This is a review that I should have done a long time ago. One reason for the delay is that I have been slacking off. Second is that Wotancraft doesn’t sell any Shark Skin anymore or not that I am aware of. I recently went to their site again and their section for more exotic straps seems to have disappeared. In effect, showcasing a shark skin review seems not very useful, but they still make straps so I might as well continue.
My review here will focus on two things – Wotancraft as a shop and the straps quality. In addition, two straps will also be featured, shark skin and shell cordovan
The item arrived very quickly. Upon receiving the parcel, it was just in a parcel box with minor padding inside. I believe it was raining between transit as the parcel box arrived with signs of it being wet. I didn’t take offense however it’s just a note what can happen if the weather is unpleasant. Upon opening the box, I noticed three black boxes which seems to have crumpled corners.
At first, I was concerned that the straps might get wet, but I did take a quick peek and got a peace of mind to know that the watches are safe! I didn’t get to open the boxes till I get home, but I was really keen on trying it out.
When I got a better opportunity to have a play with it, I was surprised by the level they go through to showcase the strap. First, the strap is inside this small suede pouch and It’s sealed by velcro fasteners. The bottom of the pouch has a leather strip with their logo on it.
Below the pouch was a keychain. It’s a nice touch, but wouldn’t really add any major value to the strap.
For the shark skin, I bought three in different colours: black, red and green. All of them are very similar in quality meaning they are consistent with their work.
The shark skins are well made. The leather is soft already so there’s no break-in required compared to other leather especially the inferior genuine leather ones. Since the leather is soft, you can easily squeeze it to fit a lug width 1mm smaller. This is very similar or even easier to NOMOS’ shell cordovan in terms of ease in fitting in a small lug width.
Depending on what watch one is going to put this into, the design of the strap doesn’t always fit the watch itself. I find it difficult to match the black one with majority of my watches. Classic watches doesn’t seem to play well with the wavy effect of the strap. The red was even worse in trying to find a watch to fit that in my collection. The green however, was a bit easier as I have an emerald green watch that complements well with the shade of green. It’s best to see samples of the strap with the watch, but that can be complicated.
The other one that I bought from them was a brown shell cordovan. I bought this one a few weeks after the shark skin in hopes of replacing the strap in my Lange. It arrived in the similar pattern as the shark skin, comes in a box, inserted inside a pouch and also enclosed in plastic.
However, after receiving the strap, I noticed something that will bother a few people. A lot of people will argue that I might be nit-picking, but when it comes to straps, it’s better to be more than less. The buckle side of the strap was showing the spring bar.
This doesn’t seem a lot, but that’s a good 1mm off. Anything can grab in that gap and pull the spring bar. Granted the chance of that is slim, why risk an expensive timepiece? I contacted Wotancraft with the issue and they were more than happy to repair it under warranty. I had to pay for the post and wasn’t reimbursed for me sending it as well. However, the repair only took a week or so and was sent back to me. I wasn’t notified as well that it was sent back and I just received it in my mail. Now that my Lange is gone however, I did put the strap elsewhere. I changed the buckle from a very plated looking rose gold back to stainless steel and just attached it in my GO.
Overall, Wotancraft comes recommended from me 8/10. I wouldn’t put any high end pieces, but anything casual would suit nicely. Communication is excellent and customer service is not bad either. A happy customer in the end.