Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?
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  1. #1
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    Question Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    I have seen some nice blue leather straps on Stowas here; am looking for a good sampling of advice on a new blue leather strap for my Stowa MO; and hope the community at large can provide some good suggestions for me to research.

    The watch is a Stowa Marine Original, Arabic, with a 41mm polished case.
    Because the case is polished, I prefer the strap be more formal than "sporty"; elegant and discreet but still lively, not black.
    The current strap is a Stowa "Croco", light brown/cognac/tan in color.

    These are my criteria so far:
    1) Leather only (no Perlon or NATO, etc.); 100% genuine alligator or crocodile skin (NOT embossed calfskin), or perhaps some other elegant skin.
    2) A blue color which works very well with the MO flame-blued hands; that is not so dark as to seem black, and definitely not so light as a Baby Blue or even Royal Blue. A good Navy Blue would probably be in the correct color range.
    3) Since the case is polished, I feel that the stitching should match exactly or very closely; that is, no contrast stitching on this strap.
    4) Lug width 22mm; buckle width either 22mm, 20mm, or 18mm.
    5) Budget: +/- $100 maximum. That is already a lot for me actually, but just to say I cannot afford those $250 IWC, etc., straps.

    The straps I have seen so far that seem worth further consideration are Di-Modell ("Bentley" crocodile and some other model) and various Rios1931 alligator straps, maybe a Hirsch too. I am not sure what to make of the many "alligator/crocodile" straps I see on eBay from Vietnam, etc. Durability and quality are important to me.

    Of course please post photos, if you have any, with your suggestions/links.

    Thanks much in advance.





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  2. #2
    Member montydrei's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    I have a navy blue embossed strap from RIOS1931 on my Chinese watch, which has a silver dial and (probably chemically) blued hands:
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    I think this genuine alligator strap in ocean blue from RIOS1931 could work well with your watch: https://panatime.com/imperial-genuine-alligator-flank/

    It's pretty thick, though: 6mm at its thickest near the lugs and tapering down only to 3mm at the thinnest near the buckle.

  3. #3
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    Yes, the Rios "Imperial" strap is interestingly exactly the Rios model I have been looking at the most, as I like the color and the dark stitching, but, also yes, the 6mm thickness does concern me a bit.

    I have never worn a Rios irl, but they seem to have a good reputation.

    I do like the Di-Modell lizard strap I own, but it's on an old vintage Omega, so a very different combination/need.

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  5. #4
    Member montydrei's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    Yeah, the thickness of my Rios strap makes it pretty stiff, too. It is pretty good quality overall, though. I think the 6mm thickness might not go as well with your flatter Marine Original versus my rather thick (14mm) watch. Unfortunately, it looks like all their genuine exotic leather straps have this same thickness. For thinner, you'd have to go with an embossed leather one, like their Brazil model at 2.5 mm: https://rios1931.com/brazil-embossed...n-cow-leather/

  6. #5
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    In some strange way this Colareb Firenze, although sporty and with contrast stitching, works well, imho

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  7. #6
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    Too funny: so far the two suggestions are for straps I have looked at again and again!

    Thank you; in fact I have had that exact blue ColaReb strap saved in eBay, from Holben's, for months now, but never bought it.

    I like it very much, the "dancing" stitching is wonderful, so I may buy it down the line, but for a first blue leather for my MO I really am looking for something less casual and more quiet, formal/classic.

    Interestingly (and probably a minor, "my-own-thing" detail) I also think the ColaReb stitching works better with Roman numerals. (Yes, I might be over-thinking.... )

    Any other suggestions more in line with the characteristics listed up above?
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  8. #7
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    I don't have anything to suggest unfortunately. In my brief looking around for a Croc/Alligator strap for my MO, I wasn't able to find anything genuine, of high apparent quality, in the price range you specified, so I settled on an embossed, black, Hirsch "Duke" which I've been happy enough with. I've felt the call of a genuine Croc/Alligator strap though...

    I'm really curious to see what you wind up with. Please post pictures when you get it! The blue Colareb Firenze above looks fantastic, and I'm really interested to see what more of a "dressy" style blue strap will look like. I bet it'll really set off those wonderful blued hands of the MO.

  9. #8
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    Yes, I too am having a hard time finding a strap that fits within my budget.
    There are some on eBay from Vietnam and also the Ukraine, that claim to be genuine alligator skin, but I have no idea regarding the quality (and they would be US $75+ to find out...).

    I don't know; I will keep looking.
    Of course I will post here if I find something really good.

    I am pretty surprised that there are not more suggestions; I certainly thought this would be a somewhat broad niche.
    Maybe I should post the question in the general forum, rather than here in Stowa.

  10. #9
    Member iuprof's Avatar
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    I had a MO Roman and used a blue with white stitching embossed Hirsch Performance strap. Excellent quality and it looked great, but not genuine croc.

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  11. #10
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    Re: Stowa Marine Original, polished case: Blue leather strap suggestions?

    I think you are not getting many responses because of such a restrictive budget for genuine leather.

    One option you might consider is a custom strap in caiman from Mat at MK Leather. I nearly bought one from him for a Grand Seiko, but customs into Australia made me hesitate because I was on a strict timeline. He gets good reviews in the straps sub-forum. For a caiman strap, he was asking $130 USD + shipping about a year ago. It seems he has some 'ink blue', though you may want to email him as that may be quite dark.

    MK Leathers » Leathers w use

    For my Marine 36, I was actually looking for something similar and ended up going with a custom navy blue shell cordovan strap from an Aussie strap maker. It runs $185 AUD (the exchange rate is certainly in your favour). Rocky did my GS strap after all and I was quite happy with him. There was a minor issue and he offered to completely remake the strap for me--great customer service!

    https://www.millhandmade.com/shell-cordovan

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