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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an IWC with the original shiny Black Santoni alligator leather strap. As beautiful as the strap it is I want to tone down how formal the watch is by making the strap matte / dull black. At first I was trying to find an aftermarket alligator strap to match the quality and comfort of the OE strap but I didn't have much luck except for someone suggesting Pete from Watchacc. Now I am considering options to remove the high gloss from the OE strap to achieve the look I want. Has anyone done this? I have no clue what process to use but maybe I could start with a super fine sand paper?
 

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I have an IWC with the original shiny Black Santoni alligator leather strap. As beautiful as the strap it is I want to tone down how formal the watch is by making the strap matte / dull black. At first I was trying to find an aftermarket alligator strap to match the quality and comfort of the OE strap but I didn't have much luck except for someone suggesting Pete from Watchacc. Now I am considering options to remove the high gloss from the OE strap to achieve the look I want. Has anyone done this? I have no clue what process to use but maybe I could start with a super fine sand paper?
I'd really leave the Santoni as it is and find a good replacement strap. Just a few days ago I got one from B&R bands http://www.bandrbands.com/, they have a decent selection I think. The Crown & Buckle's Black Label looks good too https://www.crownandbuckle.com/straps-by-type/shop-black-label.html. Plus there are a ton of other strap makers recommended here that might do the job. And it doesn't have to be anything like the Santoni or the usual Pilot straps with rivets, which personally I don't like.
 

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A few thoughts not based on knowing this Santoni strap:

1. I wouldn't tamper with such an expensive strap. You can probably do pretty good with an aftermarket option like Rios 1931.
2. An expensive strap has probably been made shiny by polishing the gator hide, rather than lacquering. This means that any dulling would have to be done to the leather which might ruin the strap.
3. I tried to dull a lacquered, croc strap by lightly sanding it. Worked, somewhat, but not great. I'm sure that the right chemistry would have done a better job, but I didn't want to trash the strap.
 

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A few thoughts not based on knowing this Santoni strap:

1. I wouldn't tamper with such an expensive strap. You can probably do pretty good with an aftermarket option like Rios 1931.
2. An expensive strap has probably been made shiny by polishing the gator hide, rather than lacquering. This means that any dulling would have to be done to the leather which might ruin the strap.
3. I tried to dull a lacquered, croc strap by lightly sanding it. Worked, somewhat, but not great. I'm sure that the right chemistry would have done a better job, but I didn't want to trash the strap.
 

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It would not be recommended to try dulling the finish on a gloss alligator strap. It would likely ruin the strap. Purchase a matte or satin finish alligator strap as a replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like I shouldn't mess with the Santoni strap which means I am on the hunt for an equally high quality aftermarket replacement. Any suggestions?

This will need to be a true custom strap, partly because I want a matte finish on the crocodile or alligator leather and partly because my IWC requires the large end of the strap to be curved to sit tight against the case - see the photo.
 

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