Reviewer: Mike W (UKWolfeman)
Strap Being Reviewed: Original Black Sailcloth with White Stitch
donated for review
Company Website: http://www.bradystraps.com/Home_Page.php
Email: [email protected]
120 X 80mm
7 sizing adjustment holes
Stainless Steel Buckle
Price: $34.95 USD
Thoughts and Impressions: I've been wanting to check out the Original Sailcoth for some time and I thought prior to the release of the "Avenger" Sailcloth this would be an excellent opportunity. My initial impression was incredibly soft to the touch but stiff. However, the flexibility of the strap is fantastic and breaking the strap in was super easy. As the strap breaks in the softness and level of comfort increases.
As far as the strap characteristics are concerned the outer shell is a sailcloth pattern embossed black leather that is extremely soft to the touch. The leather finish as "matte" is accurate. The strap measures 120/80mm in length. One of the key features of the length is sizing hole placement. Other strap makers should take note. I normally can wear nothing below 130/80mm, however, due to the 7 sizing holes being placed closer to the tail of the strap the fit is absolutely perfect. All strap makers should place sizing holes slightly closer to the tail and provide 7 holes unless directly differently by the buyer. The outer most hole is slightly under 24mm from the tail. A few mm and number of holes makes an incredible difference in wearability in many cases as I have heard many personal stories that just plain make this a fact.
The strap for review measures 22mm at the lug tapering to about 20mm at the buckle. Probably the only aspect of the strap I could even begin to take exception with as I much prefer non tapering straps. Just a personal preference as I think non tapering straps are slightly more comfortable. The specification indicate a 5mm thick strap, however, my calipers are measuring around 4.5mm at the thickest point and just over 3mm at the thinnest. Substantial overall thickness. One of the other great features that I wish strap makers could incorporate in custom work are what BradyStraps refer to as "Brady Bars". I have seen other non custom straps use a similar set up. The original sailcloth has super strength 316L Stainless Steel quick release spring bars (Brady Bars) pre-installed in the strap. The quick release make strap changes simple and fast while also saving wear and tear on watch lugs which is highly preferable. Absolutely no need for tools.
The flexibility and comfort has increased greatly over time since arrival. Actually probably one of the most comfortable straps I have ever experienced. The Nubuck leather backing becomes more supple with wear. The strap seems great in water. Water just runs right off the outer shell and hasn't appeared to impact comfort after drying so far. The original sailcloth appears to be a great value under $35 with quality materials, high level of comfort, easy sizing, easy installation as well as a water repellant quality. There are numerous stitch options so I'm certain there is an Original Sailcloth for pretty much any watch so check them out.
I really look forward to completing a side by side of the original versus the new Avenger version a few months down the road so stay tuned for the review. Thanks for reading and as always I look forward to your comments.
All versions of the original Sailcloth straps can be viewed here: http://www.bradystraps.com/Black_Sailcloth.php