It was a wild card in my selection of six straps from the Japanese manufacturer Accurate Form. And as sometimes happens, wild cards can surprise us and steal the show. Well, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this wine-colored Japanese cowhide strap completely stole my heart.

Let me give you a little context. About 95% of my watch collection consists of vintage watches, so understandably, I am always on the lookout for the best straps to fit my 50-plus-year-old timepieces. Over the years, I’ve discovered two strap makers whose products most closely represent my idea of the best vintage watch straps. The first one is Torre Straps, especially the box-stitched pigskin strap with a round end. The second one is Jan from WatchStrapHeaven and his thin light brown Derby Horween with pressed lines, which is actually my favorite strap of all time.

Accurate Form strap Gallet Multichron Officer

Accurate Form surprise

The way I discovered Accurate Form was completely random. I got a box containing five or six watches from an auction maybe a year and a half ago. The straps that vintage watches come with are usually of no use, and they go the fastest route to the bin. That time, though, there was a surprise waiting for me. One Orient diver came on a decent and soft dark green leather strap that struck me with its quality. I turned it around, and that’s how I first introduced myself to the Accurate Form brand. By the way, I kept that strap. Its call to duty came when I needed a strap to match the beautifully patinated dial on my Gallet Mutichron Officer.

Accurate Form straps vintage

Color exploration

Another important fact to highlight is that most of my straps are in hundreds of brown, black, or gray tones. Only recently did I start to realize that there are indeed other colors that are easy to pair with many watches. You may want to look at my archive piece from last summer, in which I dove into green straps.

Turning red

Now we are getting to the ultimate point — dark red or burgundy straps. Until recently, I had only owned one burgundy strap, and it is a factory fit to my Unimatic × Massena LAB limited edition with a “rusty” galvanized dial. I believe that pairing is phenomenal. I tried once or twice to swap the strap for the black NATO that also came with the watch, but my eyes couldn’t handle it. But no matter how much I liked the original pairing, it never made me think that I may want to explore more burgundy-like straps. Stereotypes…

Accurate Form wine cowhide strap

Wine tasting

That all changed when I was scrolling through Accurate Form’s products. I was looking for a warm brown strap to fit my Heuer Autavia, a darker brown for my Gallet Snow White, and a dark blue strap for my Gallet Medigraph. After I got all the “usualties,” my eyes fell upon a rich wine-like strap, and I decided to give it a chance.

Accurate Form cowhide straps

The hero of the Accurate Form cowhide lineup

All the previously mentioned straps went to their respective watches and look boringly good — almost perfect, even. I do not need to elaborate more on the visuals; you can see them in the picture above. When shopping, I had no special pairing in my mind for the wine cowhide strap, but the moment I picked it up, I knew how I wanted to wear it first. I was thinking about my Gallet Yachting initially, but after a short tryout, it proved a perfect match for my Filmeter. The filmeter track is not purely red; it appears to have tones of pink or purple. I was fascinated by how amazingly this strap suits it.

I admit that I was afraid it would be too much. Honestly, I am not a very extroverted person; I dress somewhat more decently than colorfully. I feared that the wine strap would attract too much attention, but that proved to be nonsense. Wine is merely a color like brown or black. It’s all in your head. It was all just in my head… And if you are a leather-strap type like I am, this wine strap is just the perfect color for sunny summer days.

Accurate Form wine strap Gallet Filmeter

Simple and natural

Accurate Form has made it into my top three strap makers because these cowhide straps are perfectly soft, despite being a tad thicker than those from Torre or WatchStrapHeaven. Their most characteristic feature is specific box stitching. It runs very close to the straps’ edges. The stitches are also very short, giving them a delicate look. The vintage vibe is undeniable if you add the tone-matching thread to the leather. This stitching looks equally good on the 16mm strap that I ordered for my Mido Radiotime as it does on the wider 20mm straps, like the wine variant.

Accurate Form wine cowhide strap

Among other details, I would pinpoint the thin keeper, which is often a bit of an underrated or overlooked part. I also like the sides or edges on every single Accurate Form strap. There is no other material applied; it’s just slightly darkened, and it maintains a very natural feel. By the way, the wine strap is the only one of these six that is missing the Accurate Form stamping on the underside. That’s probably just a little “bug.” But what is there is the “Made In Japan” stamping, and I must say, I just love it. Italian straps have that familiarity and quality that we love, but for me, as a European, a Japan-made strap is something special.

My verdict

Cowhide is amazingly strong and durable, judging by its softness and flexibility. The buckle doesn’t leave any remarkable traces. I took the dark brown Accurate Form strap on a half-day hike. It was wet around the edges during the intense climb, but there were no traces of sweat after it dried. These buckles are generic, and they fit nicely. If I could request just one change, I would like to see these straps have a rounded end. After a few weeks, I have to say I am pleased, and I would recommend these to anyone. Go taste some wine from Accurate Form.