ABP : Watchbands and straps for all watches. Made to measure belts and small leather goods. New and pre-owned watches.

Stingray (Shagreen, Galuchat)

The leather of Stingray (Shagreen, Galuchat) : use and characteristics, examples of straps, complete color chart ABP...


Strap in raw stingray with central pearl on Panerai Radiomir watch.
Strap in raw stingray with central pearl on Panerai Radiomir watch.
Shagreen: The word derives from the French «chagrin» and comes from the military and trade navy vocubulary of the 18th century. «To go to the chagrin » then meant to clean the merchant ships deck with a piece of very abrasive shark dogfish skin (like a sandpaper). For that time, «Chagrin» or «Shagreen» indicated only the shark dogfish leather. Afterward, the leather of Sephen ray, a pelagic ray from North of Indian Ocean, was also used (as the leather of shark dogfish) in furnishing or small objects sheathed. The shagreen word denoted then leathers of these both animals. Some of you certainly know the word "Shagreen" to refer to the ray leather. But what is its origin? First at all, Galuchat, is proper noun. It is the craftman’s family name who works the shark dogfish and of the ray leathers, in the Occident: Jean-Claude Galluchat (with two "L", hey yes, the History has its reasons that the reason ignores) was the master sheath craftman of King Louis XV in the 18th Century. He was the reference to his time the rarest objects with that fish skin (safes boxes, suitcases, swords sheath, etc.) that the proper noun became eponymic of the material. A little bit forgotten, the shagreen returned fashionably in the 30s (art deco time), sank one more time into oblivion, and then made a strong comeback about a decade ago, in furnishing area, then in the watchbands business. Today and since the beginning of the 20th century, the success of Shagreen ray was such as it had completely overshadowed that one of shark dogfish.

Watchband in polished stingray with central pearl on Hermes watch.
Watchband in polished stingray with central pearl on Hermes watch.
You might think we’re chauvinistic, but the fashion straps made in shagreen was launched by our founder, Jean-Claude Perrin (the another "Jean-Claude”). But why are straps in shagreen much more expensive than any other leather? To be honest, the shagreen is not an expensive leather; the ray skin that we use is the Sephen ray (a pelagic ray from North of Indian Ocean), a common species. In fact, the high price of items made in shagreen is due to the fact that this leather is very difficult to work on, between the leather and the mineral, this skin is ivory-coated (as of minuscule teeth) being used by this animal to protect itself against its predators' attack.
 

Watch strap in polished shagreen (stingray) on Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso watch.
Watch strap in polished shagreen (stingray) on Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso watch.
If you have the opportunity someday to see and touch one of these skins, you will notice that it is half constituted by leather (the skin) and half by the mineral or the ivory, on the dermis coat (although the term dermis is not really suited in that case).
The ivory is not worked as any common leather, we grind it, sand it, polish it. This requires the whole appropriate kit of tools used to work on saddlery (leather store) but those to work on stone and metal. The complexity of that work, its laborious task of course has a consequence on the price of any item made in shagreen. That's why the shagreen is so expensive!


Stingray strap on a Royal Oak OffShore Audemars Piguet watch.
Stingray strap on a Royal Oak OffShore Audemars Piguet watch.
Several photos of watchstraps made in stingray shagreen are available our photo galleries...


Here is our leather color charts of shagreen:
Stingray (Shagreen, Galuchat)

Stingray (Shagreen, Galuchat)

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ABP Paris is a craft company with the French state label Company of Living Heritage.

On measure watchstraps, belts, leather goods, new and second-hand watches are the core part of our activity.