With Panerai’s strong military roots, it is not unusual to find Paneristi who love owning “ammo straps”. Generally speaking, “ammo straps” are simply straps that have been produced from actual vintage military leather – almost always sourced from surplus ammunition pouches/bags. Strap construction does not differ from your average strap, though the vintage leather is often harder to work with. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that each strap is essentially one-off; with the material being cut from different portions of various bags. With that being said, ammo straps are a great way for one to dress down their Panerai. We’ll be looking at DaLuca’s custom ammo strap.
As with all ammo straps, it is hard to keep a consistent shade or tone due to the nature of the vintage leather. However, Dan of DaLuca Straps was able to supply me with an image of some various ammo leathers that I could choose from. I ended up picking a pouch that was originally produced for Swiss use in the early 60’s. The strap has an extremely masculine look, with many of the original threads from the pouch left intact. The keeper was crafted out of a button-hole, most likely from a closure strap – ingenious in my opinion! I wore this strap for a week straight and already the leather’s looking beautiful… the vintage leather “cracks” up in color and the tones change when flexed/twisted. You simply cannot replicate this look without actual vintage leather. Minimal stitching is used to help the leather take center stage, and DaLuca used a waxed natural color thread to keep a consistent look. Finally, the strap is topped off with a large, polished sewn-in buckle, laser engraved with DaLuca’s emblem!
[slickr-flickr tag=”dammo” type=”galleria”]
Although most aftermarket straps are quite stiff when new, this particular ammo strap was crafted from the most rigid leather I had ever handled. Vintage leathers due have a tendency to be stiffer, mainly because of their age and lack of conditioning. To increase the comfort of the strap before wear, I simply flexed the pieces back and forth and applied a thin coat of neutral leather conditioner. If you choose to do this, be wary that certain conditioners may darken your leather – apply with caution or feel free to send us an email with questions! Combining the manual “break-in” and application of leather conditioner left this strap far more pliable than before, making it rather comfortable to wear.
With minimal stitching, this solid strap is bound to last for a while. The leather is tough as nails, having weathered nearly 50 years – but it’s certainly ready to take on another half-century!
Every Paneristi should own an ammo strap! DaLuca’s ammo combines modern quality with vintage good looks – with tonal variations that simply cannot be copied with newer materials. This strap is sturdy, thick, and masculine. I would definitely keep in touch with DaLuca to see what types of vintage leathes they offer and pick one based off its history or look. Thanks to DaLuca’s custom offerings, I was able to pick out everything I wanted, ranging from length to the thread’s coloring.
- Beautiful material
- High quality buckle
- Included tubes
- May be fully customized
- Very stiff at first (can be softened with use of conditioner)
- A bit pricey
All DaLuca straps are available for browsing on their website, customization is available so be sure to keep in touch with them!