Italian Made Watch Straps With Personalities
Like most consumers with a conscious for value, I too like to get the most out of my money. Today’s post is not about watches, but rather the straps that compliment them. For those of you who follow my Instagram feed @mrgrandseiko, you may notice that I love dressing my watches with a variety of leather straps. Similar to how one wears a pair of leather shoes with a suit, or a pair of Australian R. M. Williams with denim, there’s something so elegant about watches on leather. In the last couple of years, I have fallen in love with one particular brand for two main reasons; what their brand represents and the genuine passion for their craft. I’m talking about a family owned business based in Rome, Italy, known as Colareb.
One click on the Colareb ‘About Us’ page provides an insight on who they are as a brand. They reference other Italian icons such as Da Vinci and Michelangelo, by stating that just like these artists, they too view what they do as art rather than a job. And damn do they do it well. But what I appreciate most of all about the brand, is how proud they are of their products being made in Italy. When a company such as Colareb states that their product is made at home, it sends a clear signal to potential buyers that their straps represent everything that Italian leather craftsmen are well known for. In addition, the 21st century is a period of fast paced and let us be honest, wasteful consumerism, with so many factories set up around the world that just keep on manufacturing. Yes, I do realise that sometimes machines can be more accurate than human hands, but there is something far more intimate knowing that you own an object made by people.
Colareb have a range of straps to choose from with offerings that should be able to meet everyone’s taste. Yes, everyone. Recently, Colareb has added a new vegan collection to their line-up which includes straps made of wooden materials and those resembling suede. However, this article isn’t going to cover the entire line-up, but instead, focus on three of my favourite models.
In terms of the materials used, the majority of the straps are made of bovine leather (cowhide leather) except the Matera collection which is made of sheepskin, and finally, the ostrich straps which as the name suggests, is one hundred percent ostritch grain leather. A nice personal touch to this is that these pieces are not mass produced and so therefore, every piece is unique.
My Personal Choices
The Matera Collection
As previously mentioned, this collection is made from sheepskin and comes in a variety of colour options which include red, blue, brown and grey. These are tapered down by 2 mm to the buckle and include lug options of 18 mm, 20 mm and 22 mm. The Matera is currently listed at 54 €. My favourite is the grey version and I love pairing it with dark dials such as blue and black. It also works well with lighter dials.
The Roma Collection
The Roma straps are made of bovine leather and have a real thickness to them that would please anyone with leather fetish. They come in a variety of colours with a touch of ‘worn and loved’ effects on the surface. Customers can choose from black, blue, brown, mud, mustard and red. I personally adore this line up as they easily pair with any dial variant. Please note that these are a bit dearer than the other straps but are absolutely worth the money. There are two lug options for the Roma line which include 20 mm and 22 mm, with 2 mm tapering down to the buckle. Colareb are currently listing these at 61 €.
The Spoleto Stitching Collection
I’m a huge fan of suede and in a way, glad that Colareb are not offering so many colour options or I will be broke collecting the set. The Spoleto Stitching collection consists of two colour options which include brown and swamp, the latter being my favourite. Overall, I dare say that this model is probably my favourite, as they are gorgeous and well tapered. The 18 mm strap tapers down to 16 mm at the buckle, while the 20 mm and 22 mm taper down by 4 mm (which I wished they did with the other straps). These look outstanding on most models that I have paired them with and dare I say, quite ‘sexy’ on dark blue or black dials. In addition, consider pairing it on a white dial to bring back the subtleness. The Spoleto Stitching collection are currently listed on the Colareb site for 35 €, making the line up the most affordable, so you might as well buy both colours!