If you are getting a custom bespoke strap made, one of the options available is to choose your lining leather. While most of our Ready Stock straps are using Zermatt leather, we wanted to offer a wider variety for folks who know exactly what they want in their strap.
In this article, I will run through the pros and cons of each option so that you will have a better idea of what lining leather to choose, and more important, to understand why you want to choose it.
Zermatt leather comes from Tanneries Haas in France. It is a smooth calfskin leather that is made specially for use as a lining leather, due to its superior properties in water resistance, scratch resistance and hypoallergenic. It has a matte finish that doesn’t take a shine & patina even after long use. However, Zermatt leather is only available in a light tan brown colour and isn’t suitable if you want your lining to be in a specific colour to match your watch.
Epsom leather comes from Les Tanneries Roux in France. It is a embossed calfskin leather that also has strong water and scratch resistance, making it suitable for use as a lining leather. Compared to Zermatt leather, Epsom might not be as soft to the touch but it comes in a wider range of colours.
Epsom Smooth is essentially the same leather as Epsom, but it doesn’t have the final embossing that gives the grained texture to Epsom. This makes the leather smoother to the touch, and more comfortable. Hence, we usually recommend Epsom Smooth over Epsom for the lining leather.
We use FKM-grade fluoroelastomer rubber for our lining. It is pliable and fully waterproof, making it perfect for when you want a waterproof strap. Our rubber is also stiffer than most of the leather we use and keeps its shape even after prolonged use, adding some structure to the leather straps. Unfortunately, we only have rubber in black colour at the moment.
Alligator flank is an option if you want your strap to be a little luxurious from top to bottom. We typically use the flank (the part with round scales), as it is typically softer and more flexible, making it more suitable for use as a lining leather. Alligator flank leather is used if you want your strap to be unique, or to maintain continuity with the alligator leather used as the main strap leather. However, alligator flank leather does not have the best scratch or water resistance, might not be as comfortable to wear as the rest of the smooth-textured leather, and is also more expensive than the other options. We only recommend that matte alligator leather is used over millennium/glossy alligator, as the latter is typically stiffer than matte alligator.
All other leather we have technically can be used as lining leather as well. However, we typically don’t recommend it as the options stated above has the best properties (water resistance, scratch resistance and texture) as a lining leather. You may want to use the other leather we offer if you want to have continuity with the leather used as the main strap leather.