Saturday, August 07, 2010

A secondary collection

One of the joys (or not) of collecting Panerai watches is the secondary and tertiary collection that you end up with. What you ask is the secondary and tertiary collection you? Well the strap is the secondary and the buckle is the third. I am guilty of having a secondary strap collection. I don't have the third (yet).

Most of my straps are from the following brands (I have yet to 'graduate' to those specialist straps made by enthusiasts and others) Morellato, Banda, Louis Rine and local brands (made in Taiwan, China etc). You can see the straps below. 

The straps. These are for the Luminor Marina, so the straps have a 24 mm width. 

These are for the Radiomir, so they are 26 mm wide.

These are the original straps. The one on the left is for the Luminor and the right for the Radiomir.

First a bit about how I use my straps. I do not use the original straps that come with the watches. I usually change the strap to a 'local' strap. This applies to the buckle as well. Even if I use the original strap, the original buckle is not used. For example the buckle on the original strap for the Radiomir is not original. This does not apply to the Luminor strap as the buckle is the type that is sewn into the strap. That is the reason why some of the straps above do not have buckles.

Anyway I picked this strap the other day at one of my local hunts here in Taiwan. I got it pretty cheap. I was told by the shop that the strap is original Panerai but the buckle is not. I suspect that the strap may not be original because of the price.

The strap is of the de-stressed type or finish. I like it. The strap measures 75 mm on the buckle side and 125 mm on the other. It is 26 mm wide, so it is fitted on the Radiomir.

The strap has white stitching and makes me like it a lot. It is very soft and supple. The strap is very comfortable when worn.

The de-stressed finish. It looks like it has been around for a long time.

It has all the 'necessary' Panerai markings. Maybe it is original. It is marked 'Officine Panerai' and "Italy'.

The Panerai logo at the tip of the strap.

On the buckle side, it is signed 'Officine Panerai' and 'cucito a mano' or hand stitched or hand made? Near the buckle, there is the legend 'COH'. Original or not, I like it.

Two strap keeper, one fixed and the other floating.

Now on to the buckle. The buckle is not original. The buckle is made by WotanCraft Atelier. This company is based in Taiwan and the owner/ maker (he also makes straps) is a Panerai collector. The buckle you see here is based on the Pre-Vendome design buckle. Etched on the buckle is the 1950 Flottiglia X M.A.S. Special Forces marking.

The buckle is made from 316L stainless steel and is highly polished. It is held in place by a screw. The buckle is well made. On the back of the buckle, you find his signature and the material used to make the buckle.

I find the strap and buckle combination nice. It is comfortable and the de-stressed leather gives it a worn-in feel. 

For more information about WotanCraft:

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