Watch Strap Review Part 38. – Velle Alexander Straps A young Minnesotan brand with a lot to offer by Balazs FerencziDecember 31, 2019 MIN READWatch Strap Review Part 38. – Velle Alexander Straps
Velle Alexander might be a young brand, but they have a clear vision and determination that will take them a long way in the business.
Let’s have a look at some of the most notable names coming from Minnesota. To start, we have legendary American fiction writer and novelist F Scott Fitzgerald, who was born in the state. The Los Angeles Lakers from the NBA were once called Minneapolis Lakers – the name finally makes sense if we look at the map of Minneapolis with its 13 lakes. The state is not team-less, but the Timberwolves don’t have the success the Lakers had while still in Minnesota (5 championships). Lastly, the topic of today’s Watch Strap Review, an up and coming brand, is among the 5.6 million Minnesotans living in the north of the US. The brand’s name is Velle Alexander, and today we will have a look at some of their products.
Ok, this is a bit of a stretch; Alex is originally from Arkansas; however, he lives in Minnesota and operates his business from there. As he explained, his relocation from his home state to Minneapolis was the moving force to start Velle Alexander. He was designing and building furniture with his dad, but once he moved not being able to practice, the craftsmanship left a bit of space in him. Alex is a watch guy, first and foremost. So, the inspiration to become a strap maker came while browsing around watch content one morning. Creating a strap requires less space than making furniture, so this was perfect for him. However, this could’ve not been a successful venture if he wasn’t thinking as a WIS. But he does, and this is why his products are exceptional. Quality over quantity, if I may say.
Alex might not have a large selection of straps – in terms of styles. He does a few designs only, but in numerous colors and leathers, and of course, all of his straps are highly customizable. Every product that comes out of the Velle Alexander manufacture is 100% handmade, “meticulously crafted to the highest standards.” When I asked about who his customers are, he gave me a well-worded answer; “My ideal customer would be a true watch enthusiast with acute attention to detail and a desire for a bespoke strap experience.” This pretty much sums up the business creed of Velle Alexander. Besides, he has an excellent eye for quality. No better proof of that is needed than his favorite brand; A Lange & Söhne although he is a fan of German design in general. Now that we know a bit more about the man behind the brand, let’s have a look at his creations.
Alex graciously sent me two straps. However, they share the same design, albeit made with different colors of leather. Speaking of which, with these products, he used vegetable tanned calfskins one in tan (orange or dark beige) and one in turquoise color. They both look brilliant. See, I love creativity when it comes to strapping. Box stitching, side stitching, exotic leather the whole 9. Happy to explore new things. However, when I think of the watch strap, these are the ones that come to mind. They are clean, simple, elegant.
Furthermore, beautifully crafted and made in a way that will guarantee the longevity of them. Alex showed me his strap making process, and I must say it is admirable. All he uses are his tools and his hands. No machines, no precuts, just leather, hand tool, and craftsmanship. Remember this when we will talk about pricing.
As I said above, I love the fact that both straps look classy and timeless. The leather is smooth, and the contrasting white stitching is even. The straps have the perfect tapering (to me) of 20/16mm and length at 74mm and 120mm. Again, let me emphasize that, like with most strap makers, Velle Alexander straps can also be customized. So much so that if the customer is happy to have a video call with Alex, they can discuss the details of his strap(s). Customer service at the highest level. Let’s get back to the straps. The thickness on both is about 2.5mm, not thin like vintage straps used to be. However, they are also not thick and bulky and have no padding. Whether you want to put them on your vintage chronograph or a modern tool watch, it will not be an issue. Both will look good with them.
Of course, there are several factors we have to take into account when reviewing a strap. It’s not only about the overall look and the leather but the details. Like lining. Well, I must say that these Velle Alexander straps don’t lack quality on that front either. The lining leather on both is hypoallergenic, water, and sweat-proof calfskin. Again, remember what I said earlier? Quality and longevity. The straps edges are round and painted with one fixed holder and one movable.
Moreover, the straps come on 16mm stainless steel Hermés-style buckles. Some might think that it’s not essential, but trust me, there is nothing more annoying than a strap that finally arrives, and there’s no buckle on it. Unless you want to use branded ones, it’s always a hassle to find an extra one in the strap box. At least for me.
Pricing and more
I really cannot say anything negative about these Velle Alexander straps. If I could have one suggestion for Alex, though, it would be one word: branding. I could not find any name or logo on either of the two straps. Although the straps he posted on his Instagram feed already have his logo on the back. Perhaps it’s an improvement since mine was made. Ok, well we talked about everything but the prices. As mentioned above, Velle Alexander strap either has the design that I just introduced to you or the classical bund style where there’s an extra leather padding under your watch. Those, due to the more considerable amount of leather required, are more expensive, around €243 or so (plus shipping). The ones we talked about are a few euros shy of €200. This is the standard price if you request customization that might increase your final amount.
Velle Alexander prices are not low by any means, but let’s not forget that we are not buying a glued strap from a wholesaler from the far east. These are meticulously created, 100% hand-made leather goods. In this category, these prices are pretty average. Also, you can be sure that the strap you are getting will serve you for a very long time and gets better and better over time. Besides, Alex is a Speedy wearer; we have trust in his products;) For the final word, I’d like to use a quote from him. Some might find it cheesy; I find it perfectly fitting to close this review. “Our watches record each beautiful, fleeting moment of our lives. And when wearing a fine watch, the strap you choose becomes an extension of that watch and a symbol of self-expression. You deserve the best, and so does your watch.”
If you want to visit Velle Alexander’s site to order your first pair of straps, here’s the link.
Swiss Made Watches Partner Content November 04, 2019
Watch Strap Review
Interesting novelties from an Italian manufacturer by Tomas Rosputinsky December 17, 2019
The Rubber Wars by Ben Hodges December 05, 2019
Straps your watch deserve – A motto that could not have been more fitting by Balazs Ferenczi November 29, 2019
by George Cramer November 03, 2018
by Robert-Jan Broer October 26, 2018
by Robert-Jan Broer September 11, 2018
About the author
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up… read more
Watch reviews in your inbox.
Even when it’s not Speedy Tuesday. This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.Original Article