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A Guide To Leather Grades


Not all leather is created equal. Most people will be quite  happy to see the words "Genuine Leather" stamped on their leather watch strap. However, after some time spent owning the product they may soon have a genuine disappointment.

Genuine Leather

Genuine Leather is the lowest quality leather. It is the leather that is left over after the higher quality leather sections are used. Genuine leather products don't last as long as higher quality leathers, it has a lower quality feel and appearance.

Top Grain Leather

Top Grain Leather is the second highest quality leather. Ironically, despite having the name Top Grain, the top grain is sanded off to remove the natural imperfections of the hide. However, it is this top grain which has the strongest fibres of the hide.

Full Grain Leather

Full Grain Leather is the highest quality leather. It is the most durable, has a luxurious feel and It retains the top layer which has the strongest fibres. Therefore, only choice sections without imperfections are chosen making it the most desirable and expensive leather.


When it came to deciding which leather to use for our Zampieri watches the choice was clear. We chose Full Grain leather from Italy for our Padua Collection of watches. In addition, we chose to use calf leather over adult leather for the added luxurious and soft feel of the leather. The final step towards perfection was to use Vegetable Tanning rather than Chromium Tanning. Vegetable Tanning is a tanning process that dates back to ancient times. It takes considerable more time to produce which makes it much more expensive. Vegetable Tanning produces a nicer finish, is more durable and is eco-friendly.