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Roger Blue LE

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Roger Blue LE 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..

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 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 sandblasted buckle.

Comes in a box

The strap came in a box that is branded with Corrigia and inside the lid branded with an SLC human torpedo, a nice detail. As mentioned boxes and pouches are always welcome with straps, it makes it easier to store them.
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The strap, Corrigia Roger Blue

It started when I saw images of the Corrigia Roger Blue Limited Edition on Facebook and only one thing came to mind, I need to have this strap, it is an ideal summer strap, very fresh modern color and at the same time a vintage and worn look & feel. The strap came in a wooden box and can hold at least two straps. The strap is covered by paper to protect it and a few coffee beans, this it too take the last moist out of the strap while transporting and keep the smell of the strap neutralized.
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The finish of the strap

The finish of the strap is very good, the hand-stitching well done. The leather is extremely soft and has sort of a silky feel to it most probably due to the salt water & leather balsam treatment, the burnishing is absent but not as rough as my other Corrigia strap (Squadra01), the sides are rough, the lining of the strap is the same leather as the upper side of the strap. The strap thickness varies, at the lug side it is thicker than on the buckle side, because of the "true vintage technique" as Cengio calls it. On one side the very clean modern light blue color and the vintage worn look makes this strap a perfect strap for the summer. The maker stocks for every strap he makes separate leather hides. The calf leather that is used for this strap has therefore not been re-colored to make sure the leather remains free of toxic substances.
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The GPF-Mod Dep buckle

This strap has like most of my straps also a GPF-Mod Dep style buckle, this is a big flat buckle originally used in the 1940-1950's. GPF stands for Guido Panerai e Figlio Modelo Depositato(translated Guido Panerai & Son Registered Trademark) Not all buckles have the GPF Mod Dep mentioned on the buckle, if they have it stamped or engraved they are usually not the original ones from the 1940-1950'5, but more a homage to the originals, next if the engraving is done, it is on the inside of the buckle, so you won't see it while wearing the strap. The buckle got an extra treatment, its sandblasted and has a has a matt finish.
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On the watch

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. But 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 like this Roger Blue LE strap, you will need to put a bit of more effort to get it on the watch. This will be easier after you have worn it a few times.
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This strap is one on side a big contrast with the black dial of the watch and on the other side the stitching color blends nicely with the faux-patina of the dial indexes and hands, the thickness of the strap at the lug side is just like the Corrigia Squadra01 pretty obvious!
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Look & Feel on the wrist

The strap feels soft from the very first time onwards and doesn't need to break-in, even considering this is a pretty thick strap.
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The buckle

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My conclusion

The Corrigia Roger Blue LE is a very modern looking strap made in a vintage and worn style that looks super cool on the watch in the summer when you go out and wear a short sleeves shirt. This is at the moment the most vintage worn looking strap I have in my collection. The sandblasted GPF Mod Dep buckle fits very well with the strap having a similar silky look. Even the strap has gone through a process of grinding polishing soaked in salt water and got a balsam treatment this strap smells like new leather and looks absolutely new. The obsession of this strap maker for the old original straps of the 1940-1960's can also be easily found back in a strap like this even keeping the modern interpretation of the material in mind.

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 cow leather, vegetable tanned
Special treatment: grinding & polishing followed by seawater & natural leather balsam treatment
Width: 27 mm
Length: 150/90 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: 210-320 EUR (depending on folding technique and buckle choice, VAT & shipping charges may vary depending on destination)

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Below a few more images of the Roger Blue LE strap