OT-ish: Is Italian Rubber safe to boil? - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default OT-ish: Is Italian Rubber safe to boil?

Just received a Bonetto Cinturini Z22 rubber strap. First rubber strap I have ever had. Dimensions are fairly precise to an actual ZLM29, the short side is just a tiny bit shorter and the long side has a couple less holes and they are positioned differently. 2.5mm spring bars insert with minimal effort. Long end has an impersonation of a Tsunami wave but not enough to infringe trademark. I absolutely do not understand the doping of the rubber with a vanilla scent. I find it vaguely nauseating. Comfort is good if a touch grabby against the skin. Could be a winner but...

The long end does not curve at the tip. Now, I boil everything. In some cases it is necessary to make a strap wearable (MM, Alba, Sawtooth, Z22 Wave, WillJ MM) in some cases to enhance an already comfy strap to make the tail fully conform to the wrist (OEM Z22 flat, Jake B's PU Z22 wave, Watch Gecko's PU Z22 wave). This is in latter category. But as I have never worked with actual rubber should I hesitate? Will 200 degrees Fahrenheit do anything bad to the composition of the strap?

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Old 04-01-2012, 11:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: OT-ish: Is Italian Rubber safe to boil?

If I were a petulant man, if I were a cynical man, if I were an unenlightened man I would rail against the deafening silence of my compatriots. But I am a WIS ([color=red]Wistfully [color=red]Inquisitive [color=red]Seikoholic) and the silence speaks volumes. It tells me that the collective WISdom is practically shouting at me, calling me out for the fearful little man I tend to be at my worst. It tells me, "Don't be such a pussy, just boil the f#@kin' thing! If you ruin it, so what? Ya pansy.". It also tells me that this, as with so many posts, is pointless without pictures. ;D

So the good, boiling had no negative effect. Less than good, actual rubber will not take much of a forced curve from this process. I was not surprised by this result. On the plus side the keeper stays put and so negates the tendency of the tail to careen off into space and catch on things. The strap is phenomenally comfortable and I think effectively retires every OEM Z22 flat that I own. I will need to buy a few more and their Z22 Wave equivalent. And their Citizen 20mm strap for my old Wingman C80.





And to continue the comfort review theme, recently picked up a Z22 Wave in PU from Watch Gecko on eBay. Has a very smooth slippery texture, much like the current generation of heat resistant silicone used for pot holders and muffin tins. It is amazingly comfortable and boiling does impart a good wrist conforming curve. Silicon was needed to get 2.5mm spring bars inserted and as the pictures reveal there is a very slight gap at the lugs, annoying but not noticed whist wearing. I will probably need to get one in blue too. Although ultimately the comfort of the BC rubber is going to force me to drop the coin on an Isofrane (shhh...do NOT tell the wife how much it costs) as it will be the perfect aesthetic for the 6309/SM300 mod below...





And last but not least, Jake B's PU Z22 Wave. Texture is more grainy than the Watch Gecko, flare of the vents is a little narrower than a Seiko Z22 which is actually quite good looking on a slim cased diver. Phat spring bars insert with no tools or lubricants, this one was made for it from the ground up. Does not need boiling for comfort but does for proper wrist hugging curve. Over all a superb value and if he ever does other colors I will be first in line...


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Old 04-01-2012, 12:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: OT-ish: Is Italian Rubber safe to boil?

If it will make you feel better, I'll reply. I did read your initial post with interest, just forgot to respond and say: "Don't boil it you so-and-so, wear it for a while and it will conform as it should!"
I've had a Bonetto Centurini on a 7549-7009 for almost a year now, with a fair amount of wrist time over last summer. The strap did take on a small amount of curvature over time, but really this material and design does not need it- it conforms when on the wrist much better than any 22mm rubber or PU strap I've ever tried. Most of those feel like they are fighting to get off my wrist, being so unnaturally bound around it, but the BC shows no such hatred of being enlisted in such duties, it seems to prefer being attached to my wrist. Hence I've grown fond of it in return.
They are back in stock at Watch Prince http://www.thewatchprince.com/Italia...ver-22mm-Black, at a price close to OEM straps, with a comfort level far surpassing. When WP was out of stock for some time, I went so far as to source them from Poland, or at least source the cousin of the straight vent we are discussing, which has a wind velocity conversion chart printed on the 6 side. I can report that this table doesn't last very long with carefree use, and one can remove it immediately if desired by rubbing the printing with a Q-tip dampened with denatured alcohol, with no adverse affect to the rubber.

You mention the vanilla smell. While that is a personal taste (I'm of the camp that finds it pleasing), I can tell you that some untreated rubber is not an acquired taste, it is just plain nasty. Wet Golden Retriever and a few other unmentionables come to mind when trying to describe it. I recently found this out when dealing with a factory genuine replacement strap for a Bobby Jones watch (Hope I'm not stepping on any toes here). Not being an expensive watch, the replacement strap was also economically made and priced. It was all I could do to install the thing without gagging, I can't imagine trying to actually wear it. Vanilla scent is definitely the lesser of the two evils.

If you like the comfort of the BC, be aware that the Isofrane is thicker and may not be the same amount of comfortable. They are well-made straps and worth checking out, but the extra thickness can be a liability when it comes to that "forgetting it is there" feeling. I'm sure other people don't have this issue, but we seem to share the same neuroses when it comes to strap comfort, which we should probably keep to ourselves:-) If the tail sticking out bugs you, then I suppose one might suggest you cut the tail so that none will extend beyond the keeper. I personally wouldn't like the unfinished end afterwards (even though it would be hidden), but you pick your poison...
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: OT-ish: Is Italian Rubber safe to boil?

Hi,
I also read this thread with interest however the only rubber strap I have worn is an old Z22 and that was years ago. All my other watches are on bracelets.

I recently went looking for a 22mm strap for a Citizen watch that I have and found that the descriptions of the available straps are not very clear. I found :

- Italian rubber : sticky Silicon strap that is very soft and pliable ?
- PU rubber : Polyurethane similar to OEM Seiko rubber straps ?

Are there other types of rubber straps besides the two types mentioned above and are all Italian rubber straps made of Silicon ?

Regards, Bobby.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: OT-ish: Is Italian Rubber safe to boil?

Ahhh...thank you Noah. I feel better knowing the original post inspired some level of interest in the viewing public. ;D

I hear what you are saying about the lack of need to boil this strap to fit or to be comfortable but the issue for me is always that dang tail. I would never think of cutting, that type of butchery is reserved for recalcitrant Zulu straps (but they are easy to do properly with a couple of coins, a clamp and a butane lighter). But as noted the surface friction of the material keeps the keeper put and thus the tail too.

I've read all the comparative reviews of the Isofrane so I realize it may not be as "is it even on my wrist" as this one but I've been toying with the notion of it ever since they came out with a 22mm one. Feeling much the same on possibly picking up an Orange 22mm Hirsch Extreme (which I am given to understand is not scented and consequently smells like a$$).

Will definitely be placing another order with Watch Prince before this batch sells out.

EDIT: Bobby Jones? The golfer of legendary instructional movies?
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: OT-ish: Is Italian Rubber safe to boil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyChariot
Hi,
I also read this thread with interest however the only rubber strap I have worn is an old Z22 and that was years ago. All my other watches are on bracelets.

I recently went looking for a 22mm strap for a Citizen watch that I have and found that the descriptions of the available straps are not very clear. I found :

- Italian rubber : sticky Silicon strap that is very soft and pliable ?
- PU rubber : Polyurethane similar to OEM Seiko rubber straps ?

Are there other types of rubber straps besides the two types mentioned above and are all Italian rubber straps made of Silicon ?

Regards, Bobby.

There are a number of different compounds used for dive straps. They generally fall under the categories of rubber, silicone and polyurethane (referred to hereafter as PU).

Rubber is either synthetic or natural, the latter usually screamed out quite loudly in the marketing for a given product. Hirsch yells loud and proud about their Caoutchouc rubber straps. I have no idea if all natural rubber is superior to synthetic rubber in the application of a watch strap, synthetic generally being (I think) more durable.

Silicone straps, much as I observed with the rubber strap under discussion, do not take to curving. They are generally very soft and pliable but they are A) dust and lint magnets B) very grabby at the skin C) easily torn. YMMV.

PU compounds vary widely even from a single manufacturer. Seiko makes some very comfy straps (Z22 flat) and some medieval torture devices (Alba 200m diver). Thus my penchant for the boiling process.

If you are looking for an extremely comfortable 22mm strap as a replacement for a Citizen that pays appropriate aesthetic homage to OEM styling I think the N.D. Limits or the Wind Velocity straps from BC would be a very good choice.

http://www.thewatchprince.com/search...t22mm&catid=16

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Old 04-06-2012, 09:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: OT-ish: Is Italian Rubber safe to boil?

Not trying to revive a sort of dead thread but I need to make a final comment. After a few days with the BC Z22 flat on my 6309-7049 I am hooked. This thing is crazy comfortable. I went ahead and bought another one and a 22mm wave vent as well (more of a Citizen Promaster design than a Seiko). Same result. I can't seem to change off from my 6309-7290, it's too comfortable. I've even given in to a year's worth of hemming and hawing and ordered an Isofrane.

If you are like me (and most of you are) and are heavily focused on Seiko divers you need to try rubber. You are doing yourself a grave injustice if you do not.

Spring bar tip: lube the inside of the strap with a little silicone grease on a toothpick and 2.5mm springs bars enter and exit with ease. If you don't it is a little effort to get them in but they will bunch the rubber slightly and give about a .5mm gap on one side or the other and drive your OCD crazy, also they will be annoyingly difficult to remove.


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Old 11-08-2019, 02:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just bought an Italian rubber strap and also find the vanilla smell overwhelming and vaguely nauseating. Sadly, I'm reading that nothing - not boiling, baking, hitting it with solvents, performing an exorcism - will put much of a dent in it. Love the feel and look of it, but I'm having a hard time enjoying wearing it due to the smell. Sigh...
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Did you try putting it in bicarbonate of soda powder, it does seem to absorb nasty pongs.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7s26b View Post
Did you try putting it in bicarbonate of soda powder, it does seem to absorb nasty pongs.
I have one that is 4 years old and nothing has gotten rid of the funk.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am currently looking after my neighbours house and cat Oscar. Let me know your address and I will send you a bag of his chod. Just place the strap inside it and the vanilla will be gone.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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LOLOL
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Nothing wrong with the aroma. I love my Bonetto Cinturini straps.
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