Wanted to write a quick review/field report of my favorite strap vendor, Cang at ZICZAC Leather. My wife and I are back in Vietnam visiting her family, so I had the opportunity to visit ZICZAC's shop in Saigon yesterday to pick up my most recent order in person.
Some of you may already be familiar with ZICZAC's straps, but if not, they're a leather shop in Vietnam making hand-stitched, custom watch straps in a variety of leathers for much less than you average, run of the mill factory-made strap would cost from the big brands.
I've ordered from Cang before and had the straps shipped to me (which takes 3-5 weeks on average). I've always been blown away by the quality of his shop's work. They get everything right down to the very last minute detail, and are able to make just about anything you can dream up. Want a classic black croc leather strap with contrasting stitching? They'll make it in whatever length and leather finish (matte/semi-gloss/shiny/etc) you desire. Want something crazy like a shiny silver python strap with neon yellow stitching and neon yellow calf leather lining? Well, if you actually want to wear something like that, they would be happy to make it for you as well. And if you're not satisfied with your strap for some reason, they'll be sure to make it right. The stitching on their straps and overall leather quality is better than anything I've seen in the sub-$200 category. Far and away better than anything from B&R and Hirsch, which were the primary brands I ordered from prior to ZicZac.
It was a great experience to see the shop in person and take a peek behind the scenes at their workstation. Below are a few pictures of the shop and some examples of their straps. I'll continue to order from them in the future, and would highly recommend them to the WUS community.
Here's the storefront. They're located in Tan Binh district, pretty close to the Saigon city center and about a 30 minute motorbike ride from my wife's family's house:
Here's some leather ready to be made into straps/wallets/bags/etc. The bottom rolls are French Epsom leather in every color of the rainbow, while the top rolls are Croc back/tail.
Here's the workstation where all of the measuring, cutting, stitching, and punching is carried out by hand:
Their current stock display case. These straps are listed on their website, but they can make anything you want via custom order in a week or two if you can't find something in the size/color you want in their current stock.
Croc straps in a variety of colors. Not much of a croc person myself, but their prices are among the best I've seen for genuine croc:
Nice ostrich leg straps. I have one of their ostrich leg straps from a prior order and can attest to it being one of the most durable leathers I've ever owned:
And the straps from my most recent order that I just picked up: Epsom leather in brown, black, and navy blue with matching stitching on each. Cut to 110/70mm to fit my tiny 6.5-6.75" wrists and with water-resistant leather linings. Have yet to put them on my watches (these 18/16mm straps are for my vintage Seikos, which stayed at home for this trip), but if these are anything like my other straps for Ziczac, I'm sure they'll be very comfortable and long-lasting.
If you're looking for a reasonably-priced custom strap that punches way above its price point, look no further than Ziczac. While the shipping can take a while if you're ordering from abroad, the quality is absolutely worth the wait.