Strap rant and some thoughts....

Straps, bracelets and parts

Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby eddiea » November 14th 2014, 5:01pm

Is it the price of straps are getting ridiculously out of hand ? or is just me?...
Looking for a spare strap for my new Jaeger LeCoultre (like to change the look once in a while) has been a goddamned learning experience.
Today I pay a visit to my local Jaeger LeCoultre AD ...after a nice chat with a hot brunette associate over a latte macchiato (fortunately free) I found that an OEM JLC strap will cost $497 plus tax :shock:
It looks like they are especially hand made by La Mansion Camille Fournet, Paris, a shop made of only 7 craftsmen (and women) these straps are unique in the way that it would fit the also outrageously expensive JLC double deployant clasp (not included of course), have curved ends to match the JLC case etc.etc.. and that's is a good thing, because you can ordered directly from Camille Fournet at only "$220" plus shipping (and pray US Customs don't open the little box because is considered a luxury item) which honestly, sounded like a bargain ...
See also an increasingly disregard for pricing when it comes down to the independents, are they really worth it? ...
End of rant...... thoughts?
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby conjurer » November 14th 2014, 5:20pm

The last time I looked, Omega was charging $600 for a fucking rubber strap. Made with Swiss rubber, I would hope.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby fatman » November 14th 2014, 5:23pm

Sounds like when someone would buy a Ferrari or other hand built cars. $3,000 oil changes, $15, 000 valve adjustments every 5-10k miles.

Not sure what the cost of the watch was but after seeing the pics of it and where you have intentionally taken your collection , I don't think 5 bills is out of line for it coming direct through the manufacturer.

It also reminds me of the discussion a few months ago about figuring in maintenance cost into the budget of buying and maintaining high to higher end watches in the collection. I think straps would fit into the maintaining/ maintenance category.

I mean, you didn't go to Panatime to look for a strap. At least not at first. ;)
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby foghorn » November 14th 2014, 5:26pm

I'm happy with Panatime straps. Leather quality and stitching is good enough for me. The average strap, foo foo or not , only lasts a couple of years with normal wear- maybe a little longer if you treat them and never sweat. I can't see spending more than a hundred bucks on any leather unless it's an exotic. I have a Panatime on my Seamaster GMT which is nearing its end. Problem is that once they get nice and broken in they're hard to replace, ugly or not.. And you can use the OEM hardware in many cases ,if you're so inclined.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby eddiea » November 14th 2014, 5:36pm

conjurer wrote:The last time I looked, Omega was charging $600 for a fucking rubber strap. Made with Swiss rubber, I would hope.

There is no rubber in Switzerland, processed in Switzerland ? maybe...if is really rubber? must like it came from ,
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby Tzimisces » November 14th 2014, 5:42pm

foghorn wrote:I'm happy with Panatime straps. Leather quality and stitching is good enough for me. The average strap, foo foo or not , only lasts a couple of years with normal wear- maybe a little longer if you treat them and never sweat. I can't see spending more than a hundred bucks on any leather unless it's an exotic. I have a Panatime on my Seamaster GMT which is nearing its end. Problem is that once they get nice and broken in they're hard to replace, ugly or not.. And you can use the OEM hardware in many cases ,if you're so inclined.

Agreed. The OEM strap for my Orient Retrograde was a tad too small, so I replaced it with a similar-looking $35 strap from panatime. Switched the signed deployant clasp and good to go.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby eddiea » November 14th 2014, 6:07pm

fatman wrote:Sounds like when someone would buy a Ferrari or other hand built cars. $3,000 oil changes, $15, 000 valve adjustments every 5-10k miles.
Not sure what the cost of the watch was but after seeing the pics of it and where you have intentionally taken your collection , I don't think 5 bills is out of line for it coming direct through the manufacturer.
It also reminds me of the discussion a few months ago about figuring in maintenance cost into the budget of buying and maintaining high to higher end watches in the collection. I think straps would fit into the maintaining/ maintenance category.
I mean, you didn't go to Panatime to look for a strap. At least not at first. ;)


Not exactly the same thing Fatman,
Unlike Ferrari (or any other exotic car for that matter) service and the need for OEM parts and labor are a must or, risking voiding the warranty, ruining the car performance (if out of warranty) eventually will catch up with you, if you don't .
When it comes to watch straps? I don't have to buy OEM , as stated above, Camille Fournet will make you the exact same strap (sans the JLC stamped name) at less than half price.
And I personally, don't count straps as part of servicing the watch, but as miscellaneous wear and tear expenses...others miles of course, may vary.
"5 bills" is a crazy mark up , not a realistic price (including profit) for a leather strap.....
Last edited by eddiea on November 14th 2014, 6:38pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby Tzimisces » November 14th 2014, 6:22pm

For $500 it better be made of unicorn foreskin.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby Racer-X » November 14th 2014, 6:28pm

Panatime has been good to me as well. $500 for a strap sounds incredibly high regardless of provenance.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby conjurer » November 14th 2014, 6:34pm

In the old days you'd take your watch to a jewelers, and he'd put a new strap for five bucks, while you waited around smoking a Benson & Hedges. And afterwards, his wife would come out of the back and suck your dick for you!
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby Don Barzini » November 14th 2014, 6:38pm

Camille Fournet makes straps for JLC, IWC, Breguet and others. I too picked up one of their straps directly for about $240. It's on a Frederick Constant.

Right now I'm sitting on a practically unused black JLC strap from my MCChrono 2. That's how quick I sold it - the AD threw in a short strap and by the time it arrived a couple months later, I had sold the watch. At 21mm, it doesn't work with many watches.

Breitling Crocodile straps without even a tang buckle are about $600 now. Not made out of Unicorn foreskin, but by far the nicest straps I have ever worn or handled. The CM straps are nice, but not that nice.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby Horse Feathers » November 14th 2014, 6:59pm

eddiea wrote:Not exactly the same thing Fatman,
Unlike Ferrari (or any other exotic car for that matter) service and the need for OEM parts and labor are a must or, risking voiding the warranty..


Per the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act a vehicle manufacturer cannot void the warranty of your vehicle due to an aftermarket part unless they can prove that the aftermarket part was the cause or contributed to the failure of the vehicle (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)).

http://www.autoanything.com/popups/MossWarranty.aspx

Granted the aftermarket for that car would be limited you would still have Ferrari Branded OEM and true OEM (non branded) part options with labor wherever you wish. Typically not the issue for someone who can afford the car.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby conjurer » November 14th 2014, 7:34pm

Horse Feathers wrote:
eddiea wrote:Not exactly the same thing Fatman,
Unlike Ferrari (or any other exotic car for that matter) service and the need for OEM parts and labor are a must or, risking voiding the warranty..


Per the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act a vehicle manufacturer cannot void the warranty of your vehicle due to an aftermarket part unless they can prove that the aftermarket part was the cause or contributed to the failure of the vehicle (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)).

http://www.autoanything.com/popups/MossWarranty.aspx

Granted the aftermarket for that car would be limited you would still have Ferrari Branded OEM and true OEM (non branded) part options with labor wherever you wish. Typically not the issue for someone who can afford the car.


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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby eddiea » November 14th 2014, 8:24pm

Horse Feathers wrote:Typically not the issue for someone who can afford the car.

Exactly!
The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act is the law, you are correct, that been said....
Not only is not an issue, but is most likely totally irrelevant in any Ferrari dealearship Service Department, where probably is (if mentioned) a subject of watercooler jokes.
At the point of service of my car (not a Ferrari), the couple times I have mentioned alternative parts ...you get the slightly condescending smile and the "sure is your call, but between us? not recommended, you'll pay the price sooner or later" , sales pitch ? sure, you want to take a risk on a performance car? of course not, in my experence above a certain level, the Act is irrelevant for all practical purposes.
Not to mention that, manufactures will fight you to the death, if a catastrophic failure happen in a car fitted with aftermarket parts, even if they are wrong.
And back to my point, servicing a car have no relation whatsoever with changing a watch strap , not even a resemblance.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby Mark1 » November 15th 2014, 1:42am

This is but one reason why I buy cheap watches, (that and I am just plain cheap). If I were buying high end watches I would expect to pay through the nose for their branded accessories. I don't, so Panatime or WatchPrince is fine for me. One hundred percent markup for a strap may seem high, just guess what the markup on the watch itself is.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby fatman » November 15th 2014, 2:20am

Eddie, I know it's not the same thing. The scenarios just seemed to me to be somewhat similar. Buy high end stuff and have to spend high end money to maintain the high end stuff.

Hell, some of us here wouldn't hesitate to put a $150-$200 hand made leather strap on a Orient, Seiko or other " affordable to most " brand watch. So I will stick With my words and say again that I don't really think $500 is outlandish for a strap direct from a manufacturer of a multi thousand dollar watch. The $220 option does sound much better but I would think it would also be like buying a fender or a hood from aftermarket manufacturer, it won't be exactly like the one from Ford and it won't fit exactly the same.

I guess I just consider after the sale cost to be in the maintaining/ maintenance cost of anything I might purchase.

Edit: rephrase.
Last edited by fatman on November 15th 2014, 3:21am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby fatman » November 15th 2014, 3:01am

And as far as Panatime goes. I wasn't trying to degrade them. Not at all. While I am comparing cars and watches. Panatime is like the Cherry bomb of watch straps. Well made, affordable and does the job it is intended to do. I just wouldn't put a Cherry bomb on my 599 California, CLS 63 AMG or R8.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby eddiea » November 15th 2014, 3:26am

fatman wrote:Eddie, I know it's not the same thing. The scenarios just seemed to me to be somewhat similar. Buy high end stuff and have to spend high end money to maintain the high end stuff.
Hell, some of us here wouldn't hesitate to put a $150-$200 hand made leather strap on a Orient, Seiko or other " affordable to most " brand watch. So I will stick With my words and say again that I don't really think $500 is outlandish for a strap direct from a manufacturer of a multi thousand dollar watch. The $220 option does sound much better but just like buying a fender or a hood from aftermarket manufacturer, it won't be exactly like the one from Ford and it won't fit exactly the same.
I guess I just consider after the sale cost to be in the maintaining/ maintenance cost of anything I might purchase.


Understand your points and in general do agree, that been said and in this particular strap scenario,
Camille Fournet is not an aftermarket product and the strap they make at request for JLC owners, is the exact same strap they make for JLC the company, since they are the original manufacturer ...no difference other that the strap is not stamped JLC in the inside of the liner and of course, the less than half price ...my point is, you are paying more than double for exactly the same OEM strap, sans the JLC unitials stamped in the inner side of the strap...if you factor in, that Camille Fournet make several thousand of these straps at wholesale prices for JLC every year, in my book that is a crazy mark-up driven by greed and a ripoff is a ripoff , regardless of you buying a high end product or an affordable one.
BTW , dind't know you have an 63 AMG ;)
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby fatman » November 15th 2014, 4:08am

eddiea wrote:BTW , dind't know you have an 63 AMG ;)


Oh, back when I was a apprentice dump truck driver/ heavy equipment operator and I was writing my thesis on the benefits of topping off the fuel tanks every night to prevent condensation inside the tank I cycled through a few AMG's to finally settle on a Toyota tacoma. :D


Your points on the strap are spot on. I misunderstood your post about where and who made the $220 strap. To most people the 50% mark up for a manufacture stamp aren't worth it. But to some people it would be. Of course the people who find that stamp to be important are probably the people who aren't concerned about cost at all. If the strap breaks they send it off or take it in and say " fix it " and call me when you are finished.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby conjurer » November 15th 2014, 9:33am

As foggy correctly points out, a watch strap is a product that degrades over time and needs to be replaced at certain intervals. Generally, in the secondary market, the branding of a strap means almost nothing, as long at the buckle-clasp has been kept with the watch head. This is especially true with luxury brands, like eddie's very sweet JLC. Most high-end replacement straps don't even come with buckles, since it's assumed that the OEM hardware will be ported over. If you look at auction listings for hyper-luxury brands, they will say things like "very rare and fine Vacheron (or whatever)," talking about the condition, provenance, etc. of the watch head, but never a word about the strap.

Most people in the world, even wealthy people who can afford very high-end luxury brands, don't own more than a couple of watches; when the strap starts looking a little ratty on their Patek Calatrava, for instance, they may or may not go in to the jeweler they got it from and tell the guy behind the counter to replace the strap. I'd guess its to the jeweler's benefit to have Patek-branded straps on hand so they can make a couple of hundred extra bucks. In the end, while getting a JLC stamp on the inside of the replacement strap might not cause any aggita with some customers, a well-made, unbranded strap detracts nothing from the look or value of the watch.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby Steelhead » November 15th 2014, 7:35pm

fatman wrote:Hell, some of us here wouldn't hesitate to put a $150-$200 hand made leather strap on a Orient, Seiko or other " affordable to most " brand watch.


*raises hand* I have a DaLuca shell cordovan Zulu that retails for $160* on my 007.

You can get a strap for 10 bucks, if you're not too particular about the quality of the leather. $20-30 gets you a passable piece from Panatime, $50-60 will buy you something like CXL, shell starts around $70. $200+ for OEM is just nuts.

* - I got it on a sales forum, didn't pay anything close to that.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby 3Flushes » November 15th 2014, 9:02pm

eddie- I've posted a lot about leather around here somewheres if you want to check them out, but briefly, man, it comes down to the quality of the leather. I know the guys doing the factory straps are old world, 12th generation craftsman using the finest hides and ancient techniques known only to them - but, it is a watch strap. The fact that you can buy their makers' market equivalent for half the price, if it is the same leather, makes the signed buckle a lot more money than its worth in my take on it. The resale value of the signed buckle will be shit to piss on if you wear the strap, as I'm sure you know, because, the best quality full grain hides reveal their journey, wabnify, patina, whatever your preferred vernacular for, it's the only leather that does so. Good straps also show where they have been buckled, although, doing so properly makes a lot of difference in wear and tear.

If you want to wear it and keep it in good shape and keep it for good like the watch (at least for now, ha!) you can buy the factory makers' full grain, vegetable tanned, hand worked and hand made strap for $200-$300, I think it's worth the money, especially if it hugs the lugs and the case; just like the factory model, but worse.

A high quality strap with good hardware will be 150-175'ish and up anyway, so, if you want to venture off of the farm, there's a lot of independent guys making bags, dressage saddles and whatnot, who have jumped into superlative (my apologies to Rolex) watchstraps to survive; hell, some of these guys have waiting lists that are months freakin' long.

I told a friend about a guy I learned about here who bought four straps made from WWII surplus narzi luger holsters. He asked they all be taken from different holsters as one was for him and three were gifts. He ordered in mid-March, they were sold out the 3rd week of April and the last ones ordered will be delivered by Dec. 1. The maker'd offered to email pics of what he'd cut, but my friend opted not to peek. They arrived a couple of weeks ago and they all look completely different and they are all spectacular. I guess the guy uses all kinds of vintage military leather and makes some incredible surplus canvas straps as well. As I recall from drooling around the site, sometimes you get to pick what piece your strap will be cut from.

A custom guy can shape the curve of the case by bending a tube- have fun - if it wasn't included in the full kit and you don't need the JLC item to get max value should you ever bump your head and want to flip it- Find something really special or two like the watch; it would sure be nice on leather and canvas- wear her on those and keep the included attachemon pristine, money be fucking damned!!!! Yours, anyway!
Last edited by 3Flushes on November 16th 2014, 4:06pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby Dr.Morningwood » November 16th 2014, 9:40am

Eddie: I felt the pain too. I bought a pre owned Eebel 1911 Chronograph on leather. The strap was well worn and had

Cost me 3 bills to get a strap from an AD because the strap on those watches are screwed into the back of the case.

I was kind of new to collecting at the time, and was not even sure you could get an aftermarket strap from anywhere else.

Since traded that one away.
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Re: Strap rant and some thoughts....

Postby eddiea » November 16th 2014, 12:48pm

Dr.Morningwood wrote:Eddie: I felt the pain too. I bought a pre owned Eebel 1911 Chronograph on leather. The strap was well worn and had
Cost me 3 bills to get a strap from an AD because the strap on those watches are screwed into the back of the case.
I was kind of new to collecting at the time, and was not even sure you could get an aftermarket strap from anywhere else.
Since traded that one away.

Indeed, recently I passed on a 1911 chrono for the same reason (and the rubber pushers) a pretty unique strap :( ....
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