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Closer Look: Shell Cordovan watch strap by RIOS1931

Shell Cordovan strap

RIOS1931 Chicago Shell Cordovan watch strap

The decision to bring in the RIOS1931 Chicago was easy since the New York, which is essentially the same strap but contrasting stitching, was so popular. There is definitely something about the Chicago that makes it a good choice for a lot of different watches.

Shell cordovan watch strap by Rios1931 on an Omega Speedmaster


You can get the Chicago in a choice of four colours, Black, Mocha, Cognac & Honey. All of which will come with saddlers seam stitching that match the colour of the leather. Strap length is 114mm for the 6 o'clock length and 82mm for the 12 o'clock length across the four width options of 18mm/16mm, 19mm/16mm, 20mm/18mm & 22mm/18mm.

Cognac Shell Cordovan watch strap by Rios1931 mounted to an Omega Speedmaster


You may or may not know that Shell Cordovan is an incredibly robust leather and because of this, the strap can begin life a little bit stiff but it will get more and more comfortable with wear. The 20mm version that we pictured here has near enough the perfect amount of padding for the Omega Speedmaster that we paired it with. Shell Cordovan is one of the smoothest leathers that you can use to make a watch strap and is very resistant to creasing.

 Omega Speedmaster and Rios1931 Chicago in Cognac on the wrist with grey Fred Perry sweater

On the wrist.

As previously mentioned, the Shell Cordovan hide can be a little stiff to start off but it can be broken in fairly quickly. Picture here on a wrist of approximately 7 inches, the Chicago would suit wrists both bigger and slightly smaller.

 Rios1931 Chicago watch strap and buckle on the wrist with Fred Perry sweater

Every Chicago comes with a stainless steel buckle in either silver, gold or rose gold finishes. It is the same buckle that we see on a lot of other RIOS1931 watch straps and it looks the part.

Shell cordovan watch strap in cognac with matching stitching on wooden chopping board


The saddlers seem stitching is an all important detail that goes towards the overall aesthetic of the strap. Just near the stitching you will see that the sides have been painted to complement the tonal stitching and finish the strap off.

Omega Speedmaster with Rios1931 Chicago on the wrist with Fred Perry sweater in grey

You'll notice that the stitching is uniform on both sides of the strap which is testament to the quality of the manufacture.

Underside of the Omega Speedmaster with Rios1931 Chicago fitted amongst other colours

The hand stitching technique used on this strap takes around 40 minutes to complete with one piece of stitching used for each length of straps which is said to be longer lasting than machine stitching. From start to finish, the overall strap making process consists of 172 steps of high quality manufacture.

You can shop all four watch strap colours by visiting the RIOS1931 Chicago collection.