I began this page in March 2008 to show off some customers' watches on their new straps. If you have a picture of a watch on one of my straps that you would like to see on this page, or if you have sent me a picture and I have forgotten to put it up, then please don't hesitate to to get in touch via my Contact Me page.
Copyright © David Boettcher 2006 - 2020 all rights reserved. Almost all of the words and pictures on this page are the copyright of my customers, please respect that and don't copy words or pictures without permission.
Strap and buckle look great. Here's some photos.
Nigel, 10 March 2020.
Nigel's watch has a Rotary branded movement in a silver, fixed lug, cushion case with 1929/30 Glasgow Assay Office import hallmarks. I supplied a 16mm two piece open ended strap in premium Italian brandy leather with a Type GW hallmarked sterling silver buckle. This is the widest Type GW buckle that I make, they just don't look right in larger sizes, but two piece straps can be made tapered and an 18mm to 16mm is possible.
Thank you very much for the strap. It arrived Friday, and I have been enjoying my 1915 vintage Waltham on it. Love the colour and the feel of the leather! I will be ordering another one soon!
Best, Paul, 9 March 2020.
This is my Rolex Trench Watch on the new strap. The watch has 15 jewels, the silver case is hall marked 1918 in London. It has a mechanism with the initials WD. I hope that this is of interest.
Kr, Stewart, 2 March 2020.
Here are some photos of my watch with the wonderful strap you made for me.
I love the strap, it fits the watch and me perfectly, thank you for your time and trouble.
Kind Regards, Julieanne, 14 February 2020.
A Two piece strap in red leather leather. Julieanne was able to give me the lengths of the two pieces from an old strap to copy, hence the perfect fit.
Very pleased with the strap, please see a photo of my 1914 Omega trench with it attached.
Kind Regards, David, 12 February 2020.
I got back from Japan yesterday and opened your parcel this morning to find a great strap. Perfect fit. I’m very pleased how my 1926 Longines looks with it. Many thanks indeed for all your trouble.
With kind Regards, Brian, 11 February 2020.
Thanks for sending me one of your beautiful straps and GW buckles for my silver "hunter" trench watch. Moreover, thank you for all your efforts in faithfully reproducing the straps and buckles for these beautiful and historic watches for us owners. My watch now looks so much better on the correct type of strap, rather than the incorrect and rather effeminate looking strap previously fitted.
My watch is a full hunter which, I understand, was less popular than the open faced watches in the trenches due to the need for two hands to read the time. However, I really love this watch because, not only is it more unusual, but it is extremely practical to wear, being very well protected from the rigours of daily life 100 years after it was made! Fortunately, I do not have to worry about two handed time telling, as I am not dodging bullets and shrapnel unlike my great grandfather and grandfather (who lied about his age)!!
Kind Regards, Dominic, 1 February 2020.
I am happy to report that the watch-strap arrived today and fits the watch perfectly. Like you, this watch was passed down from my Grandfather, who was given it as a birthday present in 1918. It is described in family lore as a “Naval Style” watch. That is all we know about it. However, it looks so much better with a proper watch-strap so thank you for that.
Another satisfied customer!
Kind Regards, Anton, 20 January 2020.
Type B in dark brown leather with Type GW hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Anton's watch looks like a Borgel wristwatch.
the strap is gorgeous! Smells great, too. Here’s a wrist shot for you on my Smiths 6B, fresh from its service. With your RAF strap, I now have leather, NATO, Bonklip and Perlon options for this little beauty...
I’m aware that civilian advertising for this watch shows Perlon, but do you think it likely that the RAF were still issuing leather straps of your style design in 1968? It’s still a few years before the G10... just wondered if you knew.
Thanks again, Mark, 14 January 2020.
I can't answer Mark's question about whether the RAF still issued leather straps in 1968, it's a later period than I have studied but I suspect not: it was after all the era of Bri-Nylon drip dry shirts. If you know, please get in touch.
Received the strap, perfect job, it´s amazing.
I send you a picture of my 1915 Borgel trench watch in the dark blue leather strap. I bought both, the watch and the strap, to honor the memory of those British pioneers on the Everest, Irvine and Mallory.
Thanks a lot, Jorge, Spain, 14 December 2019.
Type AS design with Type GW hallmarked sterling silver buckle in dark blue leather..
For the story of how a Borgel wristwatch could have been the first watch on the summit of Mount Everest, see George Mallory's Watch.
A picture of your fantastic 18mm G10 Mk ll in dark chestnut leather, fitted to my MOD issued WWW Vertex ‘Dirty Dozen’.
Vertex rolled out 15,000 units of the Cal 59 to those on front lines during WW2.
Picture shows your G10 secured to the 35mm case, with lug width of 18mm.
Watch and strap wears comfortably to my average 7.25” wrist.
Best Regards, Dean, 9 December 2019.
Received the strap. Extremely impressed with the quality and design. Thanks for the speedy service.
I have mounted an early 1900s, brass “Fabrique Du Parc” (32.4mm case dia).
FYI, I was so impressed, I’ve just ordered another strap in the Military Tan for a 20s Elgin I have awaiting repair of the lug.
Cheers! Scott NJ, USA, 14 November 2019.
Type C design with Double Slots in tan Morocco leather.
thanks for the strap which actually arrived the day after your email. Just to say it is great, and exactly what I wanted. The watch is a mid-1950s Ingersoll Triumph - a simple 5 jewel - cheap and cheerful back in the day, but still in mint condition and deserving of a decent strap.
thanks again, Paul, 11 November 2019.
RAF in black leather with white contrast stitching.
1913 Illinois watch with shrapnel guard on your strap looks fantastic. Better than I imagined. Great product and price.
Thank you, Rodney, 8 October 2019.
Type A design in chestnut leather.
Here is a photo of my Tavannes Submarine from 1917 on the Brandy Italian leather Type B strap you have created, it looks just how I hoped it would look. Your strap is beautiful and very high quality. I was able to identify the watch by referring to your brilliant website, the case back revealed JW (James Weir, jeweller and agent for Tavannes) the Glasgow silver import mark, the 'u' stamp to date it to 1917/18 and your history of the submarine watch was fascinating to read.
Many thanks, David, 8 October 2019.
Type B design in premium Italian brandy leather.
The Tavannes Submarine is a waterproof wristwatch created during the Great War in 1915 at the request of two British submarine commanders. It is described in detail at The Submarine Commanders' Watch. Information about the British assay agent for the silver case can be found at James Weir.
I’ve attached a picture of Great War watch and the band you made me. I wanted to wait to break it in before I sent you a picture.
Love the band! It’s exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks, Wesley, 3 October 2019.
Larger than standard Type B design in black leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Thanks David for the crafted one-piece ‘RAF’ watch straps. Great quality. Until now, my 1943 6B/159 lived on a grey Nato (which was OK) but as soon as I put it on the chestnut strap it really brought the watch alive. The mere smell of the leather evokes that vintage feel and is so comfortable to wear. I have to be careful about the occasions I wear this vintage Omega but it’s a bit of a wrench to take it off. I’ll be back as soon as I can afford another timepiece. All the best,
David G, 29 September 2019.
The strap I order arrived and it is fantastic. The quality and workmanship are excellent.
The watch is a 1916 Cyma that belonged to my great grandfather. After having been hidden away in a box for 80 or more years and spending over a year to find the correct period replacement parts and do repairs it is great to wear it!
Kind regards, Brendan, Johannesburg, South Africa, 13 September 2019.
Pictures of my 53 thin arrow Omega RAF watch and G10 strap.
Peter, 11 September 2019.
G10 Mk II in premium Italian dark chestnut leather.
Me verry happy 😉
Thank you for everything
Greetings, John, 10 September 2019.
Thank you for the excellent bow saver Albert in Italian dark chestnut leather with 9 carat gold fittings. I have attached it to my 1853 Patek Philippe hunter pocket watch in 18 carat gold.
Kind regards Martin, 25 August 2019.
Received the strap this morning and am very pleased with how it suits my 1908 s. silver trench watch. The dark chestnut even matches my phone case.
Thanks very much, J, 11 May 2019.
Type A design in premium Italian dark chestnut leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle.
Thank you so much, I received the strap today and it is superb. The strong smell of leather became quite apparent as soon as I opened the envelope. I've now fitted it to my Smiths A404 and it looks the bee's knees. I'll try to take some photos, but here's a couple of quick ones. I have a few other Smiths that I'll need straps for so I will definitely be placing more orders.
Thanks again, Gary, 9 May 2019.
Two piece open ended strap in premium Italian dark chestnut leather with straight leather keeper.
I just got the strap in a couple days ago and wanted to send a couple pictures. The strap is better than I could have hoped for. It is the perfect compliment to my A. Reymond trench watch with original “unbreakable” crystal and patina on the sterling case. Thanks again and feel free to post on your customers page.
Adam, 5 April 2019.
Type C design with Double Slots in premium Italian dark chestnut leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle.
Strap is amazing! Really makes my 1915 Tavannes Submarine watch stand out. Attached is a picture for your website.
Thanks again, Evan, 04 April 2019.
Type B in premium Italian dark chestnut leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle.
The Tavannes Submarine is a waterproof wristwatch created during the Great War in 1915 at the request of two British submarine commanders. It is described in detail at The Submarine Commanders' Watch.
Just received the strap today it looks and feels beautiful and the design is spot on I shall be definitely ordering more of this design for my other watches. I have included some pictures you can use if you want.
Thanks, Akbar, 3 April 2019.
The fob arrived safe, lovely, thank you.
It's been attached to a 1914 H.Samuel 'Everite' sterling silver double half-hunter, swiss-made workings.
Images attached, looks lovely, feel free to use.
I will be ordering another one for me!
Lee, 29 March 2019.
The strap arrived today. Goes very well indeed with my 1944 Kirovskie. Beautifully made as well I might add!
Cheers, Gareth, 13 March 2019.
Type C design in premium Italian dark chestnut leather.
I received the watch band today for my grandfather’s S. Smith & Son WW1 watch. I’ve attached two photos that you’re welcome to show off on your website. It looks and fits beautifully. Thank you for the recommendation and fine work. I’m glad I chose the military tan color. Now that I know it fits so well, I’ll likely order another!
Cheers, Mark, 26 February 2019.
Type B in military tan leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
I just wanted to let you know that I’m very happy with the recent purchase on your website. I finally found the perfect strap for my 1916 Omega Trench Watch. I really like the quality and design! I’ve posted it on my Instagram account and included your website as well. Please feel free to use my photos on your website, and keep up the good work!
Cheers, Kevin, 16 February 2019.
Type A design in premium Italian dark chestnut leather.
Strap received today, and it’s as lovely as I’d hoped, great quality. Some pics attached for inclusion on your website together with some interesting background. I’m a collector and amateur horologist and I obtained this watch in a batch of broken watches bought at auction, I attach a photo of what it looked like on receipt. It was not working, suffering a broken jewel in the main bridge plate, and generally looked sorry for itself. However, on the reverse is an inscription of one AF Kent, his service number and RAF, from which I managed to establish he was an engine fitter born in 1900 who enlisted in the newly formed RAF on its inception in April 1918, aged just 17. I considered the watch worth some effort so replaced the jewel, serviced the movement (a very early Schild AS54), changed the mainspring, cleaned the dial and hands of radium and repainted in something less offensive, and replaced the crystal. The articulated lugs were missing so I had a local jeweller make up some new ones in silver based on photos of a similar Zenith watch. The watch runs superbly well for a 100yr old watch and your strap very beautifully completes an interesting odyssey for me and prepares the watch for its second life in my hands.
Many thanks. Mark, 4 February 2019.
Type A in chestnut leather.
After looking around forever, and buying one really junky strap, and one I like that's just not period correct at all, I stumbled onto your site and I'm glad I did. I very much enjoy this strap, it's of good quality, and I'm already thinking in the future we may have to talk about a really nice custom one. You had stated in the letter that you would like to see pictures. I've included a few on my nice new strap. It's a Waltham, 13 jewel Gilt 0 size movement, in a Sterling american watch case co. It dates from 1914. The case just came back from getting hinges fixed, and your strap came at the perfect time. Thank you very much, and I will certainly recommend you to anyone that would be looking for a strap like this.
Sincerely, Rick, 2 February 2019.
Type A in dark brown leather.
Thank you so much for the leather Albert you made for me. I absolutely love it and appreciate the craftsmanship and quality materials.
I attach a photograph of it attached to my watch and think that you will agree that my elderly Harris Tweed sets it off nicely.
With kind regards, a not so elderly Peter, 25 January 2019.
Leather and Sterling Silver Albert fob in tan morocco leather.
My watchstap arrived today and I couldn’t be happier. I have attached a photo of my watch mounted on your strap.
Thank you, Randy, 17 January 2019.
Type A design in Italian dark chestnut leather.
This is the story of my Eterna WWW
I am really happy with the strap and with your service. Thank you.
Best regards, Lajos, 11 January 2019.
NATO G10 Mark II in Italian dark chestnut leather.
Click on the link to read the extraordinary story of the discovery of an Eterna WWW wristwatch by Lajos when metal detecting and its restoration by John Senior to the condition shown in the image here.
I received my new strap yesterday and you asked if I would like to send you a picture for the website. Here you go!
The watch is from 1910's first World War English officer's Omega that I just bought from an internet auction site.
/Lauri, 13 December 2018.
Type A design in dark brown leather.
Thought you would like a picture of my Patria with hand painted Sacred Heart on dial (for good luck?) on one of your Type A straps. It’s laying on my 1916 BSA SMLE that might have been used by the person who originally wore it.
Thanks, Evan, 2 December 2018.
Type A design in military tan leather.
I have received today the quality pocket watch strap. It is perfect. I love English things, English is synonymus of well made. I have an English pocket watch but is in the watchmaker for a overhaul, it needs oil. This is a Spanish Olten watch with Swiss mechanism.
Thank you very much, Germá, 28 November 2018.
‘Bow Saver’ leather Albert fob strap in dark brown leather with sterling silver fittings.
Trust all is well and that you had a good weekend.
Already received today your package... and couldn’t be any happier! Thank you very much for a great job done, I let the quick and dirty taken pics speak for themselves.
Kind regards Daniel, 26 November 2018.
RAF straps in premium Italian dark chestnut leather.
Thanks for your very prompt service. The strap arrived this morning and I'm absolutely delighted with it.
Bit of background. My father had an old, broken watch, with no crown or strap and a dirty-looking face. It was left in a drawer and, after he died, I did the same thing with it. Recently, however, I started to get more interested in some of the things he left behind and the watch was one of them. Under a magnifying glass, I saw "Sir John Bennett Ltd - London" on the face. Quick search threw up plenty of information about Sir John, who was quite a colourful character, and the watch went away for investigation by a professional. Turns out it's 9ct gold, hallmarked 1925, and the movement is by Longines. The crown has been replaced and it's been ticking away merrily for days, keeping very good time. All it needed was a strap.
I wasn't getting anywhere until I found your website and then I could see exactly the design I had imagined. I was relieved to find you're in the UK and the prices seem very reasonable for the care and materials that go into the straps. I was expecting to wait at least a week, so delivery next morning was a real bonus.
Kind regards and thanks, Phil, 24 November 2018.
Type B design premium Italian dark chestnut leather.
My watch strap arrived today. Opened it to a lovely smell of leather. Some months back I had tried a different leather strap. I returned it because it appeared so thin at 9mm. Yours being 12mm is so much more appropriate to my size 16, 118 year old Waltham ‘Riverside’ pocket watch.
Thank you, Regards, Joe, 21 November 2018.
‘Bow Saver’ leather Albert fob strap in tan morocco leather with sterling silver fittings.
THANK YOU for the RAF strap, which arrived this morning. I have to say, it's PERFECT and is precisely what I was looking for to match my old Omega 6B/159. It's great quality, fits perfectly, and I absolutely love it!
Thanks again for your help!
Very best regards, Mark, 20 November 2018.
RAF in premium Italian dark chestnut leather.
Strap arrived yesterday safe and sound. Thank you.
Have attached a pic of my watch attached to the band. I think it looks brilliant.
Many thanks, again. James, 20 November 2018.
Type A design in premium Italian brandy leather with black contrast stitching.
The watch strap arrived yesterday and it looks great with the watch. I thought I’d send you some pictures.
Thanks again. Steve, 15 November 2018.
Type AS Italian dark chestnut leather.
Many thanks for the strap, as you can see it sets off my old watch nicely. I had been looking for ages for a suitable replacement strap and as a result the watch was sitting in a drawer unloved until now! Thanks to your dedication to your "craft" it is now seeing the light of day again.
MR, North Wales, 11 November 2018.
Type B Italian dark chestnut leather.
I love the watch bands that I received. Attached is a photograph of my father’s Rolex Oyster Speedking wrist watch.
My father received this watch in 1947 from his father who was an Engineer for the Railroad. My Dad wore this watch during his 28 year military career that spanned two wars and many tours in Europe. A few years ago I inherited the watch and had it reconditioned by Rolex.
I was excited to find your high quality watch bands. I hope the watch does justice to your work!
Take care, Ray, 20 September 2018.
Leather NATO G10 Standard Design, military tan leather.
I'm just writing to thank you for my great watchstrap which arrived today and for your help a few weeks ago in identifying the movement (a Revue 38) in my recently bought J.W.Benson watch.
I took a while trying to decide which strap option to go for..particularly with the colour of the leather as the watch has a black dial and I wanted it to stand out a bit from the strap but not in a jarring way.
The colour is ideal and the Italian leather is nice and soft -and no doubt will quickly take the shape of my 18cm wrist. The strap really shows off the watch and is a big improvement on the thin original. I think.
I'm glad to say my new watch is running well and will be doing some research in order to find a good watchmaker familiar with these great old pieces.
Martin, 20 September 2018.
Type B in Italian brandy leather with black stitching.
Thank you for the superb watch strap. It sets of my watch perfectly.
My watch is a Swiss made timepiece fitted to a 1914 silver hallmarked case by Rotherham and Sons, Coventry.
I attend local fairs and events portraying a piper of the Seaforth Highlanders, 1916 overseas battalion.
The watch has gone a long way to help complete my uniform.
Thanks again for a quality strap that suits my watch perfectly. Unfortunately I do not know the history of the original purchaser other than it is engraved with the name Billy, which is also my first name.
Yours William, 16 September 2018.
Type B in chestnut leather with sterling silver Type GW buckle.
Thanks David for the beautiful strap. Below a picture of it attached to my MIDO Multifort, a small watch from the 40‘s (about 28mm without crown). The strap brings the watch really to presence, I don‘t have a small wrist at all. Kind regards from Switzerland,
Frank, 18 August 2018.
G10 NATO in Italian dark chestnut leather.
Please find attached photo of your lovely strap on my 1922 Longines.
Warm regards, Jason, 23 July 2018.
Type B Double Slots in tan Morocco leather with sterling silver Type GW buckle.
Please find attached the “Matchless” watch made by the West End Watch Company, my father bought back in 1943 during the second World War whilst he was in Burma. It had stopped working, but he never threw it away, he has since passed on and he left it to me and it never worked until this father’s day. I loved this watch and a real fascination for it, and out of the blue it suddenly started working on Father’s day this year.
I did a bit of research and came across your web site and as you can see it has been restored onto a superb new watch strap, one watch I can now where with pride.
Many thanks, Chris, 3 July 2018.
Type A design in premium Italian brandy leather with black contrast stitching.
I have just received my watch strap for which many thanks.
The watch it is for is a 1940s? Cyma with fixed wire lugs which was bought by my late father in Durban South Africa during the war and the quality, size and colour of the strap are exactly what I was hoping for.
Kind regards, Keith, 27 June 2018.
Type A 12mm Italian dark chestnut
My new strap I bought from you looks very well on my 1920s Rolex full hunter, thought you would like to see them teamed up.
Ian, 23 June 2018.
Leather Albert Fob in Italian dark chestnut leather with sterling silver fittings.
Arrived today...great strap thanks ! It’s extremely satisfying to be able to wear a period watch like this. Long may you provide such a quality product to keep the tradition alive!
Kind regards Marc. 4 June 2018.
Type B design in Italian dark chestnut leather.
Many thanks for the strap! It fits perfectly and is of excellent quality. Much appreciated. Here's a pic of the strap on my old Vertex Allproof (which has a screw down case marked FB, the history of which you've done a great job of covering on your site).
Best wishes, Martin. 26 May 2018.
RAF strap. The case is a Taubert Decagonal. The origins of Vertex are a bit of a mystery, which has been further clouded by some dubious claims issued by the "new" Vertex company. Claude Lyons registered the name Vertex in in the UK in 1916 and, according to some versions, created Vertex S.A. in La Chaux-de-Fonds at the same time. However, Kathleen Pritchard says that the Swiss company Auriole S.A. became Auriole & Vertex 'by' 1920. At some time Thommen S.A. acquired the use of the name Vertex, and the London Vertex company became the UK distributor of Thommen's Vertex and Revue watches. (Thanks to David Read for this info.)
Here's a couple of photos of watch and strap. Cheers.
Gary. 12 May 2018.
Type A Italian dark chestnut leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
I recently purchased a watch strap from you, I wanted to email a reply and say how beautiful it is. the watch in question is a 1916 (I believe, waiting on conformation from w.e.c) Queen Anne, which looks completed by the strap. As a watch enthusiast, more often pocket watches, I say thank you.
All the best, Myles. 7 May 2018.
Type B Italian dark chestnut leather.
The watch strap arrived and it's perfect.
Thanks so much, Nate. 20 March 2018.
Type A 12mm black leather.
I have received the strap just over a month ago. It is every well made and comfortable, and have received many wonderful comments so a VERY BIG thank you.
I couldn't wear this vintage watch for a long while but this new strap, I am now wearing it on regular basis and loving it!
Attached are some photos to share.
Kind regards, Henry. 16 March 2018.
Type A 12mm black leather with sterling silver Type GW buckle.
that was worth waiting for! And I just love the smell of these watchstraps! :-)
Attached please find a pic of my 1916 Longines with cal. 13.34.
Kind regards, Gerd. 20 February 2018.
Type B 12mm tan morocco .
Thanks for the strap which is now fitted to my 1940's 'Dirty Dozen watch which belonged to my wife's grandfather who was a gunnery petty officer on HMS York. It is the perfect compliment to this historic and sentimentally treasured timepiece.
Kind regards, Nigel. 07 February 2018.
G10 MkII design in Italian dark chestnut leather - now available from stock.
I've received my RAF strap today and it is very beautiful! I am so glad to have this piece. Thank you very much.
The watch is STOWA Flieger Ikarus 40mm.
Best Regards, Haruko. 17 January 2018.
RAF design in sepia leather.
Just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know that the strap arrived and it’s just perfect. I’ve attached a photo of it with my 1916 Elgin watch.
Many thanks again David, and I’ll be sure to reach out to you again if I pick up another watch that needs a strap such as this.
Vince. 1 December 2017.
Type B design in chestnut leather with sterling silver Type GW buckle.
my strap arrived and I'm very pleased with it, and it makes my watch very wearable, it is quite large for its year of 1917, at 40mm. I think it looks great on your beautifully made strap, thank you.
Best wishes, Nigel. 1 December 2017.
Type B design in chestnut leather with sterling silver Type GW buckle.
Received the strap today great work as all ways well made. Here are a few photo's – WW1 zenith US Army Signal Corps.
Mike. 25 November 2017.
Type A design in sepia leather with sterling silver Type GW buckle.
Received the straps and they are awesome. Thank you so much. I've attached a photo of both watches on their new straps.
Thanks again. Oliver. 12 November 2017.
Type B design with double slots in black leather and Type C with double slots in sepia leather.
Thank you for the watch strap.
I looked at your website on several occasions, for a few weeks, prior to buying this strap. I gave up wearing a wristwatch a few years ago because I use a computer frequently throughout the day and found that the winder and horns dug into the back of my hand when I was typing leaving red marks. I had only ever had standard 2 piece straps on watches and wasn't sure whether your NATO G10 Mk2 was really me. A lot of the G10 photographs on your customers watches page show quite large watches with chunky looking straps. My own watch is only 30mm in diameter so I was not sure that it would suit either the watch or me.
I have to say that I really am pleased with your strap. It does not appear chunky and I think that it suits the watch perfectly. I have had the strap for quite a few days now and am pleased to report that I have started wearing a watch again. The G10 design holds the watch horns and winder clear of my wrist and this allows me a much fuller range of wrist movement before the winder touches the back of my hand. This is the most comfortable watch strap that I have owned.
I have attached a few photographs for you.
Best wishes Peter. Jerry. 10 November 2017.
Leather NATO G10 Mark II in Italian dark chestnut leather.
I just received my watch strap. It is perfect. My watch is a Imperial watch made by the Buren Watch Co. Switzerland with a Fahys sterling silver integrated face guard. I believe that Fahys offered only a black or khaki woven strap, but I am a fan of leather. I will proudly wear my watch with your absolutely beautiful strap.
Thank you. Jerry. 8 November 2017.
Having received one of your straps as a birthday present from my wife (copied), I wanted to contact you to offer thanks for your craftsmanship and to send pictures of my watch on your strap.
Like many of your customers I have family members who served in the Great War. I have a particular interest in military history (as well as in vintage watches) and am a founding member of a local Great War “reenactor” group, which represents the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion CEF. I can tell you that a period watch worn on a correct strap adds much to the impression we put on at public events. I’ve found members of the public to be quite interested in the history of the wristwatch and I try to work it into the information I relay in presentations. Of course a watch was invaluable to the junior officer in timing artillery barrages etc. but people are also impressed with how the wristwatch in particular developed as a practical instrument.
In any case, I also want to say that while there are others who make cheaper period straps (and I have owned them), none I have seen come close to the quality and authenticity of yours. Congratulations once again in offering a superlative product and know that mine will be worn not only with my West End Watch Co “Queen Anne” but with correct period attire as well!
Kind regards, Dallas, Canada. 7 November 2017.
David remarks: Although a watch was useful for timing artillery barrages etc. this did not require a wristwatch. The most notable requirement for having a wristwatch in trench warfare was to ensure that everyone was ready to attack or go "over the top" when the signal was given. See Wristwatch Use for more details about this.
Type B with sterling silver Type GW buckle, Italian dark chestnut leather.
Very nice strap indeed!
Best wishes, Giuseppe. 24 October 2017.
RAF in Italian dark chestnut leather with red contrast stitching to tone with the red on the Sturmanskie dial.
Thank you very much for the watch strap, I am very pleased with it. Please find attached two pictures of my watch wearing it - the second is alongside my Great-Uncle’s Great War sword, so you can see it’s a pretty good match for ‘Military Tan’.
Kind regards, Peter. 4 October 2017.
Type A, military tan leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Hi Roger [????]
Watch strap arrived fine today. Very happy and have put a post up about on Calibre 61 extolling your virtues !
Cheers Mate, Mark. 29 September 2017.
Type B, Italian dark chestnut leather.
Thanks for the G10 MkII straps that arrived yesterday. The finish is excellent and the straps look great with their respective watch. It is a luxury to wear a strap that is perfectly sized to fit the wrist.
I enclose a few pictures of my Precista and Smiths PRS-29A with straps fitted. Both watches are replicas from Timefactors.
Thank you for executing my order swiftly and with such high quality.
Best regard, Klas. 5 September 2017.
Leather NATO G10 Mark II in dark brown and Italian dark chestnut leathers.
The watch strap arrived today and I am very impressed with the high quality of the strap, especially the buckle. It is great to finally get to wear my great grandfathers watch!
I have attached a few photos for your website.
Thanks again for all of your help, especially for all of the new information that you were able to provide about the watch and its history. It has been an absolute pleasure doing business with you.
Regards, Owen. 2 September 2017.
Type C design in dark blue leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Can I just say what a fantastic strap you make, I've just fitted it to my Omega A M 6B/159 it feels great the authentic look I was looking for. I've included some pics for you if you would like to use them I would be very happy for you to do so.
I will be placing an order in the next couple of weeks for a brown strap to compliment this one.
Many thanks again.
Jason. 2 September 2017.
G10 MkII in black.
As promised is a photo of a Boettcher buckle on a Zuni Indian turquoise and ostrich leather watch band. Looks great!.
Robert, 19 August 2017.
Robert bought one of my Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle s and a local craftsman created the leather parts to complete his unusual strap with the Zuni Indian turquoise-inlayed sterling silver partial bracelet.
Hello David. Strap arrived safely, it's as expected perfect in every detail. Thanks very much, a pleasure to deal with someone who really " knows his stuff".
Phil, 19 August 2017.
A Type B design with double slots in tan morocco leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
The watch straps arrived this morning and I am delighted with them. Both these wristwatches, for far too long, had no straps that were in keeping with their age.
I think that the Longines on the type A strap looks great but I am even more pleased with the black type B that I think works particularly with the 35mm half hunter.
I found the descriptions and illustrations on your website extremely comprehensive, making any choice so much easier. I also enjoyed reading the history that you have clearly researched very well.
Once again many thanks.
Richard, 17 August 2017.
Type A design in Italian dark Chestnut leather and Type B design in black, both with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle s.
Hi, the strap came, fits well to watch and wrist, see picture.
Best Regards, Meinrad , 11 July 2017.
Got strap today. Here is a photo if you want to use it in customer photo's.
Mike , 6 July 2017.
NATO G10 Standard with standard 22mm hardware in brown leather. The watch is a Zenith with black dial, a conversion from a pocket watch. The case is 41mm with 22mm lugs.
Thank you for the strap which I have just received. The watch looks really good with your hand-made strap (see picture). I will have no hesitation to recommend your straps to my fellow collectors.
Best regards, Thierry, 14 June 2017.
NATO G10 Mark II with ZULU hardware in black leather. The watch is an Omega Pilot 1929 with black dial, a conversion from a pocket watch.
Your watch strap is absolute perfection in design, fit & workmanship! I know my grandfather would be proud.
Dan, 11 June 2017.
Type A 12mm with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle in Military Tan leather.
Please see attached a photo of my late father’s watch with your strap fitted. It completely changes the appearance and proportions of the watch. I’m delighted.
My father died almost 50 years ago and his watch only resurfaced when my eldest brother died in December – it had been in a drawer for all that time but started after a few winds.
The photo of the movement shows the strap that was fitted when the watch was first rediscovered.
I know nothing of the watch except the word “Bulla” on the movement – if any of your network can help with information I’d really appreciate it.
Thanks again for your superb workmanship,
Keith, 5 June 2017.
Type A 12mm in Italian Brandy leather with a gold coloured buckle.
The brand name Bulla was registered by Emile Juillard S.A. of Porrentruy and Biel, Manufacture de Montres Bulla. The company was founded in 1872 and registered its name in 1887, when the first registrations of this kind took place in Switzerland, as J. E. Juillard. The brand name Bulla was registered in June 1903. The origin of the name Bulla is interesting. In Latin bulla means ‘bubble’ and was the name given to a round seal attached to a papal bull, an edict issued by a pope. The first registration of the name Bulla shows just such a circular seal with a four armed cross in the centre. A later registration of the name in 1928 shows a figure of a bull. Kathleen Pritchard "Swiss Timepiece Makers" says that a company advert in 1917 said that the workshop was run under modern mechanical principles and that all materials were interchangeable. Bulla was listed in 1974.
Please find attached a picture of my (vintage style) Smiths (Timefactors) PRS29a on an RAF chestnut strap.
I think it suits it very well. It is a lovely strap, thank you very much indeed.
Kind regards, Jamie, 2 June 2017.
RAF strap in chestnut leather.
Love the strap. In addition to looking great as well as authentic: it's also exceedingly comfortable! Here's a pic with the watch.
Thank you again!
Best, Jeff, 1 June 2017.
Type A 12mm with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle in Sepia leather.
Here is a picture of new watch strap on my Omega......It's perfect!
Best Regards. Peter, 11 April 2017.
Leather RAF in Italian dark chestnut.
Strap well received. Thank you so much. Sending you a couple of pictures to show how well the strap looks. I think my great-great-grandfather would have been impressed :)
Watch is over 100 years old Swiss made HY Moser in gold for the Russian Empire market. This watch managed to survive untouched through the WWI period, Russian Revolution, Great Patriotic War (WWII) and until now in my family.
You might find pics useful for your site or just to see how well your work helps get these family pieces come to life.
Thank you again. KY, 25 March 2017.
Attached please find your strap on a 1920's 9k Borgel case with an IWC caliber 64 that I was able to verify through your site. The case lugs were not "tipped" down so the strap is not a perfect fit but I like it quite a bit. The watch came in a period looking Cashmore & Co of Birmingham coffin but I cannot tell if the box is original to the watch.
Best - Karl. 11 March 2017.
Type B design in tan Morocco leather with nine carat gold Type GW buckle.
Beautiful strap. It really, *really* makes the watch come to life. It gives it a “presence’ it just didn’t have with the small strap it had been on. Perfect.
Your craftsmanship is second to none and the leather is lovely — and also thank you for the letter that you sent with it. I am always interested in the story behind things… and this is so much more than an anonymous off the shelf number.
Best - Anton. 17 March 2017.
Type A design in Italian brandy leather with a Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Just received my black RAF strap with silver stitching and must say that I am more than delighted with it. I'm using it with my father's WW2 RAF pilot's Omega 6B/159 watch and it compliments it brilliantly.
Please find attached below a picture of the watch and strap alongside the original nylon strap that it replaces.
Kind regards, John. 11 March 2017.
Leather RAF in black with silver stitching.
As promptly as you said, I received my strap this morning. It looks great and will be even better when I have worn it in a bit.
Thanks you for all your help
Regards, Richard. 17 February 2017.
Type B in Italian brandy leather with a Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
The strap this morning and looks fantastic! Attached is a photo of it on my 1918 Trench Watch with a Borgel case and 15-jewel Gallet 'Electa' movement sold through Robert Pringle & Sons of Clerkenwell Road. I’ve posted a pic on my Facebook page too, so I hope you get some extra business from it - I have 1500 ‘friends’ and many of them collect vintage records and wear vintage watches!
Many thanks for the prompt service and excellent product!
Regards, Mark. 15 February 2017.
Mark Berresford Rare Records
Type A in Italian dark chestnut leather with a Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Longines Trench watch S/Silver 1915 with band 😊
Craig, 8 February 2017.
Type B double slots in Italian dark chestnut leather with a Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
The watch strap came today and it is perfect! Exactly as you described it on your webpage and just what I expected. It fits my 1919 Longines watch perfectly.
Thanks so much!
Mike, 4 February 2017.
Type B design in Italian dark chestnut leather with a Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
I received the strap for my 1915 Sterling Silver Omega. Couldn't be happier!
Here it is with another of my WWI era gems.
Thanks from Canada!
Aaron, 3 February 2017.
Type B design in Italian dark chestnut leather with a Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Even better than I hoped.
Alain, 17 January 2017.
Type AS design in Italian brandy leather with black stitching.
Firstly, thank you for the two Type B straps in Italian dark chestnut - they look superb and give my Borgel cased watches a much greater presence on the wrist. Secondly, thank you for suggesting using a friction ball case-back opener to unscrew the Borgel bezels - I was sceptical, since when purchased the bezel of the silver semi-hermetic case was so tight I thought it might have been cross-threaded, but the friction ball opened it without much trouble!
Attached are 3 photographs of the two watches together and on the wrist. In the photo of both watches, the top one is a silver Borgel semi-hermetic cased watch; hallmarked London 1926/27 with the FB-key trade mark and George Stockwell (GS) sponsor mark and an A.Schild lever escapement movement with 'Cotes de Geneve' striped decoration. The lower watch is a 9ct gold Borgel hermetic cased watch; hallmarked Glasgow 1915/16, I can just make out the FB trade mark but there's no longer any sign of a sponsors mark. I haven't yet removed the hands and dial to see if there's a maker's mark on the front plate, but from the back plate layout it may either be A.Schild or Fontainemelon. Both watches are fitted with your standard Type B straps in Italian dark chestnut.
Kind regards, Mike, 27 January 2017.
Type Bs in Italian dark chestnut leather.
Many thanks for the strap, looks great with the watch…
Regards, Ron, 20 January 2017.
Type B design in military tan leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Here is the watch with your strap received yesterday.
Very happy with it!
Best regards Philippe, 17 January 2017.
Type AS design in Italian brandy leather with black stitching.
here is a couple of photos of your strap with my 1917 Waltham trench watch which is the rarer black dial version with gold shadow numerals. It is in a silver Dennison case of the same date 1917. Thanks again for a great strap for a great watch.
Regards Ray, 15 January 2017.
Type B design in black leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Many thanks for the excellent strap received this morning, picture attached. When I have some spare time, I will call in to my local watchmaker and ask him to uncase the watch so that I can take some more pictures for you. Whilst I'm in the trade ( I'm the Sales Manager for Alpina & Frederique Constant ) and have uncased many watches, this is a little too delicate for my blacksmith level skills!
What I can tell you so far is that the watch is hallmarked 1917 and carries the Zenith marks. It's possible that the numerals and hands have been repainted but the rest of the dial seems to be in original condition. Hopefully I can send your more info early in the new year.
Thank you again for the strap, I hope you have a great Christmas.
Kind regards, Nick. 22 December 2016.
Type B design in military tan leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Nick's watch is a Birch & Gaydon Land & Water wristwatch with a type 1 case which are the easiest things in the world to open. Just put the crown in the hand setting position, unscrew the bezel and then lift the whole thing out of the case. You don't even need to take it off the strap! For more about Birch & Gaydon and the Land & Water Zenith wristwatches see Birch & Gaydon.
Thank you for supplying a watchstrap. I have fitted it to a Longines watch. I am delighted with the quality, look, and feel of your Type B strap with single slots in dark brown leather and a Great War sterling silver buckle. It shows off the watch perfectly and is very comfortable to wear.
It is Longines wristwatch with articulated lugs and a threaded, screw on, case back. British import hallmarks, London Assay Office, sterling silver, 1932 to 1933. The case has the sponsor's mark "AB" entered by Arthur Baume, director of Baume & Co. There is also a "B & Co" stamp on the movement, which is Longines' calibre 13.34.
As an aside; I have always worn watches on the wrist of my right hand despite being right-handed. This was advice from my father who ‘switched wrists’ after breaking more than one winding stem over the years. He deduced that this was as a result of doing manual work; particularly when lifting the back of his hand towards the wrist. The winding stem was thus under (repeated) stress when worn left-handed. Wearing a watch on one’s right-hand wrist protects the stem which is not affected by such movements. My son has followed suit ! Are we alone in this I wonder ?
Mark. 15 December 2016.
Type B design in dark brown leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Mark's remarks about wearing his watch on his right wrist are interesting. I wear my watch on my left wrist and I don't notice any pressure on the crown if I bring the back of my hand as far up as it will go, but then I do wear the watch on the arm side of the wrist knuckle. However, there is no doubt that the crown is in a vulnerable position when worn conventionally on the left wrist. Some of the earliest Omega wrist watches were made with their crowns on the left side of the case, perhaps for this reason. It makes accessing the crown with the watch on the wrist awkward, but you should never attempt to wind or set your watch with it on your wrist anyway, this can result in damage to the stem and its bearing in the plate as I explain at stem bearings.
Received my watch strap yesterday can't say how pleased I am with it really sets off my watch well and just what I was looking for. I will now wear the watch more often as it now looks as it should.
Graeme. 8 December 2016.
Type A brandy Italian leather and a gold coloured buckle.
Love my new strap. Thank you David
Boyd. 23 November 2016.
Type B 10mm chestnut.
I’m really enjoying this dark brown Mk II strap on my Hamilton Khaki Mechanical! I’ve been wearing it several days now and it’s just the right thickness. It is substantial without being bulky.
Thanks again, Matt in Colorado. 11 November 2016.
Leather NATO G10 Mark II dark brown leather.
The strap arrived today, thanks. Very nice. A tight fit, threading the inner strap, but it fits very snugly.
Cheers, Shane. 31 October 2016.
Type A in Italian dark chestnut leather with a Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Thanks very much for the strap, which has arrived safely. Here's a photo of it in position - and looking rather handsome...
Holden. 14 October 2016.
Type B small in Italian dark chestnut leather with black stitching.
I was pleased to receive the watch strap today and found it to be original, quite beautiful and functional.
A 1915 marked watch by “Le Generale Watch Co” in a sterling silver case. It was probably my grandfathers, but was certainly used by my father who was a Military Policeman during his WW2 service in Egypt, Africa and Italy where he was at Monte Cassino.
I found it in his possessions after he passed away. It had a broken staff which was repaired and serviced by CG Green & Son Norwich.
Thanks again Ian. 4 October 2016.
Type B design with double slots in black with Type Type RD1907 sterling silver buckle.
I have been wearing my new watch strap with my father's watch this past weekend and it is excellent !
The strap fitted my watch snugly and it is very comfortable to wear. It shows off the watch very well, and I am really pleased with the fit, the quality, and the value. Thanks also for investigating the origin of watch !
Thank You, Henry. 5 September 2016.
Type C in chestnut leather with 18mm strap and gold coloured buckle.
Thank you for the watch strap, really pleased with it. As you can see the strap really suits my Waltham watch circa 1912-1913.
Kind Regards Glynn. 3 September 2016.
Type A design in sepia leather with red stitching and nine carat gold Type GW buckle.
Thanks for the Dark Chestnut Type A Leather Strap with sterling silver buckle. I'm very happy with how it turned out on my 1914 Omega silver trench watch. I've attached some photos which you are welcome to put up on your website.
I wanted to find a strap that was authentic but also consistent with modern men's styling (ie not too thin!). Your straps are exactly what I was looking for. I even found some contemporary photos and advertisements that show similar watch straps in action. I'm glad I got the silver buckle too, it matches the lugs perfectly. Thanks again.
Kind regards, Chris. 30 August 2016.
Type A design with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle , Italian dark chestnut leather.
The strap arrived Monday. You were correct on length, 250mm would have been fine. I’ve added a second keeper scavenged from another strap to keep it all in line. Good fit on the case and very comfortable, and I love the smell of good leather. J
Have you ever considered doing this strap with a wider keeper, maybe 2x the width of the current? I think it would look good, especially on a 22mm version.
r/Saul. 24 August 2016.
RAF in Italian brandy leather.
Received the strap today, thank you. It suits my West End Watch Co 'Sillidar' silver watch perfectly. Reference your comments about silver crystal guards; this one is stamped silver and tests for sterling on several filed parts of the guard so I am satisfied it is not plated. I agree that 'shrapnel guard' is a misnomer. A guard would no more protect a crystal from shrapnel than a suit of armour would protect a human body from red hot shards of metal flying through the air at 1000 mph (shrapnel)! A guard would however protect the crystal from bumps and scratches likely to be encountered during life in the trenches.
Best, Denis. 17 August 2016.
Type A design in black with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
I am so delighted with your excellent handmade G10 strap for my old and faithful WWW Omega (owned nearly 50 years now) which still keeps perfect time after all these years of use. See the photo – doesn't the strap look good!
Excellent service throughout!
Yours delighted Mike. 17 August 2016.
NATO G10 Standard in Italian dark chestnut leather.
I received your strap on Monday and immediately set about finishing the watch it belongs to! It was a struggle finding a strap for this watch, one piece bands in 14mm in green aren't to easy to source, and to top it off this was for a sentimental project, a replica of my grandfathers childhood watch. I am very happy with my choice, the colour is perfect, the band fits very well. Thank you for your accompanying letter, it's great hearing about how your straps came to be.
All the best, Heather. 5 July 2016.
One piece pull through RAF type strap in dark green.
Thank you so much for the marvellous strap. Photos attached of the oversize West End Watches trench watch mounted on it.
Best regards, Neil. 15 June 2016.
Type C design with 18mm strap in brandy for watch 40mm dia (excluding crown).
I am very pleased with my watch strap. I have attached two photos of my old Zenith watch. Thanks for such a high quality product.
Lasse, Sweden 23 May 2016.
Type B design with 10mm strap in tan morocco.
I can confirm the strap arrived promptly. I am impressed and will be ordering some more. I attach a photo of it with my modern CWC auto.
Regards, Steve. 12 May 2016.
G10 MkII in chestnut.
1948 IWC Mk 11 on new strap which arrived yesterday.
Andrew. 12 May 2016.
Two piece open end strap for fixed bars in chestnut.
Just wanted to let you know I am 100% pleased with my new strap for my WW1 era watch. I have two other trench watches that I'll be ordering straps for in the near future. Here's a picture of my Tavannes Watch Co. watch on the new strap. Complete with crystal guard it looks fantastic!! Thank you very much for the top quality strap!! I'm looking forward to doing business with you again.
Best Wishes, James. 11 May 2016.
Type B 12mm military tan.
Thank you for the watch strap I recently ordered. In your letter you asked for photos, so I thought I would send you some. This is my first watch repair and I have to say that leather strap really finishes it off!
Many thanks, Nick. 29 April 2016.
Type A 12mm military tan.
4 straps received today & they are great. The buckle is in a much better position on the Mark II design. I attach 2 photos of one of my WWW watches on one of the straps.
When I have collected all 12 of the set I'll send you another photo
Regards, Rob. 21 April 2016.
NATO G10 MkII in dark chestnut Italian leather.
Twelve Swiss watch manufacturers supplied WWW watches for use by the British Army: Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, JaegerLeCoultre, Lemania, Longines, International Watch Co, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex. Rob is intending to collect all twelve, I understand that some are now quite rare.
Many thanks for the beautiful watch straps that you sent, please find attached some images of the straps along with two identical Waltham wristwatches.
You may find these watches interesting as I believe them to be two examples of the earliest mens Waltham wristwatches ever made. The Dennison cases from Birmingham feature an 'n' hallmark dating them to 1912/13. I've also attached an image recreating one of the early Waltham trench watch advertisements that you have featured on your website.
Many thanks, Martin. 15 April 2016.
The straps are Type B design in brandy with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle s.
The watch strap is well made, precisely to specification. The Zulu hardware does overwhelm the 38mm watch and Zulu hardware may be more suited to big divers watches and large wrists. On reflection, an RAF strap would have been more appropriate and I chose unwisely. There is no criticism of your service or craftsmanship.
Regards Matthew. 16 March 2016.
G10 Mark II dark green with ZULU hardware.
Matthew's watch is an Oris Big Crown Man's Watch that both Matthew and I thought would look OK with the chunky ZULU hardware. I still think it looks OK but this is very much a matter of individual taste.
I've included a photo of my watch with band. Thanks so much. It fits me perfectly and it's very comfortable.
Shown is my 1915 gold Zenith trench watch. It still keeps fabulous time after 101 years. I took this picture at Verdun, 21 February 2016, on the 100th anniversary of the battle. The background is a gun cupola on Ft. Douaumont. I wore the watch for the three days we visited the battlefield.
Best Regards, Paul. 18 February 2016.
Type A black.
The battle of Verdun was one of the largest and most costly in human life battles during the Great War, but because it was fought between exclusively French and German forces it is little known about in English speaking countries. The German attack was intended to be an overwhelming blow to the French army, and it very nearly was; it resulted in terrible losses for both sides. The first battle of the Somme, so well known in British history, was designed to cause a diversion and take pressure off the French army at Verdun, which is why it was fought when and where it was.
Thought you might like to see a few photos of two straps you recently made for me. Look great and really comfortable. The “Type A” is on an old Dugena and the Nato G10 Mark II on a modern Crowder but looks very stylish!
Many thanks Don. 18 February 2016.
Type A brandy gold coloured hardware and G10 Mark II dark chestnut gold coloured hardware.
Hullo Mr. Boettcher
I have received your watch strap and photographed it against original Cyma advertisement from Christmas 1949. I will include a sample photo for your information. I am more than happy with your watch strap and will be glad to order more.
Stewart, Yorkshire, 4th February 2016.
Two piece open ended strap in tan morocco.
Good day David,
I received the strap which exceeded my expectations. I have attached a picture of my 1918 Longines installed.
Regards and many thanks, Graham. 25 January 2016.
Type B design in tan morocco with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle (not shown in photograph).
Watch strap arrived safely - beautiful - many thanks.
Pic attached of Longines 'trench' (?) watch. And the perfectly matched strap.
Kind regards, Keith. 25 January 2016.
Type B design with 12mm strap in black with double slots and gold coloured buckle to match gold watch case.
Whilst initially disappointed with the delay in manufacturing my strap due to the fault you had over Christmas, I am very pleased with the result.
Your beautiful strap in my opinion elevates an extremely cheap and cheerful watch to something really quite pretty that I can still wear every day.
This is a timex weekender, freely available for ~£35, designed for slip through or nato straps but of much thinner nylon. Your plastic bag trick worked a treat.
If I need another strap in future I will look no further.
Regards, Adam. 25 January 2016.
Leather NATO G10 Mark II dark chestnut. The problems over Christmas that Adam refers to were an unusual combination of personnel and machine events that I have never experienced before in over 10 years of supplying my watch straps, and hope not to again!
Strap arrived. Very nice, thank you. It suits the watch - a 1939 Kirova Type-1, made by the First State Watch Factory, Moscow.
Jeremy, 21 January 2016.
Watch case diameter 44mm, medium (larger than standard) Type B design with 14mm strap in chestnut.
The "RAF" (one-piece pull-through) in dark chestnut strap arrived today.
Looks pretty good on my Jaeger le Coultre "6B/159" stainless steel WW2 RAF watch from 1943.
Oliver, 20 January 2016.
The strap arrived yesterday. Thank you very much, it looks great with my WW1 aviator chronograph.
Superb work !!!
Best regards, Denis 17 January 2016.
Type B 12mm dark chestnut
I received the watch straps today, and they’re lovely.
Enclosed are pictures of my two watches. The larger is marked on the face by the largest Omega dealer in St. Petersburg before the revolution.
I’m so glad I got the silver buckles!
Best, Matthew, 19 December 2015.
Type A designs in black and dark brown leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle
I am extremely pleased with the watch strap. Lovely piece of work. Please see photo attached. I found the watch in a local pawn shop just described as military. It is the first time I have come across this type. It has a chrome plated case with a screw down dome. The only mark inside the case is the patent mark Depose ? but no numbers.
Roger, Vintage Restorations, 18 December 2015.
Type B 12mm double slots chestnut
Here is my Ligeron Paris watch with your new dark chestnut strap. The diameter 33mm without crown.
Viktor. Budapest, 25 November 2015.
Type A dark chestnut.
The strap is perfect! Looks great with my Waltham trench watch. No real story about finding the watch, I just picked up from Ebay. The crystal was missing and I was told by a jeweler that the bezel was too bent to replace it but I simply went to somebody else and they replaced it for me without issues. The watch keeps very good time for having a movement that was made around 1912. Thanks again!
Rowan, 16 November 2015.
Type B design with double slots in dark brown leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
thanks for the watch strap, which arrived today.
I’ve attached a picture of the strap on my circa Great War date Waltham silver half hunter. It looks really good now!
Dick and Jane, Todi, Italy, 11 November 2015.
Type B dark chestnut.
Attached you'll find two photographs of my Steinhart Ocean Vintage Military on my new NATO G10 leather watch strap. I love the strap. Your Mark II design is superior to standard NATO strap designs. It is very comfortable on the wrist. Moreover, I also appreciate the 2mm strap thickness. Thanks for such a high quality product.
Stephen. 2 November 2015.
Leather NATO G10 Mark II, Colour: dark chestnut, Width 22mm. See how different the same colour looks in the two photographs, with the red background it looks much lighter, the wrist shot shows the dark chestnut colour truer.
This is a Galco watch that we corresponded on regarding your watch straps. I think the watch strap sets off the watch brilliantly and I am delighted with how it looks. The only problem is the glass on the watch face cracked the first time I wore it. I suppose that's what can happen to a watch that is 100 years old. Would you have any idea where I could get a replacement for the cracked glass front?
Regards John. 18 August 2015.
Type B in military tan.
Galco was a brand name used on watches by Gallet, it is simply a contraction of Gallet & Co. It was first registered as a trademark by Gallet on 24 March 1916.
John's remark about the glass cracking the first time he wore the watch puzzled me as I had not previously heard of a glass cracking just from being worn, but any competent watch repairer would be able to replace it. For some suggestions on how to find a competent watch repairer see the "servicing" section towards the bottom of my Contact Me page.
Hi David, has arrived strap and is perfect, the clock is also repaired and works perfectly, not cost me much repair. and I am very happy with the result, thank you very much.
José. 6 August 2015.
Type B design in dark chestnut with a 14mm strap.
Thanks David. I love it
David. 5 August 2015.
Type B in black, custom 14mm strap to fit 1912 Omega wristwatch.
Many thanks for the recent swift delivery of this watch strap, I thought you might be interested to see a couple of images of the strap with the watch and also to hear the short story behind it.
My family were watch and clock makers and jewellers in Suffolk from 1831 until 2000 when my father retired. The business remained in the same premises for that entire period and my father had, over the years, discovered many old items of interest. This particular watch is a Swiss silver full hunter wristwatch with import hallmarks for Glasgow 1917. What makes it especially unusual is that it was taken into stock by my Great Grandfather at our shop in 1918 at a cost price of £2/1/6 but was never sold. It is therefore 'new' old stock! You can see in the photograph that the dial, having been protected by the cover for 98 years, is just as it was when it left the factory. My father has just presented it to my wife as a birthday present. As you can imagine - she is absolutely delighted with it and also with the strap.
As I have a number of other interesting WW1 wristwatches, (including my Grandfather's 1918 silver half-hunter and a couple of Borgel cased examples), I will undoubtedly be in touch again for further straps. It is wonderful to be able to wear these watches occasionally without fear of the old straps failing.
With many thanks again and kind regards,
Jonathan. 26 July 2015.
Type A design in Italian dark chestnut with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
The strap arrived yesterday. WOW! I love it! It's such a NICE strap! I love the smell of the leather. Excellent quality! The buckle is AWESOME! Thank you so much!!!!
Chris. 16 July 2015.
Type AS in chestnut with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
The strap fits both the watch and my wrist perfectly. I am very pleased with how the strap picks up the vintage look of the watch. The watch is an Omega RAF53 Thin Arrow which has been restored by John Senior.
Pieter. 15 July 2015.
Leather RAF in black, 18mm. Maintaining an authentic vintage look and feel by making things the way they used to be made is one of my goals.
As promised a picture of my Elgin 1911 watch with new strap fitted. The strap looks great and I have another trench type watch being serviced at the moment which in due course will require a strap.I will place an order then.
Many thanks again,
Bill. 14 July 2015.
Type A in military tan, 10mm strap width, gold coloured buckle.
Strap’s looking good! The trench watch is Zenith, made in 1916/17 for the US Signal Corps, out of a base metal alloy (german silver). Original but probably restored at some point, as the lume is just visible in the dark and the wire lugs which would have measured 12-14mm across originally have been replaced with wider spaced lugs of 16mm. The dark chestnut strap complements it well.
Nick. 30 June 2015.
Type B in Italian dark chestnut with a Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Sorry for the delay but a quick note to say the watch strap arrived - VERY nice!
Mark. 24 June 2015.
Type B in brandy with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Thank you very much for making/sending the watch strap. It fits perfectly and compliments my 1916 watch very well. I have attached an image which you may share with others. I hope it displays your product well and encourages others to get one from you.
John. 24 June 2015.
Type B in dark chestnut with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
The strap has arrived safely. Using the information on your site I have found out that the silver case is import marked London and date letter for 1917/18 with a sponsor mark, A.G.R for Robert Pringle and Sons. I think I have identified the movement as an A Schild 137 as it looks identical the example illustrated. Sadly there is no family history with it. I have always fancied a "trench" watch and I thought this one was attractive. It looks so much better now on your strap than it did on the grotty ladies strap it came with.
Thank you for making proper straps available and the amount of work you have put into your website. I have had several enjoyable hours reading up on the history of these timepieces.
All the best, James. 28 May 2015.
Type B in brandy with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Great strap. Excellent job on the Sterling buckle. Attached my 1914 Waltham Riverside 17 jewel Sterling Illinois case trench watch. Thanks.
David. 12 May 2015.
Type C design with 14mm strap in tan morocco with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
Dear mr. Boettcher,
It's taken some time before I had the opportunity to thank you for the wonderful strap. The watch has had some TLC and has only recently been fitted to the strap. I've enclosed a picture of the watch and strap.
Eelco. 2 May 2015.
Type BS design in military tan leather with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
I have just received my Type B Brandy watchstrap. That must be the fastest I have ever had anything delivered ordered through the Internet. The watchstrap looks great with the watch and is really well made.
I found the watch at the very bottom of a jumble of watches in a display case in an antique shop whilst on a recent road trip to New Zealand. My Watchmaker, the Glasgow horological legend George Davis, gave it a service and states that it is from around 1915. Your watchstrap is the final piece of TLC required to bring it back to its former glory. I have attached 1 photo with previous strap & 2 with the new strap. What a difference! Once again many thanks and rest assured that I will be telling my other watch obsessive friends about your great product.
Wills. 1 May 2015.
Many thanks for the lovely 16mm one piece leather strap you made for me, it looks great with my gold Waltham trench watch, thanks again for all of your effort.
Martin. 30 April 2015.
Leather NATO RAF in chestnut.
Thank you for my watch strap. My husband is delighted with it. Here is a photo for your web site.
June. 6 March 2015.
G10 Mk. II 20mm black.
Many thanks for the Watch Strap. It looks absolutely terrific with my 1915 Rolex Trench Watch. I have attached some photos for you to post to your website if you wish. My story is quite similar to yours in so much as I inherited my Trench watch (among others) from my Grandfather. It was in rather poor condition and I had it restored thanks to a terrific Jeweller in Glasgow (Martins of Glasgow, many thanks Martin and Gail). After a service and new crystal and clean up it works exceptionally well and keeps great time. I had swithered about which watch strap colour to go for (it was either the Brandy or the Chestnut), but I am delighted with my Type B Strap in Brandy with the Great War sterling silver Buckle.
My Grandfather's watch (or according to my mother, most likely my Great Grandfather's watch) was made in 1915 and has a Factory case and workings with the W&D markings inside. It is hallmarked silver imported through London in 1915 with case reference number 663108, the second wheel is also marked Rolex.
I must admit it took me about about 18 months to get round to having it restored but I am now in the process of having the other watches I inherited repaired and restored for my own pleasure and future generations too, therefore I shall most likely be back for another strap at some point in the future!
Quite by chance Martin the Jeweller had recommended your straps to me during our discussions in the shop but during my research prior to putting the watch in for restoration I had already come across your website and had read up on the history of your Grandfathers watch (which is very similar to mine) and was already intending on buying a strap from you, however as Martin had ordered his strap for a trench watch he had in his shop and was wearing his when I picked up my restored trench watch it did give me some guidance on my colour choice.
Anyhow once again many thanks for the great info on the website and the excellent watch strap.
Best Regards Gareth. 7 April 2015.
My 1929 Omega is singing! Better than I could dream. Your work is magnificent!!
Matt. 7 April 2015.
Type B design in dark brown with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
I received the type B navy strap with sterling silver buckles and it's a superb combination with my silver Omega 1915 watch. Thanks for your detailed work and craftsmanship.
Nori. 2 April 2015.
Type B design in dark blue with green stitching and Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle ; it makes a striking combination.
At last I have a proper leather strap for my late Father's watch, I am delighted with it! the thin strap which Father had cut down to fit the 12 mm lugs never looked right, now it looks perfect thanks to you. So pleased I found your web site. Sadly Father's watch is not a Rolex but I love the sentimental value it has. It is silver and on the works it has SWISS MADE and 15 jewels. On the case a number 407 2 00 AB. I am going to order a replica silver buckle at a later date, you were out of stock with this order,
Yours sincerely, Audrey. 6 March 2015.
David notes: Audrey has fitted her father's watch with a Type B strap in chestnut.
My watch strap arrived today and delivery was sooner than expected. Thank you very much, my FB watch is now looking great again.
Regards Graham. 5 March 2015.
Type C design in chestnut with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
I've received it and love it.
My watch isn't vintage or particularly expensive but think the strap you made suits it well.
Ed. 4 March 2015.
David notes: Ed's strap is my G10 NATO MkII design in chestnut with red stitching.
I would just like to let you know that I have finished refurbishing my trench watch and have now fitted the strap. I am delighted with the quality and it sets the watch off beautifully. As per your letter, I have attached a photograph of my watch complete with strap.
Many thanks for an excellent service, it is greatly appreciated.
Kind regards, George. 27 February 2015.
David notes: Ed's strap is my NATO G10 MkII design in chestnut with red stitching.
I just received the custom made leather nato strap. Really superb work! I'm very pleased with it.
Kind regards, Robbie. 20 February 2015.
Robbie's watch is a Björn Hendal. About it Robbie says: It's new and not in full production yet and it's made by an friend of mine. If you are interested then you should get in touch with Willem Kamerman at bjornhendalwatches.
Many thanks for the watch strap - here's a picture. It's given my old Rolex a new lease of life!
Kind regards, Trevor. 20 February 2015.
Just received my strap from you and it fits great, and smells great too!
I thought I'd send you a picture of my black dial Dennison watch for you to add to your website. It's hall marked 1916, Birmingham, sterling silver and has the Dennison and ALD stamps also. The movement is a Tavannes 330 with pearlage. The case also exhibits tarnishing or faint black paint consistent of military usage.
Look forward to seeing it on your website as you already have a picture of my Borgel's movement on there too (Tavannes 370 from Marc).
Cheers mate! Nick. 19 February 2015.
David notes: Nick's watch has the same movement as Oleg's watch shown immediately below. Oleg's watch has conventional stem setting - you can see the little setting lever screw next to the ratchet wheel - whereas Nick's watch has negative or American setting; there is no setting lever screw. Tavannes movements with negative setting are usually stamped "U.S. Pat. 24 May 1904" where the setting lever screw would normally be, but Nick's movement doesn't have this. I doubt that the case was deliberately tarnished or blackened for military use, I think it is just a sign of age. There is no pheon or broad arrow military marking, but a 1916 wristwatch with luminous dial like this one would certainly have been used by a military man, most likely an officer, during the Great War. It would have been a private purchase rather than officially issued, officers were expected to supply most of their own kit as I explain on my page about trench watches.
As promised- please find attached a few shots of my watch with your strap.
Please feel free to post them on your website. If you do so - I think it would be great to point out that it is Type C design with double slots in dark brown color. I am more than happy with the quality and design. The watch doesn't come off my hand- I love the fact that I can now wear my 103 year old watch!
Thanks, Oleg. 14 February 2015.
David notes: Oleg asked me if I could identify the movement of his watch - as shown on my movement identification page it is a 13''' Tavannes calibre 330 series.
Thanks for the quality G10 strap. In my personal view, It's suitable with my smiths astral divers watch and happy to share with you some photos. I will order another one for my new vintage watch shortly.
Regards, Nori. 10 February 2015
Thank you I received the strap the other day. Needless to say, I am very happy with it indeed!
I have attached some photos, but I'm sure you have many sent to you already from previous content customers.
Thank you again. Kindly, Louis. 7 February 2015
I received the watch strap today and it looks great thank you.
Mark. 7 February 2015
Good Morning David
Quick note to say the strap arrived and is now fitted to my 1919 Stauffer & Co./IWC, looks wonderful and feels really nice to wear so much more secure than the 12mm strap that was on it before which felt like it would snap at any moment.
So thanks and I'll be back for more no doubt once my collection expands...
Photo attached as requested.
kind regards, craig. 3 February 2015
Here is your strap on my 1915 triple signed Omega trench watch with guard. Dial, case, and movement are all Omega. Case is Sterling Silver with Swiss Hallmarks and German half moon and crown import mark for Silver. I assume it therefore served in the German trenches during the war.
Very pleased with your work and service.
Dr. Tony B. 29 January 2015
I received my strap today, and I'm delighted with it. It fits my watch, and my wrist, perfectly and the quality is first class - infinitely superior to a single thickness leather Zulu strap that I bought recently.
My watch is not vintage, but I attach a couple of photos to show how well the strap fits.
Ian. 15 January 2015
The strap arrived on time and looks and fits great. You were recommended to me by john senior and would recommend to everybody. Thanks
Douglas. 29 December 2014
Thanks for this amazing strap for my WEST END watch secundus ! I am so happy :)
Nicolas. 16 December 2014.
your watch strap is magnificent. Thank you. I'm going to try and upload photos for you in this email, bear with me as I work it out. If you need more photos please let me know. Thank you again, I'm so grateful.
Peter. 15 December 2014.
Thanks for the prompt dispatch of my strap. It looks great on my Borgel cased watch.
Regards Pete. 13 December 2014
My three new watch straps arrived here safely today - and I couldn't wait to try them on!
I am absolutely thrilled and delighted with the result you've achieved.
Not only do the straps perfectly show off my vintage watches, but they are a work of art in themselves: they look bold and masculine when worn, and they give off the aroma of the leather workshop where you crafted them.
Best of all, they speak of robust craftsmanship, and the fashionable transition from one era (peacetime elegance) to another era (wartime pragmatism).
Though the modern expression of meaning, in a single word, had not yet then evolved, these watch bands - and the timepieces they served to exhibit on the wrists of young men - were conspicuously 'cool'.
Wartime was no time for fancy gold chains and watch fobs at the midriff; the telling of the time was to be snatched on the run - by a quick glance at a purposefully crooked wrist.
And, of course, the men who went off to war in 1914 were mostly young men, with all the bravado and swagger that we would later gratefully recognise - on the field of battle - as valour.
So, good on you for your timely enterprise, and may it bring countless opportunities for others like me to realise the eternal importance and true meaning of the pledge "We will remember them".
All good wishes, Garry B., OAM LLB, Mittagong NSW Australia. 8 December 2014
Although Garry didn't send me any pictures, describing himself modestly as "a fully-paid-up member of the Australian Society of Luddites" I thought his words were sufficiently important that they deserved a greater audience than my email inbox. Garry accurately captures the spirit of the Great War, when for the first time men realised that wristwatches could fulfil an important, even vital, function, and those that returned home from the mud and blood were not afraid of being thought effeminate for wearing a wristwatch - not after what they had been through. And those that didn't return, who died doing their duty for their King and their country, and for their families, we will remember them. And we should also remember those who through their hubris and stupidity sent young men who would otherwise have been friends to kill each other - and are still doing it today. David.
Just to let you know received the strap today, great service and product here it is on the watch.
Steve. 25 November 2014
Type A design in chestnut with Type GW handmade hallmarked sterling silver buckle .
I have just received the strap and I am absolutely delighted with it. The quality is 1st class and it really shows off my grandfather's watch which he wore in the 1st World War. My father also wore it in the 2nd World War including when he was involved in action at D-Day. So as you can imagine I am delighted to be able to wear it again.
Many thanks, Steve. 14 November 2014
Many thanks for the 2 further watch straps just received. They are as well made as ever and look great. I attach a photo of the 3 watches I have with your straps on, if you want to add this to your 'customers watches' section. They are, from left to right or bottom to top, (1) a Swiss Made but maker unknown / not marked 1917 Trench Watch with spiral trench guard and a Type A 12mm Red Chestnut strap, (2) a J W Benson of London silver Half Hunter from the 1930s I think (as it is some 35mm across without crown) with a Type A 14mm Chestnut strap, and (3) a Vertex WWW with a Standard NATO Chestnut strap. Thank you so much once again; your straps do these vintage watches proud.
Nick. 30 October 2014
Got the band yesterday and fitted it today, I'll attach a photo for you but my watch is not pretty, I rather the aged look personally, the watch has no markings other than its swiss made, no makers mark or dating possibilities and its history is unknown, so you never know it may have seen some action? It's not running perfectly as I haven't serviced it yet, I've only cleaned and lubricated as best as possible without any dissembling but it now runs well but not perfect, I also custom ground a new crystal to fit it personally myself and pretty happy with the results of my effort. As a watch enthusiast and a former leather worker I am extremely pleased with the authenticity of the construction... A wristwatch is not a wristwatch without a band and the band is very important to the overall watch... So I'm extremely pleased that I found you for this band...
Doug. :-) 21 October 2014
Just wanted to send you a photo of my 1945 Benson on your strap.
Michael. 11 October 2014
I have just fitted my trench watch to your strap and I thought you might like some pictures for your website.
Nick. 9 October 2014
I received the strap today in good order, thank you.
Enclosed is a picture with my 17j Sterling Silver 1916-17 Gallet trench watch attached.
I am still in search of a proper onion crown, but the watch times great after my watchmaker did his magic.
Richard. 4 October 2014
Here a some pictures of your NATO strap on my 1968 W10 Smiths military watch. I've worn it now for about 2-3 weeks and found it not only suits the watch military background but most comfortable on the wrist.
Best regards, Robert. 18 September 2014
Thank you very much for the supply of a black leather G10 (Mark II) Nato strap which has now been fitted to my 1956 vintage Omega military watch.
My watch now looks very classy and is once again in daily use. I was never that keen on the nylon G10 strap and like yourself I hated the way the buckle ended up on the side. Your Mark II design is exactly what I was looking for.
Regards, Torquil. 31 August 2014
The strap arrived today - many thanks!
Watch - Smiths Deluxe model A453 (in a A153 case). Made in Cheltenham in 1954. This one of the first 17 jewel centre seconds movements -- basically the same as the earlier cal.1215 which had the subseconds at 6 o'clock -- this one even has the "15" overstamped with "17" and a low serial number making it an early example. Horn lugs - not as nice as the heavy Dennison screw-back cases but nicer than the simple snap-back Smiths ones. Lovely blued steel "sword" hands with lume infill (though oddly, the seconds hand is missing). Retailed for £11 in 1954 (about £240 today)
Strap - Vintage Watch Straps Co. by David Boettcher. Hand-made in England, 2014. Dark brown two-ply leather, parallel (no taper) 16mm closed-ended two-piece strap with silver-coloured buckle and keeper.
Oliver. 15 July 2014. The Rev'd. Oliver Harrison, Holy Trinity Church, Wilnecote, Tamworth. www.holytrinitywilnecote.org.uk
Please find attached a few photos of your two-piece strap on my 1940 "Economy" 6B/234 aircrew watch, as promised. The strap looks just like the original issue straps, and works perfectly with the watch's fixed lugs.
Cheers, Dave. 26 June 2014
Many thanks for the watch strap ! I'm extremely pleased with it and have been wearing my grandad's watch since it arrived. I've sent a couple of pictures, my grandad in the war in India early 1940's wearing the watch and today with the new strap, still in working condition after all this time. My grandad's initials were JC, engraved on the back and these are the same as my first and middle name, so seems fitting I've done this. I sent these pictures to my brothers and sister and mum, (who's dad it was from) it has brought back many memories and a few tears, I am the youngest and he died when I was 3 in 1974 and I was given the watch just this last month. I'm so glad I did not jump at the first strap I saw and opted for this one from yourself ... Would definitely recommend.
Many thanks Jane D. 25 June 2014
Here's a photo of the watch (my grandfather's which I have had reconditioned) and strap as requested - looks great, thanks
Thanks, Paul. 18 June 2014
Paul's grandfather's watch is one of the wristwatches Omega supplied, beginning in 1945, to the British military under the "Watch Wristlet Waterproof" (W.W.W.) military specification. Paul has chosen one of my Type B designs, which I think looks a lot more "period" than the nylon G10 straps these watches are usually fitted with. You can read more about the Omega W.W.W. watches on my Omega page.
Strap recieved and it's just the job. I find it difficult to get anything to fit my wrist. Photo attached.
Regards, Steve. 1 June 2014
Steve's strap is a leather NATO G10 in black with yellow contrast stitching, which makes a very striking combination. Because each leather NATO G10 strap is custom made we made the strap to Steve's wrist measurements so that it fits him exactly.
The G10 MKII arrived today and as you can see looks great on my D Day era Omega WWW.....this watch will be with me for a long time!
Best Regards, Simon. 28 May 2014
Thank you so much for your prompt and efficient service in providing a well crafted strap. Slightly speedier than my tardy reply. I my defence I had wanted the quiet moment to just give you a little of the recent history of this lovely watch that I have had the privilege of owning for over a quarter of a century.
I found it in a box of oddments in the Portobello Road and bought it for 50p. It looked like a misty sun in a matted dark sky. Black with a yellow lens in the half hunter outercase, the inner glass removed and blobby luminous paint daubed thickly over the figures and hands. Also upon the enamel face dial was the name 'Russells of Liverpool'. It had a silver 50's strap and I thought at the time was possibly some sort of a conversion into a ladies watch. Perhaps it always was? Foolishly, whilst clearing the grime from the exposed face, I began to remove and successfully did, all the radioactive paint and consequently the jeweller's name details too. This was done in ignorance. It is the watch, perhaps like yours that has taught me so much. The cleaning did however reveal the beautiful numerals and the red twelve o'clock, previously indistinguishable.
It was in the mid eighties and I was on a placement in Liverpool based at the Walker Art Gallery, my studio in the old Bridwell where incidentally they filmed one of the key scenes of 'Boys From the Black Stuff' by Alan Bleasdale...... It was the furthest north I'd ever been at the time. Miners strikes, Deryk Hatton, a bankrupt council, cages in grocery and liquor stores, a different world to a naive southern boy! Hence regular trips to London and the Portobello fix. The watch seemed to have something of this about it as well. It had been on a journey. I found the original Jewellers, Russells, still then in Liverpool and took the shining watch in. They said that if they had time it would be possible to trawl through their records and find the original purchaser of the watch. They didn't, they were too busy surviving and trying to make a living and couldn't do anything to repair or restore the watch either. I took it to one of those original working watchmakers in Clarkenwell, London, where nothing is on display, and the mahogany counter is smooth with questioning and thoughtful elbows of time. They restored the watch and told me that there would have been enamel in the outer case's figures, apparently there were traces still. That eluded my unskilled eye. "It's not going to be cheap mind", I have deliberately forgotten quite how much it was. They re-enamelled it and possibly put new hands on too. They told me that it should have a "military strap", which was the first time I had any idea that the watch might of had another life other than being worn by someone else before, like a teenager listening to a Dansette record player in the Sixties. It hadn't occurred to me that it recorded a turning point in history. Not just that of a watch going from a chain and fob to the wrist, but the probability of a young officer's eyes scanning in the half light of dawn as he waited for the second hand to sweep the final seconds away before he blew a whistle and headed with his men 'over the top'. I have used that term to describe those type of men I'd like to call my really good friends, the one's I climb with, and work with when I'm fortunate enough to. The type of person you could entrust your life to; be it on a rope, a machine, or in the mists of a muddy field in Flanders. It's strange how objects can be the touchstones for deep collective historic emotion. This watch is one of those stones.
Thank you for allowing me to wear it once again.
Yours sincerely, Jonathan. 20 May 2014
I received my watch band today! Boy was that fast! Thank you so very much! My old band had nearly disintegrated and this arrived just in time.
My watch is a 1917 Waltham with a beautiful silver case made by the Dennison case company in England. With hallmarks, The lion passant, an S and an anchor. Any idea what the S and the anchor mean?
Thanks again! Chris. 15 May 2014
I do know what the S and the anchor mean. The anchor is the town mark of the Birmingham Assay Office, and the "S" is the assayer's mark (date letter) for the Birmingham hallmarking year 1917 - 1918. For more information on hallmarks on native British items see my British Hallmarks page.
Thank you for supplying my watch strap. As you can see from the attached photo, it displays my grandfather's watch to perfection. The watch was found in his effects along with a brief handwritten account of his war service from 1914 to his ultimate discharge as unfit for continued military service in September 1919. He enlisted as a private and was a captain on discharge. He was wounded twice and gassed! In Home Guard service in WW2 he achieved the rank of major.
As you can see the watch has a plain face, but has a Rolex movement in a silver case. It dates from 1917, the year of his commission. I have had it cleaned and restored. It keeps perfect time.
With kind regards, Lachlan. 3 May 2014
I am delighted with the strap, I will send you a photograph of it in a moment paired with a VERY special watch to me, it was owned by a WWII spitfire pilot who loved his issued Omega but wanted a Chronograph.
Best wishes Tom. 26 April 2014
Thank you so much for my new watch strap, I believe the word that best describes it is handsome!
Regards, Will. 27 March 2014
Type B design in dark brown with 18mm strap on c.1940s R.A.F issue Omega 6B/159 with fixed 17mm bars.
Thank you for the watch strap. I have attached a photo' to show a black dial on military tan leather.
Regards Chris. 27 March 2014
Watch strap received this evening with your letter.
Interestingly, like you I was struggling to find an authentic strap. This strap was for a watch owned by my grandfather. I know little about the watch, except that it is a West End Watches Co Secundus and that he wore it when he was in the British Army - it saw him through all the campaigns of El Alamein, D-Day landings, Sicily, Italy, Burma and some time in India. He also wore it at Dunkirk. I do not know when he acquired it, but I do believe it was a favourite watch of the Indian army - so maybe he got it there.
It is great to see it on a strap that is as close to the one I remember it on when he gave it to me many years ago.
The watch itself is in need of a service - been too long in a box and that is job number one tomorrow.
Great strap - watch looks great to be on a strap again. Picture attached.
James. 21 March 2014
Strap arrived today. It's fantastic and suits the watch perfectly! Thank you very much. This is the information regarding the watch :-
This is a wristwatch "Sturmanskie" made at "First Moscow Watch Factory". The First Moscow Watch Factory is first not only by name. Throughout its more than 70-year history, it has been and still is the leader in developing and manufacturing highly accurate watch movements. These movements have been used in the army and aviation, in the navy and even in space technology - in other words, anywhere where a high level of accuracy and reliability is essential. The NAVIGATOR, (or STURMANSKIE in Russian,) which had been issued to new graduates of the prestigious Orenberg Flight School along with their diplomas since the late 1940s, was a logical choice, due to the high quality of the movement and inherent accuracy of the watch. Gagarin would have been supplied with such a 1st Moscow Watch Factory Sturmanskie upon graduation from Orenberg as well, but it is doubtful that he would have received the Sturmanskie he wore into space at that time. These watches were produced specially for Russian Air Force officers in very limited quantity (the order of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR, not for mass sale). "Sturmanskie" were the first wristwatches have visited Cosmos with Yuri Gagarin. Very reliable mechanism - in conditions of weightlessness the watch worked faultlessly !!! Superb watch for collection !!!
Year of manufacture approx 1954-59; body diameter(size) - 34mm; mechanical manual movement( hand winding); wristband size - 16mm
Many thanks again for a high quality strap. Best regards, Mike. 11 March 2014
Just to let you know that the watch strap arrived safely and attached to the watch with no difficulty. I have attached a couple of images of it. The strap works really well with the watch. Many thanks for the fast delivery.
regards Brian (USA) 4 February 2014
Many thanks for the watch strap, it's beautifully made and compliments the watch perfectly.
I was lucky and found a half decent 1917 Baume sponsored Borgel (how could I go for anything else after reading your website!) cased watch. It's had quite a lot of use and the onion winder is well worn but looking at all the jewellers marks it has had plenty of service in its long life and the dial is in great condition. I'm unsure of the make, there are no Cal/ref marks that I can see but it does seem to be of good quality and ticks along a treat. (Bill's watch has a Fontainemelon movement - see my watch movement identification page, "Fontainemelon 4".)
I have attached a couple of pictures of my acquisition on your beautiful strap and silver buckle.
Many thanks again, Best regards, Bill. 1 February 2014.
Gorgeous strap David !
Thank you David for the beautiful strap !
The quality and attention to detail is certainly evident in its construction. You've given my not so old, (20 years) Swiss Army Victorinox 'Calvary' series watch a whole new look. The watch really comes alive now with your classic "Trench" band.
While not "Worthy" to be seen among your true vintage classics: I've enclosed a couple of pictures for your consideration.
Well done and thanks again!
Type C 18mm strap Military Tan
Greg R. 26 January 2014
Dear David thanks for the watch strap which I think you would agree compliments my silver trench watch. I just love the hallmarked buckle.
John E. 21 January 2014
Thanks very much for the watchstrap, My wrist is rather big, but the strap just fits on the last hole. I've attached a picture of the strap on my father's 1916 centre seconds Stauffer in a silver "CN" case. He volunteered for one of Lord Kitchener's Liverpool "PALS" regiments in 1914 and probably bought the watch when recovering from a wound at the battle of the Somme in 1916. He was wounded again in 1918 but survived the war and gave me the watch.
Best wishes, Richard. 16 January 2014
This page got so long that I decided to split it at the point. If you want to see older customer's images, follow this link: Old customers.
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 March 2020. W3CMVS. Back to the top of the page.