OK I promise that this is the last posting on straps (for this month anyway). This is a strap that I have been waiting for. This is the Tropical racing strap as sold by 10watches. The straps, available at 20 mm and 22 mm retails for USD15 worldwide shipping included.
For more information:
Now on to the strap. I have both straps, the 20 mm and 22 mm. Both straps are made of rubber or silicon, I am not sure. Both the straps have the same length, 82.5 mm on the buckle side (buckle not included) and 124 mm on the other side. The straps also share the same thickness. It is 4.5 mm at the lug attachment point and 4 mm on the buckle attachment point. On the other side, it is also 4.5 mm at the lug point and 3.5 mm at the tip. The tip is pointed.
On the 22 mm, the lug point is 22 mm and tapers down to 20 mm near the tip. The 20 mm tapers down to 18 mm. The strap comes with 2 strap keeper.
Both the straps share the same design, the race strap design. The strap has 3 holes on both sides of the strap. The holes gets smaller as it moves away from the lug attachment point, with the largest hole nearest to the lug point. The sides of the holes are raised to the same level as the sides as the center of the straps are decorated with vertical lines (horizontal if you like). The same for the buckle tang holes.
The back of the strap has venting lines that are diagonal to the side. The racing holes are reinforced but the buckle tang holes are not.
From the photographs, you can see that the strap like the Tropic that I reviewed earlier, picks up dust and lint easily. I figure this has to do with the material used. A quick rinse under running water solves the problem. The strap however lacks the vanilla smell of the Tropic strap. In fact the strap smells like any household eraser. Please note that in some photographs you will see water on the strap.
The finish and the quality of the strap is top notch for the price. There are perhaps some issue with the mold used to manufacture the straps as there are some bits of leftover rubber as can be seen in the photograph below. You can see some extra rubber in the racing hole. This is also evident on the strap keeper.
On to the buckle. It is thick and large. The buckle is matte and has vertical brushing. The buckle itself is 2.5 mm thick and the thickness is consistent all around. The notch for the tang is good and deep to ensure proper sitting of the tang.
However I did note that one the ends of the 20 mm strap, the buckle has some deformations. The buckle of the 22 mm was great, the finish superb. Overall, I think the buckle is great and gives the user confidence that it will last a long time and will hold the watch in place. I am sure the minor issue with the 20 mm buckle is a once off problem.
I currently have the strap mounted on my RT. I feel that this is more appropriate as compared having the Tropic installed on it. The Tropic is currently mounted on my Zeno-USA 'Explorer' watch. I was planning to have the 22 mm strap installed on the Longines Legend Diver but decided against it.
Overall I am happy with the strap. It is thick and well made. It does give you confidence to use the strap on your expensive watches as it is strong and robust. It is very comfortable. I am glad that 10watches chose to fit it with thick buckles as anything less would have destroyed the look of the strap. It does have some quality and finishing issues but I am sure the people at 10 watches are looking into it.