Watch Strap Review 59 — Swiss Time Watches
April’s Watch Strap Review brings us a company from the UK with a Swiss name but Italian-made straps. Swiss Time Watches itself hails from England, though Gaetano, the man behind the brand, is Italian to the core. Well, let me correct that; Gaetano is, as he puts it, a “proud Sicilian”. So it is no surprise that while every leather goodie I received came from the UK, they are all made in Italy. As such, I was expecting fancy leather materials and classy straps, and Swiss Time Watches did not disappoint. But let’s not jump the gun. Here are my thoughts on what I found in the package.
In the parcel that Gaetano prepared for me were six straps. However, I’ll only “dissect” four, as three of the six were the same model in different colors. You’ll see them all, and what I say stands for all three. But first, let’s learn a bit about the man and the company.
Swiss Time Watches
The company started in 2016, making it six years since Gaetano started selling straps and other leather goods online. During that time, he has worked toward his goal to launch a full strap collection under the company’s own label. As you can imagine, this has been a rather tiring project, both financially and emotionally. His love for his country and everything Italian gave him the extra energy he needed to create a line of straps that he could be proud of. As a personal note, I must say, it’s hard to define what an “Italian strap” should look like, but if it means class and quality, he has achieved his goal. Every strap is 100% handmade in Italy, coming from a manufacturing partner in Liguria that’s been in the business for decades. Furthermore, the leather style for this collection is from Tuscany. Okay, enough talking. Let’s look at the straps.
Slim Jim Vintage Tan NATO
We have never seen a new strap collection launched by a brand on the same day that our article came out. Well, this is precisely what’s happening here. The new Slim Jim line from Swiss Time Watches is going live on the site today. I received a vintage leather NATO strap in 20mm. I must say, it’s been a while since I last got a NATO in for a review, but I was pleased about it. Leather NATOs are somewhere in between sporty and elegant for me. They lean more towards “smart”, I feel. The Tuscan leather is extra thin, so you don’t feel the bulkiness that usually comes with NATO straps. The strap has a slim 1.6mm profile, beige stitching, steel hardware, and a 26.5cm length. For the new Slim Jm straps, the company is charging £85 (€102). You can choose between 20mm or 22mm sizes and various colors. It looks good on the Speedy, don’t you think?
Toscana Tan grained calf
The next strap is maybe the most traditional when it comes to looks. We have a grained calf leather strap with the usual 20/16mm measurements, but 18mm and 19mm widths are also available. The length is also classic — 7.5cm and 12cm — with only a 1.9mm thickness. I called this one “traditional” as it is a strap you can pair any watch with. The edges are painted, and the leather is smooth and flexible. I felt it was the perfect match for this vintage Angelus chronograph. Yet, thanks to its color, you can easily throw it on a modern piece. As shown above, the stitching is cream or beige, which complements the mid-brown Tuscan leather beautifully. This time, we have a polished Swiss Time Watches steel buckle. And like every strap in this review aside from the Slim Jim, the price comes in at £75 (around €90). It’s a very fair price for what you are getting.
Nero grained calf
When reviewing straps, you should not pick a favorite, so I cannot say that this strap is mine. But what I can say is that I never expected how great it would look on my vintage King Seiko. Granted, we have a grained calf leather in black with beige stitching. It’s a classy and versatile design that will pair well with virtually any watch you choose. But I was not ready for how awesome it would look when paired with the King Seiko at the top of this article. The overall design is very similar to the Toscana Tan. Size, thickness, length — everything is identical. But while the Toscana came in 20mm, this was a smaller 18mm version, hence, the fit for the KS. The soft and thin lining, like before, makes the watch sit and feel comfortable on the wrist. I would not be surprised if this was a Swiss Time Watches best seller.
Saffiano, Saffiano, Saffiano
Yes, three times Saffiano. One of the most popular leathers of recent times, Saffiano is what Prada bags are made of. I have told you this numerous times, but this is how most of us know this patterned leather. Swiss Time Watches sent me three of these in different colors and sizes. Let’s see what we have here. The only strap in 20mm is the Capri Blu (no typo) version. A deep, dark blue color, it’s almost black under certain lights. Like before, we have the usual beige stitching, as well the same lining and branded tang buckle. Is the Capri Blu the classiest of them all? Of the three Saffiano straps, indeed it is. I put it on my GMT-Master, but I took photos of the other two for your viewing pleasure.
Two 18mm straps were also part of the package. The Oliva Verde strap comes in a deep olive-green tone, and the Arancia Fresca is a light brown version that Swiss Time Watches calls “orange”. This model’s name means “fresh orange” in Italian, so there is something to that indeed. Both are lovely, and the quality is equally brilliant as the others. The Saffiano straps offer classic sizing (18, 19, and 20mm, as always) a thin profile, and tones that are easy to work with whether you have a dive watch, a chronograph, or a simple time-only piece.
The straps I showed you today are only a fraction of what Swiss Time Watches stocks on its site. Aside from the company’s own leather straps, STW also offers steel bracelets and leather watch accessories. Still, we are here for the leather straps, and these are some really nice ones indeed. The good news if you are reading us from the UK is that Swiss Time Watches offers you free shipping. There’s also a 10% discount on your first order, and this is not limited to UK customers. We’ll be back next month with a new strap company. Check out Swiss Time Watches’ Instagram for more goods and inspiration.
If you missed last month’s Watch Strap Review, click here.