Revered as the leather strap maker to the world's most prestigious watch brands in haute horlogerie, Jean Rousseau is a luxury goods brand whose independence, creativity, and excellence make it the highly respected and desirable brand it is today.
The company was originally founded by Jean Rousseau in 1954, who had learned his craft from being a leather strap maker at various companies in Besançon, in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France. The business was focused on making lower-priced straps and downward price competition drove it to bankruptcy in 1998. A few years later, an ambitious Jacques Bordier takes over the company, opens the first boutique in Paris (France), reinvents it with his Brand Director Anaïs Bordier, and strategically shifts the business focus to the luxury market. Looking back, this was a visionary turning point for the company, as they have since enjoyed so much success at the upper echelon of the luxury watch industry.
Jean Rousseau only works with the finest and most exquisite leathers, and creates leather goods with traditional methods that have been used for almost 70 years. It is their innovative craft spirit that gives the company its DNA and makes their brand name so synonymous with creative independence and quality.
The company originally only produced watch straps but has since diversified into all kinds of leather goods, such as watch rolls, watch cases, bags, wallets, phone cases, and more. If you are looking for high-quality leather goods and in particular, watch straps, this is the brand for you.
Few companies have the distinct honor of being knighted as an Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant – or “Living Heritage Company”, an official designation issued by the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. It is a title that distinguishes a company as being at the pinnacle of artisanship and recognizes the excellence of its savoir faire. This title is only given out every 5 years.
It is this level of excellence that is the lifeblood and true north of Jean Rousseau. They are constantly striving for innovation while staying true to their tradition and know-how.
Their commitment to quality is most evident in the demanding training of their craftsmen. The training curriculum is very serious and takes about 6 weeks to complete in their French manufacture. The rigorous experience almost makes one feel like a scientist in training, complete with the white laboratory coats and precision tools!
It is therefore no surprise that all the top luxury watch brands in the world consistently seek out Jean Rousseau for leather watch straps and other related accessories.
In the world of watch straps, you can’t go wrong with the default – an alligator upper combined with a calf inner lining. That said, our favorite combination is a large square-scaled alligator upper combined with a small round-scaled alligator inner lining, for a truly luxurious feel and a stealth detail that only the wearer would know about.
Alex Crown is incredibly proud to offer watch straps for the top luxury watch brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, F.P. Journe, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Rolex, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and even the Apple Watch! All of our watch straps are made by Jean Rousseau and we can accommodate all brands of watches. Even if your watch is not on this short list, we are confident we can make a strap for it!
We have endless customization and personalization options available. There is a wide selection of over 1,000 choices of materials and colors including alligator, calf, cordura, alcantara, rubber, lizard, ostrich, sturgeon, pineapple, cork, and more. We can combine different uppers and linings, add details like hand stitching and monograms, fit any size of wrist, and fit any type of lugs. If you can dream it, we can make it.
We also happen to be watch connoisseurs and serious watch collectors at Alex Crown, and you can always reach out to us to discuss the best straps and accessories for your treasured timepiece. Trust us, if you get a Jean Rousseau strap for your watch, you’ll not only marvel at the comfort and quality, but you’ll also find yourself staring at it…a lot. We know, because we are guilty of it too!
Apart from watch straps, the other items in Jean Rousseau’s offerings such as belts, wallets, bags, watch rolls, watch cases, and other leather goods echo their sophisticated designs and exceptional quality.
Trusted by many of the most storied and pre-eminent horological brands in the world, you will be hard-pressed to find a higher quality watch strap brand with more value. In fact, there is even more value in Jean Rousseau's other leather creations such as bags and accessories, which boast the same level of finishing and quality found on its magnificent watch straps.
Jean Rousseau is innovatively pushing the boundaries of traditional strap making as it makes positive inroads on its sustainability efforts. For those who would prefer to steer clear of exotic skins such as alligator, ostrich, and lizard, Jean Rousseau offers a fantastic alternative in fish skins, which is a resource that is widely available but frequently wasted.
Their fish skin leather is sourced in a collaboration with ICTYOS, an ecological tannery based in France that ethically produces high quality marine leathers made via metal-free vegetable tanning. Of the marine leathers, the most fascinating one is sturgeon skin – which makes sense because France happens to be one of the world’s biggest consumers of caviar.
Other sustainable alternatives include pineapple and cork, two incredibly innovative and natural watch strap options that are bound to give your timepiece a unique look!