Thursday, December 9, 2010

The K99 strap for Panerai by Kostas Veni

Some of the older original OEM Panerai straps - like the PAV99 - are as much sought after as certain out of production Panerai watches. Going prices for original PAV straps from the pre Vendome era, are now in the range of 1,500 to 2,000 USD or perhaps more depending on the model. That's just for the strap mind you. Anything collectible can cost you an arm and a leg in the Panerai world. I've never owned a PAV strap and I probably never will, but strap maker Kostas Veni makes a strap that is perhaps the next best thing to a PAV99. And for a fraction of the costs. He calls his version of the strap the K99...

K99 strap by Kostas Veni
K99 strap by Kostas Veni

Kostas Veni - a Panerai collector himself - developed the K99 strap in an attempt to find a hide that is very similar in characteristics in comparison to the legendary PAV99. He spent a long time trying to find the perfect leather and he claims that he did. The leather is indeed of an exceptional quality and as a first impression, the strap does seem to be very well built.

K99 strap by Kostas Veni on Panerai PAM360
The K99 shown on the Panerai PAM360

Kostas - originally from Greece and now living in the UK - is not a full time strap maker and he does not have a website. He makes his straps on request and to specifications only with a buckle of your choice. The K99 in these pictures has a straight sewn-in pre V style buckle. The PVD color of the buckle is a little darker than the case of the 360 but it's a pretty good match nonetheless.

K99 strap on PAM360
Click the photos for a larger version

For many Panerai enthusiast it's difficult to stop looking for the next strap, but I think that this is one of the best looking matches for the Panerai PAM360. I'm sure that the leather will darken over time, but considering the quality of the leather that will make the strap look even better.

K99 strap on PAM360
Panerai PAM360 Luminor DLC

Before Kostas started making straps, his idea of a good strap was different compared to what it is now. He is now much more focused on the build quality. All his straps are completely handmade - including the stitching. And it shows. This K99 strap comes pretty close to perfection in my opinion. And it makes a stunning combination for the PAM360. The photo below shows the inside of the strap. The K99 has one fixed and one floating keeper.

K99 strap by Kostas Veni
The inside of the K99 strap

If you want to contact Kostas, his e-mail is Ekon_6 -at- hotmail.co.uk (replace -at- with @).

All photos © 2010 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission

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Panerai PAM360 Luminor DLC

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