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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 - 2020 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 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.

Update 23 June:

Stock levels updated today. Manufacturing of straps is now back to normal. All sizes of Type GW hallmarked sterling silver buckles are in stock. Type GW 12mm buckles in 9 carat yellow and rose gold are in stock ready to be made into a custom strap of your choice.

A revised post about the Swiss hallmark of “three bears” for 0·935 silver can be found under “Blog” on the blue navigation bar, or by this link: Bears Galore!. I have moved the discussion of “flaming June” to the post about The Solstices.


If you want to ask a question about a watch I am happy to try to answer. This is a free service, but I do not offer appraisals and I don't give valuations – if that is what you want, ask an auctioneer. Before emailing read the points below, and note: no more than three clear good quality 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 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. If you are sending photographs, don't send more than these three: 1: Inside Case Back, 2: Movement, 3: Face. It makes life easier for me if images are sent as email attachments. Please don't fill up my email inbox with lots of massive image files.
  7. Photographs must be sharp and clear, which usually means they must be taken in daylight but avoiding direct sunlight.
  8. Don't just try to fill the frame with the subject to make it larger; a clear sharp image taken from further away can be enlarged, but an image that has been taken too close and is out of focus is useless.
  9. There is no reason to send poor quality images. Today all digital cameras, smart phones and tablets are capable of taking excellent images if they are used properly. For easy tips on taking great close up photographs click on this link Taking Close Up Photographs.
  10. Don't send photographs that are small, blurred or out of focus. If I can't see details I won't be able to tell you anything. Digital photographs need to be at least 1,000 pixels, and preferably 2,000 pixels, across the subject to show adequate detail. Please check this before sending photographs; if they are less than 1,000 pixels across the subject they are a waste of time.
  11. Anonymous Swiss movements are not at all well documented, and catalogues of movements take a long time to search through. If you want me to try to identify a movement, it will have to be something special and you will need to be very persuasive.

If you have read the points above, then please call me David and email me at . But remember, do not send more than a maximum of three photographs, and make sure that they are sharp and clear - if they are not, I won't be able to help you.

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. Any amount is much appreciated and will help to keep this web site going. 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.

Case Repairs

If you have a watch case that needs repairing, get in touch with my good friend Adam Phillips. Adam is a goldsmith with over 30 years experience in the making and repair of all types of watch case, from antique pocket watches to modern wristwatches.


Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2020 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. My copyright extends to images that I have obtained from original sources such as adverts, patents etc. that are out of copyright where I have gone the trouble of finding the original image, scanning or importing it, editing it to remove blemishes, repair defects and make it clearer, rearranged elements of the image to make it more suitable for a web page, colouring parts for easier understanding, etc., etc. In this case my copyright is in the resulting unique scanned, cleaned and edited image.

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

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

For any other use, including any commercial use, please contact me first. Low resolution images are used on this web site because they are appropriate for computer screens and reduce loading time. These are not suitable for print medium and higher resolution versions are available on request.

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

Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2020 all rights reserved. This page updated June 2020. W3CMVS. Back to the top of the page.