I’ve only learned what a Kudu was from my Moser. So when I saw that Fortunato Watch Strap is selling one, I thought I might give it a try. However, this will be on a different design and style to have diversity in my strap collection. The choice was easier as I have also been looking for a rustic looking strap for my Hamilton as well. If you haven’t read my interview with Fortunato or want to learn more about the company, you can do so here.
Their pricing is on the lower end which makes the strap very attractive. For the Kudu strap I ordered, it’s USD$57 with free delivery via Hong Kong Air Post. However, I got a free upgrade to FedEx due to the HK post not shipping to Australia. I have sent them an email asking for a customised size and they have no problem doing it. At this price, it’s on par or even cheaper with some of the custom straps I have ordered from Vietnam.
The packaging is simple yet elegant It came in a thick cardboard-like paper envelope with some side stitching and it didn’t bend nor crease during transit.
The strap is inside a zip lock bag.
Thoughts on the strap
I have plenty of good things to say about this strap, but it doesn’t mean they are perfect.
One obvious characteristic of the strap is that the edges are painted with a transparent paint. With this design, you can clearly see the padding that was used in this and see the and inside construction. Some can mistake this as unfinished, but in reality it’s actually painted!
The buckle is laser engraved which is a surprise. The logo doesn’t look that fancy, but it still adds a bit of elegance.
The strap is thick so do be careful when using it on a thin watch as this was made as a replacement for the Tudor Black Bay. Adding to the thickness is the stiffness of the strap as well. I’ve been wearing mine for almost more than three weeks and the strap is not showing any signs of breaking in.
Lug holes are punched straight and big enough for the buckle. There are 7 holes by default so it should fit in most wrists if the correct length is chosen.
The stitching is a two stitch style with an arrowhead tip. It’s thick on the lugs but there are some signs glue marks. Regardless, I have complete confidence that this is built well.
One of the things I have no confidence would be the spring bar. I find that the spring bar is a bit thin and a tad short for its intended purpose. I would request to remove the option for quick release and use your own.
One of the downside of Kudu leather is that it can get marked. This is not only for Fortunato, but also for my Moser. This is evident when you try to run your nails down the leather and it will leave a scar.
In my time of testing the strap with the Hamilton Khaki Field, I have enjoyed the strap. The shade and texture of the Kudu makes this strap perfect for casual watches. Overtime though, crease marks will show on areas the buckle sits on. This applies to both front and back side of the strap. The thickness might bother some as well. From the pictures, you can see that the strap exceeds the lug thickness. It makes it a bit disproportional,
I would recommend Fortunato Straps to anyone looking for a well built and well priced strap replacement. With some minor modifications in the lugs, one can get a solid strap without spending a fortune. I would rank it a 9 / 10. You can check the straps out on their website via this link.