Strap under review: Fino 2 Serie
Strap was donated: Yes
Strap Maker: Gunny Straps
About the strap maker:
Peter bought his first Panerai watch in 2007 and looking in the market for a distressed strap with vintage character, he realized he could not find exactly what he had in mind.
So he decided to make himself the straps he wished to wear on his watch. The beginning was at the end of 2007 and after realizing that making straps is one thing he did well, more than a decade later it is one of the most well-known and recognizable strapmakers in the Paneristi circles and beyond.
All the straps made by Peter are 100% handmade and he knows himself that they come with imperfections as all things done by hand and not machine. After all his intention is not to make flawless straps but each of his creations to have a distinct character
In case you do not know exactly what you are looking for, Peter is willing to hear what you have in mind and suggest a strap that best fits your watch and needs.
Five months ago and while Stratos began talking with various strap makers for our new section with the strap reviews, I got a call. It was Stratos where he informed me that Peter Gunny is willing to send us two watch straps. Indeed very good news since Peter is one of greatest and older strap makers worldwide. As agreed, Peter sent us the two straps, the famous 74series strap and a Fino 2 series strap. The first one is already reviewed by Stratos and the second one was sent to me for review. Although my review never came online at Paneristi Hellas, simply because at that time I had no more passion for watches and stuff and changed my priorities. So I actually blew up the whole idea with the strap reviews. Time changes everything and my love for watches and the community is growning on me again and thats why I decided to write a refreshed review of this strap. My big and sincere apologies to Stratos and Peter for the huge delay. So here we are to see how this strap from Gunny performed!
2. Technical Specs
Dimensions: 24/24 - 140x80 - Thickness: 4mm
Stitching: box stitched
Keepers: 1 fixed and 1 floating
Buckle: flat sewn-in, matte finish
3. Customer Support
Regarding customer support, I'm copying the text from Stratos, since we was the contact poing with Peter: This strap came totally unexpected, since Peter informed me when he had it ready for dispatch. He also took care of the shipping costs with FedEx courier and the parcel came within 6 days from Indonesia, avoiding customs procedures. Peter was impeccable and coordinated everything on his own.
4. Packaging & Accessories
As Stratos already mentioned in his 74series review, the straps came in a folder, wrapped well with bubble wrap inside a FedEx bag. The strap came fast and securely packaged. So in terms of postage and secure packaging the strap gets an excellent rating but unfortunately there was nothing more like a paper/wooden box or a leather pouch that would make the product to really stand out. Even a simple tag with a note from the strapmaker would be sufficient.
5. Impressions and general thoughts
Peter Gunny is well known among most Panerai owners and even newcomers soon learn about him. I didn't had the chance to own a strap from Peter so this review was a really good opportunity to check his work. Maybe the 74 serie is the most iconic strap of Gunny but his collection is constantly growing with nice straps. The strap that I'm reviewing is a Fino 2 serie strap. There are some colour variations of this strap named Fino 3 and Fino 4 serie, although I believe this is the most beautiful.
When I first opened the package I saw a vintage style strap that it's not really easy to see nowadays. And I will explain my self. Usually the straps that we buy or see online are similar in style, regardless if they are vintage style or something else. There in X colour using a Y thread colour. This one was somehow special, it had a feeling like there are multiple layers of colours. The colour is a dull brown, treated to look old, burnished in places that usually get the most wear over time and with extra wear/faded leather between the lugs to simulate the friction that the strap gets from the watch case. BUT you had the feeling that this was a new strap at the same time, something that is very difficult to achieve.
The leather was like cork, light and flexible. It was only treated from one side that is visible, something that most probably means that the leather was already pre-dyed since the other side that touches the wrist is clean without any treat. I personally like this technique because it's not convinient to have all the treats with oils and dyes inside your wrist.
On the back side, the "AF423" is stamped along with the Gunny stamp. Something unique about this strap is that there is a stamped symbol (?) on the short strap that holds the buckle. Initially I thought that something went wrong during the making process but I then realised that this is true for all the straps of the Fino serie. I'm not sure about the meaning of this (if any).
The buckle is sewn-in the strap, it has a matte finish and it's very convinient because of the small size and the rounded corners. There are seven holes (the first starts at 5cm from the lugs) with pretty small spaces between them to secure the buckle and I believe this will cover more or less everyone. The two keepers (1 free), are more than enough for the size of the specific strap (140x80).
The visible side of the strap, as we already mentioned, has been treated too look old. This makes the strap relatively water resistant from droplets etc, I believe there is no chance to leave any stains etc. The overall feeling is very good.
The strap edges haven't been polished, something that is expected for a vintage style strap. The thread is a little bit lighter colour from the leather and it matches just right.
Regarding the watch strap making, all the cuttings of the leather are straight and correct and the various finishings are almost perfect. Stitching is strong and smooth, there is only one oversight in the stitching of one keeper where the thread is not securely closed. The lug holes are good but there are no tubes, even like an extra accessory. Last, some wax remainings in the leather can be easily cleaned with some cloth.
Now in what matters most, the test in the wrist. The strap end goes easily through the buckle without any problem it barely touches it which is a perfect sign. After the buckle is secured, the strap end goes easily throughout the two keepers. In the wrist the strap with the watch feels extremely comfortable, it's like you're wearing a 3mm thick strap. I can say that I'm really impressed from the comfort of this strap and I'm already wearing this for a couple of days. It doesn't require time to soften the leather, you get the smooth and comfort feeling right from the first time. Also note, that if you have sweat in the wrist, this will not pass through the leather. Just clean the strap with a cloth and it's good to go. I believe this strap fits well with my PAM024 and the overall picture and the feedback that I received was very positive. As I already wrote, the buckle adds extra points in terms of comfort.
3. True Vintage feel in a new box
The first strap that I reviewed was the Bruno Allegrini which as I already mentioned sets the standard for all others. I believe that the Bruno is a great looking strap to take pictures and talk about it's history. This strap is great to wear it and feel that that's the correct strap for your watch. Well done Peter that you managed to convince me with a simple strap.
Photos of reviewed strap.
The only thing that I want to say about the rating is that I do have a kind request. Peter, build some kind of simple packaging, add some tiny accessories, a handmade note of you and keep going with the same passion. Watch straps are special products, most of them are handmade with extra care. They deserve a good packaging, nothing else.
Customer Support: 95/100
Total Score: 80/100