Crocodile and leather straps are great. They look gorgeous and sophisticated. There is however a problem with such straps. Once the temperature goes up they get warm and collect perspiration. This isn’t just an annoying feeling, but it can cause irritation to the skin and it’s pretty bad for the strap too.
On one of his videos I saw Federico Iossa, of the excellent Federico Talks Watches and Delray Watch Supply, talk about this very issue and thought to myself:”how bad can it be?” Well, pretty bad. A few weeks ago I was in Paris for a short holiday and walked around in sunny weather with my Longines chronograph on my wrist. This comes with a crocodile strap and it was quite unpleasant. It was 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Not only was the strap drenched, the skin on my wrist had gotten quite irritated.
An excellent excuse to go watch shopping. I first thought of a military watch on a NATO strap. NATO straps are cheap and easily replaced. The first watch that came to mind was the Hamilton Khaki Field. Great watch, heritage, but I just could really go for it. Maybe I’ll get one later, as a snack in between some more serious (read expensive) watches.
Then I saw the Longines Military COSD. Unfortunately this watch seems to be discontinued. I did find some on Chrono24, but not the right colour and there’s always the hassle with the straps as most straps just won’t fit my big wrists.
I googled titanium watches for a while, as there seem to be no allergy issues with those. They however do scratch a lot easier, so that wasn’t an option either.
In a previous blog post I have mentioned that I am not a great fan of dive watches, but I have to admit that when the Longines Legend Heritage Diver came out with the Milanese strap, I was quite smitten. It’s a stylish watch, almost dressy, with a beautiful vintage look. For a change Longines haven’t messed a vintage watch up with an oddly placed date window. It would have been even prettier without a date window, but to my eyes, it looks ok this way.
So three weeks ago I bought it. It’s got a great build quality, great looks and keeps time well. The clasp on the bracelet is quite shiny and because I work on an aluminium laptop I have managed to put some minute scratches on the clasp. Oh well, watches get to endure a lot. This however is a clear disadvantage of metal bracelets. A leather strap doesn’t scratch as easily as a metal one does.
I also don’t mind that much because it’s not a dress watch. Somehow dress watches are more precious to me.