In our previous leather guide, we talked about the Horween family and their renowned Chromexcel and Shell Cordovan leathers, link to the article here. As for our second leather guide, we’ll discuss one of the more commonly mentioned leather in the fashion industry, the Epsom leather.
If you’re wondering why it sounds so familiar that’s because it’s one of the leather Hermès uses for its handbags. This should give the Epsom leather the credibility it deserves right?
Hold your horses as we find out more about its characteristics and most importantly, the brands that uses them in the world of watch straps.
Origin & Characteristics
The Epsom leather comes from the male calfskin and what gives the leather a rigid and textured look is due to the embossment of the grain patterns into the leather.
This gives the bag a laminated appearance and a rigid structure which can be used for bags, if you have a watch strap that’s made out of Epsom leather this explains why it takes a while for the leather to take its shape on your wrist and once it does that, it holds its shape very well.
Another reason why fashion powerhouse, Hermès, uses this leather for its bag is due to the scratch-resistant properties the leather provides. This helps with their bag looking pristine forevermore which of course, helps with the image of their brand.
If you cannot tell already, the laminated appearance of the leather gives off a bright sheen making it look luxurious. Interestingly, it possesses a few code names from different tanneries such as Waprolux, Noblessa Calf or Embossed Calf, which the latter, explains the making of the leather entirely.
There are a few tanneries that are producing the Epsom leather but the main ones are; Tannery Roux (France), Haas (France), Weinheimmer (Germany). Does this explain why Hermès uses them, a showcase of patriotism? or because it is accessible? Ha! I’m just joking, or it could very well be, we’ll never know.
In all seriousness, no matter where the tanneries of Epsom leather may be, the luxurious display of its colours and the main characteristics of it being scratch-resistant, lightweight and being very easy to maintain (grimes or stains can be easily wiped off using a damp towel) explains why brands like Hermès are fond of this material.
As with most leathers, you’d expect them to aged beautifully such as the leathers from the fine folks at Horween. However, as you may have guessed, due to the resistant against wear and the embossment on the leather, Epsom leather does not patina.
This may come off disappointing or even celebratory for some, but it provides a new perspective on our traditional way of looking at leathers.
Taking a stand for the Epsom and bringing back the context of watches, I own a few pieces of watch straps made from Epsom leather and to be honest, it’s been a delight. I particularly love the different colours available for the leather and how each and every single colour exudes its own natural sheen.
Strap Brands With Epsom Leather
As with the Horween leather, I will introduce some watch strap brands that provides this exclusive material of the Epsom leather.
1) Nomad Watch Works (Price $35USD ~ $39SGD)
It is of no surprise that Nomad Watch Works offers the Epsom leather due to their wide range of strap choices. They offer a plethora of colours for the Epsom leather and to top things off, the Epsom leather straps are also available for Apple Watch owners.
If you’re keen to purchase any of their straps, make sure you use “Nomad360” for a 10% discount!
Not to mention, the Epsom leather straps over at Nomad Watch Works are considered one of the best selections because of its affordable prices. A simple google search of “Epsom leather watch straps” could bring you 2 things, a lack of Epsom leather watch strap sellers or high prices for those straps.
2) Milano Straps (Price $94 USD)
If you’re into a more extravagant hue, which in this case its green. Milano Straps offers a bright green choice of the Epsom leather strap which Nomad Watch Works does not offer.
With a fond of a brighter colour, however, demands for a thicker wallet too as the Epsom leather straps Milano provides are twice the price of the ones over at the former.
To coax your hesitant discovery or purchase of the straps at Milano, it appears to me that the details of the grains on the Epsom strap Milano offer seem to be much more noticeable. As if I could feel the bumpy texture of the strap just by looking at it.
3) Hermès (Price Range $479 – $709 SGD)
And of course, Hermès itself makes their own watch straps, however, they only offer watch straps for the Apple Watch. They are obviously an outlier on our list because they offer watch straps for only Apple Watches and yes as you may have known, their prices of the straps are expected to be extremely high!
If you have some spare cash lying around, you’re not only going for the quality of the leather but also a bonus for the branding of the strap.
4) Luxor (Epsom Leather Wallet, $95 USD)
The only brand on our list that makes wallet using the Epsom leather, Luxor is a brand from Vietnam that crafts small leather goods such as wallets, card-holders and phone cases using leather and in this case, the Epsom leather for the wallet.
They allow personalisations on the wallet and you just have to contact them via Whatsapp with the phone number they provide in their website! How neat.
At the start of this article, I wasn’t particularly sure of why Epsom leather are being used by brands like Hermès and I was often confused by why the prices are always so high for the watch straps.
After spending some time doing my research, I realised the amazing properties the leather provides and it made me look at it differently now.
Yes I have a few straps made out of Epsom leather but I bought it only because of how detailed and luxurious it looks, not until now then I found out why it was so hard for the leather to break into my small wrist and why it was so durable and slightly water-resistant.
Turns out it was due to the properties and not because it was “artificial”.
Use “Nomad360” for a 10% discount all straps at Nomad Watch Works!