Sponsored post presented on aBlogtoWatch for an advertiser

A quality timepiece is defined by an all-encompassing sense of quality, an effect no watch could ever aspire to achieve without at least some reliance on specialist suppliers. Cases, crystals, jewels, springs, and countless other micro-components have their own finest sources of origin, and straps are no different. Jean Rousseau is a traditional strap maker established in 1954 in the “French Watch and Clock Valley” of Besançon, France, near Switzerland. Today, it operates as a key supplier to some of the greatest and most prestigious watchmakers in the world, including many of those within LVMH, Richemont, and Swatch Group — as well as the strap tailor of the discerning watch enthusiast, thanks to the Jean Rousseau Bespoke Watch Strap Service.

Advertising Message

Monsieur Jean Rousseau established his watch strap business in 1954.

Monsieur Jean Rousseau was a craftsman who started his own atelier in 1954, already with the clear purpose of supporting the watch industry with high-end leather straps. Every wristwatch needs a strap, after all, and every thoughtful brand wants to crown its finer creations with a strap that amplifies its beauty, artisanship, and dedication to quality. In 1999, the company was taken over by Jacques Bordier and Maison Jean Rousseau has since been a family-owned company. Today, it is run by Jacques Bordier, Pascal Dupenloup, and his daughter Anaïs Bordier. The company has been awarded the “EPV” label, or “Living Heritage Company” moniker by the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance since 2007.

Manufacture Jean Rousseau operates a vertically integrated production facility with an in-house tannery certified by the French organization CTC. A strap maker with its own tannery is like a watchmaker with its own gold foundry; this is to ensure the consistency and quality of the material and, therefore, that of the finished item. Jean Rousseau receives the skins and hides as “crusts” on which it creates its own colors and finishings. The Maison also offers non-leather alternatives, such as rubber, Alcantara® (a suede-like polyurethane and polyester-based fabric produced in Milan, carbon neutral since 2009), Denim Seaqual (a yarn crafted from recovered ocean plastic), Sawaya Obi Kimono (Japanese silk), and others.

To sample the Jean Rousseau Bespoke Watch Strap Service, we chose a Zodiac Super Sea Wolf dive watch that comes with a dark gray coated steel case and a matching dark gray steel bracelet. The goal set out with the new strap was to complement this color theme with a contrasting option, one that brought the white and orange design elements to the fore. As part of this service, Jean Rousseau sends out a detailed query with eight different items that will define the style, feel, and fitment of the strap.

Advertising Message

This query allows the customer to define the lug fitment (it can be straight, curved, or integrated), the tip shape that ranges from a flat cutoff to a sharp point, and the height of the padding. It is also here that the exact measurement in millimeters needs to be specified for the lug width, as well as the width of the strap at the buckle, hence defining the taper of the strap which, in turn, can lend a more robust or more elegant touch to the watch, the length of the lower strap, and the size of the pin, which can range from narrow for dress watch straps to wider like those on sports watches or vintage military-inspired pieces.

For this particular Jean Rousseau bespoke watch strap project, we opted for the “JR” tip style, which is a sharp point with a flat cut-off lending the strap an unquestionably bespoke and rarified look. It is also a decidedly off-the-wall pairing with a dive watch that works so well precisely for that reason. The exterior is a water-resistant woven material in crisp, almost blinding white that brings the chunky, large white hour markers and hands to life after they had been but a supporting act to the dark gray exterior.

The stitching was carefully chosen as a dark, metallic gray that serves as a visual extension of the case and bezel — it looks as though the outside and the liner of the strap were held together by metal extracted from the case. It is also a sublime match to the meteorite dial on this rare Zodiac Super Sea Wolf. The inside is lined with genuine rubber in a bright, saturated orange color. By tailoring the lower part of the strap to the exact right length, the orange lining of the “JR” tip peaks out just a bit on the other side, extending the orange of the minute track, hour hand, and bezel markings, indicating that no detail of the watch head has been taken into careful consideration and has, in fact, been transferred into this bespoke Jean Rousseau watch strap.

The strap is very lightly padded in pursuit of relatively low weight, high flexibility, and a sporty aesthetic. The overall effect looks not simply OEM, but more: bespoke. It arguably is not something that a brand would supply its watches with chasing mass appeal, but that is not what the Jean Rousseau Bespoke Watch Strap Service is about — on the contrary, it is available to help collectors create a strap, and hence a new look, that they have always wanted their beloved timepiece to have. It is a splendid way of breathing new life into a pre-loved watch or bringing a secondary design element of a timepiece to the center of attention through the clever use of materials, colors, and proportions.

Manufacture Jean Rousseau offers its Bespoke Watch Strap Service to customers globally, and prices for a customized Jean Rousseau watch strap start at $240 in calfskin and $300 in rubber and vary depending on the materials used and the complexity of the design. Straps can be further personalized using complex laser-etched graphics or initials, but the artisans of the French strap maker are always happy to entertain and, indeed, fulfill special requests. To learn more, visit the brand’s website. 

Sponsored Posts are a form of advertising that allows sponsors to share useful news, messages, and offers to aBlogtoWatch readers in a way traditional display advertising is often not best suited to. All Sponsored Posts are subject to editorial guidelines with the intent that they offer readers useful news, promotions, or stories. The viewpoints and opinions expressed in Sponsored Posts are those of the advertiser and not necessarily those of aBlogtoWatch or its writers.

Advertising Message

Subscribe to our Newsletter