iwasbanned wrote: ↑
October 12th 2020, 5:29pm
I don't believe there is any real reason to question the quality of the CF strap. I did a little more digging and thanks to Cod's links above, I'm even more confident that the leather CFs uses are top notch. If you watch the video you can see they are working with the actual skin and identifying imperfections in it. If this was top grain leather, my understanding is that the top few mm are sanded off meaning you would have to emboss the alligator pattern on and that doesn't appear to be the case. CF is also a founding member of the Association Assurance Qualité des Bracelets de Montre, now it could all be smoke and mirrors but I doubt it. Not to mention they make straps for several of the top swiss brands, there really isn't much to doubt.
I did go ahead and shoot out an email to CF to directly ask if they use Full Grain leather versus top grain and in addition I'll go to my microscope and check and see if I can see pores on this alligator skin, but because they use baby alligators :(, the pores are very fine. Damn you CF, baby alligators deserve to live!
I never said that a Top Grain strap couldn't be a quality product as long as you pay for what you get and care for it accordingly with extra care to prevent scuffs and scratches through to the backing, or by not using the same oils or conditioners you might use on a full grain product as this could cause the leather to separate from the backing materials, for example. Hell, it could be that with options- linings, finishes, hardware, and whatnot they may have to use a thinner présentation side, not unlike good thin glove leather.
If I were a strap (holster, bag, saddle and sew forth) maker using the finest vegetable tanned full grain hides available, I'd sure as hell want everybody to know it. But, what's it say on the back of the CF strap- "hand sewn". IDK- perhaps it's just the zany French. I have a graphic somewhere in the library with how everything is cut or skeeved- I'll try to find it and pop it up.
I thought Cod's links were inconclusive- cool vid though which said they get alligator hides from LA- the best. The link with the grades was confusing- lots of genuine this and genuine that but no genuine top grain cowhide, or genuine full grain alligator etc., but it appeared to be from a 3rd party seller / distributor.
To note, goods marked genuine- leather, lizard, cowhide, crock-a-gator
, or whatnot, without any modifiers, is the lowest grade of hides or skins available. Again, the CF materials may be indicated by the numbers at the pins which may be familiar to consumers and whonot within their European markets. Or stock numbers. Just put it on the damn goods in plain French. The best stuff gets marked- 14K, .750, .999, trademarks. Absent the same warrants scrutiny.
EDIT: While a leather strap certainly isn't gold, if I bought a watch represented as contained within an 18K gold case and it arrived with no 18K or .750 marking, I'd have to check.
Obviously, a strap may have other redeeming qualities that make it a keeper for the price, grade notwithstanding, but the buyer has to know the quality or grade of the materials in order to make that judgement.
In this thing of ours, particularly here at WL, we are highly scrupulous regarding the representations made as to materials, movements, origin, and whatnot, and counsel, buy what you like as long as you know what it is- why would straps, bands, and bracelets be any different, they are certainly a frequent topic around here.
Go straight to the source, that's the ticket. I look fwd to their response.
P.S. What kind'a microscope you have? Abbe, oil? Electron?