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  1. #1
    Member Renisin's Avatar
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    exotic watch straps

    I ordered my M.O. back in November and just received it on the 23rd of Feb. I ordered it with three croco straps and was told that they would have to be delivered by another carrier service because fedex will not deliver them. Has anyone had trouble getting their straps and how could I have avoided this from the start. I love my watch but this seems a poor way of doing business. I had planned on ordering many more Stowa watches especially after receiving my M.O. but am concerned. I guess if I do order another watch it will have to be with a standard watch strap! I can always order an exotic strap here in the States.

  2. #2
    Member persco's Avatar
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    Both the European Union and the U.S. have very strict import/export rules regarding animal products. It's not a Stowa problem, but has more to do with the rules around exporting exotic animal skin out of the EU. Lots of sellers you can get croc or gator or ostrich straps from: try freda watch straps for one. U.S. based seller.

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  3. #3
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Renisin View Post
    Has anyone had trouble getting their straps and how could I have avoided this from the start. I love my watch but this seems a poor way of doing business.
    It is not a poor way of doing business.

    How could you have avoided this from the start? Well, reading WUS and asking here before ordering would have been one option. Member Aquaracer1 posted that croc straps are red flagged. Not the only thread here on WUS dealing with this issue if I remember correctly.
    Asking customs would have been another option. CITES is commonly known (Welcome to CITES).
    US customs would have told you about the CITES provisions regarding the import of a croc strap.

    Buy a Hirsch and you will have no problem. All Hirsch Artisanal straps comply with the provisions of the Washington Agreement, will say that these leathers come from controlled stocks and are purchased and sold with a certificate.

    Last edited by stuffler,mike; February 25th, 2011 at 12:35.
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  5. #4
    Member Lencoth's Avatar
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    Quote Originally Posted by stuffler,mike View Post
    Buy a Hirsch and you will have no problem. All Hirsch Artisanal straps comply with the provisions of the Washington Agreement, will say that these leathers come from controlled stocks and are purchased and sold with a certificate.
    If I read you correctly you're saying that Stowa croc straps do not comply with the Washington Agreement, do not come from controlled stocks and do not have a CITES certificate?

  6. #5
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    Stowa complies with CITES, but it takes time - and money - to get the straps verified, get the necessary permit to ship the strap, etc. I had a chance to sell a watch to a guy in Canada recently. The strap was an OEM croc strap, but the guy was concerned that it would get seized at Customs. So I looked into CITES. It would have cost me something like $250 just to get started in the CITES process. I wasn't willing to take that much of a loss, and the buyer wasn't willing to pay for the CITES process.

    When I inquired about ordering a Stowa Chrono with an antique strap, I was warned up front by Viveca that the CITES process would take a while, and the strap would have to be shipped separately from the watch as FedEX wouldn't ship the strap. Probably another layer of CITES to have to deal with.

  7. #6
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    Here's another thought: Why would anyone order a strap made from crocodile, when crocodiles are a severely endangered animal and we live in the United States where we have alligators, a species that is thriving? Order an alligator strap here in the U.S. In fact, the alligator farming program in Louisiana is not only responsible for preserving the alligator species, it has actually led to an increase in the species. I say this as someone who does not live in Louisiana and has no connection personal, financial or otherwise to the gator industry. But the American alligator is one of the great success stories in preservation.

  8. #7
    Member Lencoth's Avatar
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    Quote Originally Posted by carman63 View Post
    Stowa complies with CITES
    Thanks, that's what I expected. But I'm puzzled by Mike's post (or by my reading of it).

  9. #8
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    Quote Originally Posted by Lencoth View Post
    If I read you correctly you're saying that Stowa croc straps do not comply with the Washington Agreement, do not come from controlled stocks and do not have a CITES certificate?
    I didn't say anything like that. What I tried to explain with too much words obviously would in a nutshell be:
    Do your homework before ordering a croc strap from abroad.
    Kind regards
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  10. #9
    Member Lencoth's Avatar
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    Quote Originally Posted by stuffler,mike View Post
    I didn't say anything like that. What I tried to explain with too much words obviously would in a nutshell be:
    Do your homework before ordering a croc strap from abroad.
    Then I misread your post. Thanks for explaining!

  11. #10
    Member Renisin's Avatar
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    Re: exotic watch straps

    The croco straps being offered by Stowa are of U.S. origin, they are Louisiana Alligator and not crocodile! Furthur more the American Alligator is more desirable because of its smooth plates instead of dimples found in caimen alligator or crocodile.

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