick and can be used with a Panerai OEM pin buckle or any other screw-in buckle. This new series of straps are made of It vegetable tanned soft and high-quality Boxcalf leather from Italy. The OEM-Vintage is a blend of vintage look and sleek fit for a Panerai watch. This strap comes in only one type of folding, his so-called "Uniform Thickness Folding Technique".
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The finish of the strap

If you like to have the strap more character, you can request for an "Extreme Vintage treatment" that gives the strap a worn-out look without damaging the strap or giving it a bad smell, the strap smells absolutely new. That is exactly what she was looking for, she wanted a strap color that matches her PAM00512 and at the same time needs to look distressed. There are eight different color choices and the color that would suit her best was no. 7, the only one that does not have a vintage distressed finish, Cengio offered the mentioned "Extreme Vintage treatment".

The finish of the strap is comparable to the Roger Blue LE, the hand-stitching is again well done. The leather is extremely soft and has sort of a silky feel to it, just like the Roger Blue LE. This strap also got with the "Extreme Vintage treatment" the salt water & leather balsam treatment, the burnishing is absent, the sides are a bit rough but less rough than my Corrigia straps, the lining of the strap is the same leather as the upper side of the strap and the extra layer in-between at the lug side is a lighter tone the upper layer. The strap thickness is uniform. The lugs are done to tightly fit either the tubes or the thicker pins of a PAM00512. The strap came with tubes installed and I had to take them out when fitting it on the PAM00512. The stitching is sharp and straight. The vintage and worn look gives the strap many different shades of brown/beige and has a nice character, more extreme than my Corrigia Zeitmaschine strap. It has the color differentiations by grinding and polishing and has not been recolored, this keeps the leather free from toxic substances.
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Panerai OEM pin buckle

This strap cannot be ordered with a sewn-in buckle, instead you can use your Panerai OEM buckle, order at Corrigia a seperate screw-in buckle or use a screw-in buckle you have from other straps.
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On the PAM00512

A PAM00512 doesn't come with the quick-change system or screw-in pins but with push pins. You need to get used to that system, once you know the trick and have the right tools, it is as easy as with the other two mentioned systems. As I normally do all the strap changing, when she got her PAM00512 I immediately bought a tool for push-pins, a Bergeon 3153 spring bar removal tool. The strap fits right away on the watch, easier than my other Corrigia straps that are 1-1.5 mm wider than the lug size. Installing the OEM buckle on the strap took a bit longer, the leather is very rough cut and I had to remove leather fibers with a small pair of scissors to make sure the screw isn't blocked to fit the buckle, once that was done, it was easy to fit.
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The strap fits tight on the case and between the lugs and looks a bit more elegant than my over-sized straps I have. There color of the strap blends in very well with the faux-patina of the PAM512.
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On the wrist

The strap feels soft from the very first time onwards and doesn't need to break-in. The holes in the strap made are standard and not as far apart like on my vintage straps and fits well.
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The OEM buckle

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The conclusion

This Corrigia OEM-Vintage strap is a very good alternative for me as I like on one side like the vintage style of straps and at the same time want it to be not too thick like most other vintage straps are. The fact that it also fits the Panerai OEM buckle is a big plus for me. The strap looks very worn out and is at the same time clearly brand-new leather.

What is missing in this collection of OEM-Vintage straps are variants in funky colors. The trend nowadays is going into that direction, the old brown and black although still looking very nice with Panerai watches, more and more bright color straps are worn.

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 strap, the prices mentioned are only indicative just to give you an idea what you could expect if you order one.
Leather type: Italian box-calf leather
Special treatment: Extreme Vintage treatment, grinding & polishing followed by seawater & natural leather balsam treatment
Width: 22-20 mm
Length: 110/65 mm
Thickness strap: 3.5 mm
Type of buckle: not supplied, fits a 20mm Panerai OEM pin buckle
Buckle material: in this case polished stainless steel
Type of stitching: hand-stitch
Price range: 150 EUR

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