Strapatelier has launched its new bespoke strap programme, and kindly allowed me to test-drive one. The brand also sent over some of its newer handcrafted straps for me to review. Let’s dive into them.
Strapatelier Bespoke and Handcrafted Straps – Video Review
For those interested in viewing some hands-on footage of the straps, do check out my Youtube review below:
Strapatelier – the Brand
Strapatelier Bespoke Strap – Review
At this time of writing, Strapatelier offers its bespoke straps in four different materials – Cowhide, Crazy Horse Leather, Horween Chromexcel, and Horween Dublin. I decided to go with the latter for my bespoke order.
The Horween Dublin is a vegetable-tanned cordovan leather by Horween, with a richer blend of oils and wax as compared to the usual Horween Chromexcel leather. As a result, Horween Dublin straps patinas more beautifully, and the natural grains of the leather are also more evident. It also has a very smooth surface that feels premium to the touch, though with an overall rugged look. And as always, the craftmanship (stitching, burnishing, edge buffing, etc) is top-notch.
The lining of the strap is also crafted from Horween Dublin leather, and is comfortable on the wrist. As this is a bespoke commission, there were several elements that I could tinker with. For one, I could go with a larger lug width of 24mm, which Strapatelier doesn’t accommodate in its regular handcrafted line. I could also choose my lug type, my stitching preference, the buckle shape, and even the taper of the strap.
Perhaps the best aspect of Strapatelier’s Bespoke strap options is the price. At $110 (after the promo code below), the bespoke offering is only slightly pricier than the brand’s regular Horween offerings, which go for $92 (after the promo code below). Yet, one gets much more customisation options and freedom, making it a no-brainer. The only downside is the rather long lead time of 4-8 weeks. Still, if you’re willing to wait, then Strapatelier’s bespoke Horween strap is probably the most affordable custom option in the local market.
Strapatelier Tochigi “Jeans” Strap – Review
The brand also sent over some of its newer handcrafted straps – let’s take a closer look.
The first is the Tochigi “Jeans” Leather Strap – I paired the green variant with my Longines Heritage 1945. For the uninitiated, Tochigi is a Japanese tannery that uses only natural vegetable tannin. Its leather is often used to make the hip labels of jeans, therefore earning it the monicker of “Jeans” leather.
The result is an all-natural strap that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also incredibly durable. The natural grains of the leather really shine through, giving the strap a quality feel. I like how the stitching is in green as well, which complements the strap nicely.
The lining of the strap is made from cowhide (Chanin Tannery), which is comfortable on the wrist. As always, the straps are equipped with quick-release pins for easy swappability.
On the wrist, the Tochigi “Jeans” Leather Strap is slim, with a supple feel. Together with its rustic aesthetic, this makes it perfect for vintage or vintage-inspired watches, such as my Longines Heritage 1945. And at just $75 (after the promo code below), the strap is great value for money as well.
Strapatelier Saffiano Leather Strap – Review
Last but not least, Strapatelier also sent over a pair of its saffiano leather straps.
Interestingly, Strapatelier offers its Saffiano leather straps in two configurations – padded for bulkier watches, and slim for dressier watches. I paired the Dark Grey Saffiano Padded leather strap (pictured above) on my Tudor Black Bay 58 Silver, and the Yellow Saffiano Slim Leather Strap (pictured below) on my Eoniq dress watch.
For those uninitiated, Saffiano leather is a type of leather that is made popular by Prada. Known for its cross-hatch texture, Saffiano leather is beloved for its scratch and stain-resisting properties, making it great for everyday tool watches such as the Tudor Black Bay 58 Silver.
Made from full-grain leather, Strapatelier’s Saffiano leather feels high-quality and premium, with the signature cross-hatch embossing evident. Like the other straps, the stitching and edge coat are done by hand, giving the handcrafted straps its artisanal touch. I particularly like the saddle stitching, which gives the straps more visual interest.
Like the Tochigi strap, the lining on the Saffiano leather straps are made from cowhide, and feature quick-release pins for increased convenience.
Between the two, I prefer the slim version of the Saffiano leather straps. It feels more supple and premium, and is also more comfortable on the wrist. In contrast, the padded variant feels a tad stiff and requires some break-in time. Furthermore, the padded version is slightly glossy, while the slim variant is matte (which appeals more to me). However, what I do like on both straps is the complementing stitch colour, which is a nice touch.
I should also highlight that there are a variety of different colours available, including more vibrant colours such as yellow, orange, red, as well as the usual suspects like black, blue, brown, grey, etc. Those looking for more colourful options will certainly be spoiled for choice here.
At $83 (after the promo code below), Strapatelier’s Saffiano leather straps are bang-for-buck, making them great options to “zhng” your watches. In fact, I genuinely don’t think you can find handcrafted Saffiano leather straps for cheaper, at least in the local market.
Conclusion – so Strapatelier’s Bespoke and Handcrafted Straps “shiok” or not?
Definitely shiok. The greatest strength of Strapatelier has always been its value proposition, and that remains true. It’s quite mindboggling that a bespoke Horween leather strap only costs S$110, when most places would charge S$200+. Even its handcrafted straps cost only ~S$70/80+, making them even more affordable than off-the-rack Hirsch options. The craftsmanship is great for the price too, and I genuinely have nothing to pick on, except for the relatively long lead time for the bespoke strap option.
For those interested in any of Strapatelier’s offerings, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all products store-wide. After the discount, the bespoke Horween straps would cost S$110, the Tochigi straps a mere S$75, and the Saffiano leather straps just S$83. With such affordable prices, it’s unsurprising that Strapatelier has garnered quite a cult following for its handcrafted straps, prompting the team to open up a cosy physical space in Senang Crescent (near Bedok/Chai Chee area). If you’re in the area, I suggest heading down to feel the quality of the straps for yourself. And yes – the promo code is applicable in-store too.
Strapatelier’s store location:
45 senang crescent #03-11, S416613.
Weekdays – Appointment basis
Weekends – 10am to 5pm
P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.
P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.