Hi, After having read some recent contributions by fellow 'Strapmakers' I felt compelled to give you an insight into my working enviroment.
In the following photos you will see not only watch straps, but a few other items a Craftsman with 25yrs of experience can accomplish. as well as a few of the 'correct' tools for the job..!!
All of the stitching you see on this and the next case has been done by hand, all completely hand stitched using traditional waxed linen threads, even the handles which are approximately 3/4" thick.
I have been working with leather for more than 25yrs, starting in the Saddlery trade making Bridles,Saddles and Harness, then moving on to making Oak and Leather presentation Guncases and Cartridge magazines for companies like Holland&Holland, Purdey, Westly Richards etc. These companies make some of the best Guns/Shotguns in the world, and make no mistake The quality of the Cases I made for them, had to match the quality of the guns..In the mid eighties, a pair of shotguns would typically have cost around £55000 and the case about £1000...
This 'Quality of the leatherwork matching the quality of the gun' or 'Watch' in this instance, is something I feel very strongly about. Sadly an awful lot of what's currently available, In my opinion doesn't live up to that ideal.
I've always believed the quality of an Item is only as good as the worst part of it. It's very easy for a superb timepiece to be dragged down by a poor and coarsly made strap. For example take a look at the back of some straps on offer, there is no reason why the stitching there shouldn't be almost as neat as the front. No need for big ugly tie offs, or blobs of melted nylon thread either.
Email me and I'll send you some photographs of the backs of some of my straps, they might even be better than the fronts of some other makes you've seen..!
During the eighties, I also made Gunleather, heavy duty holsters,including shoulder and IWB, Sam Browne type belts, speed loader pouches etc for US Law enforcement officers and those involved in Pistol sports like Practical Pistol, PP1 and PP2.
I then started making Attache cases, briefcases etc and about that time came across the 'Russia Leather' or as you guys know it the Metta leather.
Since then I have been mostly using that for my casework. I have also done a lot of Interior Design work in leather, including covering an entire spiral staircase in handstitched leather, I've also worked in one of David Bowie's homes in London, and fitted leather wall panels and floor tiles. I also covered two desks for Roman Abromovich in the Metta leather.
What I've mentioned here is only a small part of my work and experience over the past 25yrs, and I have only written it to indicate my experience in the trade. I have spent my career working with, and making 'Quality' which I will continue to offer you guys with my current range of watchstraps and also the many new straps I have in mind for you. Including my 'Xtreme Vintage' which, if I get the time..!! will be shown to you over the next week or so.
Now 'I' don't profess to be, 'The Best Vintage Strapmaker in the World'... or even the best strapmaker in my local County, I do what I do, and others will have to do the Judging.
I just want to see you guys with some 'Quality' on your wrists, and it's not just available from me... HKTAN for example makes some excellent straps, and at hard to beat prices.
So If I've persuaded anyone reading this to pay a bit more attention to the real workmanship in the strap they are thinking of buying, then that's fine. I've succeeded in something...!!
Okay, now for some info on some my straps
I have two ranges at the moment, first is my 'Signature' range which includes the Metta straps, and then the 'Vintage' range.
The 'Signature' straps differ from the Vintage in that they have a different construction, have a soft leather lining and have finished edges. (see photo of the 'Signature' Metta straps)
The 'Vintage' straps have a slightly simpler makeup without the soft lining leather have unfinished edges and are approx 4.5mm thick.
For this post I will try to concentrate on The Vintage range, but have included the photo of the 'Signature' Metta straps for your reference.
I have also attached two photos of the V.O.B strap on my Pam 001, just to give you an idea of how it looks mounted, and it's thickness etc.
The 60yr old Oak Bark tanned leather, has been around since just after WW11, some of it is very clean other parts show heavy aging or 'weathering'
The prices are as follows: Quoted in US$ and includes Standard Airmail.
VINTAGE RANGE available in the following leathers
Best English Black Harness Lthr.......................$135
60yr Old Oak Bark......................................$165
60yr Old Oak Bark Naturally aged,
very small amount of this available...................$185
All prices include shipping by standard Airmail. For insured shipping add $8
I do accept Paypal or payment by bank transfer.
Paypal payments and requests for more information to:
I will post some more information with photos of different leathers in a few days time.
However please remember I have a large stock of various leathers including Ostrich leg, Goatskins, Imported Italian Cowhides, Various types of English Saddle and Bridle leathers, Pigskins, and some I havent even uncovered yet...!!
And I can assure you if you buy one of my straps, which are all handmade by me, that is me in the pic above by the way..!! then you will receive one of the best straps available anywhere. Handmade by a British craftsman with 1/4 century experience, using tools that date back to the 30's, which were handed down to me by a good friend and mentor 25yrs ago.
If you have managed to wade your way through this, then I thank you, and hope to speak to you soon