Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ten more new straps from Simona di Stefano

I've posted several times before about Simona di Stefano's Panerai straps. The last post in February this year was about her new and amazing Saddle straps. These have absolutely been my favorites ever since, I own a black 24mm version for my 243 and a 26mm one for my Fiddy. I've been wearing the one on my 243 a lot and I'm happy to say that the quality absolutely lives up to my expectations as it still looks great and it shows only minimal signs of wear. I think it's worth mentioning that the Saddle straps are now also available with screw-in buckles so that you can easily order the straps with a buckle finish of your choice - including black and brown PVD!

New Di Stefano Straps

This time Simona sent me a number of her other new creations. I'm starting with the Gamekeeper straps. The below photo shows the standard (brown) version on the left and the mustard version on the right.

Simona di Stefano Gamekeeper straps

The Gamekeeper strap has great looking and unique texture. The leather is exceptionally comfortable. As always, the quality of these straps is just great. The straps are clearly made with great eye for detail. The photo below shows the Mustard Gamekeeper strap on a Panerai PAM360. I like how the color matches with the color of the indices on the dial of this watch. I received this strap with a black PVD buckle but it can of course be ordered with other buckles as well.

The Mustard Gamekeeper strap on a Panerai PAM360

The standard version of the Gamekeeper is brown with beige stitches. If you own a Simona strap yourself, you'll probably notice that the strap in these pictures has a new style screw-in buckle.

Shown here on a Panerai PAM00002 (2A)

Simona di Stefano Gamekeeper

Next up are two alligator straps, a burgundy strap in 24mm and a light gray gator strap in 26mm for 47mm Panerai watches.

Burgundy and light gray alligator straps

The inside of the straps have the Simona di Stefano Firenze logo embossed. I own several alligator straps that I bought from Simona over the years and I still believe that no one makes better alligator straps. In my opinion, her gators have the perfect balance between formal and casual looking straps, especially the cut edge versions.

The company logo on the inside of the straps

Below are a few photos of the light gray gator strap mounted on a Panerai PAM127 aka Fiddy. The sample in these pictures came with a bent brushed steel buckle.

Light gray gator on a Panerai PAM127

The edges are so-called "cut edges" as opposed to rolled edges. Gator straps with rolled edges are generally a bit more expensive because it requires more work and more hide, but I personally prefer the cut edges.

This version came with a bent brushed steel buckle

Gator straps come in many varieties and with different finishes. The light gray gator has a semi gloss finish.

The strap has a great semi gloss finish

The next strap is called Mosaic. The leather of these straps is truly amazing, very supple and comfortable on the wrist with a great texture. The picture below shows two different Mosaic straps, the one on the left is called Mosaic Gold and the one next to it is called Mosaic Stone. If you scroll down you'll see that there's also a version called Mosaic Plum and another one which is called Mosaic Blue.

The Mosaic Gold (L) and the Mosaic Stone

The Mosaic Gold is my favorite of the straps in this post. I just love how it looks on the PAM360. Perfect. Like the other straps, you can order these with any buckle in any finish - screw in or sewn in.

Mosaic Gold on a Panerai PAM360

Mosaic Gold with a PVD buckle

Here's a last picture of the Mosaic Gold on the PAM360.

Mosaic Gold - my personal favorite

The strap on the PAM233 below is yet another version of the Mosaic strap, it's called Mosaic Plum.

Mosaic Plum on a Panerai PAM233

Mosaic Plum with a brushed steel buckle

The Mosaic Stone has a very nice light color, one that you don't see often. Great for Summer.

The Mosaic Stone shown here on the PAM360

Mosaic Stone - click the photos for a larger version

The last Mosaic strap in this post in the blue version shown below. If I still had my PAM252 North Pole - with its blue dial, I would have definitely wanted to buy this strap. I can imagine that it will also make a great combination with a PAM87.

The Mosaic strap in blue

Hand stitched straps

The last two top quality straps in this post are hand stitched straps. The one showing in the first picture is called Rooster Cogburn - True Grit and the second one is called Polar Expedition.

Note that these (True Grit and Polar Expedition) are limited and available while stock lasts only. The reason for this is that Steve Bell - who has worked together with Simona - has taken on a full time job. As a result, it is not possible for him to be involved in the complicated production process of these hand stitched straps anymore. I'm going to take the opportunity to thank Steve for all he has done for Di Stefano Straps, Simona and us strap buyers. Thank you Steve, it was always a pleasure dealing with you.

I haven't taken any pictures of these straps mounted on a watch, but I think that the photos clearly show the amazing quality of the leather. The one below is actually the softest strap of all the straps in this post.

Rooster Cogburn - True Grit

The final photo shows the new Polar Expedition strap. The one shown below is 26mm - for 47mm Panerai watches. Like the strap above, this is a hand stitched strap made from the best quality leather.

Polar Expedition strap

There are a few more photos available on

You can order Simona's straps from her new website Most straps are ready made and available immediately. The hand stitched straps are limited.

All photos © 2011 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission

Related posts

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Vintage Green Olive crocodile strap

Saturday, July 23, 2011

PAM386 Luminor Composite Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic

Based on the attention that the 2011 Panerai models have received on the different watch fora, the composite PAM386 may be one of the most overlooked new Panerai watches this year. Which is strange, because it's not only a very good looking watch - it's also a very interesting watch because it is made using the new Panerai composite. This material was also used in the Radiomir PAM339 and that watch was a big hit - perhaps the most popular Panerai watch introduced in 2010.

Panerai PAM386
PAM386 Luminor Composite Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic 44mm

There were two watches that I didn't get to photograph at the SIHH in January this year and the PAM386 was one of them. I guess I forgot to ask for those watches as I was a bit overwhelmed by the PAM372 and another composite watch, the 47mm special edition PAM375. The PAM380 Radiomir blackseal is another watch that I was able to shoot later and this week I got the opportunity to take pictures of the PAM386 - thanks to the kind people of Richemont in Amsterdam.

Panerai PAM386
The composite case is brown

The PAM386 has a brown 44mm case and its dial is brown too. Its actual color doesn't show very well in many photos (as you can see in the first one where the dial appears to be black), but the above photo is pretty close to its actual color. The Luminova is beige which combines nicely with the brown of the dial.

Panerai PAM386
The Panerai "Assolutamente" strap

The watch comes with the Panerai Assolutamente strap. One of the nicest OEM straps no doubt. It can be ordered from Panerai separately too. Its product code is MX006GJF in case you're interested. The strap tapers from 24mm to 22mm and it's 115x75 - which is a bit short for my taste, but I think it's also available in other lengths.

Panerai PAM386
Case back

The Panerai PAM386 has the automatic mechanical P.9000 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai. This movement has a 3 day power reserve (it uses 2 barrels). The watch has a crystal case back so you can see some of its movement details and the rotor. The dial has a date at 3 o'clock, a small seconds dial at 9 o'clock and it offers 300 meter water resistance.

Panerai PAM386
Click the photos for a larger version

If you want a composite Luminor and you're not on the list for a PAM375, then this 386 is certainly worth considering. It's a very functional watch, its case size (44mm) is probably a bit better suited for people that don't have wrists like tree trunks and it's simply stunning in person with its amazing brown dial and beige numbers.

Panerai PAM386
PAM386 Luminor Composite Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic

All photos © 2011 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission.

Related posts

PAM375 Luminor composite 1950
Panerai PAM339 Radiomir Composite Marina Militare

Thursday, July 7, 2011

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm

Although perhaps not a model that makes the hard core Panerai enthusiast's heart beat faster at first, the new Panerai PAM356 is a very nice looking and functional wristwatch. The 356 was introduced in Geneva in January this year and I think that this is one of the few models that's already available. It is a regular production watch. The Luminova has the same beige color as the Luminova that is used on for instance the PAM360, called "faux patina" by some (but hopefully not by you, because it sounds pretty stupid to me). Anyway, if you are looking for a watch that offers the functions, the quality and the image of a luxury watch, but without the pretense - this might be the one you've been looking for.

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm
PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm

The watch has the ETA based Panerai OP XIX calibre which offers hours, minutes, seconds, a date and a chronograph. The case is 44mm brushed steel and the watch has a solid steel caseback. The PAM356 does have a quick date change function, but it is not operated in the usual way (i.e. pulling out the crown one click). There's a so called "date corrector" at the 10 o'clock position which you can see in the below photo. A special tool is supplied with the watch to operate this function ie to change the date.

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm
The "date corrector" at the 10 o'clock position

The 356 sets forth on a tradition of Panerai watches with the text Daylight on the dial. It's a reference to Sylvester Stallone's movie Daylight. He spotted and bought a Luminor in Rome in 1995 to wear during the shooting of the movie and he then ordered a number of watches with his signature on the case back, as gifts to friends. Those watches are sought after collectibles and very valuable now.

PAM356 Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm
The typical Luminor crown guard with the integrated chrono pushers

All photos © 2011 M.Wilmsen - do not use without permission

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