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Discussion Starter #1
I just purchased and received a brand new Mark XVII on the alligator strap. I love the watch, but I'm kind of disappointed with the quality of the strap. I wanted to know if any other Mark XVII owners felt that the alligator strap was a bit subpar for a luxury watch. To me it sort of resembles cheap leather straps that look too plastic-like. I even went as far as to call the dealer about this, and a rep asked me to send photos, which I did. She reviewed the photos and said the strap was exactly as it should be. She also instructed me to bend the strap backward, saying that genuine alligator will not crack or crease like leather. The strap passed the test (as far as I could tell), but I still feel blah about the overall quality. Below are the photos I sent her. Tell me what you guys think, especially those out there with this same exact watch and strap. Thanks!

XVIIstrap1.jpg

XVIIstrap2.jpg

XVIIstrap3.jpg

XVIIstrap5.jpg

XVIIstrap6.jpg

XVIIstrap7.jpg
 

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I agree with you. But I simply don't like alligator/croc straps, especially on pilot watches. Too dressy for me. On my last IWC pilot I swapped the OEM alligator for various aftermarket straps, plus an IWC leather pilot-style strap from an older UTC watch, which I got new from IWC, as they apparently still stock new straps for discontinued watches. Wouldn't hurt to consider that, though they are not cheap. And there are plenty of aftermarket straps out there that will look superb on your Mark XVII (Bas & Lokes is but one example). I know it's disappointing to pay so much for a watch and not like the strap. But look at it this way: you can spend a few more bucks for some straps you do like and leave the new gator in the box in case you sell the watch down the road, and it will be a good selling point. I do that with every watch I get, primarily because the factory straps are always too long for my small wrist, but also because I often don't care for the OEM straps. Great watch by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree with you. But I simply don't like alligator/croc straps, especially on pilot watches. Too dressy for me. On my last IWC pilot I swapped the OEM alligator for various aftermarket straps, plus an IWC leather pilot-style strap from an older UTC watch, which I got new from IWC, as they apparently still stock new straps for discontinued watches. Wouldn't hurt to consider that, though they are not cheap. And there are plenty of aftermarket straps out there that will look superb on your Mark XVII (Bas & Lokes is but one example). I know it's disappointing to pay so much for a watch and not like the strap. But look at it this way: you can spend a few more bucks for some straps you do like and leave the new gator in the box in case you sell the watch down the road, and it will be a good selling point. I do that with every watch I get, primarily because the factory straps are always too long for my small wrist, but also because I often don't care for the OEM straps. Great watch by the way.
Haha, I do that too. I just bought a black Cordura strap off eBay so that I can wear it during the summer. I definitely like swapping straps, but I was just disappointed with this OEM one. I've seen so many nice alligator straps, even from IWC. I just don't get why this particular alligator strap is so cheap looking.
 

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also just bought one and think the strap is straight from walmart. I bought too many watches to recently and they all needs straps UGH that's huge money because I LOVE croc
 

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I just purchased and received a brand new Mark XVII on the alligator strap. I love the watch, but I'm kind of disappointed with the quality of the strap. I wanted to know if any other Mark XVII owners felt that the alligator strap was a bit subpar for a luxury watch. To me it sort of resembles cheap leather straps that look too plastic-like. I even went as far as to call the dealer about this, and a rep asked me to send photos, which I did. She reviewed the photos and said the strap was exactly as it should be. She also instructed me to bend the strap backward, saying that genuine alligator will not crack or crease like leather. The strap passed the test (as far as I could tell), but I still feel blah about the overall quality. Below are the photos I sent her. Tell me what you guys think, especially those out there with this same exact watch and strap. Thanks!

View attachment 1162085

View attachment 1162087

View attachment 1162089

View attachment 1162091

View attachment 1162092

View attachment 1162093


I have to respectfully disagree. In fact, I couldn't disagree more. I loved mine, and I thought it was very well made, with very nice graining, and an iconic shape. I thought the padding was just right in shape and thickness. Overall, I think these new straps really make the new Pilot Marks and Chronos.

Btw, FWIW, I've owned hundreds and hundreds of straps, from most manufacturers and both aftermarket and OEM. The Mark XVII's strap is rght up there with the best I've owned!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have to respectfully disagree. In fact, I couldn't disagree more. I loved mine, and I thought it was very well made, with very nice graining, and an iconic shape. I thought the padding was just right in shape and thickness. Overall, I think these new straps really make the new Pilot Marks and Chronos.

Btw, FWIW, I've owned hundreds and hundreds of straps, from most manufacturers and both aftermarket and OEM. The Mark XVII's strap is rght up there with the best I've owned!
Hmm. Maybe it's just too shiny because it's brand new and it'll look better with age. I don't know.
 

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Hmm. Maybe it's just too shiny because it's brand new and it'll look better with age. I don't know.
I don't feel this particular strap needs it, you could apply some SnoSeal natural beeswax to it. Doing so will make it more water resistant, and for some reason, the beeswax really softens the leather up. And it will make the strap slightly denser or heavier. In short, it kind of "luxes" it up a bit, and changes the overall feel of the strap, without damaging it. I've done this with some other straps, and it works really well. I've also used COACH leather conditioner, for a milder approach. Good luck. I wouldn't sweat it. Honestly, Richemont does a great job with their OEM IWC and JLC straps. They're always top-notch, in my book.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree. In fact, I couldn't disagree more. I loved mine, and I thought it was very well made, with very nice graining, and an iconic shape. I thought the padding was just right in shape and thickness. Overall, I think these new straps really make the new Pilot Marks and Chronos.

Btw, FWIW, I've owned hundreds and hundreds of straps, from most manufacturers and both aftermarket and OEM. The Mark XVII's strap is rght up there with the best I've owned!
Plus one. You will hard pressed to find a better quality gator strap. Minus the rivets, it's almost the same strap as the Big Pilot's.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Plus one. You will hard pressed to find a better quality gator strap. Minus the rivets, it's almost the same strap as the Big Pilot's.
I definitely like the shape and thickness of this strap. And, personally, I'm glad they didn't put the rivets on this one like the Big Pilot. I feel the rivets make the watch that much more ill-suited for formal dress (too much resembles a superfluous leather bracelet a wannabe rocker might wear). Just my opinion. I know there are many out there who completely disagree. :)

So, overall I like this strap except that it looks sorta plasticky. Oh, and I hope it stops squeaking after I wear it a bit. My straps squeak whenever they rub against the lugs when I reposition the bands. It sounds like cheap shoes walking down a corridor. :(
 

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Oh, and I hope it stops squeaking after I wear it a bit. My straps squeak whenever they rub against the lugs when I reposition the bands. It sounds like cheap shoes walking down a corridor. :(
You will be pleased to hear that mine stopped squeaking after a few good wears :)

I imagine yours will be the same.

Graham
 

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I had a Mark XVII when they first came out, great watch and I thought the strap was super comfortable. I still put on a aftermarket kevlar type strap just because I love the look. If I ever buy another Mark XVII, I will buy it on the bracelet, that is a darn near perfect watch.

I think the OEM strap fits the watch perfectly, it is high quality but not worth the money IWC charges to buy another, that is why I wear aftermarket straps is the hot AZ summers.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I just couldn't deal with the squeaking straps any more, so I put a Cordura strap on it. While replacing the strap, I noticed that the lugs are not EXACTLY 20mm. It is more like 19.75mm, which is why it is such a tight fit for any 20mm strap, and why the OEM strap keeps squeaking. Here are some pics of the Cordura:

IWCcordura1.jpg

IWCcordura2.jpg

IWCcordura3.jpg

IWCcordura4.jpg
 

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Nice strap. Is it an IWC strap? If not, where did you get it? Would like one for one of my pilot watches. But I will probably have trouble finding a short length version. Thanks.

I just couldn't deal with the squeaking straps any more, so I put a Cordura strap on it. While replacing the strap, I noticed that the lugs are not EXACTLY 20mm. It is more like 19.75mm, which is why it is such a tight fit for any 20mm strap, and why the OEM strap keeps squeaking. Here are some pics of the Cordura:

View attachment 1165354

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View attachment 1165356

View attachment 1165357
 

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I like that strap. I have a Mark XVI on the previous generation gator strap & they wisely appeared to have made the strap thicker & more substantial.

I've gone through about 6 different aftermarket straps, as well as the OEM bracelet but still prefer the OEM gator on my IWC. For an inexpensive alternative during the summer I found a Hadley Roth sailcloth-style strap that looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nice strap. Is it an IWC strap? If not, where did you get it? Would like one for one of my pilot watches. But I will probably have trouble finding a short length version. Thanks.
No, it's not an IWC. It's by Hadley Roma. If you type in "20MM BLACK CORDURA" on eBay, you should be able to find these. I bought mine from seller "holbensfinewatchbands" and he shipped it out super fast. The length isn't too bad. I have a flat 6.5" wrist and it fits me OK. You can kind of see how much the excess strap wraps around in my last photo.
 

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Thanks very much. 6.5 here too, so your pics really help.

No, it's not an IWC. It's by Hadley Roma. If you type in "20MM BLACK CORDURA" on eBay, you should be able to find these. I bought mine from seller "holbensfinewatchbands" and he shipped it out super fast. The length isn't too bad. I have a flat 6.5" wrist and it fits me OK. You can kind of see how much the excess strap wraps around in my last photo.
 

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I have my Mark XVII on the croc and absolutely love it.
 

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..........I stand to be corrected, but as someone who has used IWC Alligator straps, i find them cheap, demeaning and totally useless compared to the value of the watch. this is in comparison to the Leather Straps that come with the Breitling Navitimer World.....
 

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..........I stand to be corrected, but as someone who has used IWC Alligator straps, i find them cheap, demeaning and totally useless compared to the value of the watch. this is in comparison to the Leather Straps that come with the Breitling Navitimer World.....
Wow, demeaning? And totally useless?

I think you may have much too high of expectations? Thicker or more prominent padding does not make a strap higher quality. Also, you should compare like with like — alligator with alligator; bison leather with bison leather, and so on.
 
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