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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 2005 - 2024 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 and technology 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.

7 June 2024: If you haven't been following the story, in January there was a disaster in the workshop that stopped me making any straps.

I am hoping to have production of my trench watch straps up and running again in a few weeks, with the option of standard base metal or Type GW hallmarked sterling silver buckles. There will be some changes, watch this space for more details.

I plan to follow up later with my G10 and RAF straps. Unfortunately, it seems very unlikely that I will be able to make custom orders.

I am considering making Type GW hallmarked sterling silver buckles available to buy on their own, if you would be interested in this, please let me know.

Asking Questions

You might have noticed that you don't get a warning from your browser about cookies on this web site; that's because there aren't any. The web site is free to read, there are no distracting adverts, and nothing that you click on will come back to haunt you later. If you got a warning about the security of the website, please make sure to use the secure “https” address

If you enjoy this website,
why not buy me a coffee?

If you want to ask me a question about an old watch or some hallmarks, well that's also free. If you enjoy reading something and want to make a donation, or to make a contribution towards the upkeep of the web site, that would be much appreciated; there is a donate button further down on this page, or for a quick “thanks” you could use the “Buy me a coffee” button. But don't feel obliged; unlike websites with content that is just clickbait so they can bombard their readers with advertisements, I am happy if you just read and enjoy.

If you want to ask a technical question about a watch, or about a hallmark, I am happy to try to answer. Before emailing, please read the points below.

Note that I do not offer appraisals and I don't give valuations – if that is what you want, ask an auctioneer, or try searching on eBay for similar items that have sold recently - there is an option to show only sold items.

To avoid overloading my email inbox, the number and size of photographs that can be received is limited to a maximum of three photos and 10MB in total. If you ignore these limits and send lots of large photos, I will not receive your email.

Photos must be taken in daylight and must be sharp and clear; don't try to take close up photos using artificial light.

  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 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. If you have an English watch and are puzzled about how to access the movement, see Bolt and Joint Cases.
  7. Many Swiss ébauches (movements) look very similar, before asking about an anonymous movement read Movement Identification.
  8. Send only three photos; the inside of the outer case back, the movement and the face.
  9. Photos must be taken in daylight, avoiding direct sunlight. Do not send photos taken in artificial light.
  10. Hold the camera far enough away that it can focus on the subject and hold it very steady, use a tripod or brace it against something. Click this link about Taking Close Ups.

Make sure any photographs really are sharp and clear and say in which country you live or the watch was purchased. Please call me David and send emails to . And remember, do not send photos taken in artificial light and don't send more than 3 photos.

I reply to all email I receive. 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 also make sure that you followed the points above, particularly the number and size of photographs. Please refer people to this page rather than passing on my email address.

If you enjoy this website,
why not buy me a coffee?

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 towards the cost of running the website. You can use the PayPal button below to make a donation, or for a quick “thanks” you could use the “Buy me a coffee” button.


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 2005 - 2024 all rights reserved.

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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.

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

You may use short 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 that you got the image or information from my website and credit David Boettcher, If you use an image this must be in a caption of the picture. I leave the exact words to you, but e.g. “Image credit; David Boettcher,”.

Please note that use of large sections of text or multiple images is not allowed without prior permission, which usually will be granted if you ask.

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; higher resolution versions may be available on request.

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

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Copyright © David Boettcher 2005 - 2024 all rights reserved. This page updated November 2023. W3CMVS. Back to the top of the page.