So, in my various perusing of websites and forums, I became aware of a company, Crown & Buckle, that had some very interesting (and affordable) straps on offer.  So, after some discussions with them, they were kind enough to send over a strap for review.

C&B is based out of Florida, and take pride in the fact that everything they offer is under $50.  Unlike what you may think, though, this doesn’t mean that they’re of lesser quality.  For the leather straps, they’re made from English or Italian leather; they’re all hand-made, not mass-produced, assuring a consistent quality level.

And that brings us to the piece that they sent over – a black 22mm leather NATO made from calfskin. (Need to know what a NATO strap is?  Read up on it here).   The first thing that struck me when I opened the packaging was the scent of the strap.  It had the strong, clean scent of good leather – not the vaguely chemical smelling “leather” that you sometimes find from other brands.

I paired the strap up with the Obris Morgan I have on hand (review: pt 1 and 2).  While the watch itself is a very affordable automatic, the straps is came with were lacking.  However, once paired up with this new strap, it definitely went up a few notches on the class scale in my book.

The leather itself is thin and quite supple.  While thinner than other leather bands I’ve had, it feels plenty sturdy – and it helps it from being overly bulky.  That, in turn, made it an eminently comfortable strap to wear over the course of the day.

If you’re looking for a NATO, and are tired of the various striped nylon options out there, what C&B has is what you need to take a look at.  Their leather options come in several colors, and in three widths (18mm, 20mm and 22mm), priced at either $18 or $22.  In my mind, if you have a watch that’s always riding a NATO, changing to a leather option will be a worthy upgrade for the winter.

If you agree, and like what C&B has on offer, then this is your lucky day.  They’ve given us a discount code for your use, dear reader, that will net you 15% off any item that’s not already on sale.  Said code is watchreview, and is good through the end of the month.

Our thanks to Crown & Buckle for sending the strap over for review, and for helping out our readers pick up a new strap (or five)!


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Last Update: January 5, 2012