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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One thing I've learned is that you can't necessarily judge true color but photographs on the internet. Most sellers over expose their pictures so the color looks lighter than it really is. In this instance, it was the opposite. I wanted to save the OEM strap & deployant on the new Portofino so I went strap shopping. It was a little too formal and I want just a smidge more of a casual look. There are a couple glove leather straps in my collection so I know they're pretty pliable and break in even softer very quickly so why not go with another? Picked up this on a few days ago and it came in Saturday:




The tone is more purple than navy, so it's time for an experiment. Went to the closet and grabbed something normally reserved for my shoes:




After putting a coat on, it came out pretty good.




After drying a few hours, I touched up a few spots and let it go overnight.

The next day it was time to do the switch. As much as I like this strap, I'm not a big fan of deployant clasps so it's getting put away. It'll be nice to have the nearly new strap & clasp when I go to sell it, whether that's 30 months or 30 years from now. :sneaky2::T




As you can see, the strap for the deployant is sized differently than the buckle strap so the claps sits evenly under your wrist.




Here's the horological equivalent of wearing two different shoes! :laugh:




Enough fooling around - switching the other side:




Looks pretty good. :thumbup1:




Putting away the OEM strap and buckle:




Okay, now I just gotta wait for the postman to bring the final piece. The doorbell rang a few hours later with the ss Portofino buckle.






Ready to go!




I know it's backwards, but initially I kind of like it. Worth a try for a few days, and I can always switch it back if need be.
 

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That's a great look with the new strap. Personally I really like a deployment clasp from the safety when wearing point of view but it is a pain when I have to alter the buckle when it goes back on the watch winder. Did you get the buckle directly from IWC or your AD? I have seriously been thinking of changing the strap on my JLC Master Grande Ultra Thin. It came with a brown strap which I don't think is right on a formal dress watch. Apparently JLC aren't that keen on selling a buckle to me. They will of course sell me a new black strap complete with new deployment clasp:cursing:
 

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Nice dye job:thumbup1:, Be careful some doesn't rub off on your sleeve, I have always added some wax to seal in any color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you get the buckle directly from IWC or your AD?
Direct from an AD. Less than $100 shipped too - which was about $50 under what most eBay sellers think they can get for these, and around the same price as used ones sell for on the forums.
 

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I do much prefer the new strap .....cleaner looking ....and that's a clean looking watch .....

but as to waxing the leather band .....everyone should do it to all the leather bands they have.....forgot all about that .....you can use pretty much any kind of wax, ....up to and including good ole Johnson's paste wax.....the stuff you used to use on your car .....remember that ? ....


Wax doesn't hurt leather ( and you can do it to all metals too) and helps make it water resistant .....and keeps the color off your sleeves and arms .....just put it on and after a bit of a wait, buff it out ....with a watch band should take you ....oh ....about 4 minutes !
 

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Nice hacking job indeed! thge IWC Portofino Chrono is my list and in the meantime, my research has taught me that I can 'get away' with a much lesser watch for the look, peekaboo under sleeve, but that's another story. i have some questions.
1) I'm baffled that you would dress down the already austere, plain Portofino to the point where it looks about the same as a Victorinox Alliance circa 2011 or worse yet, an ESQ Chronicle. Both watches in the $250 range. Surely the alligator adds the needed panaché?
2) i am hugely impressed by the Blue to black cosmetics but would suggest a high gloss buffing to match it to the Portofino's bezel?
 

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Love both straps however as you know I am partial to exotics. Thanks for the idea of leather dye or polish I'll be experimenting soon There are so many ways to have fun and enjoy this hobby. Thanks again BTW that would look awesome in eel skin JMHO
Not the watch but the strap dk bl eel
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1) I'm baffled that you would dress down the already austere, plain Portofino to the point where it looks about the same as a Victorinox Alliance circa 2011 or worse yet, an ESQ Chronicle. Both watches in the $250 range. Surely the alligator adds the needed panaché?
I have plenty of dress watches already, and I can always switch the strap back to the croc if I want. Besides, the Patek 5127G Calatrava looks identical to the Frederique Constant FC-303B6B6 and nobody is confusing those two watches. For that matter, Invicta, Alpha, and several other assemblers copy plenty of brands including Rolex.

2) i am hugely impressed by the Blue to black cosmetics but would suggest a high gloss buffing to match it to the Portofino's bezel?
The strap actually ended up being very dark blue. A coat of wax as suggested above followed by a buff to a slight gloss finish sounds like a good idea.
 

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Who cares what it looks like? It is an IWC, wearer takes satisfaction in it and that's that. I'd venture to say that every expensive watch has a fashion watch doppelganger.

I find that the plain strap complements the sporty look of the thing rather well. I love a nice alligator as well as the next guy, but it can make a watch look a little fussy, precious, boardroom-y, like you thought about how it was going to impress people when you put it on. This looks like a watch you strap on to use, and never mind what the next guy thinks. I like it.
 

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Great Job, Dennis :thumbup1:. I would suggest Kiwi Parade Gloss if you want an easy shine on the leather.
Oh, and double points for using Kiwipolish :biggrin: (even if it's not made here)
 

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I've also had great success using Kiwi products for touchups when the end of a strap is rubbed raw against a watch case and to alter the color just a bit to suit. Great job with your strap; looks great on that beautiful watch.

Hey, it just occurs to me that this is my first post here. Hello to all.
 
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