mill – watchstrap in Baranil (Barenia) leather review

Going into this new year with some new raiment & new leathers.

First up let’s have a look at the new watchstrap that Rocky at mill has made for my Archimede deckwatch.

Design

This one is a classic two-piece strap, fully stitched, edge creased and edge sealed, with one sewn-in loop and the other loop free.

This strap is lined but unpadded (as per my request).

LeatherΒ 

The star of the show here is the re-tanned (double tanned) French calf leather from Tannerie Degermann, called Baranil. It is very similar to the Barenia/Novonappa leather produced by Haas…so similar, in fact, Hermes uses them interchangeably for their carry-goods.

 

This leather is similar to CXL in many ways, being finished with a vegetable tannin mix after chrome tannage and subsequently stuffed full of oils. However, Baranil/Barenia is more refined compared with CXL – a finer grain, superior consistency and more elegant creasing.

Surprisingly, given the high oil content, this leather is not too oily to touch does not give too much “pull-up”.

The back of the strap is lined with natural vegetable tanned kangaroo leather – superior in resilience and strength compared with other leathers in the context of the thickness require for watchstraps.

Construct

This is an entirely custom hand-made strap.

Rocky’s linen hand-stitching combines elegantly with the edge creasing.

The regularity and evenness of Rocky’s work creates a feeling of harmony despite the contrast stitching.

The small details are completed accurately, and as a result I encountered no difficulties in the attachment of the strap. The strap fits securely, without excessively rubbing up against any of the hardware.

Even the loops are carefully edge sealed, blocked and creased – looking like miniature belt loops with incredible neatness and detail.

Rocky utilises a four step process in his edge seal, resulting in a finish that is both smooth and durable.

Opinion

It’s like I have a brand new watch!

Love this new strap – nicely made, cool leather and lovely colour – not to mention the strong potential for further patina development on this French calf.

These go for $160 AUD and up, depending on the leather chosen. Certainly a fair price for a hand-stitched strap with all the bells & whistles.

Have a look at the other options available at mill’s webpage.

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