Today we are gonna talk about one strap company which I think beats many other strap makers in the handmade strap market. As you know I’m a strap lover and love to change the straps on my watches time to time. The only watches that stay on their original bracelets are my Ginault Ocean Rover and Seiko Orange Monster SRP309. I have tried many brands, materials, colours and styles, but I always will love a good leather strap. I’m not a big fan of Nato straps, Rubber or perlon straps. I like the leather/suede better because the watch looks nicer with it. It is just more appealing to the eye in my opinion, especially if the strap is in some interesting colour, exotic leather or shape.
So today we are taking a look at some straps from a company called Vintager straps. I found this company by accident when I was searching original Panerai replacement strap for my friends watch. The most amazing thing probably is that the company is run by one guy Micah Dirksen. So you have to take in mind that the straps won’t be at your doorstep in one day. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, a Vintager is a person concerned with the production of grapes and wine. Micah Dirksen is a Vintager of straps. The company is based in Napa Valley, USA. Miach makes straps from 2006, so he has a lot of experience behind his back and I got to say when I received the strap I was blown away by the quality. Micah sources all his leather locally, handling each piece before buying.
Another amazing thing besides that Micah himself makes everything is that he has this crazy guarantee, which is “If your strap ever gets ruined or fails for any reason… the need to burn your strap for warmth, your dog eating it in a fit of rage… whatever. If it’s ruined I will replace it”. He does reserve the right to ask questions, however – if your story is an interesting one.
Ok, let’s check out the straps. Micah kindly sent me 3 straps, I was actually surprised that I got 3 straps. Because I thought he sent me only one. So thanks to him 🙂 So the straps he sent me are:
- Burgundy in 22/22 with Goldenrod stitching and a polished thumbnail buckle
- Flat Black in 24/24 with 1886 Tan stitching and sewn in brushed GPF buckle
- Brindle in 24/24 with Mil-Spec green and sewn in brushed Pre-V buckle.
And man, they are super nice. I opened the envelope in which they were shipped and immediately got a scent of the leather, which was a sign of nice leather. The first impression was good. I did the unboxing while riding in the tram, but I noticed that they are very soft, despite the thickness, and also very soft to touch.
Each strap has different buckles. On the flat black strap, we have the brushed GPF buckle and it is basically a tank style buckle, but flat and not curved. So it is very bulky and sticks out a lot. I don’t mind that, but I know some guys don’t like that. The Brindle one has the brushed Pre-V buckle and the burgundy strap has the polished thumbnail buckle. These were my favourite out of two. Because they were more flush with the strap and hand.
Each strap has a burnt in logos which are actually pretty cool. The stitching on each strap is exceptional. It even looks like it is done by machine, but no, Micah does it by himself at his workshop. To me, it is something special, because someone on the other side of the world made it by hand and now it is on my wrist and I’m enjoying it. The leather on all the straps is truly high quality. The smell, the buttery smooth feel when in hands and they are really soft and wrap the wrist nicely without break in period. I would really love to see how they will look after 2 or more years, as the colour may darken and the wear should really give character to the strap and the watch overall look. Micah even endorses you to wear the straps without worrying to damage them.
Overall I’m blown away by the quality and craftsmanship of Vintager straps. About 2 years ago I wasn’t paying big attention to the straps, but now that I looked at so many brands these years, I really see what you can get for 145$ and up. And I really like that Micah gives a chance to customize your strap, you can choose the colour of stitching, buckle type and it’s finish, hole shape and width of the straps. Yes, the straps will cost you (for some it would be too much), but you have to remember that these straps are worth it, and will last you a lifetime with right care 🙂
Price for each strap sent: