Help With Counterfeit Strap

I recently ordered a NOS vintage watch strap from an online shop in Neuchatel.  I was trying to match the strap from my early 1990's Patrimony.

Anyway, this strap arrives and appears all wrong.  The Vacheron Constantin impression in the leather is shallow and lacking the "Geneve".  The stitching in comparison with the original is weak and glued in places where the original was also stitched.  There are less adjustment holes.  Lastly, the finish is glossy, not matt as ordered, and makes me suspect it might not even be croc!

Am I being paranoid OR have I been ripped off?  Pictures are attached and opinions would be appreciated before I demand a refund.

Help With Counterfeit Strap

Re: Help With Counterfeit Strap
07/17/2008 - 01:47

I'm no expert, but I love straps in general and IMHO VC buys the best, I've heard Kauffman, help Alex.

6 vs.7 adjustment holes, very poor stitching, and the VC logo shallow &  no Geneve but also not centered.

How about the strap material at the buckle end over, not under the lining? Is their a stich in the keeper?

At th end of the day: How does it feel? Almost the quickest way to to detect a Fucazy anything, the feel!

The only good news is that they sold it to you and not Luca as he's looking for a 17x14 but not from them.

Good observations MikiJ
07/17/2008 - 03:05

You're right, no stitch on the keeper and the lug ends are glued, not stitched either.  I feel polluted just having it in the house!  It's such a crap shoot trying to get correct vintage items like straps and buckles but I figured an outfit in Switzerland would at least have the goods...

I have some older VC straps without the Genève however if the
07/17/2008 - 12:27

stiching is poor and bits and pieces are glued then not sure its the real McCoy. Strange world we live in where ven straps are counterfeit

Miki I don't know who makes the straps for VC but generally I find the quality inconsistent it can go from OK to perfect.

07/17/2008 - 17:50

Unfortunately there are counterfeit straps with the names and logos of several watch manufacturers. Some are pretty aweful while others, not too bad. Caveat emptor! Vintage straps are even more difficult to sort out because many have been worn. But I would think they are more likely to be the real thing.

As for the real straps, I have bought them at the Boutiques in Geneva and NYC for VC, JLC and Chopard. And the quality does vary. I also have straps from some independents with have actually been more consistent in their quality. I believe at least 2 of these companies manufacture the straps for different watch companies. I am not above wearing a non-VC stap on one of my VC's or vice-versa.

But I have to confess that the nicest straps I ever bought were through our mutual friend Clément Finet in Paris. I don't know who makes them for de Machado but they are beautiful to look at,wear and the quality is outstanding.