- Jan 23, 2011
- Reaction score
You're welcome.Thanks. Actually that's a Hirsch London (which is actual alligator), but I very well may go for the Duke, which seems to look very similar and is about 1/5 the price. Knowing you own it and like it helps - thanks.
But wait: if you can afford the "London" there is of course a difference. The "Duke" (embossed alligator) is very well made, but clearly doesn't feel as real as a genuine alligator strap. I can feel that it is not a real skin, and I'm completely OK with that. Also (up very close, though) it clearly is not a real skin; obviously there just is no way to produce an embossed skin with the exact feel and detail of real scales. One has to really touch and look extremely closely to notice that though; it is an excellent approximation from normal viewing distance, and a very good value.
Some don't buy alligator/croco for very valid ethical reasons; some for budget reasons; some for both.
The "Duke" is quite nice for embossed; the "London" is on a different level. At 5x the price though that is a debate you will have to resolve for yourself.
One other source for genuine alligator, also very nice quality but lower price than the top Hirsch, Di-Modell, etc. models, is Rios1931, like the "Imperial" or similar (the "Spitfire" is nice too, ostensibly made for IWC but sold to everyone, thinner at the lug than the "Imperial"; +/- 4mm v 6mm). Rios1931's genuine skin straps are excellent quality and well priced.
Another good strap, much lower cost than the Hirsch "London", very well made also, on the Rios cost/quality level, is the Di-Modell "Croco Bentley." I find the the Di-Modell "Aero" perforated backs very comfortable, as I live in a hot climate and sweat easily.
All these straps are produced in navy blue. I spent way too much time researching these, for my Stowa MO. Just some other suggestions. Good luck.