My thoughts on Airman Auto straps - for those struggling with their decision

Thread: My thoughts on Airman Auto straps - for those struggling with their decision

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  1. #1
    Member Tobey's Avatar
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    My thoughts on Airman Auto straps - for those struggling with their decision

    First off - I've had my Airman Auto no logo for a month now, and I can't stop staring at this watch. This is my first expensive watch purchase... Now some of you might not see $800 as 'expensive', but IMHO that's about my ceiling price for a watch. It was worth every damn penny.

    I struggled with my band selection when ordering. I loved the Airman Original style strap in dark brown with contrast stitching, but it was 22mm wide and would not fit the 20mm lugs on the auto. I ended up ordering a black old style riveted strap with my watch, and then found later that the AO style strap was available in 20mm width. I was psyched, it was an extra ~$50 to upgrade to the AO style strap, but I was ok with that. I also let them know that I had a 6.5" circ wrist, so I would need a shorter strap. I was told that wasn't an issue.

    When I received my watch, I promptly put it on, and found that the AO style strap was about an inch too long, and it was made of very thin leather (probably because it's doubled over, closed strap). I wasn't real thrilled, but I wore the watch thinking it would grow on me. It didn't. To me the length just looked silly, so I wrote to Stowa and explained that my strap was too long. I was then told that the 20mm AO style strap only comes in one length. I was bummed, but decided to order an extra strap, in brown old style riveted, short length.

    The new strap is installed, and it's PERFECT! Nice, grained buckle w/engraved logo, thick leather, great color, perfect length, shiny rivets. It fits the watch perfectly, and I love the look. And it was less than $30 shipped! I have several leather straps, and have seen several other, and IMHO this old style riveted strap is probably the nicest strap I have seen for under $100, it's high quality, and I highly recommend it.

    I may try to have a leather shop cut the AO style strap and re-stitch the end, but I'm not sure it would be worth the cost. Honestly, I think I'd rather exchange it for another old style riveted in black so I could have both!

    Anyway, long read but may help some people in choosing their strap!
    Last edited by Tobey; May 12th, 2009 at 04:35.

  2. #2
    Member Dr. Robert's Avatar
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    Re: My thoughts on Airman Auto straps - for those struggling with their decision

    I replaced my stock strap that came on my airman auto, the black rivet one...thin & stiff couldn't break it in to where it was comfy for me...replaced it w/ a Di Modell "Rallye" strap...also German made & much plusher...matt black...double tang SS tang/buckle...check it out... a W.U.S. sponsor...Fredawatchstraps.com has 'em.
    When it gets warmer I'll put it on a Maratac Zulu Bond stripe.






  3. #3
    Member Tobey's Avatar
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    Re: My thoughts on Airman Auto straps - for those struggling with their decision

    With your watch, did you get the stock leather strap, or the 'old style' strap?

    I'm not entirely sure what the difference is, but the strap I just received is the old style. It's very thick but still soft and comfortable. Of course 'soft and comfortable' is very subjective!

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  5. #4
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    Re: My thoughts on Airman Auto straps - for those struggling with their decision

    I was one of the lucky ones to make the cut on the new Stowa Flieger Original. However, since I've never seen one of these in person I'm a bit perplexed on which leather strap to choose. They offer the 'Old Style' and 'Airman Original'. From the photos on their site, it appears the main difference in the 'Original' is the closed end. Since I've never worn these style of leather straps, I have 2 main questions I was hoping someone could help me with:

    1. Which strap is the closest representation to the one actually issued on the original version (german pilot's issue watch)?

    2. Is either strap more adjustable to a smaller wrist size. My wrist is about 7 inches.

    Any experience or suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers,
    David

  6. #5
    Member Tobey's Avatar
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    Re: My thoughts on Airman Auto straps - for those struggling with their decision

    Quote Originally Posted by rmflint View Post
    I was one of the lucky ones to make the cut on the new Stowa Flieger Original. However, since I've never seen one of these in person I'm a bit perplexed on which leather strap to choose. They offer the 'Old Style' and 'Airman Original'. From the photos on their site, it appears the main difference in the 'Original' is the closed end. Since I've never worn these style of leather straps, I have 2 main questions I was hoping someone could help me with:

    1. Which strap is the closest representation to the one actually issued on the original version (german pilot's issue watch)?

    2. Is either strap more adjustable to a smaller wrist size. My wrist is about 7 inches.

    Any experience or suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers,
    David
    Hey David,

    I would suggest getting both straps, they are both great straps and well worth the extra $$. Don't worry, the strap options confused me too!

    The 'old style' brown riveted strap more closely matches the original Fleiger. I have to admit, at first I didn't like the brown old style strap, but after wearing it I don't think I'd ever go back to the original style strap that came with my watch. the old style is a nice medium brown leather, it wears well, it's thick, yet flexible, and it just seems like it's made for the watch. Mine came with a standard buckle, and I was able to order it in the 'short' version to fit my 6 3/4" wrist, but be warned it's just long enough to fit my wrist.

    The original style strap (I got mine in dark brown) is a very nice looking strap, and you're right the end is closed. The leather is thinner than the old style strap, but it's doubled-up, so they end up being about the same thickness overall. I have a 6 3/4" wrist and the original style strap was about 1" too long for my wrist, so it looked funny because the end stuck up. I emailed Stowa and was told that this style strap only comes in one length, so that's what prompted me to try the old style brown strap. I plan to bring it to a place that does leather work to have it shortened, so I can use it again someday.

    So that's my life history! In short, I would recommend buying both just because an extra is always good to have, but in my eyes, if you're only buying one, the brown old style riveted is the way to go. Just fits the watch better IMHO.

    hope this helps.

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