{01.26.12} Profiles & Features

Shell cordovan NATO strap, $165; Chromexcel stash wallet, $65; Camera strap, $89

  • The best way to develop a patina? Wear the hell out of it, according to Luczak. Set it out in the sun. Wear it in the rain or wash it with some soap and water. And then handle it as much as possible—this not only breaks the leather in and softens it, but your natural oils will impart a rich color.

DaLuca Leather

And the Beauty of Patina

Daniel Luczak started DaLuca Leather out of San Diego in 2009 after he purchased his first grown-up watch—a Panerai Luminor. He wanted a quality leather band for it, couldn't find what he was looking for, and decided to make it himself. One watch strap lead to a few, which he began selling and in the last year, the brand has expanded into other leather goods like camera straps, wallets and belts that can be found in smart shops like Jack Spade and Portland Dry Goods. For Luczak, when it comes to leather, the older the better. He's constantly on the lookout for beautifully aged pieces—vintage ammo pouches or antique rifle straps—to craft some of his smaller pieces. For larger items, he sources heirloom-quality leather from Horween and a little-known tannery in Sweden. "I love the idea of making something made with integrity, that can be passed down from generation to generation—that's why I love Swiss watches," he says. "It develops a natural patina that's so personal and with a little patience and the right technique, you've got something really beautiful."