To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

Thread: To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

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  1. #1
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    To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

    Hi, I'm currently researching to get a custom strap for my Zenith Chronomaster XXT Open Grande Date. Here's a pic of the watch:



    I'd like something I can use with my Zenith deployant:



    Here are some specific questions, and then I'll post some pics of the strapmakers/skins I've found so far:

    1) Should I get my strap padded, and if so, how much? I'd like something that's a bit more classic/dressy rather than sporty. Does anyone know whether the stock Zenith Chronomaster straps are padded?

    2) If possible, should I get a strap that curves by the lugs? The stock strap that came with my watch extends all the way to the sides of the case. I want something instead that I can pull straight down and that doesn't flair out. But it looks like some of the strapmakers can do curved ends that still have some gap so you can pull the strap straight down. Thoughts?

    3) Some of the strapmakers offer exotic linings, like eel skin. Do you recommend something like that? I don't care too much about what's on the inside of the strap, I'd just like it to be comfortable and deal well with sweat. Are these exotic linings just to be fancy or are they actually functional?



    My search so far with pics:

    I'm looking for a real gator strap and was initially was thinking of getting something with an antiqued look, similar to a Santoni strap and these other ones I found online:



    I then thought that something a bit simpler might be better that doesn't take too much attention away from the watch. I still want to go with a "special tanning", but I'm thinking I'll pass on the hand antiqued look. I was first thinking of something in a lighter Honey color, but I've been enjoying a Mocha strap on the watch currently, so now I'm thinking about a darker brown. Here's the Mocha currently on the watch:



    That is a Rios1931 strap...while it's nice, I'd like to go with a real gator instead, and maybe something that isn't so matte. I initially was hoping to spend around $200 or less, but after some research it looks like I may extend the budget a bit.

    Here are the different skins and strapmakers I like from my research so far:

    One that looks amazing is dangerous9...this Tourbe Brun looks really nice:



    The dangerous9 quality looks amazing, although I'm a bit concerned about cost and how long it would take to make.

    I found a similar looking skin called Corteccia at workshop Thibot in Paris:



    Then there's also ABP in Paris...it's difficult to figure out colors on their site...this may be the sort of place you really want to visit in person to have a strap made, which is understandable. Here's a nice looking somewhat similar skin I think:



    If I'm not mistaken, that strap MIGHT be made in the special tanning material they call "S3":



    But I'm worried about ABP because it's tough to tell what color you will actually end up with, although I'm sure it would be high quality.

    Anyway, that's where I am so far...any thoughts or advice certainly welcome! I'm excited to show pics of the final strap on the watch when I finish this whole process!

  2. #2
    Member CastorTroy3's Avatar
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    Re: To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

    Well I can say that the D9 is worth the wait. If I wear you I'd buy the Rios and wait the 3 months for the D9. As for your questions:

    1. I like padding but it generally is less dressy to me. You could do tapered padding which is the comfortable medium.

    2. lugs are a complete waist of time unless your dealing with the top tier strap makers. Most just bend the spring bars which does nothing. The best strap makers build a curved end strap specific to the length between the holes onthe lugs to the head. And the you jam the strap on with curved spring bars and very quickly the strap bends and molds to the head. D9 is the only one I have that has got this right. Cheaper customs either don't close the gap or the strap was just unable to connect to the lugs.

    3. The premium lining adds comfort protection and appeal. The contrast at the tip and ends adds to the strap.

    heres my D9 with curved ends and red Kangaroo lining.

    Name:  image.jpeg
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    You our can see how the strap hugs the head.

    The Breitling attached has curved end spring bars. You can see the gap between the strap and the head.

    For what it's worth, I love the antiqued look and think it fits with the zenith. I don't have one yet but will eventually.
    Attached Images Attached Images




  3. #3
    Member Pallet Spoon's Avatar
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    Re: To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

    First, I love the strap in the first pic. The fitted strap looks spectacular with this particular watch. I also like tapered padding, It just so happens I have a Honey croc on my Rolex made by Mr HanZ.





    I also have a D9 strap ... a padded stingray with a custom orange lizard backing ...





    ... and no, I am not suggesting this for your watch. Just want to say they are expensive, the quality is top drawer, and they are worth the wait. Working with John is a lot of fun. I think he could provide a nice build with curved lugs ... you would have to take a lot of measurements. I would suggest sending him the strap you have.

    Let me say, ABP is a nightmare to communicate with. Do a search here ... there are a few threads ... one here in the strap forum in particular.

    I have one last candidate for you. Her work really is on a par with John's. Last I checked, her pricing and wait times were similar too. She is the only one that springs to mind that is REALLY good at building a custom curved lug strap. I would suggest sending her the old strap ... and maybe the watch if you want a perfect fit (and it will be). She is stateside unlike John who is in Germany. Dial up Jeanna at Stone Creek Straps:

    Stone Creek Straps - Home

    She built me this tan Elephant:

    Last edited by Pallet Spoon; August 30th, 2016 at 06:43.

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  5. #4
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

    dangerous9 quality looks amazing, although I'm a bit concerned about cost and how long it would take to make.
    Worth it, worth it, worth it.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
    Albert Einstein

  6. #5
    Member CastorTroy3's Avatar
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    Re: To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

    I need to try out stone creeks. They look super tight.

  7. #6
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    Re: To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

    Thanks for all the pics/info/suggestions. I decided to go with Thibot this time...his communication was excellent through email and he quoted a week to complete the strap. I got an email saying it will ship out tomorrow! I'll be sure to post pics when it arrives.

  8. #7
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    Re: To pad or not to pad, and other custom strap advice questions for my Zenith!

    Strap arrived! I posted pics and some quick thoughts in this thread: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/ne...s-3591218.html

    Thanks again for the help.

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