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ISOfrane strap review by OceanicTime :
review is here:
CLICK HERE

BACKGROUND After decades of absence ISOfrane straps finally made a comeback in 2010. Back in the 60s and 70s ISOfrane dive straps were standard equipment for a number of the major dive watch producing brands, among them was Omega, who supplied their legendary Seamaster 600 Professional AKA the 'Ploprof' with an ISOfrane divers strap.

In those days the design and composition of their straps made a significant impact on how dive watches were worn in the field. Not only were they a lot more durable than rubber straps of that era, but they gave the wearer an unprecedented level of comfort.

theLOOK Rubber divers straps are pretty nondescript objects; there aren't many designs on the market that are instantly recognizable as belonging to any particular brand or style. Yes, of course there are some, but I couldn't sit and rattle off a list as long as my arm. So it's pretty impressive that one humble strap became such an icon.

COMFORT The ISOfrane design with its rectangular windows is almost as iconic as the dive watches it was developed for. The basic design has remained unchanged for more than 40 years, and it came about from one simple need - comfort.

Each piece of the strap has 4 rectangular ventilation windows that work in combination with 13 wide strap holes and a textured underside that allow the skin below to breathe. They also allow water to immediately drain away after exiting the ocean (or bath even).

DIMENSIONS ISOfrane dive straps are available in 20, 22, and 24mm widths. The ones shown here are the 24mm versions, which have the following dimensions: 200mm physical strap length, 195mm effective strap length, 24mm strap width, 22mm strap buckle width, 5.5mm thickness at lug and a 3.7mm thickness at end.

COMPOSITION The ISOfrane straps of the 60s and 70s were manufactured using a compound called isoprene, a colorless, liquid hydrocarbon that is a by-product of petroleum processing and which the strap takes its famous name from.

Today ISOfrane straps use an entirely new Hypoallergenic (won't react with your skin) rubber compound that is 100% silicone free. It insures that the straps are softer, stronger and more comfortable to wear.

COLORs At the moment ISOfrane only offer three colors: black, blue and orange. They have made a couple of custom colors - turquoise for a Limited Edition DOXA NUMA and brown for the Aquadive BS100 Bronze, so I am hopeful of more colors in the future: grey, life raft yellow, brown and drab or olive green would be perfect!

BUCKLEs ISOfrane make two basic buckle types: RS 'RetroSecuro', which are forged and then hand finished and IN 'InoxNuova', which are stamped and then bead blasted. The ones show here are the RS versions, which come in three different Stainless steel finishes: brushed, black PVD, and gun-metal grey DLC.

The buckle too has become a signature of ISOfrane. The square shaped buckle is made of two parts, the buckle and its prong. The top flat part of buckle has been angled to allow the strap to sit flush with it. Its underside is signed with 'ISOFRANE' name. The rectangular prong, another characteristic trait of ISOfrane is particularly wide and substantial looking. It holds the strap securely in place.

FINISH The finish on all three buckles is excellent. The brushed buckle gives the classic ISOfrane look. The PVD coated buckle has a lovely glossy black finish. I teamed it with the orange strap for an eye popping look! The DLC buckle is in gun-metal grey it fits perfectly with the blue strap.

COMBOs The following strap buckle combos are show here: a PVD coated Stainless steel RS buckle on orange strap, a brushed Stainless steel RS buckle on a black strap and a DLC coated Stainless steel RS buckle on a blue strap.

IMITATION A number of the micro brands are supplying their latest divers' models with ISOfrane-style rubber straps, while they do achieve much of the look they are worlds apart in terms of quality and often have a strong chemical or over-perfumed odor.

COST One strap in any color plus an RS buckle costs between 130USD - 140USD (finish depending), which is a little pricey, but not astronomical. If you compare this to a similar rubber divers strap and buckle that Omega sells for the PO its price is fair. Compared to straps from some of the leading Swiss brands it's actually very reasonable.

OVERALL When you buy an ISOfrane strap you are getting: an exclusive rubber divers strap made in Italy. It has a heritage dating back more than 40 years that is associated with some legendary dive watch names. It is an iconic, emblematic design that has been made with comfort and durability in mind.

And it is a strap that is in my opinion superior to most other stand-alone rubber straps that are currently on market in terms comfort, quality and prestige. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about – now I know! Get one and try for yourself!

ISOfrane strap review by OceanicTime :
review is here:
CLICK HERE








ISOfrane strap review by Ashley Budgen :
review is here:
CLICK HERE

Introduction:
Rubber straps are not something I've ever particularly liked, having had them on a few watches in the past. Something about the heft of a stainless steel bracelet always appealed to me, particularly on heavier dive watches such that Omega produces.

The Seamaster Pro, Planet Ocean, PloProf, and the range of variations of these lines all feature a heavy watch head coupled with a heavy duty bracelet typically in the order of 180-220 grams in weight. This never quite felt right to me on a rubber strap due to the head never quite feeling securely in place and centered as it was with the factory bracelet.

Lighter silicone straps tend to slip too easily, while stickier rubber straps held better but became very unpleasant when wet or sweat soaked. When we were searching for an ideal first candidate for a product review, the Isofrane dive straps seemed an interesting choice with somewhat of a cult following. I was keen to understand why owners of high end dive watches were willing to forgo their very expensive and well made stainless steel bracelets for a piece of high tech rubber.

Price:
I'm going to address this only briefly, because I think it's unlikely to be an issue for Omega enthusiasts. The cost of the strap is $109 including shipping. This is actually a fraction of the cost of an OEM Omega strap, so really it simply isn't a factor if you're considering this as a replacement for your worn original Omega strap, or if you want to try rubber and bought your watch on a stainless bracelet.

Comfort:
This is a rather interesting aspect of the Isofrane strap, and something that tends to be touted as its most significant feature. Firstly, the increments of adjustment are remarkably fine for a rubber strap, allowing a very precise fitment which is definitely a plus. In addition to that, the Z-shaped flat, elongated tang buckle is remarkably well designed to keep the strap's profile as low and flat as possible at the clasp, with no bulging.

The underside of the strap features ridges along its length which gently grip your wrist, giving a great deal of stability, even with a heavy watch head such as the Seamaster Pro chronograph. The interesting result is that the strap effectively grips you by its sides gently, and needs no tightness to create friction and hold your watch in place. In fact, wearing it with the Seamaster Chrono diver, both a forefinger and middle finger can be inserted all the way beneath the strap at the clasp while wearing it comfortably and securely, such is the grip provided by the ridges.

Smell:
Yes its an odd heading but it needs to be said, this strap smells like bubble-gum. I have no idea why, its not unpleasant, but in fact rather sweet. Trevor's cat Zamba took a very keen interest in sniffing and licking the Isofrane strap. It really doesn't smell rubbery like a basketball or anything, its confectionary sweet, and for those who are curious, if you lick it, it doesn't taste like it smells, or like much of anything.

Material:
The rubber is interesting in and of itself. It has a great deal of friction when rubbing against itself, for example under the keepers, but does not have a sticky feel against skin and other surfaces. It doesn't get clammy or unpleasant when wet of sweaty, and doesn't cause any skin irritation when worn for long periods of time.

The material, while thick has a tremendous amount of give and flex to it, and is extremely pliable, but is not particularly elastic or stretchable. It maintains shape well when being pulled through the tang buckle. The material tends to wear well, with no damage showing after two weeks spent being worn in constant contact with the matte aluminium surface of the Macbook Pro and swimming in the ocean.

Seventies-ness:
The look is part of the desire people have for these old school straps. There's none of this elegant, flush with the case and lugs tapered design you get with the new Cal 9300 and 8500 Planet Ocean straps, this is pure old school. From an era when divers had facial hair, chest hair, back hair, and strapped an oxygen tank on shirtless, wearing a pair of skin-tight swimming trunks with a blood stained knife tucked in the side, Thunderball style. The straight ladder pattern design is utilitarian, simple, and effective. It offers no decoration, just function, and the clasp mirrors this in its well engineered yet completely unembellished nature. The design of the Isofrane would be considered vulgar and uncivilised by the fairer sex, and frankly that's why I like it. Just like the Omega PloProf, the Big Blue, the Seamaster 1000, and the classic Omega divers of that era, its rudeness is part of its desirability and its a perfect match for those big vulgar divers we know and love as Omega collectors.

Conclusion:
The strap is compatible with any 20mm-24mm watch including both smaller Omega springbars and thicker Rolex drilled lug springbars. It's durable, comfortable, inexpensive for Omega watch owners, well designed, and harks back to an era treasured by Omega collectors, hitting all the right notes along the way. Go for Orange to make an impact, or blue/black to colour match your dial. Considering the range of rubber straps on the market aimed at dive watches including Omegas Seamaster and Planet Ocean lines, and the pricing of some of the major alternatives including OEM options, the Isofrane strap makes itself an extremely attractive choice and solid investment for any Omega dive watch!

Ashley Budgen from omegaforums.net

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ISOfrane strap review: for full review CLICK HERE

I wanted to do a review on this strap, because, like most, I was very skeptical of how good it could be for the price.

$100 for a rubber strap? Are they crazy ? Are they out of thier minds? This was my first reaction to ISOfrane straps.

Is the price a little steep? YES. Is it worth it? Without question.

This is by far the best rubber strap on the market in my opinion. From a design standpoint, with the double angled keepers, the angled edge of the strap at the end, the very thick buckle with screws instead of friction pins, it is a killer looking strap. The vent holes serve a major purpose, as not only is it a great look , but make it easy to wear in even the hottest weather, and they allow your skin to breath.

Comfort is off the charts. I can wear it one slot down than I normally would for a strap, due to how the strap just hugs the wrist perfectly, and even though it is looser than I would normally wear, it does not slide and stays right in the middle of my wrist.

It is very pliable, hypoallergenic, stain and water resitant and cleans up in a second. No dirt or lint catcher here. There are many look alike straps that have come out in the last year, make no mistake, they might look like it, but they are no comparison to an ISOfrane.

If you love rubber straps and want the best you can buy, or are not the biggest fan of rubber, try one of these, you will not be dissapointed. They are flat out the best rubber strap in my opinion, period. I find myself, taking straps and bracelets off other watches, and putting the ISOfrane on it. Anything with a 24mm lug has been earmarked for a strap change for the ISOfrane ....it is just that good.

Any member that was at the recent Greensboro NC get together this past weekend that looked at it, will attest, it is an awesome rubber strap. I plan on ordering an orange one in the future as well. Just that damn good.

So, I just wanted to give my opinions on it. For anyone on the fence, go ahead and give it a try, I am sure you will not be dissapointed.

Tattoo Chef

This is the only rubber dive strap I will ever buy
and need to order more...

I have held off for months on spending the money for an Isofrane rubber dive strap. I have Natos, bracelets, thick leather, ammo, and other Italian rubber dive straps. Ordered an Isofrane because I have never heard anything bad about them and wanted to try a rubber dive strap that wasn't a dust magnet.

I loved the style of the Timefactors version (and price) but it collects every molecule of dust in the atmosphere. Ordered it on the 6th of April and it was at my house on the 8th of April. Super fast shipping from Austria to the USA via Fed EX. This strap does not disappoint one bit and work every penny. The comfort and quality is superb. It looks great and has a nice vanilla scent.

This is the only rubber dive strap I will ever buy and need to order more....I don't write reviews, but felt like I needed to give credit where it is due. The only money I wasted was not buying this strap first.

All I want for Christmas... (Isofrane)
...is an Isofrane strap, an Isofrane strap, an Isofrane strap!

The thickness of the strap matches the heft of the watch head perfectly! Infact, I prefer this watch on THIS strap, as opposed to its OEM bracelet! I will probably never wear it any other way!

What is most surprising about the Isofrane strap is the extreme suppleness of the rubber. I was expecting something much stiffer. Something I would have to "break-in" so it could be comfortable. On the contrary, it was confortable the very minute I strapped it on for the first time.

In the past, when I wanted a high quality rubber strap, I would head to my neighborhood Breitling dealer and buy one of their Pro rubber straps (AKA the Hershey strap). It was roughly 100$ Canadian and had a very impressive buckle, but it was a tad on the stiff side. Also, since BREITLING is written all over it in BIG BOLD letters, I kind of felt odd wearing it on my Tag Heuer Aquagraph. Some would even say it is blasphemous to do so...

Now that I have tried the Isofrane. I very much doubt I will ever purchase another EOM Breitling rubber strap. It is thicker, more supple and the hardware is just as impressive. Not to mention the exceptional finish on all the edges. There is nothing I dislike more then wearing a nice rubber strap and noticing leftover rubber sticking out from where they cut it from the mold.

For the price, this is by far the very best after-market rubber strap I have ever owned! And I have owned almost ALL OF THEM!

Oh, I almost forgot! Too bad there is not a website to host smells... Like youtube.com, except it could be called yousmell.com... Well, maybe that would be a bad idea. Anyway, this strap has the delicious scent of vanilla built in!

See original and more pictures, click links below:

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f74/isofrane-strap-schaumburg-aqmii-wow-486730-post3571121.html

http://time2watchdotnet.blogspot.com/2010/12/all-i-want-for-christmas-isofrane.html

 

Thank you very much for your excellent customer service ? diver?s extension arrived today.

Best rubber strap that I have seen.

All the best

Adrian W. Perth, Australia

Are you going to produce any 20mm straps? I have the 22 and 24mm versions and love em both. Keep up the great work.

Mark S. N. Logan, Utah, USA

I have a 24mm isofrane and own watches from Rolex to Kobold and everything in- between and isofrane is the BEST rubber strap I?ve ever had the honor to put on a wristwatch!

Trevor W., Spreckels, CA, USA

Isofrane vs. Hirsch Extreme: Who wins?

My vote... the Isofrane wins.

Excellent rubber mold quality, beautiful machined buckle, very flexible yet strong and classic looks.

DEMO111

Thank you very much for your excellent customer service ? diver?s extension arrived today.

Best rubber strap that I have seen.

All the best

Adrian W. Perth, Australia

Hello.
I have just received my new 24mm strap which is now on my Omega Ploprof (new model). I must say it is a great improvement over the Omega rubber strap as it has rather too much writing on it and I now feel much more like Jacques Cousteau.

I have to ask you two questions though:

First, do you intend to produce any other colours?

Second, I and I'm sure many others would love to replace the standard Omega strap with yours but retain the (very good) Omega deployment clasp. Ideally you'd provide a strap two millimeters narrower (20mm) at the strap end with pin holes drilled through... Hey, think how many new Ploprofs have been sold - I bought two - black and white dials!

Thanks, Richard K, London , United Kingdom

Dear Isofrane,

 

Just got my orange 22mm strap for my TAG Heuer 500m Calibre 5 and had to let you know how great it is! I've been wearing this watch for about 2 years on it's normal stainless bracelet. I've gotten many compliments over the past two years on this watch, but I have to say that in the past 12 hours I've received a ton of compliments! This band looks amazing and really makes this black faced watch pop! Feels great, looks great and smells great! How long with the smell last? Just curious. I am really loving the new band. It has brought a whole new life to my favorite watch! Thanks for a great product and the fast shipment!

Mike M. Converse, TX , USA


Dear Isofrane Staff,

I am finding it difficult to find the time and words for a full review and perhaps this is not necessary anyway. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then please witness first-hand what I completely entrust to your stunning products...and yes, these timpeieces are still used in the true environments for which they were originally designed.

Warmest regards and a sincere thanks to you all,

D.G.H Brisbane Australia

Hello !

you won my loyalty with your excellent customer service, honesty and willingness to accept my feedback without telling me I was wrong. A quality product will get a customer to try a product, but what keeps people coming back is how they are treated.

Thanks you and keep up the good work,


Tim T. Blaine, MN, USA

Hello,
I purchased a strap from you last week and it arrived yesterday. I wanted to thank you for the Priority shipping in light of the ash cloud delay. I have the strap mounted on a current version Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. It works and looks fantastic. I really appreciate the work and effort that went into recreating this iconic strap. You really nailed the material composition and finish; it is truly an outstanding piece of work. I'm looking forward to the 22mm size being offered and expect to order a few more once those are available. I would also love to see additional buckle options including titanium and polished steel so as to better match a variety of watch bands and models. It would be great if you could offer alternate buckles separately from the strap for DIY change-ups. I figured I'd pass my thoughts along. Once again, great work!

Thanks, Trey W. Villa Rica, GA, USA

Hello,
I am absolutely loving my 24mm Isofrane strap, it is the best strap out there on the market today. I know you are developing a 22mm version. Could you please tell me when it will be ready to order. Regards, Dave D. Palmyra, NY, USA

I just received my 24mm to put on my ZINEX, and the strap lives up to it's reputation. Hands down the best I have ever had. I was wondering when you thought the 22 and 20mm might be available. I will of course need both! Thanks, Joe K. Clarkesville, Georgia, USA


Please read what Isofrane owners say:
http://www.thedivewatchconnection.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2113

Dear ISOfrane

Received the strap and it is on my Kobold Arctic Diver now. In 25 years of wearing rubber and / or synthetic dive straps, I have to say that this is the most comfortable one that I have ever had the opportunity to wear. The fit, finish and wearing comfort, as well as how it looks on the wrist and on the watch, are exceptional.

Thank you very much and congratulations on an excellent product!

Best regards,

James D. B.
Toronto,ON, Canada

Please read what Isofrane owners say:
http://www.thedivewatchconnection.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2113

The new ISOfrane arrived by FedEx today and I mounted it on the Ploprof. I think it's killer. Almost better than the strap that came on the PP1200. Fits well, smells good, plenty long... I'm very pleased. Money well spent.

Suddha

See original post with pictures >

REVIEW

A few weeks ago, member "alexkarbo" posted a thread wondering what was up with http://www.isofrane.com. It piqued my interest because last year, I'd heard a rumor that Isofrane may be making a comeback. Since hearing, I was hoping they would make a return, as I've been looking for a high quality, non-silicone, vintage-inspired strap to mate to my vintage Aquadive Model 50.

Using a bit of "moderator magic" I was able to contact Isofrane to see if I could get some samples to review for you guys, and to test for myself. They were very responsive and sent two straps with the three buckles that they'll be offering. Their first model strap is a PloProf style(for lack of a better term) but if you're familiar with vintage divers, other makers used the same style too. They did tell me that there will be other models/styles available soon, so it sounds like there will be lots to look forward to from Isofrane.

Now just so we're clear, this review is completely uninfluenced by "feebies", discounts etc. While these straps and buckles were sent to me free of charge, I will be returning them as soon as the review is complete.

Read full review here >

REVIEW

ISOfrane Is Back! And Along With It, 1970s Diver-chic Style

Resurrected by the Synchron watch group, who happen to be the same people behind the rebirth of another ?70s icon, the DOXA dive watch, the new ISOfrane straps are true to their heritage while bearing several improvements. The new strap looks almost identical to the original, with its trademark angle-cut end, longitudinal channels and slotted tang adjustments. On closer examination, the new ISOfrane is thicker but softer, with a beefier, screwed-in buckle in place of the stamped steel one on the original. The back of the strap still retains the horizontal texturing that keeps it from sliding around on a wet neoprene sleeve.

Read full review here >

REVIEW

It's not easy to excite the entire watch community with the release of a new strap, especially one made of rubber... But when that release is the reissue of a rare vintage band by a brand that was long defunct, even we watchnerds sit up and take notice, or in DeskDivers case, put fingers on keyboards.

Read full review here >

REVIEW

I received a production sample of the new ISOfrane strap two weeks ago and have been wearing it around the clock since then. I haven't dived it, but it's been wet and sweaty and stretched and otherwise treated...like any other rubber strap I own, i.e. rough.

Read full review here >

REVIEW

I received a production sample of the new ISOfrane strap two weeks ago and have been wearing it around the clock since then. I haven't dived it, but it's been wet and sweaty and stretched and otherwise treated...like any other rubber strap I own, i.e. rough.

Read full review here >

 
 
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