Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Is changing straps a Paneristi addiction?

| By Frank Geelen | 3 min read |

Paneristi, people who own a Panerai, are known to change straps on their Panerai often. Having owned a Panerai I know everything about the strap-changing-disease. But is wearing a watch on different straps only a Paneristi addiction? I asked myself this question, especially because I change straps on my watches all the time. I guess for me changing straps started with my Panerai, but soon I was changing straps on almost every watch I own. Let me give you some examples.

When I saw an aftermarket 22 mm Panerai strap for sale at a Dutch watch forum, I just couldn’t resist. The idea was actually inspired by the TAG Heuer Monaco with brown dial and python strap. This combination looks awesome on a sunny day, wearing a white shirt and jeans! Besides this aftermarket strap, I also have three OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer –  TAG Heuer straps for the Monaco. Originally it came on a black calf strap with folding buckle and later I bought the brown calf strap and the black alligator strap. This last combination is currently my favorite.

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Since I started  to change straps, there was no stopping anymore… Especially when I saw a photo of an IWC Pilot Chronograph on Big Pilot strap. A strap maker from Hongkong named Aaron Tan (he’s known on the forums as HKTan) made beautiful Big Pilot style straps. And one of his straps also suits my IWC Pilot Chronograph very well. When I still owned the IWC, it was one of my favorite combinations.

I used to wear my IWC Pilot Chronograph on the OEM black alligator strap, which I still consider an excellent combination. After seeing an older IWC ‘Doppel Chrono’ on a black alligator strap with thick white stitching, I felt the urge for another strap again. The strap makers of Inspire Workshop offered tailor made service. I emailed the measurements and a few weeks later this beautiful and soft alligator strap arrived.

Another option is to use an OEM strap of a different brand. I’ve always loved the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor series and the tan calf strap with double rows of stitching are just awesome. And guess what… it fits perfectly on the IWC Pilot Chronograph!

During vacations my Citizen Diver’s Automatic, my leisure watch, gets strapped on my wrist on different NATO straps, the kind of straps used by military forces. Because I like to spend my holidays in warm places where I can dive, I needed a strap that feels good in those conditions. And although the NATO straps are not the most comfortable straps for normal daily wear, they are excellent for this purpose.

I’m curious if more people change the strap of their watches. Of course changing to some sort of aftermarket strap is an option, but OEM straps are also available in different colors and styles.

ACE Juwelers has a web-store offering OEM straps from Breitling, IWC and more brands.

Inspire Workshop has a very easy to use webshop, where you can order your straps in different sizes or email customs wishes.

6 responses

  1. Hi Mono

    First off, like the blog very much. I’m new to the whole www thing (world wide watch…) and learning a lot from yourself, hodinkee and a blog to read.

    And your articles are from an intriguingly different angle on designs and history each time – that’s nice

    I was just looking to buy the Citizen Diver as my first automatic to wear for leisure and was wondering how it was going for you?

    Clearly not too bad as it was your first automatic 5 years ago (i just read that post) and is still your vacation beater – or is that just a sentimental thing?

    Cheers Stephen

  2. I would love to change my straps more often,
    but with most of my watches it’s not that easy and I have to go back to the dealer.
    Sometimes I think back of the time that I had a PAM and changed the strap in a few minutes.

  3. @Stephen… I’ve had the Citizen for 10 years now and yes, it’s still my vacation beater. If you go backpacking and diving I prefer to wear an affordable watch with not too much sentimental value. So the Citizen is just perfect for that. Although the Linde Werdelin 2-Timer I have worn during a trip to India was also superb.

    @Geo… I know changing straps risks getting the lugs scratched, however I choose to just do it because I love the different looks

  4. @mono thanks. 10 yrs solid service sounds great. and you echo my thoughts exactly – too often I end up in places and situations where I’m glad I’m wearing a watch I don’t mind losing/breaking.

    As for straps, I have a selection of leather/fabric/rubber straps that get changed around according to mood.

  5. Its interesting that you note Panerai owners are particularly prone to change their straps. I was looking at a website a week or so back that belonged to a strap maker who specialised in hand making straps for Panerai. I think he did take commissions for other manufacturers, but the site was pretty much dedicated to Panerai and little else. At the time I thought that was somewhat restrictive (focussing so heavily on a single brand) but it makes a more sense given your comments on the subject.

  6. @Jez… Paneristi where the first to change straps constantly and many of them owned more straps than watches (which makes sense, considering the price of Panerai watches compared to the straps). This was due to how easy it is to change a strap.

    I guess many watch owners are kind of detached towards changing straps on their precious watches and afraid to scratch the backside of the lugs. The lugs of my watches are scratched. Period. But I don’t care, because a) no one see it and b) different straps increase the joy I have wearing my watches 😉

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