It’s been awhile since we’ve taken a look at a custom strap, and I know we’ve never featured one from South America. Â Today, however, we’ll check off both of those boxes.
The company in question is ACH Straps, and is run by one Mr. AndresÂ Charria. Â When I first realized where he was based (Colombia), I was curious about what the watch aftermarket was like there. Â He stated that, with straps, there are hundreds of vendors, ranging from poor quality stuff, to some higher end creations.
For himself, he views straps as a way of turning a watch into something practically brand new, just with the simple act of changing out a strap. Â Combine that with the economics of getting a strap from overseas, and you have the story of how Mr. Charria got started:
To me was very hard to send hundreds of dollars for a strap overseas, and with the leather industry here, I learned the basics on internet and gave it a try. It was a hard learning process, but at the end, I was able to do really great/different things for me, and people like it.
That was three years ago, and it seems to me like he’s been making from very interesting stuff (you can see a gallery of creations here). Â And that brings us to our review sample, which has it’s own sort of interesting story. Â It’s a copy of another one that he made, but it actually has two different keepers on it – one with a skull, and one with a heart.
This was due to an order coming in for a watch that a couple was sharing – so, to make things a bit more personalized, he came up with the idea of the two different keepers (just swap it out for whomever is wearing it that day). Â Our review sample came in on a 24mm width at the lug end, with a taper to 22mm at the buckle.
This was a welcome surprise, as this takes away the need to try and put a massive Pre-V buckle onto the strap – you can use the much more comfortable thumbnail style, and not detract from the visuals of the strap. Â And our sample, for being primarily black, has plenty of interest.
This is primarily due to the bold orange stitching used, of course. Â You also have some circular cutouts featuring a carbon-fiber pattern recessed within in them, so you get layers catching the light, all while keeping a single color (black) in use. Â I paired this up with the Magrette Regattare 2011, and it worked nicely.
This is a thicker strap, but not quite as thick as some others I’ve seen. Â And even for that, this is a fairly soft and pliable leather, so you don’t feel like you’re breaking in a new pair of boots while you wear your watch. Â Frankly, I was rather glad I came across ACHStraps, and had a chance to check out the product.
With prices starting at $75, this is rather a reasonable entry point for what arguably feels like a very high-quality strap – not to mention the ability to customize this as you see fit. Â And with that price, there’s no fluff included – the strap is sent by itself (no buckle, so you can reuse your own as I did here) in a simple ziplock, to keep S&H costs to a minimum.
Definitely keep ACH in mind if you’re looking for a new strap. Â If you’re going global with your watch components, why not get some high-quality South American leather in the mix? Â Oh, and if you order in the next 30 days? Â You can get yourself 15% off (dropping things to a nice $64 on the low end) by using the code wristwatchreview. Â Just email them ([email protected]) the code when you place the order, and you’re good to go.
And if you liked this specific one? Â Keep your eyes peeled, because it will be the next giveaway that we start running!