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Thread: 'Waterproof' Leather Straps - Are they though?

  1. #1
    Grand Master
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    'Waterproof' Leather Straps - Are they though?

    I've often wondered about this and, with a Hirsch Robby incoming, I thought I'd ask the collective.

    Hirsch says the Robby is calf leather backed with rubber and is water resistant to 300m. Does this mean it can go down to 300m before it starts to fall apart? Can it be used it water at all i.e. for swimming? Surely the calf leather will be damaged using it for swimming?

    Grateful for any advice.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Iíve used a Robby on a U1 on the sea and it as fine. Donít understand the depth rating though, wet is wet isnít it?!


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  3. #3
    Grand Master
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    Thanks, that's what I thought too! But I thought wet would mean damaged leather so good to hear you've used your in water.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Iíve used a Robby on a U1 on the sea and it as fine. Donít understand the depth rating though, wet is wet isnít it?!


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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Thanks, that's what I thought too! But I thought wet would mean damaged leather so good to hear you've used your in water.
    Maybe the water penetrates further under higher pressure?

    Edit - Meant to post in reply to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Iíve used a Robby on a U1 on the sea and it as fine. Donít understand the depth rating though, wet is wet isnít it?!


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    Last edited by Kingstepper; 21st July 2019 at 20:18.

  5. #5
    Grand Master
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    Maybe. That's the issue though, I can't find the answer definitively.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Maybe the water penetrates further under higher pressure?

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    Since you'd be dead long before 300m, the precise depth rating is rather academic! And rather pointless.

    To return to the original subject, I have had a few leather straps that were described as water resistant. Some have indeed seemed impervious to water (though my usage wasn't terribly extreme), others less so, though none actually gave any problems over time.

  7. #7
    Grand Master
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    Thanks, thatís what I was after!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGrumpy View Post
    Since you'd be dead long before 300m, the precise depth rating is rather academic! And rather pointless.

    To return to the original subject, I have had a few leather straps that were described as water resistant. Some have indeed seemed impervious to water (though my usage wasn't terribly extreme), others less so, though none actually gave any problems over time.

  8. #8
    Master
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    I have loads of leather shoes, they cope fine with rain.

    Why are people worried about getting a leather strap wet?

  9. #9
    The Hirsch Robby looks like a fancy G shock strap on the back - basically a rubber strap with a thin outer layer of very treated/coated leather. Brilliantly well made actually


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  10. #10
    Master
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    If you need strap with properties of rubber strap, you should look for (Morellato) lorica straps.

    Super comfortable, great on and down the sea

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Why are people worried about getting a leather strap wet?
    Some people may wish to go swimming with their watch - either in a pool (which risks chlorine damage) or in the sea (which risks salt damage).

  12. #12
    I have the Panerai gold calf cashmere strap on my 560. Itís advertised & sold as a treated sport strap ideal for water activities. Been swimming a few times and whilst itís certainly discoloured/ aged slightly, does seem to be holding up well.

    Although Panerai are quick to tell me this strap isnít meant to be used for water activities & I should wear the rubber strap. We all know Panerai look better on leather right?

    Be interested to hear others who own the said strap and if it holds up long terms. (Sorry for hijacking this thread)


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  13. #13
    Grand Master jwg663's Avatar
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    Anonimo watches used to come with a 'Kodiak' leather strap. which was guaranteed waterproof.

    Supplier, up to 2013, was TC Watch Straps, who still make them:

    https://www.tcstraps.com/collections...nonimo-watches

    From their website:

    What is "Original Kodiak" and is it really waterproof?

    Original Kodiak is a patented process that is applied to leather to make a 100% waterproof strap. Waterproof in the pool, sea, shower or gym...and, even sweat. If it is not made by the Cuoierie Meccaniche Brelli for Time Connection in Castelfiorentino, Italy, it cannot be Kodiak.
    ______

    ​Jim.

  14. #14
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Some people may wish to go swimming with their watch - either in a pool (which risks chlorine damage) or in the sea (which risks salt damage).
    I think you have to view a leather strap as a consumable item that will need replacement due to wear ...

  15. #15
    Master
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    I think sweat does more damage to a leather strap water does.

  16. #16
    Master
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    I have a Hirsch Paul on my Conquest Sport. It has been on for probably 5 years plus and is as good as new with lots of showers, the odd bath, swimming in both pools and sea.

  17. #17
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    I've tried the hirsch performance straps and think that they are really good, went swimming and canoeing a lot last summer and the strap showed no real damage.

    The only "waterproof" leather strap I currently have is this vintage Kaufmann. Made from Horween Chromexcel leather with waxed braided thread. I've not been diving with it but it does get wet fairly regularly and so far no issues.

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    I think you have to view a leather strap as a consumable item that will need replacement due to wear ...
    While I agree, frequency of replacement matters. For people who do a lot of swimming or water sports, then itís worth having a strap that wonít be ruined quickly by regular immersion in chlorinated (or salt) water.

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