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Real alligator strap vs embossed cow leather - functional/durable comparison

14136 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Karkarov
Based on my search, this topic has been done here before but the threads seem to get off topic before there’s much of an answer or consensus.

I’m only interested in the functional difference between authentic alligator straps and their much cheaper embossed leather counterparts. Will gator last longer? Is it more wear or water resistant? What are the actual useful benefits of real gator? Etc.

Or or is it just a pricey luxury strap material that feels better and looks better (arguably I’m sure)?
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I've tested most types of strap (I change straps very regularly) and find Alligator and Croc the most comfortable and durable (for what they weren't intended) I spent a week in the Balearics, most of it in the sea (snorkelling) or swimming pool, wearing an Alligator strap the whole time (strap was purchased on eBay from Vietnam for circa £20.00) apart from gaining a weathered look (which I like) there were no notable differences with no separating of any joints, stitching or bonding.

Recently I have been wearing Hirsch Baron Alligator, it has been in swimming pools and salt water (not long exposure as for the first strap) and that also has remained unchanged save for a weathered look. Cost was about £125.00 and I would expect many years service.

In my opinion, and based on my observations to date, Alligator and Croc straps are as versatile (and far less fearsome and dangerous) as in their natural, wild form and habitat.

Weathered look - All straps weather over time and I cannot be sure how each strap would have fared without the water contact. However I can state that the straps that come in to contact with water regularly look no better or worse than those that don't.

What you do notice is that genuine Alligator and Croc straps look far more natural after a few months wear than the embossed ones as the scales edges lift slightly giving life. The embossed ones remain static and can look a little unnatural with wear.

Whether you would want to use on a watch that is subjected oil, chemicals etc is doubtful but I suspect you wouldn't want to expose your wrist to those things anyway.
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