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Vintage Watchstraps

Straps for Vintage Fixed Wire Lug Trench Watches or Officer's Wristwatches

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Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2021 all rights reserved.
My grandfather's and grandmother's Rolex wristwatches
My grandfather's 1918 and grandmother's 1917 Rolex wristwatches. My grandfather's watch is on one of my Type B straps. Click on the picture for an enlarged view.

Hi, I'm David. I am always happy to hear if you have comments on this web site, or questions about a watch, or about British or Swiss hallmarks.

I live in Cheshire, England. I am a Chartered Engineer with a background in Nuclear Power Station design and construction, nuclear safety and systems analysis, and also Information Technology. I am interested in history, engineering and technology generally. I got interested in early wristwatches when I inherited my grandfather's and grandmother's vintage 1917/1918 Rolex wristwatches, shown in the picture here.

I needed a strap so that I could wear my grandfather's watch, but I couldn't find one so I had some made, but in the process of researching what a strap should look like for an early fixed wire lug wristwatch. I got so interested in old watches that I now have a significant collection of early wristwatches, I have learnt to service and restore my own watches, and I write about the history of watches and the watch industry.

In January 2019 I was made a Fellow of the British Horological Institute (FBHI). I am also a member of the Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) and the American National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). I am particularly interested in early wristwatches, especially those with water resistant features. In addition to the research published on this web site, I have also had a number of articles published in the NAWCC Watch & Clock Bulletin and the British Horological Institute's Horological Journal.

Current Status: (19 November) More stock straps with with Type GW hallmarked sterling silver buckles are now available to buy at Type A GW and Type B GW. Stock of the other designs and buckle options should become available over the next few weeks.

NB: I am not taking orders for custom straps, please don't ask. I will notify here when this changes.


If you want to ask a technical question about a watch, or about a hallmark, I am happy to try to answer. I do not offer appraisals and I don't give valuations – if that is what you want, ask an auctioneer. Before emailing, please read the points below and note: no more than three sharp and clear photographs taken in daylight!

Before Emailing . . .

  1. I am interested in the history and technology of old watches not their value, please don't ask for valuations, ask an auctioneer.
  2. I can't usually help with modern (post-WW2) watches, or electrical, battery or quartz watches.
  3. If the watch case has marks that you think might be hallmarks, start at this page: Case Marks
  4. If there is no obvious maker's name or brand, start at this page: Who Made My Watch?
  5. The meaning of the letters F.S.A.R, or A.F.R.S, on a movement is explained at Regulators
  6. The most important images are inside the outer case back, and then the movement. Do not send an image of the outside of the back.
  7. Don't send partial images, I need to see the whole context. Do not send more than three (3) images.
  8. Images must be sharp and clear (in focus). They are best taken in daylight, avoiding direct sunlight. If you hold the camera too close to the subject it won't be able to focus. Click this link for tips about Taking Close Ups.
  9. There are thousands of different Swiss ébauches (movements), and many look very similar. If I don't recognise one, I am sorry but I don't have the time to search through catalogues trying to find it: see Movement Identification.

Please read the points above before emailing me at . Send only the three photographs specified, and make sure that they are sharp and clear. Include the country where you live, or where the watch was purchased.

If you are inquiring about having a strap custom made, please state in which country you live for the cost of postage.

I usually won't reply over a weekend, but if you don't get a reply within a few working days, check your junk or spam folders, and make sure that you followed the points above. Please don't pass on my email address, refer people to this web page instead.


I am happy to answer questions for free, but if I have answered a question or you find the information on this web site useful, and would like to express your appreciation, then of course I am happy to receive a donation. You can use the PayPal button below to make a donation.


Watch Care and Servicing

A watch is a complicated and delicate machine and it needs cleaning and oiling every so often to reduce wear and prolong life, even if it appears to be working perfectly well. Read more about this on my page Looking after a mechanical watch. There is also advice on that page about how to find a reliable watch repairer to service and repair your watch. Don't rely on qualifications alone, a certificate only shows that someone put in enough effort at one time to pass a test, it doesn't tell you about their approach to looking after a customer and their treasured watch. Do some background research.


Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2021 all rights reserved.

Some people seem to feel that anything published on the internet can be copied freely; this is not true. Everything belongs to its author or creator and, except where noted otherwise, all the text and images on this website are my copyright. This extends to images that I have obtained from original sources such as adverts, patents etc. that are out of copyright where I have found or scanned the original image, edited it to remove defects and make it clearer, rearranged elements to make it more suitable for a web page, coloured parts for easier understanding, etc., etc. My copyright is the resulting unique image.

I have put a lot of time and effort into creating the original content on this web site and I would prefer my hard work to be acknowledged; I think that is only fair, don't you?

You are welcome to use limited quotes or an image from my web site for non-commercial use (including blogs and private eBay listings) so long as you include a statement Information / Image from © David Boettcher. If you use an image this must be in a caption of the picture.

For any commercial use please contact me first. I use low resolution images on the web site because they are appropriate for computer screens and reduce loading time. These are not suitable for print medium and higher resolution versions may be available on request.

If you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to to get in touch via my Contact Me page.

Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2021 all rights reserved. This page updated November 2021. W3CMVS. Back to the top of the page.