Vintage Leather Watch Straps
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  1. #1
    Member jice's Avatar
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    Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    Hi,
    I'm new to vintage watches. I recently purchased a few Swiss and German watches produced approximately between 1935 and 1965. Some of these watches were "new old stock" and others seem to have received very little use. So, they came with what seems to be the original leather straps.

    It is not a surprise that the leather is a bit brittle from age. However, the straps also appear to be very thin and sometimes also short (as compared to more modern watches).

    Is it likely that I am noticing a symptom of age and that the leather would have been thicker when new? Or, were watch bands different at that time? I guess another possibility is that these were inexpensive watches with cheap bands. Who can enlighten me? What do well preserved mid-century leather watch straps look like?

  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    what we really need is some pictures. But there are a couple of things you need to bear in mind.
    In the past watches were much smaller than they are now and a slim elegant gentleman's dress watch would have a slim elegant band.
    Even when it came to tough military style watches, before the war these would generally only measure 29 or 30 mm in diameter.
    Of course what hasn't changed is that cheap and cheerful watches would have had cheap and cheerful straps.

  3. #3
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    Sellers often make wild claims (like NOS), but if you really believe you have 80-year old leather straps, I would be very cautious about using them, unless they are extremely sturdy.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    If the leather dried out so much that it thinned notably, I think it'd be VERY brittle, and bending it to any degree would result in obvious damage.

    I would first suspect that both thickness and length relate to the watch and wrist sizes. A thin dress watch doesn't exactly blend well with a 5 mm strap. :)
    The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

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  6. #5
    Member jice's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    I am posting photos of one example. This band came with a REDA Swiss watch. It's probably form 1950 or earlier. It was described as New Old Stock (and looks like it might be). This particular band is not brittle. But it is thin and the band feels a bit like plastic (but don't know what was common at that time).

    The other aspect of these bands is that the buckles are all thin, stamped metal (again, less substance than modern strap hardware).

    The band measures 11.5 cm and 7.5 cm.

    What do you folks think? I can post more band photos if helpful.
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  7. #6
    Member yankeexpress's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    New Vintage looking distressed Bomber Jacket straps from StrappedForTime.com











    Last edited by yankeexpress; September 11th, 2017 at 08:07.

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    I think You mixed up f11 with sales corner..
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  9. #8
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    That's certainly a cheap strap off a cheap watch. The Swiss knocked out cheap watches by the million as well as expensive ones.
    The good news is that because these watches were essentially disposable not many survive in good condition and they are becoming quite collectable. I would suggest you don't worry about the straps but do some research on the watches.See exactly what you've got. It might indeed be the start of an interesting collection.

  10. #9
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    Your strap is definitely old, but whether it was original to the watch is difficult to ascertain, and especially without a photo of the watch.

  11. #10
    Member jice's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Leather Watch Straps

    Here are a couple of other watches with what may be original straps. The Olma still has a type of tag attached. The Stowa is used, but appears to have been minimally used (and came in an original box). The Olma strap is brittle, the Stowa flexible. Both appear thin and cheap with thin hardware.

    The watches have fixed lugs (I think both do). Is it safe to assume that I can cut away the old straps and replace with something nicer and that the straps do not add substantial (or any) value?
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