The highest-quality cordovan found in Japan is a rare leather which cannot be found on the market, and is usually unobtainable even by advanced reservation. At Knot, we have worked diligently to form a special partnership with Shinki-Hikaku to successfully acquire this highly sought-after cordovan leather for our products. Oiled cordovan is also known as the “jewel of leathers”, due to its considerable rarity and beautiful uster. It offers a uniquely enjoyable taste of leather that takes on a unique appearance depending on its environment and the way it is cared for, with a texture that is unique to its owner. Using Japanese oiled cordovan made by Shinki-Hikaku, one of the world’s leading horsehide tanneries, we have prepared a luxury, high-end strap befitting of the Premium Series.
Oiled cordovan by Shinki-Hikaku The world’s leading horsehide tannery
Shinki-Hikaku is a tannery specializing in horsehide, which was first established in 1951. It oversees end-to-end production of horsehide from raw hides to tanning and finishing, over a period spanning 10 months – a far longer period than for other types of hide. The tannery has an ongoing commitment to the fine craftsmanship and expertise of individual artisans, and a passion for producing the best horsehide, making it one of the leading horsehide tanneries in the world.
A unique luster found only in cordovan leather
The leather’s fine fibers give it an extremely smooth and moisture-rich texture. Over time, oil permeates the high-density fibers to confer a lustrous and glossy appearance, allowing us to appreciate the beautiful luster unique to cordovan leather.
Two different shapes.
In addition to the standard two-piece shape strap, we have created a new NATO shape, a long piece of rare cordovan. It is a casual strap with a strong military taste, but by using tanned leather on the back side of the strap, you can enjoy the luxurious feeling befitting our premium series.
Over three times more durable than cowhide
The horsehide used in cordovan leather has over three times the strength of durable cowhide. With cowhide or other normal leather materials, the surface portion is used to make the material. The rump area of a horse, however, has a portion of about 2mm in thickness called the cordovan layer. When creating the leather, only the cordovan layer is shaved away from the flesh side of the hide for use. Compared to the two-layer structure of cowhide or other ordinary leather, leather made with only the cordovan layer has a one-layer structure with no gap between the base and the grain side, meaning it does not deteriorate even after years of use.
A thicker strap with a luxurious feel
In response to customer requests, the strap now has a thicker body which is the perfect match for mechanical watches. The thickness has been increased from 2.8mm to 4.5mm at the base of the lug, creating a more three-dimensional effect and highlighting the beautiful luster unique to cordovan.
A rarity known as the “jewel of leathers”
Cordovan leather is created by shaving the 1mm-thick dense fiber cordovan layer from the flesh side of the hide found at the rump of a horse. The shape of the hide with both sides of the rump connected is similar to “spectacles” or a “shell”, with only a very small amount of cordovan able to be extracted from an individual horse. The leather has been likened to diamond in terms of its rarity and cost, with the method of carefully shaving it from the front and back sides of the hide even being compared to gemstone mining.
Our original D-buckle helps to reduce damage to the strap and prevents it from slipping off, keeping your wristwear in pristine shape.