Don’t tell me any tall tales about horses. But it’s a true tale!

Eine kleine Geschichte zu Shell Cordovan Leder.

A short story about Shell Cordovan leather.

While the statement ‘everything rare is valuable’ doesn’t always hold, in the case of Shell Cordovan leather, it does. Every horse skin has two elliptical pieces of leather from the horse’s croup or rump about 20 x 30 centimetres in size that can be called Shell Cordovan. This means that the leather is rare and valuable.

Since only a handful of tanneries around the world still master the vegetable tanning process these days, the leather becomes even more valuable. Our supplier is the renowned Chicago-based Horween tannery.

The vegetable tanning process that the Shell Cordovan leather undergoes takes six months to complete. While most of this leather goes into the production of fine shoes, handbags and a few other accessories—such as our watch straps— are also made from this robust, supple and noble leather. What makes this leather, apart from its durability, so suitable for watch straps? Unlike calf leather, where the grain side faces outward, Shell Cordovan leather uses the flesh side on the outside. In a very time-consuming manual process, this flesh side is treated until it takes on a deep sheen. The leather is then saturated with oils and obtains an unbelievable level of durability while still possessing such a fine and beautiful surface.

This leather is referred to as Cordovan because the tanning process was first developed in Cordoba, Spain. Today, Cordovan or Shell Cordovan leather is associated with the USA—and in the watch industry for several years now it has been connected with the watch straps from Maurice de Mauriac.

We have a manufacturer produce small batches of our watch straps by hand. Only hand-picked ‘shells’ are selected. Unique watch straps with a deep sheen and play of colours that shifts between black and a very dark red are the end result. Our personal selection of leather hides enables us to find a strap that suits the watch and its wearer, for no two straps are alike.

Do you think we’re just telling you a tall tale about horses? Indeed we are—but in this case, that’s a good thing.

Shell Cordovan made in Chicago