What’s more understated and classic then the OEM Croc strap produced by Officine Panerai? Most mid to high-level Panerai models come with a Croc strap along side their rubber counter part. Right off the bat, you can’t help but be drawn to the beautiful texture and classy look of this strap.
When holding this strap in your hands you can’t help but think that the Crocodile material is nearly perfect. Not because it is an OEM, but mainly because the texture of the crocodile skin is beyond superb. It’s clear to me that they have picked only the best of the best when it comes to crocodile hide. I have seen a ton of other crocodile straps and they just seem like the band was made out of left over pieces of crocodile that no one else wanted. I’m all for utilizing every bit of hide but when it comes to what I wear on my Panerai I have to say that the OEM is just what the doctor ordered. The front of the strap has a nice gloss shine to it that will go well with any formal outfit you have in your closet. The white contrast stitching is very precise and you are able to easily see the effort that has been taken to make sure this strap is second to none.
The underside of the crocodile strap is fitted with a soft leather that gives me great comfort whenever I put it on. I have even worn this strap on hotter days and it gives me much more comfort then other straps I have worn. I tend to feel sticky when wearing leather on hot days and this was one reason I personally wore bracelet watches for so long. The band is not too thick in my opinion but does have a bit of stiffness at first and needs to be broken in before you can really enjoy the comfort factor. As with all leather a bit of shaping and stretching makes it conform how you need it to. You don’t have to do anything special just wear it and let nature take it’s course. Of course we plan on doing a follow up review to show exactly how it holds up over the test of time.
I have used the crocodile strap off and on for about 3 months now and it has held up really nicely. Granted I tend to be really uptight and try to keep my things in pristine condition so I do lay them nice and flat after I remove them so they don’t get all creased up. On that note I do notice that after a few times of taking the strap on and off that the buckle does eventually wear part of the crocodile strap down and creates a bit of a crease. Of course you won’t notice this wear when you are wearing the strap but just know that a bit of cracking is going to occur and you will see a faint white color where the cracking starts.
I have to say without a doubt that the design, comfort, and quality of this strap have me sold. I have worn this strap a good number of times and I have to say that I am very pleased with it and feel that it’s a perfect strap to dress up this watch when I want to head out on the town. Personally wouldn’t wear it as an everyday strap just because I don’t wear a suit or dress up everyday, but if I did, I am sure it would be one of my top picks. It may take a few wears on the wrist to finally feel fully comfortable since it’s a bit stiff to start off but after the break in period you won’t be disappointed.
- Beautiful Crocodile texture
- Soft leather lining for comfort
- Great way to dress up any Panerai
- Precise stitching and superior quality edging
- A bit stiff to start out and needs to be broken in.
- Slight bit of cracking where the buckle meets the strap
These straps are readily available from any Panerai AD if you do not already have one. If you just bought a new watch and your strap does not fit you, your AD should be able to exchange your straps for the correct lengths (given they are unworn). Pricing on these straps vary but are rather easy to find!
There are a few variants of this strap available, all in the 24/22mm* size:
- Short Length 98/68mm for a tang buckle
- Standard Length 115/75mm for a deployant buckle
- Standard Length 115/75mm for a tang buckle
- Extra Long (XL) Length 115/95mm for a deployant buckle
- Extra Long (XL) Length 115/95mm for a tang buckle
* this represents a 24mm lug width and 22mm at the buckle