Horween Shell Cordovan is legendary in high-end shoe-making, and its unique characteristics make it sought after for watch straps as well. A "shell" is the connective tissue found underneath the hide on a horse's rump. Shells are quite small, averaging about 2 sq/ft, whereas a whole cow hide may be 50-60 sq/ft. Horween has been tanning shells for over a century, the process taking 6 months with 100+ steps along the way. Due to the high price and low availability, it can be hard for small makers to get their hands on genuine Horween shell cordovan.
When it comes to watch straps, shell cordovan is a desirable material for several reasons. The first, and most important, is that it is quite durable. It is a strong material with almost no stretch, but that doesn't mean stiff. Shells range from about 1.5 to 2.5mm thick on average, making them comfortable and flexible without being flimsy. Unlike normal leather hide, shell cordovan doesn't crease, and it will generally out-live cowhide. The look of shell cordovan is distinct, with a semi-gloss, smooth finish that is hand-dyed and will patina over time.
This limited batch of 20mm 2-stitch straps are all single-layer, with the natural shell cordovan underside visible. Thickness ranges from 1.5 to 2.5mm thick. Hand stitched with ecru braided thread, with one fixed and one floating keeper. Your choice of buckle finish (16mm buckle width).
Due to the hand-made and hand-finished nature of both shell cordovan and our American Made straps, please allow some variance in color and appearance versus the photos.