Review of the Sestriere Hand Stitched Italian Leather Watch Strap by WatchGecko

Today, definitely a button-down instead of a plain t-shirt. I'd bring a sweater too. Chukkas, not my white cap toe sneakers. I'll put on this WatchGecko taupe leather strap. Perfect!

nenad pantelic profile photo Nenad Pantelic • December 26, 2023

sestriere leather watch strap
83
Sestriere Leather Watch Strap by WatchGecko StrapHunter rating 83 out of 100
Quality 80
Comfort 85
Design 85
Durability 79

The verdict: Excellent materials, premium build, tasteful desing, and a super comfortable feel. What more could a watch enthusiast want?

What we like?

  • Softness of material
  • Overall build & construction
  • Perfectly finished edges
  • Does not require break-in time
  • Comfort
  • Soft leather lining

What we don't like?

  • The strap is a bit short

The Full Review

Leather straps are rarely comfortable from the get-go. I need to wear them for a few days until they break in. Sometimes I quit before a strap becomes enjoyable to wear.

But sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes I unbox the strap, put it on a watch, and do not take it off for weeks because it's so comfortable. This leather strap by WatchGecko is precisely that - a true gem that looks good and wears amazingly.

First things first. Here is a detailed specs breakdown:


Technical details

Brand WatchGecko
Material Italian top-grain calf leather
Width 22mm
Tapering 4mm (from 22mm to 18mm)
Thickness 2.7mm
Length 115mm or + 75mm
Construction Hand stitched
Strap profile Flat
Color Toupe
Texture Pebbled
Buckle Polished 316L stainless steel

WatchGecko offered this strap in six colors: black, toupe (they call it Alpine Earth), honey, brown, blue, and red. All color variants had white thread for the stitching, which was done by hand using the saddle stitch technique with two needles.

Additionally, the choice of sizes was great (18mm, 19mm, 20mm, and 22mm).

Company + Ordering Experience

Watchgecko is one of the biggest retailers in the watch strap market. They have a huge catalog of products ranging from nylon, leather, rubber straps, and metal bands. But saying that they are active only in the straps segment would be an understatement. They excel in many different areas.

Plus, they innovate all the time. They introduce new product lines, experiment with materials, and strap designs. Never stale, and never sleeping on laurels. True leaders.

Buying from them is super easy. Everything is logical and easy to follow. Plus, they have an awesome after-sales experience. Buy with confidence.

Design and Materials

This strap uses a top-grain leather of above-average quality. The leather is sourced from Italy. The material retains the original hide texture and has a fine pebbled appearance.

The surface is neither glossy nor matte. It really is somewhere in between. When light hits the texture, there is a slight sheen, but from different angles, the material looks dim.

The strap is fully stitched using an off-white thread. Stitching is done by hand, using two needles and in a traditional saddle stitching manner.

Pebbled toupe leather strap
The surface is neither glossy nor matte.
The underside of the strap is lined using honey-colored calf leather
The underside of the strap is lined using honey-colored calf leather.

Edges are finely sanded and painted using the matching color. By the way, this model I am reviewing has a taupe color. It's like a perfect blend of dark gray-brown with a touch of beige. WatchGecko calls this combo the Alpine Earth color.

The underside of the strap is lined using honey-colored calf leather. This material feels great to the touch, protects the top layer of the strap, and provides a nice comfy feel.

There are two thin leather keepers. One is stitched (or fixed), and the other one is floating.

The overall construction is well done, feels sturdy, and gives confidence that the strap will survive prolonged wear.

There are two keepers
There are two keepers. One is stitched, and the other one is floating.
The strap does not require any break-in time
The strap does not require any break-in time.
Stitching is done by hand
Stitching is done by hand in a traditional saddle stitching manner.

Comfort and Durability

As mentioned in the introduction, most of the time I need to break in a leather strap. But sometimes I get lucky and come across a strap that is enjoyable from the get-go. Well, this is that kind of a strap.

It wears amazingly. The strap is thin and easily goes underneath the cuff. I also love the pronounced tapering from 22mm to 18mm. That really assists toward a better wearing experience.

The leather lining that is stitched from the underside has just enough "bite" but doesn't feel sticky.

Durability is also pretty good. There are no marks on the top side of the strap, and there are no worn-out buckle holes or whatsoever. I have kept this strap away from water (rain, washing hands...), and that has helped in the durability department.

Sestriere Leather Watch Strap by WatchGecko
This WatchGecko strap wears amazingly.

Initial Usage The strap is very well-made and feels comfortable from the moment I put it on. I like the tapering, I like the color, I like the texture of the leather material. It's lightweight and wears easily. Zero smell, also 🤗

Two months of use Everything has held up nicely. The color hasn't faded, and there are no visible bend marks, dents, or tears. The stitching also looks as new. Great experience so far.

Showcase

In this section, I am showcasing the versatility of this strap when paired with various watches from my personal collection. While it fits sports watches well, I believe its adaptability enables it to be paired with dress, vintage, or other contemporary watches as well. I find the grained texture to be very forgiving because the strap can work well with both busy and svelte dial designs.

toupe leather strap on Unimatic U4
It looks nice on a stark Unimatic Quattro.
White Casio Duro paired with a toupe leather strap
White Duro has a simple dial which works very well with the texture of this strap.
Seiko military watch paired with a leather strap
I like the tapering, I like the color, I like the texture of the leather material.

Closing Words

After spending time with this strap, I have to say I'm genuinely impressed. It seems like WatchGecko carefully selects the straps they sell. They don't just put anything out there. They test and choose only the best ones. This shows their dedication to quality, and I applaud them for it.

If you're in the market for a new watch strap, I highly recommend giving WatchGecko a look. Treat yourself to one of their straps, and you won't be disappointed.



83
Sestriere Leather Watch Strap by WatchGecko StrapHunter rating 83 out of 100