The ownership experience begins with the purchase of a watch, which is hopefully followed by an extensive honeymoon period where you adore your new timepiece. Having the watch on your wrist reinforces all the design traits that drew you to your latest acquisition, while discovering new and intricate characteristics that you would only notice after an extended period of wear. Once familiar with your timepiece and it’s place in your collection, often a sense of curiosity rises as you the owner, want to enhance that ownership experience. One of the best ways to satisfy that hankering, is through a new strap. Regardless of what timepiece you may have, a new strap can transform the look and feel of your watch, at times giving you that new watch feeling all over again. With options abundant and price points even more so, there is arguably no better way to get acquanited than to purchase one, which is just what I have done here!
The ColaReb brand prides itself on Italian design and craftsmanship, every strap in their extensive line up is hand made. A vast array of colours, textures, length and even vegan friendly options are on offer. I opted for the Tobacco Venenzia strap, which holds a lovely rich brown tone with a smooth, matte finish soft to the touch. The 20mm width tapers to a 18mm tang buckle, with off white stitching binding it all together. The first thing I assess on a strap is the the buckle, which sets the tone for what you can expect regarding quality. The tang buckle is finished with high polish and signed with the ColaReb logo, a nice touch providing evidence of thought throughtout the entire design. The hardware is adequate in function and superior than that found in cheaper alternatives, but does not quite possess the precision associated with OEM or the high end. Hole spacing is akin to that found on any other strap, with the polished pin doing well not to detoriate the leather regardess how often the strap comes on and off.
The hide itself is a pleasure on the wrist. Straight out of the minimal paper envelope, the leather is flawless. The rich brown of the tobacco inspried tone is instantly impressive and broadly compatible with any number of watches. Flipping it over, the ColaReb logo is depressed against beige backing on the inside of the strap, accompanied by the ‘Made in Italy’ inscription. The strap is 3mm thick, which makes it a touch substantial for pure dress watch application, but entirely suitable for a sporty or everyday watch. On my Rolex Explorer, the thickness did not overpower the heft of the case and for the first time I actually believed my watch wore true to its 39mm diameter. The tobacco complimented the black dial maginificently, inciting a vintage feel to a modern watch.
Securing the watch on the wrist, there is a period of break in time to be expected with a strap of this thickness. With a bit of massaging and wear, the ColaReb Venezia countours to the wrist nicely with the fine, velvet like surface on the interior of the strap enhancing
Like any other strap or bracelet, the ColaReb is not impervious to scratches or abrasions associated with daily wear, yet the blemishes do not spoil the aesthetic. The imperfections reveal a lighter tone than that of the Tobacco found when brand new, further contributing to the vintage perception that many enthusiasts look for. One can imagine that this strap would only get better with time as the fit and patina develop.The keepers are secure and fasten the excess length tightly, finalising what is a thoroughly enjoyable accessory that any enthusiast can confidently invest in.
On the spectrum of watch straps, there are alternatives that fall either side of ColaReb. ColaReb straps are far superior than those available in the sub $50 range, but not quite as luxurious as the offerings in the top tiers of the industry. Consequently, ColaReb can be perceived as the standard in straps. If you were in the market for something cheaper, expect quality to be inferior.
If you spend more, hope that the finish is superior. For the vacinity that ColaReb operates in, there are not many brands that come to mind that can compete with the quality and range the brand offers.
If there were anything I could ask more of the Venezia strap, it could be a touch slimmer to accomodate more delicate watches and if I’m really being picky, a premium tang buckle because I just love the confidence that a well engineered buckle instils. Again, these critiques are almost unjust given just how much value is on offer here from Colareb.
Given the sheer amount of watch straps available online, it can be hard to source the right accessory for your timepiece within variables of price, quality and style. With ColaReb be assured that what you are getting for your investment is great value.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to provide feedback in the comments, or if there are any questions send them through!
I purchased my ColaReb from www.watchvault.com.au , a trusted destination for watches, straps and accessories.