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Vintage Watchstraps

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



Two Piece Straps

Copyright © David Boettcher 2005 - 2024 all rights reserved.

Two piece straps fit onto the bars of a watch, either spring bars or fixed bars, without the strap crossing the back of the watch case. These are not carried as stock items but can be made to order.

Open Ended Strap
Two Piece Open Ended: Click to Enlarge.

These are the type of strap fitted to wristwatches with horns and bars, rather than trench type wristwatches with fixed wire lugs. They are usually made with closed ends for use with removable spring bars, but can be made with open ends as shown in the image here to fit watches with fixed bars; bars that are fixed to the horns on the case and can't be removed to fit a strap.

Two piece open end straps will fit any case with either fixed bars or spring bars. You can fit them yourself as shown in the image here, no special tools or techniques are required. The two strap pieces have open ends that wrap around the bars and are then fixed together with metal “tin tabs” which can be seen in the image, or they can be glued together if you prefer; or you can use both methods if you are a belt-and-braces type.

I can also supply two piece closed end straps. These are the type most often seen today. Obviously they are only suitable for watches with spring bars or removable bars.

In either case there is only a single thickness of leather between the bar and the case, the lining is not carried around the bit that wraps around the lugs; this is illustrated in the image. This can make possible fitting a strap if the bars are close to the case. However, it inevitably affects the durability of the strap because it is only one thickness of leather where it wraps around the bars. I don't recall getting any complaints about the ones that I have supplied, but I can't guarantee that they will last as long as my one piece pull through straps, especially if the lugs are curved.

Please note that two piece straps are not carried as stock items, they are custom made to order.

23 April 2024: Due to a disaster in the workshop I can no longer make any straps, stock or custom. I am currently seeking alternative arrangements to make stock straps, but it seems very unlikely that I will be able to make custom orders in the future.

I have reopened sales on the website today to clear the remaining stock that I have. I currently cannot say for sure whether I will be able to supply new items after the current stock has been cleared. Any news about this will be posted here.

Custom Orders

Due to a disaster in the workshop I can no longer make any straps, stock or custom. I am currently seeking alternative arrangements to make stock straps, but it seems very unlikely that I will be able to make custom orders in the future.

Please Read This

I don't keep two piece straps in stock, they are custom made to order. Please allow up to three weeks for your strap to be made.

If you are not familiar with my vintage watch straps, please have a look at the page about My Designs of Vintage Watch Straps, particularly for the available leather colours, and also read the details on this page before you place an order.

Strap Details

Open ended straps
Two Piece Straight Open End Straps with Angled Leather Keepers

Two piece straps can be “open end” as shown in the image here, where the end wraps around the bars of a watch and are secured with the metal fixing built into the strap. This is bent up and the two ends passed through slots cut in the folded over end, and then flattened down to secure it, or the folded over ends can be glued to the strap. Open ends make it possible to fit the strap to a watch with fixed bars. If a watch has spring bars, then the strap can be “closed end” and the spring bars used to fasten the strap to the watch.

Strap Widths

The width refers to the lug width, the gap between the lugs or horns that project from the case. I can only supply straps in even numbers of millimetres, e.g. 16mm, 18mm, etc. Because leather is a soft and supple material, an 18mm strap will fit a 17mm lug easily. Don't choose a narrower strap thinking that it will fit better, it will leave an ugly gap showing either side.

Straight: Two piece open end or closed end straight (parallel sided) straps are available in widths from 8mm to 24mm in 2mm increments in any length and in your choice of leather colour.

Tapered: I can also supply two piece open end or closed end straps that taper from the watch lug to a narrower buckle, in watch lug widths from 24mm down to 8mm.

Taper sizes from lug to buckle are: 24 → 18, 22 → 18, 20 → 16, 18 → 16 or 14, 16 → 14, 14 → 10, 12 → 8, 10 → 8.

NB: Because the tapered straps have dedicated cutters, they can only be made in the standard lengths of men's 70/120 and ladies' 60/110.

Keepers

Keepers are the loops on a strap that the tail tucks into to stop it flapping about.

Standard keepers are metal for straps in widths 16mm, 18mm, 20mm. Because of the difficulty of sourcing and stocking metal keepers in every possible size, other width straps (usually smaller widths) will be supplied with a straight leather keeper. If you specifically want a metal keeper in an unusual size, then please inquire about availability before ordering.

If you specifically want a leather keeper, either straight across the strap or angled like the one shown in the image, specify this in the notes box, e.g. “straight leather keeper” or “angled leather keeper”.

Lengths of the Parts

The overall length of a two piece strap and watch when they are joined together is affected by the size of the watch, and the lengths of the two parts is affected by the place you would like the buckle to be on your wrist.

There are some suggested standard sizes below. These are long established industry standards that work pretty well if you have no existing strap to work from, but since any strap that you order from this page is going to be custom made for you, it is better to take a little time and work out exactly how long you want each part of the strap so that it fits you well.

If you are going to measure an open ended strap, fold the ends over so it looks like it is attached to the watch as shown in the photo. Do not include the length of the end pieces that fold over the bars in the measurement.

NB: Making leather watch straps is not like precision machining metal; please understand that there may be a few millimetres variation in the sizes as made.

Man's Standard Size

Measuring the Two Sides of a Strap
Measuring the Two Sides of a Strap: Click image to enlarge

The man's standard size suits many men's wrists, the length of the two parts, without the buckle, are about 70mm on the buckle side and 120mm on the tail. However, I urge you to do some basic checking to make sure that you get a size that is right for your wrist and the watch you want to wear with the strap.

If you know that you have problems with “over the counter” straps, that they are usually either too long or too short, or you want a size other than standard, then please read the section below about custom lengths.

The two pieces of a two piece strap comprise a shorter “buckle” side, and a longer “tail” side which has the holes for the buckle pin. These are measured as if the strap is attached to the watch as shown in the image.

If you are going to measure an open ended strap, fold the ends over as if it is attached to the watch. Do not include in the measurement the length of the end pieces that fold over the bars.

Custom Lengths

Although the standard sizes fit most people fairly well, there is nothing like getting a strap tailor made to fit your wrist and your watch perfectly. Unfortunately, because watches vary in size, and people like to wear their straps tighter or looser, I don't offer to do this just from your wrist measurement. However, I can make a strap where the two parts are lengths that you specify.

Bear in mind that altering the lengths of the two parts of the strap changes where the buckle sits on your wrist. This can be useful even if you have a strap that fits you OK but the buckle sits in the wrong place - just make the buckle side shorter or longer to move the buckle, and then alter the length of the tail side by the same amount so that the combined lengths remain the same.

If you already know how long you want the buckle side and the tail side, then choose the “Custom Lengths in Notes” option and put the measurements into the Notes box.

The buckle side is always shorter than the tail side so you don't need to tell me which is which, you can just put e.g. 70/110 to get a 70mm buckle side and 110mm tail.

If you have an old two piece strap that is too long or too short, you can base measurements on that and make allowance for how much longer or shorter it should be.

For example, if the old strap is a bit long and you would prefer the pin to be two holes closer to the end, make the measurements a bit shorter by the distance between those two holes so that the new one will be the correct length for the pin to be in the hole you want.

Old straps often break on the tail part at the point where the pin passes through a hole and the buckle presses on the leather. If you have a strap like this but don't have the missing part of the tail, just let me know the length from the lug to the break and I will add on the missing length to the end. If you want the strap to be longer or shorter than it was before it broke, make this adjustment to your measurement or let me know by how much.

NB: Because the tapered straps have dedicated cutters, they can only be made in the standard lengths of men's 70/120 and ladies' 60/110.

Ladies' Sizes

Julieanne's watch
Julieanne's watch

Two piece straps can also be supplied in ladies' sizes. The image here shows one in red leather supplied to a customer, more details of which can be found on the customers page at Julieanne's watch.

There are two standard lengths for ladies' two piece straps, but I urge you to do some basic checking to make sure that you get a size that is right for your wrist and the watch you want to wear with the strap. If you know that you have problems with “over the counter” straps, that they are usually either too long or too short, or want a size other than the two specified below, then please read the section about custom lengths.

If you want to order a ladies' size two piece strap, please choose the appropriate “Ladies' Standard”, or the “Custom Lengths in Notes” option and specify the lengths in the Notes box.

Buckles

Standard buckles in base metal are available in either silver or gold colour. These are the buckles that will be supplied with straps ordered from this page. I will generally try to supply a vintage style buckle, but buckle styles are restricted to what I can source so I don't have a wide choice available.

If your watch is fitted with a buckle that you would like to re-use, this is no problem; I have done this many times for customers. If the buckle uses spring bars we can simply leave off the standard buckle, but if it is an older type buckle that needs to be stitched in, you need to post the buckle to me and we will get it stitched into the strap as it is made. Email me for posting details. If you don't have a matching metal keeper loop, I can get the workshop to make a leather loop in the same leather as the strap.

The options in the drop down menu below are for silver or gold coloured buckles in base metal.

Contrast Stitching

If you want the stitching in a contrasting colour, please put this in the Notes box, e.g. “red stitching”.

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Postage & Packing

The cost of Postage and Packing (p&p) is not included in the price of the straps. I make a single charge for p&p, no matter how many straps you order.

The current p&p charges are shown underneath each set of ordering buttons.

Postage & packing must be added to your order, the PayPal “shopping cart”, before checking. If you pay for p&p as a separate order, PayPal charges make it expensive for me.

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Order Two Piece Open End or Closed End Straps

Please note that two piece straps are not carried as stock items, they are custom made to order.

Custom Orders

Due to a disaster in the workshop I can no longer make any straps, stock or custom. I am currently seeking alternative arrangements to make stock straps, but it seems very unlikely that I will be able to make custom orders in the future.

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

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