In a quest to always find the finest and best straps available for my Panerai watch I usually do a search online to find leather workers from around the world to see what they have to offer. Other times I get lucky and a master craftsman happens to find me. This was the case a few weeks back when I received an email from Mr. TipTop leather himself regarding his beautiful line of hand made leather straps. Mr. TipTop is a leather shop in Denmark that has been doing business since 1954. They continue to pride themselves in creating leather goods entirely by hand without the use of any new age machinery. From start to finish their leather goods are created the old fashion way with precision hand tools and a boat load of experience. This is the first of three panerai strap reviews for Mr. TipTop leather and we decided to start of with their Vintage Brown distressed strap.
Here is a quick video of the amount of work and expertise that goes into a Mr. TipTop leather strap. This will give you a feel of the old style craftsmanship and hand tools used to create these masterpieces.
The moment I opened up the package from Mr. TipTop I was in leather heaven. The smell of the high quality leather on these straps made me hungry for more and I couldn’t wait to get these on my Panerai. This particular light brown vintage strap uses croupon leather, which is untanned, whole cattle hide with belly and shoulder cut off; comparable to a butt bend in tanned leather. Mr. TipTop prides himself in using only the best leather from top tanneries in France and Italy. Unlike many other strap makers that purchase standard leathers, they go above and beyond to find the top pieces to create a strap that is fitting for a luxury watch such as Panerai.
The strap features a light brown base color with darker edges and distressed dark brown strokes randomly on the strap. The strap tail end of the strap is made of a two-layer design and runs right around 4mm thick. The buckle end of the strap has a triple layer design that is slightly thicker for added support.
The vintage strap has a beautiful golden brown contrast stitch that is done in a full box pattern on both ends. The stitching itself is done with such precision that you would think a machine did it. The stitch is very close to the edges and done very tightly and evenly. I have seen many pieces that have been stitched by hand but they can not compare to the quality of this stitching.
The under side of the strap is a darker brown leather color and the tail end at the point has the Mr. TipTop brand stamped on it. The strap featured unfinished edges that only accentuate the rugged vintage motif that he is trying to convey.
This particular strap features two fixed keepers and one floating keeper on the buckle end to house the extra long strap. The buckle used on the vintage strap is a PVD, Pre-V oversized buckle with the submarine cutout, which accents this monster of a strap perfectly.
When you hold this strap in your hands and feel the leather you immediately know that this strap is going to be comfortable to wear. The leather grain on both ends is smooth from top to bottom and wears beautifully on the wrist. The thicker part of the buckle side takes a little bit of manipulating to get it to form to your wrist but after that you will not have any issues. The tail end of the strap is butter soft even with the thickness of the strap and forms nicely around. On my wrist, which is about 7.25 inches I use the second hole and the tail wraps around to right below the other side of the watch. I think it really brings out the rugged look of the Panerai watch wrapped all the way around. I truly believe the longer you wear this strap the nicer it will get thanks to the natural oils of your body softening up the leather and adding it’s own patina.
From top to bottom the Mr. TipTop strap has won me over. From the smell of the croupon leather to the soft feel on the wrist, he has left me in amazement. There are many straps on the market that quite possibly could mimic the look of this strap, but none of them will give you the raw vintage feel as well as this particular strap. If you have other straps to compare this particular hand made strap to then you will quickly realize the quality, craftsmanship, and dedication that it took to make this strap come to life. Mr. TipTop knows his craft and has been doing it since the age of 12 and it shows. After 38 years of leatherwork, he creates a product that is deserving of the premium price tag. No shortcuts or corners are taken when creating these straps and that is how it should be. From purchasing the leather, dying it, creating, and finishing the strap, Mr. TipTop takes great pride in his work. Take a moment to shoot him an email and you will see for yourself the passion and joy he brings to making straps for us.
- Amazing premium leather quality
- 100% hand made using no machine tools
- Beautifully done distressed look to give the strap a vintage look.
- Very comfortable on the wrist.
No So Good
- The holes are a bit small at first for the buckle but that fixes over time.
- There is a waiting period because of the high demand and time it takes to create each piece.
Mr. TipTop strap are custom made to order and can take a couple weeks to be made. A single craftsman mans this shop, so attention to detail is very important. You can look through his current collection to get ideas or give him a special request and they can make it. Pick from numerous colors, hides, buckles, and stitching styles to make a strap that suits your unique style.
Price as seen here in the review is $299.00 USD including the buckle. Shipping is not included in the price. He has a wide variety of price points to match your needs so definitely check him out via the following links.