Personal Strap Review
Di Stefano Straps from Florence, Italy
One of the best-known European strap makers within the Paneristi community is without doubt Di Stefano Straps from Florence, Italy. It's a family owned business started as a leather tannery business in 1899 in Livorno, Italy. During the second World War they produced some leather products to military specifications for the Italian army. After the war they moved forward into the business by supplying fashion houses like Gucci, Prada and Ferragamo with their finest leather hides. Now these days Simona Di Stefano, the fourth generation of the family business who earlier worked for Officine Panerai, has combined the two and created a whole range of top-notch watch straps from Panerai and other luxury watch brands.
Di Stefano Partner strapsI am lucky my wife is also fond of Panerai, although still she is not so obsessed with straps like I am. Getting the same style straps for both of us was something I did the very first time she got her first Panerai, a PAM00048 was in 2014 from a great strapmaker from Singapore, Anthony Pang from Straps66. Those were dark blue nubuck ostrich leg leather straps made from one and the same piece of hide.
We just received two beautiful sets of partner straps made for us from Simona di Stefano, the first set are the new light grey Titanium Gator and the second set are also a new line part of the Di Stefano diver straps, the Yellow Submarine.
Delivery in The NetherlandsWe had enough time to discuss with Simona the specifications of the straps so they could be sent to my address in The Netherlands and could take them to India myself. Still for us the easiest way to get things to India.
Different PouchesThe Titanium Gator straps come in elegant blue leather pouches with the "Di Stefano" logo enbossed.
The Yellow Submarine straps are packed in the bigger suede pouches, the same used for the Kommando Diver strap. This bigger pouch is extra handy, you can use it to store your Panerai watch in it when traveling.
The strapsThe straps look & feel are completely different, still both match the PAM00048 and the PAM00389 very well!
Titanium Gator strapThis strap has a glossy shine have large scales made as the alligator straps Di Stefano has been making for years, vintage style. This makes them completely different from the padded Panerai OEM alligator straps, still you can use your Panerai OEM buckle with these straps. The lining of the straps are veg-tan leather to be sure no allergic reactions could arise. The stitching is dark grey and compliments the dials of both watches. The strap is somewhat stiff and will break-in after a week of wearing. The sides are slightly burnished instead of edge-coating like on the Panerai OEM alligator straps and feels a lot more robust and durable than the Panerai OEM alligator strap versions I have had. The looks of this strap makes you want to wear it at more official occasions, this type of strap makes the watch look very dressy!
Yellow Submarine strapThis straps is a complete different story. To begin with the bright yellow color that has been slightly aged and feels spongy, the strap is thick and the leather used makes it suitable to swim with. The buckles are sewn-in, this is as far as I am concerned my preferred kind of configuration as your strap is ready to use, no need to install a buckle. Although the strap is thicker than the Titanium Alligator strap, it is soft from the first time you wear it and doesn't need to break-in.
The sewn-in & screw-in buckles
Historical buckles on the Yellow Submarine strapsThe Yellow Submarine straps have both sewn-in buckles, something I prefer anyway, my wife on the other hand tries to use her OEM Panerai buckles as much as possible with straps. My version has a GPF Mod Dep style buckle or as Di Stefano straps calls it the Diver Buckle, while my wife's 22mm strap has a more elegant 22mm Pre-V Style sewn-in buckle, both buckles are matt finish stainless steel.
Elegant modern screw-in buckles on the Titanium Gator strapsThe buckles used on the Titanium Gator straps are completely different, they are sleek and more for a dress-strap meant. Di Stefano calls it the dressy buckle.
On the watches
The straps on the wrists
My conclusionThere is not much promotion being done for lady-straps but when you ask about it, most strapmakers are happy to create them. In this case with Di Stefano straps, you just pick out the strap of choice and send them an email.. Till date I did not have a rejection on my requests. As my wife's wrist is small and too small for the standard sizes it is important that a strap you order fits in balance. Di Stefano straps did an excellent job on both straps.
The Titanium Gator straps are both very elegant, my strap a robust straight 26-26 mm and my wife's a tapered version 22-20 mm. The finish is very precise, the color of the strap matches both watches very well. A fantastic alternative for a Panerai OEM alligator strap and when you compare them the Di Stefano straps look like they are much more made to last a lot longer. We will wear them at more formal occasions and the color of the straps make it easy to match with a lot of colors.
The Yellow Submarine straps are both straight straps, my strap 26-26 and my wife's strap 22-22 mm. My strap is 5mm thick and my wife's strap is 4mm otherwise this strap would be too bulky on a small wrist. The leather is very different from any of my other straps including the two Diver straps, the leather feels soft and spongy. The color of these straps screams Summer and fits best with either jeans or shorts! The great thing about the Yellow Submarine straps is that they are too Diver straps, that means the leather is very robust and can used for swimming or diving. Although my wife is a big fan of Panerai OEM buckles, this one as it is a sewn-in buckle, just has to be used and she got used to it now and wears it with joy.
If you are looking for more info about Di Stefano Straps, you can find the strap maker at www.distefanostraps.com and if you interested in more details about the strapmaker of Di Stefano Straps, Simona di Stefano, click here
I hope you like the review, feel free to post your comments here
The strap specifications:
Below you find summarized the specifications of the strap, the prices mentioned are only indicative just to give you an idea what you could expect if you order one.
Titanium Gator strapsLeather type: Alligator leather with bruno leather lining
Special treatment: no
Width: 26/26 mm & 22-20mm
Length: 110/70 for the 22-20 mm, 140/85 mm for the 26mm
Thickness strap: 4 mm
Type of buckle: Di Stefano Dressy Buckle
Buckle material: 20mm polished steel, 26mm brushed steel
Type of stitching: machine-stitch
Price range: 190-244 EURO (depending on choice of buckle and destination, VAT & shipping charges vary)
Yellow Submarine strapsLeather type: Bruno leather
Special treatment: grinding & polishing followed by seawater & natural leather balsam treatment
Width: 26-26 mm & 22-22mm
Length: 150/90 mm & 120/70
Thickness strap: 26mm: 5 mm, 22mm: 4mm
Type of buckle: Di Stefano Vintage style sewn-in buckle on the 22mm strap, sewn-in Diver buckle on the 26mm strap
Buckle material: Brushed steel
Type of stitching: machine-stitch
Price range: 220 EURO (depending on choice of buckle and destination, VAT & shipping charges vary)
A few additional images of the straps. Enjoy!