Leathercraft · Watches


I paid a visit to the leather supplier and they had a one-off batch of lizard skins that they are unlikely to import again. I’ve always wanted a lizard watch strap ever since I saw the faux one on the Timex Marlin reissue.

I made a prototype using the damaged leather from the tail region and decided the rugged fixed width style wasn’t going to work. Now, I had never made a dressier tapered design before and there’s a bit of work involved getting the tapering right. Most people use a template but I didn’t have one so I made one from some leather scraps and used that to mark out then cut the lizard.

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Cloth and Hide · Leathercraft · Watches

Adventures in leatherworking: update

So it’s been about 5 months since I started my new hobby and I think my skill levels have certainly improved. Stitching is neater, lines are cleaner, burnishing is better.

My main improvement has come from getting some decent tools -rotary cutter has been a godsend for cutting out straight strips of leather. I’ve learnt a few tricks so that starting and finishing stitches are neater and more consistent.

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Leathercraft · Watches

Slowly but surely

So an update on my new little hobby: leathercrafting. Making watch straps, as I’ve discovered is not as easy as it looks. There are tight tolerances and a few millimetres off here or there makes for an unco-looking strap! Slowly but surely I am making progress.

My biggest challenge so far has been my choice of leather. I bought a piece of black chromexcel offcut from eBay and I thought “sweet!”. But it turned out to be too thick for watch straps.

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Cloth and Hide · Leathercraft · Watches

Strappin’ novice

So I began my leathercrafting with making some watch straps which is probably not the best thing to start off with. Watch straps have extremely low tolerances and tight gaps and are small fiddly things that you see up close. The tiniest bit of not straight stitching is immediately evident. And the tiniest bit of not straight cutting results in a buckle not fitting or not fitting between the lugs. Anyway it’s too late now, so if I can make straps I should be able to make anything?

First up, the tools. I started off with some basic tools from Birdsall Leather: pricking irons, grooving tool, needles, waxed linen thread, hole punches, and a skiving blade. I had other basics like a rubber mallet and metal ruler at home. Some cheapo wood and chopping boards finished off my beginners kit.

I had some kangaroo leather scraps which I bought from Birdsall leather so my first strap was a double layered strap which was stitched along the length. This is actually the hardest kind of strap to make so I had jumped right into the deep end. I started off by making a template out of some breakfast cereal box cardboard.

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Musings · Watches

What’s it Worth?

I’m sure by now everyone has read about the recent auction of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona which sold for 17 million US dollars and I’m reading about it online and having discussions with people about it and the question that is always asked is: Is it really worth it? In the context of this particular watch, probably not to me or a lot of other people, but it was worth it to someone because that’s what they paid.

And really you can apply that logic to a lot of the watch world. To pay a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars for an antiquated device that “just tells the time” seems absurd, but then if that’s what you think, you are really just missing the point.

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