Welcome back to another instalment of Let’s Talk Straps! Join us as we take a look at Chicago based brand, Veblenist. Among a very broad selection of leather straps, Veblenist also offers accessories, storage options and even a few pre-owned watches. Their team was kind enough to provide two of their products for review.
I had the pleasure of taking the Dogwood Suede and Saddle Brown Calfskin straps in a box stitch and quick release spring bar configuration for a spin amongst my humble watch collection. Upon receiving Veblenist goods you will be presented with a cotton pouch and signed card from the team that is entirely pragmatic and foregoes any unnecessary packaging.
The Saddle Brown Calfskin strap is the exact tone of brown that springs to my mind whenever I think of a leather strap. Quintessential in colour, being neither too light or too dark, this is one pretty accessory that is versatile and unique in tone. The leather itself feels of high quality to the touch and on the wrist. A box stitch marking the perimeter of the strap is tight and parallel, without any suggestion of threads fraying. Turning things over, a black interior lining can be found with the Veblenist typeface stamped in a subtle manner. A signed buckle features the same typeface and crisp straight grain brushing that other brands in this price point would be envious of. In function, the hardware leaves no room for wanting and meets the expectation of its user.
The Dogwood Suede shares the same characteristics of tight stitch execution, black interior lining, concise hardware and a 20 to 16mm taper. Its lighter tone paired with a contrasting white thread makes for a casual and contemporary option compatible with a number of timepieces. Suede always poses the question of longevity as by nature, it is exposed to the elements more than a traditionally wax coated leather strap. While I have had suede straps fall victim to regular day to day activities after a matter of days, I am glad to report that the Veblenist execution of suede (and calf skin strap for that matter) provide formidable resistance to wear and tear. Thankfully, durability is not a trade off for comfort, with the soft suede exterior retaining its velvet like feel throughout its use.
What Impressed Us
When a strap is priced at $85USD (Dogwood) and $95 (Saddle Brown) there are certain expectations associated with your purchase. Namely the fit, finish and function. Veblenist delivers on all three fronts and I am comfortable in saying that the price point is justifiable amongst today’s vast watch strap market.
– Zero break in period: Yes, Zero. Straight out of the pouch and onto the watch it moulded to my wrist immediately. I don’t know how many brands I can say that about. These straps represent superior levels of comfort.
– Option of quick release springs bars: Quick release spring bars are a god send. Some brands at this price point don’t even accompany regular spring bars with your purchase, making it even more of a pleasant surprise to see this is a simple tick box option on the Veblenist website. Further, it is currently of no extra charge. Take note other brands!
– Black leather lining: hides any blemishes that generally occur with leather straps after extended periods of wear. Another vote of confidence in an already durable leather strap, it keeps the accessory looking new even after an extended period of ownership.
Would We Make Any Changes?
There is no doubt Veblenist makes an impressive product. But as I always say in such reviews, watch
or otherwise, nothing is perfect. If I were to make any changes to this strap without expecting extreme repercussions in price, it would be only one. The painted flanks of both Dogwood and Saddle Brown accessories fell short of what I would hope for in a strap of this ilk. The paint had suggestions of flaking in some areas which is the only blemish on a product that has otherwise high standards.
To Sum It All Up…
Spending in the neighbourhood of $100USD for a leather strap is probably not a decision made on a whim without much consideration, so if you are thinking through such an investment please do thorough research into what you may be getting for your hard earned dollars. While there are almost endless online vendors of horological accessories, the product you receive from Veblenist is what you would expect of of this market segment and arguably more. With its durable yet extremely ergonomic leather accessories executed in such a pleasant aesthetic, I really enjoyed affixing these straps to my Rolex Explorer & Seiko SRPD97J1, to which I could see the Saddle Brown Calfskin and Dogwood Suede being a on-going option for my collection as the year goes by.
You can find all Veblenist has to offer at https://www.veblenist.com/