Just joined the club - question about strap color

Hi All,

I have just joined the club having recently acquired the VC Patrimony 81180 in white gold.  So far I am enjoying the watch and also getting a lot of information from the Hour Lounge.  I also received the very nice gloves which make winding my watch every day a great pleasure.  

I had a question about the watch strap.  As my watch is in white gold, it came with a black alligator strap.  I generally like to coordinate the leather on my straps with my shoes and belt and wear brown relatively frequently.  I notice that, generally, white gold watches come with a black strap while yellow or rose gold typically come with brown straps. Is there any rule about this (i.e., that a white gold watch should not be paired with a brown strap)? 

I would like to get a brown alligator strap and switch out the buckle to coordinate with my shoes.  Would that be bad form? Do any of the members here do the same?  Also, it it very difficult to change out the buckle on the Patrimony?  The strap itself looks relatively easy as it has a little cutout in the leather to remove the spring bars easily but the buckle looks fairly flush so I wonder if it would damage the strap over time if I were changing the buckle 2-3 times/week. 

I appreciate everyon's input. 



Hi Stephen, welcome to THL!
02/22/2015 - 12:23

First of all, you picked up a terrific watch and we expect to see some wristshots! smiley

Second, with a white gold watch - changing the strap can change the overall look and impression of the watch...so change it to whatever color you feel comfortable with.  I've used blue, grey, black, red and brown straps with white metal watches and I like the look of all of them.

Do you want to use "quick change" pins to make changing the straps quite easy, or are you comfortable with using a tool to remove and install the strap? (I know some people are afraid of scratching their watches if they use a spring bar tool).

In terms of the buckle, I would be the same as changing the spring bars without the cut outs in the strap.  I tend to buy extra buckles and keep them on the different straps, but convenience can get expensive if you have a lot of straps and want the orginal VC buckles.  If you are considering only 2 straps, one extra buckle may not be a cost consideration?

Best Regards, Dan

Re: Hi Stephen, welcome to THL!
02/22/2015 - 14:24

Hi Dan, thank you for the greetings and quick response.  I will definitly try to post some wristshots soon. 

To be honest, I am not quite familiar with the "quick change" pins. I do have a Panerai that has a quick change system in it and it is indeed very convenient for changing out straps.  Are these pins with a lever installed?  Would they fit with the OEM VC strap or would you need to cut a hole out in the strap for them to fit properly? I actually do change straps on my other watches fairly regularly so feel comfortable using the spring bar tools to change out straps. 

I have a few other watches in my collection, Panerai PAM 328, Rolex GMT Master II, '68 Omega Speedmaster Professional Pre-moon, so have a lot of the sport watch variations covered. A such, probably black and dark brown straps for the Patrimony as a dress watch for business and formal settings will suffice for now. I may add different shades of brown sometime down the road though. That being said, and given that the VC buckles are gold (read expensive), I would probably opt to change out the buckle as well as the strap rather than buying new buckles for each strap since I would prefer to have the original VC buckle.  Do you have any idea how much the gold tang buckle would cost?  I called the AD today and they said that a gold deployant would run around $2000-3000.   I assume that the simple tang buckle would be a lot less expensive but probably still price prohibitive for me to buy multiple straps. 





Re: Re: Hi Stephen, welcome to THL!
02/22/2015 - 14:50

Hi Stephen,

Yes, the quick change pins I was talking about sounds exactly what you have on your Panerai. 

Original VC straps do not come with slots already cut out for quick set pins.  There are tools made to cut out those slots in existing straps, but if you only need it for 2 straps it may not make sense to buy the tool (the one I've seen is made by Bergeon, so you know it will not be low cost!)

Thanks for the additional information, I understand your situation better now and you should have no problem with changing the straps on your own.

Yes, an original VC deployant clasp is expensive, like the AD said: $2,000-$3,000.  I believe an original VC, white gold, tang buckle is approximately $300-$400.

The rest of your collection is really nice, congrats!

Best Regards, Dan


Re: Re: Re: Hi Stephen, welcome to THL!
02/22/2015 - 16:37

Thanks Dan,

I appreciate your additional input.  Yes, I did a little more research and saw that the tool for cutting the holes was around $250 or so and might not make financial sense for just two straps, but it is good to know they are available in case I have concerns about scratching the watch whe changing the straps.  I have actually had a few custom straps made for my Panerai and other watches for a lot less than the OEM straps so I might decide to go custom and have them put in the quick change pins if I do look for additional straps. 

Thanks also for letting me know the price of the tang buckle.  I actually think that with this very classic design, the tang is more appropriate than the deployant anyway.  I actually paid around $250 for the stainless steel tang buckle for the Panerai so if I could find a gold VC buckle for $300-400, that actually wouldn't be a bad deal (for gold) anyway).  The AD quoted me around $300 for the brown alligator strap which isn't really bad.  I just paid around $750 for a stainless deployant and crocodile strap for my Omega Speedmaster so I guess it is all relative. 

As for my collections, I think it is starting to come together as I am getting rid of a few fashion pieces and really started concentrating on quality pieces.  The Vacheron really changed my persepctive on the quality vs quantitiy debate though so I am only considering quality pieces moving forward.  Next will either be the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso or Patek Philippe Annual Calendar. 



Custom watch straps with quick change pins
02/22/2015 - 17:19


I've been pondering something similar and stumbled upon these guys. You can build a high quality custom leather strap to your liking- possibly matching your shoe color perfectly- with quick-change pins.


I suspect there are other companies out there that could provide something similar as well.


Straps are the "shoes" of a watch
02/22/2015 - 18:29

they can be changed to suit your ensemble of the day!  Custom straps are very interesting - Mrs. TT recently had this burgundy python made for her vintage 4108.  The Burgeon 30227 pliers for cutting the notch to use speed-pins/quick-change pins costs $360, about the same as a new strap, but if you have many the investment might easily be justified.  It will definately save the occasional and disasterous slip of the springbar tool frown.  Unfortunately, there is no similarly easy way to change out buckles.  In this matter, may I suggest that practice makes proficient enlightened.


Superb Strap Dean
02/22/2015 - 19:16


One for you, my friend
02/22/2015 - 23:48


One for you, my friend

Re: One for you, my friend
02/23/2015 - 14:42

What a beautiful strap combination!!

Adding a wrist-shot
02/23/2015 - 14:48
Very nice!
02/23/2015 - 16:17

yes A modern classic 

Very nice indeed
02/23/2015 - 19:55

The very embodiment of modern elegance.

Its cousin says "Hi"

Very nice indeed

Welcome to the Lounge! like you I never wear
02/24/2015 - 11:18

black shoes so almost all my white metal watches are either on brown, blue or grey straps


Welcome to the Lounge! like you I never wear


Welcome to the Lounge! like you I never wearWelcome to the Lounge! like you I never wear

Nice collection Alex...really really nice. :-)
02/24/2015 - 15:45
Re: Welcome to the Lounge! like you I never wear
02/24/2015 - 16:19

Thanks Alex.  Very nice collection you have there.

I called the the AD here in Tokyo and they said it would take 3-4 months to order the brown strap so I am deciding whether to go after market or wait.


Alternatively, I am also considering a Patek Annual Calendar or a JLC Reverso with a brown strap to add to the collection.

that QdI is my favorite
03/01/2015 - 17:49

lovely piece heart