Truth to be told, I had never heard of Bianca Mosca before. That does not mean much to be honest. Anyway, I was contacted by the CEO of Bianca Mosca a while ago. As we plan our monthly Watch Strap Review installments quite far in advance, it took a while before I sat down and do a proper write-up.
To keep it short and simple, as I am sure you want to see and read about the strap, Bianca Mosca is actually an old brand. The Bianca Mosca company was named after Bianca Mosca herself. This company was established in London, 1946. Focusing on fashion and couture. She passed away in 1950 at relative young age.
Timothy de Rosen, CEO & Founder of today’s Bianca Mosca was inspired by this story and decided to relaunch the brand and keep the spirit alive. All Bianca Mosca leather goods are bespoke and made to order.
One of the mistakes I find many luxury (watch) brands to make is that they are scared by the internet. They rather want it to go away and receive customers in one of their expensive luxurious boutiques on A-locations. They do not seem to realize that this is a threshold for many. Especially the younger generation likes to decide where and how to buy their (luxury) goods. One of the things that annoy me when I am in a physical boutique, is that a lot of products are not in stock. So I still have to order them, without having seen them. Even if this can be done without being obliged to buy it when I don’t like it, it is annoying as I have to make another trip to the shop. Especially when the shop isn’t in my home town, or anywhere near.
Bianca Mosca is using a website, or e-boutique, for their products. Leather goods can be ordered and customized on-line and you will immediately see the price of the end-result.
Bianca Mosca is more than watch straps. They carry an entire range of products, all to be crafted from the best leather. Whether these are wallets, belts, bags, card holders, iPhone cases or watch straps, all are made to order.
To cut a long story short, Bianca Mosca is perfectly capable of creating alligator straps for your watches as well. Timothy de Rosen sent me a sample of one of their alligator straps to have a look and give it a try.
Now, I didn’t ask for a specific strap or size, so I was sent a matte black alligator strap in 22mm. The thing is, my only watch that has lugs measuring 22mm is my vintage Seiko diver’s watch. Although a perfect timekeeper and collectable item for many fans out there, it does not breath much luxury. On the other hand, you could see this as a bit of snobbery or decadency. Putting a bespoke alligator strap on a watch that doesn’t cost much more as the strap. Many of my watches will fit 18mm and 20mm straps, but 22mm is most of the time reserved for larger pieces. I could also attach it to my Seiko 6159-7010, but it probably would have made things worse. That is a brutal piece of diving equipment.
A nice classic dress watch would have been better, but those often come in smaller sizes. At least the ones I like and buy. Anyway, since it custom made you can select lug widths from 16mm up to 24mm. That does seem to rule out the smaller ladies sizes. I currently have a Chopard Happy Diamonds in my safe that belongs to a friend. It measures 15mm between the lugs and 13mm at the clasp. I did not ask, but perhaps if you contact Bianca Mosca they are able to do other sizes as well.
On the website, you can choose from 18 different colors once you decided you want to buy a leather strap. All straps are made of alligator leather, so no calf skin or other materials. That narrows down to a specific group of customers in my opinion, who are searching for a certain luxurious appeal. I received a matte black strap, but you can also choose a matte brown color, a beautiful honey color or even shiny electric blue. The pre-selection of colors is well though through.
Bianca Mosca alligator straps come in three sizes. Small, standard and large. With small they mean 65/105mm and large comes at 90mm/130mm. These three sizes will fit most customers. I have the medium (standard) version and it fits nicely.
Next, choose your padding! From light (2.5mm thick) to heavy (5mm thick), depending on the style of your watch. A sporty looking watch might need more padding than a classic Patek Philippe Calatrava.
Buckles can be found in stainless steel and gold, as easy as that. If you want to have your watch’s OEM folding clasp to fit, make sure it uses no odd way of fitting to a strap.
Last but not least, stitching. Choose from either hand stitching or done by machine. You can choose between 10 different colors OR use the same color as the strap material. For dress watches I prefer the latter, but sports watches can use a nice contrasting color in my opinion.
One can make the most beautiful straps, but in the end it is about quality and comfort. Ask my colleagues, I am very picky when it comes to leather straps. When it feels to stiff or feels like it has carton box inside when it bends, I am out. I like my straps soft and comfortable. The quality of this strap is evident to me. Even though it is a bit senseless to put it on a Seiko diving watch, I can see why this has a price tag of well over $200 USD. I have seen OEM brand alligator straps that are more expensive to purchase, but lack the same level of quality as this Bianca Mosca strap. The lining of this strap will prevent the watch from wearing out (too) quickly.
Bespoke goods never come cheap. Still, I have to say that $275 USD for the strap Bianca Mosca sent me is good value for money. The lining is good and water resistant (up to a certain level) and the stitching is well done. The alligator skin is beautiful and has these big pads. I had wished they sent me a 20mm so I could give it a try on various watches that are better suited, but it is what it is. Another suggestion is that there will be more options for the buckles. The strap I have here has a polished stainless steel buckle, but I know many of you prefer a buckle with brush finishing.
More information via the official Bianca Mosca website.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more