For this hands-on review, we paired a vintage Rolex Submariner and a locally made Horween leather strap, resulting in a distinctive aesthetic that is as handsome as any Submariner with a steel bracelet.
Most people that buy a Submariner, wear it with the included steel bracelet, and that is not a bad thing, but if you want something a little different – go with an extra leather strap (or two) for when you want a style that is more unique or to perfectly match your outfit.
This Rolex Submariner (Ref. 1680) was produced in 1978 and features an original matte dial, with nicely patinated original markers and hands. There is not much to say that you probably do not already know: matte dial, pierced lugs, cyclops date (this was the first Submariner to feature a date), open 6s and 9s, Rolex triplock crown, and a boxy acrylic crystal.
This particular Submariner, with a brushed and polished stainless steel finish, has a few nicks here and there, as it should, but overall it does not appear to have been over-polished. Resulting in a worn look that works great with the unfinished edges and overall look of the Horween leather strap that seems as though it was specifically made for vintage dive watches, such as the Submariner.
This Russet brown colored Model 2 Horween leather strap was designed in Brooklyn by the guys from worn&wound, using genuine Horween leather from Chicago, and was proudly manufactured in NYC. Notably, the Model 2 has both a leather keeper and a metal keeper, giving it a hybrid look of a Nato without compromising the ability to dress it up. The leather has a supple feel to it, somewhat like Nappa leather. It is soft but not suede soft – the texture is much more rugged. Technically speaking, it a matte finished, oiled Stampede Chromexcel leather. The strings are hand-tied, in a nice dark carbon/grey colored linen thread, resulting in excellent contrast.
The fit of the strap is comfortable and the military styling adds a nice masculine touch. Not to mention this is the same brand of leather that virtually every other strap company retails for north of $100. It’s hard to go wrong at $59.
With the strap attached, the Rolex weighs 76.8 grams. It measures 40 mm in diameter by 13.75 mm in thickness. The total package is lightweight and very comfortable, under a sleeve or with a t-shirt. The Rolex Submariner is a versatile timepiece, which is one reason it is so popular. In fact, we borrowed this watch from Analogshift last week, returning it on Sunday, and it was sold by Monday.