I had just finished up putting back together another vintage chrono and had thrown on a new Hamilton khaki style strap. Someone suggested it was all wrong with that new strap, and I think they were right.
I've been eyeing lots of custom ammo pouch straps out there and really feel they fit the vintage watches well, especially old military watches and chronographs. But after my first and only custom strap order turned out far less than stellar, I couldn't bring myself to popping that kind of money on that gamble again. And I don't have the patience to wait a month again. So what's a guy to do?
Figured what the heck, I'll just make my own. I rummaged through some scrap leathers at a local boot/saddle shop and found some great pieces, but the best find was at a thrift store I frequent a lot for the cool stuff they get in all the time. I had made my rounds and was heading out, when I caught a glimpse of a ratty old belt sitting out of place. After seeing that one I had to scour the belt racks. In the midst of hundred and hundred of vinyl junk I managed to pick 6 vintage leather belts from at least the 60s, if not earlier. They are perfect for the task; worn, soft, and plenty long for two straps each! Cool.
Sat down last night and cranked out my first one. It's a dark reddish brown oiled leather that I added brown stitching to. This one is 18mm wide with a stainless buckle and single fixed keeper. It's not perfect, but I'm loving it on the '43 Breitling!! Now I have to make more. Hopefully my hand stitching will continue to improve. Great ... another hobby to start obsessing over. LoL!
Here she is. What do you think?