Evening fellow watch enthusiasts,
If you're like me, then you find straps and accessories as an easy and affordable method to add flavor and spice to your watch rotation. I'm quite happy with my modest collection but even so, still find days of....wanting? Yes, wanting is quite an appropriate word. Rather than go and change an entire collection just to be stuck with several watches bought on impulse and missing a few that I might have given up; I often switch to a different strap. I like the quality of my straps to match the quality of watch I wear. This isn't to say I cannot rely on a good NATO or some such, but I like them to be built well.
Okay, boring introduction complete, on to the review! Crown & Buckle - I'm sure most people on this forum have heard of them and I'm probably not really saying anything new on here. Given that many of my NATO's and a few other straps are from them, I can say I've tasted a little bit of everything they have to offer. So when I clicked over to browse updates in their collections after a well-timed email announcing the release of their Black Label collection, I almost stuck my credit card in the freezer inside a gallon of water immediately. That didn't work. Several minutes later and after another beer (my mouth was dry from sitting there drooling on my keyboard), I extracted my credit card from the vessel of water in the freezer - thank god it hadn't froze yet - dried off both my arm and my keyboard and then started dutifully punching in numbers. After a staggering sum of money was extracted from my bank account with the click of a mouse button I sat there thinking, "I hope I didn't mess up...I mean, they make great stuff. But website photo's hardly ever reflect the real product your purchasing."
Boy was I wrong. I ordered on the 6th. Today, as I write this its the 14th. Less than 10 days later. My package actually arrived yesterday, the 13th. This isn't very shocking except for the fact I live in South Korea. What I received in the mail can simply be described as artwork. I ordered the Ardal (x4) watch roll and a Oberon 20MM strap with a brushed buckle. I was expecting nice. I wasn't expecting how pleased I would be when I actually took delivery. Everything was beautifully packaged and shipped neatly with the C&B wax stamp label (applied with adhesive so as not to damage the product beneath the tissue paper).
The Ardal roll is beautifully cut full grain (maybe top grain?) leather that is supple and similar to what one would find with a high-end leather piece of clothing - not scrap leather -. It is machine stitched to a suede lining that is so amazing its almost a shame to put a watch inside of it. Carefully wound with a leather strop and wooden toggle it makes the perfect watch travel companion, easily being tossed into a weekend bag. This roll is probably as much fun to admire and play with as my watches.
The strap is equally amazing. I will be purchasing several more types. The particular one I got this time was the Oberon. A "toasted leather", it is cut, tapered and crafted with care and diligence. I know its not terribly hard to work with leather but all the same, whoever constructed this was very knowledgeable and skillful at their trade. The strap was everything I expected and more.
Roll up - Haha, get it?? okay seriously - The prices are serious. I paid all told 230 for the combo. But it was well worth it. If your looking for a great watch roll and a new strap to splurge on, don't doubt yourself. The pictures do not lie and Crown and Buckle has proven to me again, that their worth my money. Thanks for reading.