My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest
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Thread: My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

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  1. #1
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    My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

    I have been searching for a good quality alligator strap and since I am impatient I have been trying to find one pre-made.

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    (Di-Modell on top RIOS on the bottom)

    First I tried a "Panatime" branded RIOS which is supposedly part of their "Art Manue"l line. The Art Manuel line uses hand stitching, something that no other major manufacturer does for non-custom straps (with the possible exception of Kaufmann...but I can't find where to buy one). The stitching was fine but the alligator skin was dry and cracking in one area, also the wax edging was badly applied. The black edging can be seen on the face of the band and strap loops. I have an "Art Manuel" branded shell cordovan strap and while it uses the same saddle stitch the wax edging is applied much more cleanly, so maybe I got a bad one.

    Second I tried a Di-Modell strap. Decent machine stitch. I was more on the fence about this one as I liked the color a bit better, no cracking issues and while this strap uses a choice cut, there were scars in the skin, like you might see from barbed wire in calf skin. Since the scars were in a conspicuous area, it was a no go. Also this strap is almost completely flat with very light padding. Interestingly, these straps use folded edges instead of the more common waxed edges. On wallets I always prefer waxed edges but on a watch strap, I think the folded edges are almost nicer...at the very least it is well done on this strap.

    Anyways, I have put in an order for a standard (non-custom) ABP strap. May take a few weeks to get but hopefully it will be satisfactory...otherwise I may need to go custom.
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  2. #2
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

    You have to have patience when buying an ABP strap, but the wait is worth it, IMHO. Very high quality and great craftsmanship.

    Good luck.
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  3. #3
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    Re: My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

    My ABP strap came today and it's a keeper. The quality is pretty good. I also like that I was able to get the shorter length. The hide is good quality. There is a scar near the buckle but it's not visible when the watch is on. The stitching is even and carefully done. I do definitely wish the machine left a smaller needle hole. The wax edging is well done. The padding is pretty light though that may be because I got the shorter strap.

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    I do not like that the lining doesn't say where it's made nor what it is made of. If this is an alligator pattern on calfskin I would be really impressed and I have seen a number of good ones.

    Dispatch from ABP took a few days but it shipped on the 11th and I have it today on the 13th. Out of the three I tried this one is definitely the best and it's priced pretty much the same at around $150.

    I think in the future though I am going to go the custom route. It is double the price but hand stitching makes a big difference, especially on a light colored band.

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  5. #4
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    Re: My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

    Well after wearing the ABP for a while the crapping looking stitching got to me.

    I saw a proper RIOS1931 Art manual strap from Panatime with a crocodile lining and thanks to Memorial Day it only cost around $160 down from the sale price of $220. You can see the stitching is much nicer than the thin machine stitched ABP.

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  6. #5
    Sponsor Panatime's Avatar
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    Re: My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

    Good Stuff! Happy you got this all straightened out.

    But... Can you send us some pics of the other you bought? Should not have cracked so easily....


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  7. #6
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    Re: My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

    I returned the IWC style RIOS for Panatime so I don't have more pictures unfortunately. The strap was just dry in one area but that wasn't the reason I returned it. The construction seemed sloppier than than the other 4 RIOS Art manual straps I have. Who ever did the wax edging didn't do a good job. If I recall correctly it didn't say "art manual" on the lining either so perhaps it was mislabeled on the website.

  8. #7
    Sponsor Panatime's Avatar
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    Re: My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

    Quote Originally Posted by Rivarama View Post
    I returned the IWC style RIOS for Panatime so I don't have more pictures unfortunately. The strap was just dry in one area but that wasn't the reason I returned it. The construction seemed sloppier than than the other 4 RIOS Art manual straps I have. Who ever did the wax edging didn't do a good job. If I recall correctly it didn't say "art manual" on the lining either so perhaps it was mislabeled on the website.
    Must have been.... As long as you we're taken care of by the shop, I'm happy....


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  9. #8
    Member ZIPPER79's Avatar
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    Re: My Off The Rack Alligator Strap Quest

    Seems to me that you could have opted for a custom strap with all the money you spent finding the RIGHT reptile strap. There are way too many strap makers out there that are excellent to work with.....Better luck next time.

    Didn't Maud live in Tuckahoe, N. Y?????


    Quote Originally Posted by Panatime View Post
    Must have been.... As long as you we're taken care of by the shop, I'm happy....
    Karkarov likes this.
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