Today we are gonna look at three different leather straps from a company called Diametris. They are a small company that hand makes all leather goods (watch straps, bracelets) in Canada, Montreal. The company was founded in 2014 by Youri Taillefer who is designer, leather craftsman and professional artisan in the Métiers d’art du Québec. Before we look closer at the straps, let’s talk with Youri:
Hello, I’m Youri Taillefer, a professional leather craftsman and member of the Quebec arts and craft located in Montreal.
How did you start making watch straps?
I started working leather 20 years ago. I made bracelets for my friends and offered them as gifts. Moving along this path, a friend suggested I enrolled in Arts and crafts school, specialized in leather in Montreal. So, I did this training for 3 years. But my dearest dream was to make the best bracelets with technique and Design. At the end of my studies, I was approached by a French manufacturer of luxury watch straps and leather goods. I accepted the offer and with that company, I did my master class in watch strap making and manufacturing.
I fell in love with watch straps. I became a director, prototype maker, designer and watch strap manufacturers in Tokyo for almost 5 years and a half. My dream became reality.
What do I need t know to start making watch straps?
To create watch straps and to work leather, it takes a lot of patience and rigor that I acquired over time. Leather is noble material, I had to learn to work according to what the material allows me and not the opposite. You really have to feel it. It’s like a symbiosis between matter and me. The craft is its expression.
How much watches o you have in your personal collection? And can you list them?
My collection is very simple, I have a Bell and Ross model BR 03.
I also have two G-Shock watches that I wear when I work.
What makes your straps better than other company straps?
For me, the strength of my watch straps lies in my understanding to provide a solution for my client. Understanding and analyzing your needs to provide comfort when wearing your watch is my goal.
Who is your ideal customer?
All my clients are my ideal clients because with them I can do what I prefer the most designing watch straps!! I just love the emotion when someone suddenly sees it watch completely anew.
Tell about what you like to do outside of Diametris.
In my personal life, I like to have meals with friends. I love playing tricks. I am a big fan of Sci-fi and love Miniature War Gaming (WH30k and WH40K).
I have a large collection of figurines that I have assembled and painted in my spare time.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I find my inspiration through the martial arts I have practised for a long time. I am inspired by architecture and I meditate.
How do you see Diametris brand in future?
For me, Diametris is a creative way of combining passion and work. I see my company
in the future as being the benchmark for comfort in watch strap industry.
Now let’s look at the straps that Youri sent in for a review. Altogether he sent me 3 straps, and damn they are good. They came in a pretty cool packaging. I know that these are just straps and the packaging isn’t that important, but I like when companies pay attention to the packaging too. The first impressions of the straps were good, I was so excited that I opened the packaging right at the post office, I just couldn’t wait till home. I have reviewed many straps from a lot of popular brands, but no one comes close to the quality of these straps so far. To most people, they are a bit pricey, but I think that you must pay to get the best possible handmade strap.
The straps that were sent are:
- 20mm Minimal Stitch black strap is offered at 125$ (also available in fox and navy
- 20mm Black strap with yellow stitch offered at 155$ ( even with the upper crossover stitch)
- 22mm Red Major vintage strap, offered at 175$
*All straps come with buckles included
I put these straps on my personal watches, the Werenbach space watch, Ginault Ocean Rover and Minus8 titanium diver, I think they suit these watches very much. I wore these straps on these watches for a month and got a lot of compliments even from the watch companies that make these watches.
The first strap that we will be taking look at is the minimal black stitch strap. It is very simple vintage style stitch strap that works almost with very watch you throw it on, but it looks the best on The Ginault Ocean Rover from all of my watches. The leather is very soft to touch and right from the box it is very supple and will wrap your wrist nicely. I also like that is is pretty thin, usually, these straps tend to be a bit thicker, but this one is just perfect. It tapers from 20mm to 18mm. The stitching is in white and done very good, you cant see the ends of the thread anywhere at all, usually cheaper strap makers don’t even try to hide the ends of the thread and the glue. The buckle is a regular tang style buckle and looks ok-ish, it does its job well. On the underside of the strap, you will see a Diametris logo embossed into the leather.
The second strap is a bit more interesting. It is the black leather strap with that cool yellow upper crossover stitch. The size and black leather are basically the same for this one like the first that we took a look. The only difference is that it’s thicker on the part that attaches to the watch and that yellow upper crossover stitching. The thicker upper part doesn’t make the strap stiffer at all, it is as supple as the first one that we looked at and wraps the wrist very well. The yellow stitching is my favourite part of the strap, I really like the yellow colour in watch straps so Youri surprised me with this strap. I also never had a strap with this style of stitching, I only saw this style in pictures in the past I thought that I wouldn’t like it, but now that I’ve seen it in life I like this a lot more than regular style stitching. And again like on the first one, the stitching on this strap is again done super good with no thread ends showing or anything. The finishing that is done on these straps is premium!
The third strap is in some way and oddball when compared to the two other straps as those had a somewhat similar style, but this one fits a muscular watch, a tool watch so I chose to put it on a dive watch. The strap is the red major vintage strap. The upper part is red leather, but the underside of the strap has black leather. This one has straight cut and doesn’t taper like the other two. It also is on the thicker side, it isn’t as supple as the other two straps, but still better than most of the straps I received. This one also features a bigger tang style buckle. The strap has also this burnt/worn look where the holes are, loop sides and edges of the strap itself. I like the attention to details on these strap like the stitching on this particular strap, the upper part has red leather, so the stitching is red, but on the underside where it has black leather you get black stitching. Some companies would just leave it red and wouldn’t even bother to make it the same colour as leather.
Youri has a quite big selection of straps on the Diametris.com page. Ranging from apple smart watch straps, minimal straps, bell & ross straps to custom straps. And the custom straps are where I think this company shines! From what I learned they can make a strap almost from any available leather they have + they are constantly adding new leathers. You can also choose the colour of the strap, size, so even if you have watches with built-in straps, Youri can make them. For the stitching, they have all tone on tone colours for all leather, plus several other stitch colours such as off-white, yellow, lime, purple, electric blue and orange. Youri can create the shape, style, thickness, and stitching wanted. Youri’s job is to make sure the strap is comfortable, fits the watch, fits the customer’s buckle (if need to) and customers wrist. Prices, of course, may vary according to the selections.
Overall I really like the straps. The leather is super soft and feels nice to the touch. I also like the attention to small details like the finishing of the edges on the strap, how the thread ends for the stitching are hidden and that you can’t see any glue or anything. I honestly can say that these are the best straps that I have reviewed so far! If you are searching for a new strap for your watch and you don’t mind spending a 150$ and up for a strap than Diametris is the place where to order your strap!