Real alligator strap vs embossed cow leather - functional/durable comparison
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  1. #1
    Member Drucifer's Avatar
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    Real alligator strap vs embossed cow leather - functional/durable comparison

    Based on my search, this topic has been done here before but the threads seem to get off topic before there’s much of an answer or consensus.

    I’m only interested in the functional difference between authentic alligator straps and their much cheaper embossed leather counterparts. Will gator last longer? Is it more wear or water resistant? What are the actual useful benefits of real gator? Etc.

    Or or is it just a pricey luxury strap material that feels better and looks better (arguably I’m sure)?

  2. #2
    Member Heljestrand's Avatar
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    There is a thread on the site where a member rated his Top Ten Alligator straps ever but sadly it is now missing his wonderful photos because of photobucket or whatever he used. Maybe the text from that thread might be helpful. He has owned some incredible ones.
    Personally I have only owned one Hirsch faux Gator embossed and one IWC genuine alligator to compare. The difference is extraordinary. I only seek out top quality leather (Santoni, Casa Fagliano et al) and or the IWC Alligator from now on. The comfort and wearability is the deciding factor. I will see how worn out they get over time.
    I am almost as equally happy to wear my watch on a quality NATO as well though so that gives me the yin yang effect.
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  3. #3
    Member Heljestrand's Avatar
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    I believe this is that thread that I referenced....https://forums.watchuseek.com/f20/top.../topics/719451
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    MIKE



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  5. #4
    Member Drucifer's Avatar
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    Re: Real alligator strap vs embossed cow leather - functional/durable comparison

    Interesting. I’m debating between a Hirsch embossed leather and a Hirsch real alligator. So, though your IWC is not a Hirsch, you find the alligator to be more comfortable and wearable. Is the gator more flexible on your wrist? Or breathable? What makes it more comfortable?

    At 5x the price of the embossed ($45 vs $255), I’m really trying to decide if the alligator is worth it.

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    Member Heljestrand's Avatar
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    The IWC Alligator feels “natural” and it wears like a legitimate luxury product that you would expect. I highly considered a Hirsch Viscount which is one of their top line genuine Alligator straps but I found the IWC first at less than half the price of the Viscount. See if that thread helps also.
    From what I recall the OP really liked some custom ones and one was lined in a beautiful red leather. I would also pay close attention to the quality of the lining as well as the outside appearance.
    I only have one watch so I splurge on straps and gild the lily.
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    MIKE



  7. #6
    Member frogger17's Avatar
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    Re: Real alligator strap vs embossed cow leather - functional/durable comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Heljestrand View Post
    I would also pay close attention to the quality of the lining as well as the outside appearance.
    To me, this has more to do with comfort than the top leather.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heljestrand View Post
    I only have one watch so I splurge on straps and gild the lily.
    It seems like you don’t really need another.
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    Member Barry H's Avatar
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    Re: Real alligator strap vs embossed cow leather - functional/durable comparison

    Only you can know whether it's worth it. Straps are a consumable item and I, for one, am reluctant to spend >£50 on a strap. The difference between a nice embossed (ie Hirsch) and the genuine article is usually obvious side by side, though not always. If it's a black strap, I'll wager you wouldn't be able to tell. A Hirsch embossed (ie Duke or Grand Duke) are well made, look good and do the job. In my experience real croc/gator doesn't last any longer than embossed calf.
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  9. #8
    Member Heljestrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry H View Post
    Only you can know whether it's worth it. Straps are a consumable item and I, for one, am reluctant to spend >£50 on a strap. The difference between a nice embossed (ie Hirsch) and the genuine article is usually obvious side by side, though not always. If it's a black strap, I'll wager you wouldn't be able to tell. A Hirsch embossed (ie Duke or Grand Duke) are well made, look good and do the job. In my experience real croc/gator doesn't last any longer than embossed calf.
    I will agree the Hirsch Duke is an excellent value strap indeed!
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    MIKE



  10. #9
    Member Heljestrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frogger17 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Heljestrand View Post
    I would also pay close attention to the quality of the lining as well as the outside appearance.
    To me, this has more to do with comfort than the top leather.


    Quote Originally Posted by Heljestrand View Post
    I only have one watch so I splurge on straps and gild the lily.
    It seems like you don’t really need another. [IMG class=inlineimg]https://forums.watchuseek.com/images/smilies/icon_good.gif[/IMG]
    Nope, after flipping 40 plus watches in 3 years I go one at a time now and my current one really hits the mark for me. Strap changes help keep it fresh.
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    MIKE



  11. #10
    Member Drucifer's Avatar
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    Re: Real alligator strap vs embossed cow leather - functional/durable comparison

    I may just do the Duke...

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