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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I seem to be purchasing vintage watches at an alarming rate: I blame Mikey, Anyway these watches arrive with leather straps fitted which are not always to my personal taste.
Being vintage the watches are usually quite thick and I have decided to purchase padded straps from about 3mm and over.
My favourite venue is ebay UK where one is faced with hundreds of straps all looking as though their quality should justify 6 times the asking price.
Both of my newest rectangular Bulova and Elgin watches need straps and I have decided to get a couple of very conservative black and brown padded croco grain straps.
A one time I purchased genuine leather straps from Thailand but now we have import duty enforced in spain the straps were working out to be expensive.
Is there good and bad quality leather and will a pair of straps costing $25.00 be much better than a pair costing $10.00. Should one be guided by photographs then they are all worth at least $50.00.
There are guys on here who have been collecting for many years and are familiar with leather straps. Do you chaps purchase based upon a picture of the strap, the price or perhaps the manufacturer.
I have found a lovely looking padded croco grain strap with "Omega" stamped upon the inside of one of the straps. Is that necessarily a sign of quality or is the leather no better than the average but the word"Omega" has inflated the price.
I really would be interested to know how you guys buy your straps. TIA. jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Mikey, thanks for that, I shall go for the more expensive range. Sorry but I must blame someone and thats why I gave my Wife your name. As always appreciate your opinion. jack
 

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So Jackteet I will chime in too. I will agree with your friend Mikey and say that the 25-dollar strap is a better strap.
Also, like was mentioned the pressed leather straps over time will come apart.
I like the look of the sewed watch bands it seems to have a nicer appearance. You do not have to go real expensive but I try to look for middle of the road. I like lizard, crocodile, snake, and leather as long as they are made well.
I only use those bands on dress watches. If I am putting a band on a diver's watch, then of course it is something totally different that I am going to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, Many thanks for that. Do you reco purchasing handmade genuine leathers from say Thailand which with postage and import duty will be around €60.00, or a good quality grain strap at around €25.00. you guys in canada and the US have cheaper access to good quality straps. Here in spain we have high postage and customs.
I shall do as you suggest and go to the middle. Many thanks for your advices. jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Mikey, I have just found a very nice "Omega" padded croc strap which I think is made by Seiko. Cost approx $25.00 [ £22.00 ] nicley stitched and 6mm thick at the lugs which will go well with the thicker vintage watches. I shall need to change the buck S/S buckle for gold.Thanks for your help. regards jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Mikey, When I read that thought it strange but my knowledge is so limited I will believe anything really. However my wife doesnt believe that you are responsible for my watch addiction so you are off the hook. jack
 

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It is something of a pity that the chinese have yet to figure out a way of getting their craftsmen to produce in quantity a quality strap similar to the handmade ones available in the West. I personally have a problem when the (consumable) strap costs between 2 and 5 times what the watch is worth.

But on the flipside, it IS possible to find cheap and attractive chinese straps for a few bucks each which WILL probably look nice for watches thatare designed to stay in collections and not be worn. I mean the ones with the el-cheapo metal 'Staple' holding the loop in the strap together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi, I agree but it comes down to "China= cheap=rubbish".
In spain and uk we have the problem of transit time and if items arrive at all. In spain there is import duty so we could pay more than the cost of the strap.
I have just ordered a strap from amazon spain. Feedback is excellent, cost reasonable and I dont pay postage. The item is with me in a couple of days.
You are absolutely right that China cant make quality cos their prices are too low to offer quality.
Depending on the amazon strap I might stay with them and possibly Etsy.
 

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Coupla years ago I thought about alligator watch straps. They look good and are VERY tough.

Turns out I can buy an entire alligator hide locally for under $50. "The Plan" was to ship the hides over to Euroland and turn them into alligator watch straps, then bring them back and sell them for a lot more.

I needed a CITES permit ("protected species" - heck they're a darn nuisance, we're overrun with the darn things) which was no big deal, I think it was $25 or so.

Problem was, to re-import the finished straps, EACH ONE needed a CITES permit . . . and there went the profit.

I guess we have to be content with eating them. Alligator tail sliced into bite-size morsels and deep fried are just delicious.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida (can't you tell ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Mike, Sounded like a good plan but destined to fail cos of certs and import duty. At one time I purchased from a couple of guys in thailand and my favourite was Ostrich leg. As usual import duty kincked in once the uk had left the EU. now its not viable so I think I shall stick with amazon and ebay.
My strap from amazon arrived yesterday and I must say it looks good quality for less than $20.00.
I have never considered eating alligator, is it similar in taste to other more common meats. jack
 

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<< OT, no watch content until the end >>

Alligator - quite tasty, nice flavor and texture. It is a white meat and takes on the flavor of how you cook it. Not "gamy" at all, mild flavor, very lean. There are several quality restaurants in this area which serve gator mostly as an appetizer. "Gator bites" or "Gator nuggets" is the usual description.

If you want a real treat, try emu. Super lean red meat. Raising emu was a fad for a while (like worm farms), but they are mostly gone now so you may have to around look for a source. Had a friend in Brighton who asked me to bring some emu steaks in a cooler with dry ice, figured I ought to ask first. HMRC advised me that I could absolutely bring them but I should expect a nice room with a view reserved especially for me in the Tower of London. Sorry, my friend Simon, you are on your own with this one.

Another specialty item is bison. They're being raised commercially and you can buy ground bison at many supermarkets. If you have a bison burger, you'll never bother with hamburgers made from cows again.

Gotta have watch content, so here goes - NAWCC expo in St. Augustine FL February 16, 17, 18. Info online at Daytona Beach NAWCC chapter site.

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 
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