Watch Strap Review 47 — 1787 Straps from Iceland
When I initially started Watch Strap Review, my goal was to introduce as many new brands to the watch community as I could. I wanted to make sure that the selection is broad. Whether we are talking about the amount of money a strap costs, the material used in its creation, or its origins. We’ll soon reach 50 articles, and then I’ll have a quick look back, but for today I have yet another brand for you. The country of origin? Iceland! The brand in question? None other than 1787 Straps.
I was really excited when the parcel from Eidur (Mr. 1787 Straps) landed on my desk. Not necessarily because of the designs, but also because I knew that what Eidur has to offer is pretty unique. I mean, you did not expect Horween leather straps coming from Iceland, right? There’s nothing wrong with Horween, but I was expecting a bit more creativity when it comes to materials. Here, 1787 Straps did not disappoint.
1787 Straps, is a one-man-show. Eidur is a young watch guy, born and raised in Iceland. He’s been making straps since 2017, so not too fresh to the game anymore. Don’t think that it is a must if you are a strap maker and want to be featured on Fratello, but Eidur is also a Speedy guy. Actually, it was his very first nice watch that started him in this hobby. He wanted to create something exceptional for that special piece.
Subsequently, he only wears his timepieces on straps that he made himself. Talk about quality control and brand loyalty! I received a very diverse set of straps from him with one common denominator: the leather. Every product coming out of 1787 Straps uses leather from a breed of reindeers typical to Iceland. Let’s talk a bit about that.
From Vopnafjörður To You
Eidur set three rules for himself back in ‘17 when he started this adventure. Firstly, he wanted his products to be comfortable. For this, every 1787 Straps product is 100% leather inside and out. The lining is bull hide, while the top is the aforementioned reindeer leather. I have to say, the straps are incredibly soft, and the texture is just something else. Secondly, he wanted his straps to be durable.
Both the bull hides and the reindeer leathers are water-resistant and adaptable so that they won’t crack. Instead, they are durable and long-lasting. Lastly, Eidur wanted his products to be unique. The reindeer which provide the leather arrived in Vopnafjörður, Iceland, in 1787 (hence the name) from Norway. The herd had 35 specimens, and they were the only ones to survive the harsh conditions of eastern Iceland. Furthermore, Eidur keeps no inventory. What he makes, he sells. Pretty unique.
Outdoorsman — Special Edition
I received 5 straps from 1787 Straps, and I think I might start with the most interesting one. This is a special edition by Eidur, called the Outdoorsman. A strap I can imagine on a vintage Speedy, perhaps an Autavia or a Sub if you are bold enough. Imagine rocking this while driving your Defender in your heavy Barbour jacket…But, Fratello is not a lifestyle magazine, so let’s look at the strap in detail.
My strap is 20/20mm, so no tapering here. However, the thickness varies from 4.5mm at the spring bar end to 3mm at the buckle end. Aside from the butter-soft leather, the sides have been painted, and the lower part of the strap (brown) has box stitching. If you fancy another color to match the green leather, you can choose between brown, cognac, or black.
Furthermore, there are plenty of sizes to choose from as well. 1787 Straps offers the Outdoorsman from 18/18mm all the way up to 24/22mm. The same applies for the length; plenty of options, from small to standard, large, or even extra-large. Eidur is ready to create a custom strap down to the smallest detail. And by that, I mean stitching. Yes, you can choose that too from six threads.
Yet, what I find truly fascinating about this product and something I have not seen before is the little tin that comes with it. With your Outdoorsman, you get a small amount of beeswax so you can treat your strap and make it more even more resistant to harsh weather. After the treatment, the strap will look, feel, and smell better. Now let’s talk about the price. 1787 Straps offers the Outdoorsman for $199, which includes standard shipping to Germany.
Let’s move on to my other favorite from the lot, a beautiful deep burgundy reindeer leather strap. What initially caught my attention was how smooth this strap looks. While the sides are painted here as well, we don’t see any stitching. 19 mm on the watch side and 18 mm on the buckle side with the standard 3 mm thickness.
Eidur’s strap has a pretty sharp and pointy tail-end. It is something like a trademark look. I must say, I’m a sucker for little details like that. You don’t have as many options for customization for this strap, but you can still choose your size for the width and length. The strap is so soft that it would feel perfectly comfortable on your wrist after a day or two of wear. 1787 Straps charges us $150 for the Burgundy Reindeer strap. Not a bad deal for such a product.
Classic Rally Reindeer
The style of the third 1787 Straps creation is a familiar one. Many leather ateliers offer rally straps for their customers. I reviewed more than a handful of them myself. I wish I had as many vintage sports chronographs as rally straps. But how many times have you had it made of reindeer leather?
The Classic Rally Reindeer strap is the most expensive product in the lineup, aside from custom orders, with its $230 price. However, this could be the result of a labor extensive production compared to other simpler straps. Just like the Outdoorsman, the Classic Rally is also fully customizable. For the first time, we have a strap with classic stitching and the now-familiar pointy end. As far as tapering is concerned, this strap is 20/18 mm and around 4 mm thick. Like every 1787 Straps creation, this one also comes on a stainless-steel buckle.
As its name suggests, the penultimate strap we are taking a closer look at is a classic one. And brown. So, as 1787 Straps very eloquently dubs it: the Brown Classic. While the previous three, for one reason or another, served a more specific purpose or design, here, the widespread appeal of such a simple name underpins the name.
The Brown Classic is a simple but beautiful leather strap. Since it is fully customizable, you can be sure that in exchange for your $220, the product you are receiving looks exactly how you want it. No strap from Eidur is stiff or requires a long break-in time. The classic or full stitching runs along the strap’s painted sides. You can pair the Classic Brown up with virtually any timepiece, be it new or vintage. I’d probably throw it on something new.
This goodie from 1787 Straps, just like the Brown Classic, is a simple but elegant one. The Cognac Vintage got its name from the color, and the type of stitching Eidur used to create it, just like the Brown Classic. The leather is always reindeer, and the customer can select the width, length, and stitching. Nomen est omen, as the saying goes. If you call it a strap vintage, it is destined to look perfect in a watch from a bygone era.
Needless to say, the Cognac Vintage is not exclusive to vintage watches. A modern piece would look just as awesome on it. At $170, the Cognac Vintage is among the cheaper options from 1787 Straps. Nevertheless, it takes away nothing from its quality of usability. My model was 18/18mm and only 2.5 mm thick, making it the lot’s slimmest strap.
Like most ateliers, 1787 Straps also takes orders for custom straps. Feel free to email Eidur if you need a strap for a special project, or for your Apple Watch for example. One thing that stood out for me aside from the products was the packaging. The box is simple yet thoughtful with just enough marketing but also with a bunch of useful information on the brand, the strap even a size guide at the bottom of the box.
If you liked the review and want to get in touch with Eidur you can do it either through his website or his Instagram account. The 1787 Straps site is packed with a ton of useful information by the way. You can read the history of the brand as well as the reindeer leather. There is even a little tutorial on how to take care of your straps.