Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...
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Thread: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

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  1. #1
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    Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    Finally, the day arrived when I had a watch I knew was a keeper. The Enicar Seapearl 600.

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    It speaks to those who get it. It has the patina of history surrounding it. "If I could only speak to tell my sea tales!" For now, I can use my own imagination.

    So, the journey for a strap began and WUS was the most logical place to start. Perhaps what follows will help you with your future strap purchase.

    As a preface to the actual process, I would like to relay a bit of buying advice for any artistic purchase.

    When you buy fine art, you are invited to a gallery where you are led into a room with a drawn curtain. The owner or staff will seat you and allow you to get comfortable, then open the curtain to reveal the artwork. You gaze upon it for as long as you like. Then, you go home and sleep on it. The dealer holds it for you for a week or so and then you return to repeat the process. The key difference being how you react when you see the artwork for the second time. It should make you feel like you are seeing an old friend again. For some, it may mean a third visit to be sure. That's the best way to describe the process and it applies to watches too. It means you can live and appreciate your treasure long after the initial purchase.


    I posted a request for ideas for the Seapearl 600 and awaited the creativity to kick in.

    You can read the thread here:


    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/strap-suggestions-enicar-seapearl-600-a-953732.html


    As you can see, CADstraps (KC) suggested "Fish."

    "Say what?" I thought.

    However, the more I pondered it, the more that idea appealed to me. It certainly was appropriate as well as the Seapearl was a dive watch.

    I sent a private message to CADstraps about having one made and we traded a number of emails about color, buckle, and other preferences, etc. He sent the following photo:



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    I also related that the watch was tested by the US Navy for their divers and that I am a member of the Navy League. So, the stitching color changed to gold and viola, we had the makings of one very cool looking strap capturing the elements of the watch and its history. Not to mention that I like blue and gold as colors having worn an original Citizen Blue Angels Navihawk for years. We came to an agreement on price, delivery, etc.

    Soon after another email arrived as follows:



    "I'll start by proposing the finished strap and it's details. You will then either approve or request revisions/corrections. Once we shake hands on the plan, I put your strap in the queue and start cutting. This type of strap is a 3-day process once I get started.

    I suggest:

    - 125/75 lengths, 17.5mm width (please double check) tapering to 16mm. That lug width makes me wary. I know you said you don't want to go to 18mm, but the thought of a gap keeps me up at night.
    - core of premium grade veg leather
    - genuine fish hide upper, in sueded navy blue
    - 2 floating keepers, also of fish construction
    - yellow stitching in an open pattern (I will show you the yellow threads I have in stock and you can pick the one you like best) with beeswaxed Irish linen thread.
    - liner of premium Italian lambskin (black? Red? Blue? Pink?)
    - 16mm solid stainless double locking deployment with pushbutton opening (great hardware)"

    I sent him some measurements of the watch lugs. Here they are:

    "Lug height at pin hole 2.5mm
    2.5 at the case

    Top of pinhole to top of lug 1.34mm
    Bottom of pinhole to bottom of lug .4mm

    Bottom lug width at pinhole is 17.5mm
    Same for top

    Suggest 17.7mm lug width just to help you sleep

    Case wall closest to lug to middle of pinhole 4mm
    Case wall center to the middle of the pinhole is 2.7mm

    Lug length is 6.9mm"


    Another follow-up by me:

    "Just recalled that I may not have mentioned my wrist size as not large.

    A short strap is usually better for me rather than regular size.
    Otherwise I have a lot of extra strap hanging off the end...

    Lug to lug is about 44mm on this Seapearl."


    Which prompted this response:

    "Do you have a strap now that you like the size? My 125/75 is fairly standard for a wide range of wrists, but I can make an adjustment if necessary."


    My response:

    "Yep.


    110/70

    It's only going on my wrist...."


    Not long afterwards, I received a bit of teaser photo:


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    Then, the final product:

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    Finally, the happy day when it arrived and is now installed on the watch. No need for words, the watch can now fully "speak" for itself:

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    I certainly appreciated the extra care and time KC spent on my little project and I hope the reader gains some insight into how the process works and how enjoyable it can be -- especially with the final outcome!

    I'd rate it a five star transaction.

  2. #2
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    Re: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    Great post. Does he have a website with a gallery of other pieces? Whose brushed butterfly deployant is that?

  3. #3
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    Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    Nice post and great watch strap/ combo! As someone who loves custom straps and has had many made over the years....the whole figuring out measurements is probably the most important part.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    Thanks for the kind words.

    The deployment doesn't have any marking on it other than Stainless Steel.

    I'm sure KC will advise when he can.

    It is one comfy strap!

  6. #5
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    It looks super soft and I'll bet it is very comfortable on the wrist. Nice job.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
    Groucho Marx

    "The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once..."
    Albert Einstein

  7. #6
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    Re: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    Thanks...enjoyed reading that post. Very interesting strap. Must say I've not had to opportunity to see many of his straps and would love to see a website if he has one.

    The Naf
    One watch kinda guy
    "My watch does a lot more than just tell the time...
    it tells a life story..."

  8. #7
    Member CADstraps's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    Holy moly Hunter - you're giving away all my secrets! Now people will know that I return e-mails and expect the same!

    Kidding of course.

    Well, I still think that watch is very cool, and I only care that you're happy. The sueded fish hide has interesting characteristics, but is very durable, and with normal wear you'll be showing that combo off for a long time - enjoy! The scales raise up a bit naturally, so that somewhat shaggy look is natural and expected - it is accentuated by the rolled edges, but not stressed.

    Regarding the deployments - I obtaing them in bulk from an overseas supplier. After trying many out, they are the perfect mix of quality and econimics. They are double locking pushbutton release, solid stainless, great quality. Becuase they are unbranded, they don't break the bank either. I know of at least 2 recognizeable watch brands that use the same hardware, only they stamp theor logo into them and replacements are over 600% more expensive (I bought one once to compare - they're the same).

    Re: website. Don't have one. Maybe one day - maybe not. I work full time, and it's not related to watches or straps. I also have many hobbies - one of which is straps. I don't always agree to make a strap on a request, but it is hard for me to turn down the opportunity to make something this unique for a watch this special - I very much enjoyed it.

    CAD "hoping HNS-Panama doesn't use a 10-start rating system" Straps.
    Influence is like the wind...

  9. #8
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    Re: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    Hah.

    Five out of five stars...



    Quote Originally Posted by CADstraps View Post
    Holy moly Hunter - you're giving away all my secrets! Now people will know that I return e-mails and expect the same!

    Kidding of course.

    Well, I still think that watch is very cool, and I only care that you're happy. The sueded fish hide has interesting characteristics, but is very durable, and with normal wear you'll be showing that combo off for a long time - enjoy! The scales raise up a bit naturally, so that somewhat shaggy look is natural and expected - it is accentuated by the rolled edges, but not stressed.

    Regarding the deployments - I obtaing them in bulk from an overseas supplier. After trying many out, they are the perfect mix of quality and econimics. They are double locking pushbutton release, solid stainless, great quality. Becuase they are unbranded, they don't break the bank either. I know of at least 2 recognizeable watch brands that use the same hardware, only they stamp theor logo into them and replacements are over 600% more expensive (I bought one once to compare - they're the same).

    Re: website. Don't have one. Maybe one day - maybe not. I work full time, and it's not related to watches or straps. I also have many hobbies - one of which is straps. I don't always agree to make a strap on a request, but it is hard for me to turn down the opportunity to make something this unique for a watch this special - I very much enjoyed it.

    CAD "hoping HNS-Panama doesn't use a 10-start rating system" Straps.

  10. #9
    Member Camguy's Avatar
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    Re: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    Cool post. I had a similar experience with another custom strap maker...fun, isn't it?
    hns-panama likes this.

  11. #10
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    Re: Buying a bespoke strap -- some thoughts...

    An update:

    As I said in my original post, living with the strap is the key, and the process I described worked for me. Now, everytime I open the Enicar box with the Seapearl inside, it brings a smile to my face and I see my old friend. Just winding it up and putting in on gives me great satisfaction and joy.

    And that, my friends, is as it should be.

    Mechanically speaking, it is working fine and the hardware is first rate. The strap itself is wearing very well.

    Fish... Who knew?

    Photo below is a quick shot with my cell phone:

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    CADstraps likes this.

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