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/wt/ Strap Guide ver 0.32

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  1. /wt/ Strap Guide, Ver.032 (18/2/15~), made by guide anon.
  2.  
  3. This guide will cover watch straps of various types and materials.
  4. Prices will not be listed, since they can vary because of various reasons (Shipping, discounts and etc)
  5.  
  6. -Preferable places to buy:
  7.  
  8. *Your local watchmaker
  9. A common place to buy will be your local watchmaker.
  10.  
  11. Though quality may vary since some (if not most) are just battery monkeyes who just order them via the "10 straps for 1$" option from china. Prices may also be too high for what they are offering.
  12. Ordering online will likely net better results, better prices, and will defenitly have a better variety.
  13.  
  14. *eBay
  15. A metric fuckton of both options,quantity,quality,location of the sellers, pricing and pretty much all companies. Also possibility to get both vintage and NOS (New old stock) straps and bracelets.
  16. However be cautious of what you buy and from who. Shipping in some cases will be rather expensive and for no real proper reason. If you see multiple things you like, or would like to buy several of the same kind, try getting a nice package deal from the seller.
  17.  
  18. *Etsy
  19. eBay's retarded and creative cousin.
  20. Different variety on NOS and vintage straps and bracelets, however a lot of really highly marked "handmade" straps. Same rules apply to Etsy as to eBay.
  21.  
  22. *Aliexpress
  23. Chingchong land express, Chinese products, slightly cheaper then eBay sellers and the same slow as shit shipping. At least it's free.
  24.  
  25. Quality will run from dog anus leather to acceptable, and metallic bracelets as long as they are solid link and 316L steel, usually turn out to quite good.
  26.  
  27. -Basic knowledge and terminology:
  28.  
  29. Springbars:
  30.  
  31. Straps are held in place by springbars (with exceptions), which function as simple bars to hold the strap in place.
  32. They are a simple and very efficient method to hold straps in place, and can be easily removed via usage of a knife, fishing wire, or specific watch tools.
  33. If you are having trouble removing your straps, consider viewing a couple of youtube videos on how to and or buying a simple 2$ tool.
  34.  
  35. Keeper:
  36. A small round piece of material that's supposed to keep the excess strap from flapping around
  37.  
  38. Buckle and pin:
  39. Same as your average waist belt, meant to keep the watch attached to your arm or cock.
  40.  
  41. Clasps:
  42. Usually used on bracelets but also exists on leather straps, meant to ease putting on the strap.
  43. Various types exist, including push button, two button and etc.
  44.  
  45. Strap types:
  46. -Two piece strap
  47. Regular watch strap with either a pin and buckle or a clasp.
  48. -Metallic bracelets
  49. Metallic strap with a clasp.
  50. -Nato straps
  51. 4 ring straps that either come as nylon or leather.
  52. -Zulu straps
  53. 3 or 5 ring straps that either come in nylon or leather
  54. -Bund/cuff straps
  55. Leather strap with extra leather addons to create a "cuff". Commonly referred to as a military strap (or bund, an East bloc strap).
  56. -One piece strap
  57. One long piece of strap that goes in between the springbars.
  58.  
  59. -Leather-
  60. The traditional strap, very common and fits a multitude of watches. They come in various prices, from chinkshit 2$ faux leather or shitty leather to 100~200$ handmade straps from exotic materials.
  61. Leather can be treated in various methods, either vegetable tanned to create a vintage feel, various grained.smooth and matte finishes.
  62.  
  63. -The most common leather is cow leather. Simple,comfy and readily available in a lot of styles. It's also among the cheapest, so it can be remade with different finishes to imtate other more expensive leathers like Buffalo grain and lizard/croc skin.
  64. Quality is also the most varied, from some of the best to some of the worst.
  65.  
  66. -Ostrich leather is a high-quality, soft leather with distinct quill marks, where originally the relatively big ostrich feathers were growing. Very comfy and not too expensive in most cases, best suited for dress watches.
  67.  
  68. -Buffalo leather is a hard wearing leather and is characterized by its unique extraordinary grain, giving your watch a rustic look. Usually more expensive then regular leather but well worth the extra shekels (cow leather imitations exist)
  69.  
  70. -Shark leather has a very unique rough grain that is very hard to imitate thus being rather rare. Can be a little expensive but works well with sports watches.
  71.  
  72. -Lizard leather, very unique look and grain and can be made from various lizards with various prices (Teju lizard skin is rather common and very good for the price),some are more exotic then others. Imitations are common. Suited for dress and sometimes casual watches.
  73.  
  74. -Croc leather, well sought after type of leather and considered to be the staple watch strap. Has a very distinguishable look and rather commonly imitated since bringing in real croc can be an issue in some countries and being much more expensive (Especially in Bogan country).
  75.  
  76.  
  77.  
  78. There are a fuckton of manufacturers of leather straps, and they can be bought virtually anywhere either online or from your local watchmaker. Quality varies and price can determine it but not always.
  79.  
  80. Your local watchmaker might hold decent straps up for sale, but they will usually either be rather expensive for what they offer or if he's some battery monkey they'll be the cheapest shit he could order from Ching chong land. Either way buying online is significantly cheaper.
  81.  
  82. Good and well known/common brands/manufacturers consist of:
  83.  
  84. -Spiedel
  85. Cheap and well made in the 10~15$ range. Usually consists of small size straps.
  86. Usually cowhide and pigskin.
  87.  
  88. -Hadley Roma
  89. Best bang for your buck in the 20$ range. American company that offers very well made strap cheaply with a very large variety.
  90. Some of the higher end models are 100% US made. Consists of most aforementioned types of leather.
  91. Notable models: MS881, MS855, MS906.
  92.  
  93. -Fluco
  94. German company, German made straps. Large variety of different strap styles and materials and are very well made. largely around the 30$ range.
  95. Notable models: Shell Cordovan leather straps, very good for the quality and also various pilot styled straps.
  96.  
  97. -*Hirsch
  98. Austrian made straps, very high quality which comes at a premium. Very well made and from excellent and exotic materials. Highly regarded by watch enthusiasts.
  99. Notable models: Hirsch Mariner, Hirsch Liberty, Hirsch Ascot.
  100.  
  101. -*RIOS1931
  102. German company, straps are all handmade from selected leathers and are of very high quality despite a modest price at some points.
  103. Notable models: mid end models like the "Moscow","Cognac","Nature","Oxford" and higher end models like the "Newyork","Heritage","Ambassador" and many more.
  104.  
  105. -*Di-Modell
  106. Germany company, hand crafted in Germany from high quality leathers. Highly regarded by watch enthusiasts and well liked for their durability.
  107. Notable models: Jumbo,Chronissimo,Nevada,Pilot,Orlando.
  108.  
  109. -Diloy
  110. Spanish made straps, good quality in their pricerange and usually are made from thick quality leather with a vintage finish and interesting materials like jeans. Usually come with big pre-v panerai styled buckles.
  111. Notable models: Leather Nato,Rally, and other various models.
  112.  
  113. Side note:can oddly be purchased cheaply from Germany.
  114.  
  115. -Various Vietnamese and Thai sellers
  116. If you're looking for cheap genuine crocodile and alligator straps, and cheaply, they are the to go. However defects are common since they aren't precision made (But they are cheap for a reason).
  117. They also sell various exotic lizard straps from time to time. Always read it clearly and check the pictures well.
  118.  
  119. -Kreisler and Speidel
  120. Old American owned brands that used to be manufactured in the US. Now mostly in China. Both have a lot of good quality straps, and a lot of vintage straps are still up for sale on eBay.
  121.  
  122.  
  123.  
  124.  
  125. -Nylon
  126. Covers all the synthetic cloth styled straps that aren't solid rubber.
  127.  
  128. -Nato strap
  129. The most popular choice is Nato strap. It's comfy,light,durable,can fit any watch, and comes in an abundance of styles and straps. Rather easy to obtain online, prices vary quite a bit.
  130. The origin of the both the name and the strap is from the British army, and is also commonly refereed to as the G10 strap. If you're looking for an authentic Mod-G10 strap, search for a genuine Phoenix nato strap.
  131.  
  132. The nato strap comes with 4 rings total, 1 as a buckle, 3 as keepers (1 keeps the watch from sliding around).
  133.  
  134. Prices vary between a simple 2$ chink nato of dubious quality to 40$ very high quality natos. Chink nato's are rather flimsy at and sometimes are glued instead of stitched.
  135.  
  136.  
  137. -Zulu straps
  138. Simillar to the nato, also usually made out of nylon albiet much thicker and more durable then most nato straps. Zulu straps come with either 3 rings or 5 rings and the rings are significantly thicker and oval in comparison to nato straps.
  139. They were originally made for divers watches.
  140.  
  141.  
  142. -Perlon straps
  143. Vintage styled one piece straps that are made from a unique braided nylon, very light and comfy and perfect as a summer strap.
  144.  
  145. -Velcro
  146. Same kind of straps NASA used to give to astronauts. Perfect for sports watches and are both durable and comfy. Also being on the cheap side.
  147.  
  148.  
  149. Popular manfucatruers and sellers include:
  150.  
  151. -*EULIT*
  152. Very very high quality nato straps with a lot on unique styles like the Tropical,Kristall and Panana. Considered to be the so called "original" Perlon strap manufacturer.
  153. -Cheapnatostraps
  154.  low prices for great quality straps. (Nato,Zulu, both leather and nylon, and perlon)
  155. -CrownandBuckle
  156.  High quality and durable nato and zulu straps.
  157. -tower.time (eBay)
  158.  Italian seller, high quality straps that come in various materials and variations and rather cheaply. (Perlon,Zulu&Nato leather/nylon)
  159. -Panatime(eBay)
  160.  Well made heavy duty Zulus and natos
  161.  
  162.  
  163.  
  164. -Rubber
  165. Rubber straps are very common and can vary in both material,texture and design quite a lot. All of them are waterproof and are a perfect fit for diving and sports watches.
  166.  
  167. Material wise there are several variants but they are mostly synthetic materials. Natural rubber is a much nicer material in comparison to most.
  168.  
  169. -Resin
  170. Simple, cheap and common. Decently soft.
  171. Found on a lot of Casio watches including the Binladen special and the Pope watch (Both the case and strap are resin).However it isn't the most durable.
  172. -Silicone Rubber
  173. Also rather cheap yet much more durable then resin. A lot harder to mend into shape,which proves to make it slightly less comfy.
  174. A common strap that employees this kind of rubber is the Seiko Z22 strap that's common on Seiko divers like the SKX007.
  175. -Polyurethane
  176. Very comfy and also quite durable. Usually quite cheap as well, but is less common then then former two.
  177. -Natural rubber
  178. Rather pricy, but well worth the price. Very very comfortable and has a very nice texture to it. Bonetto Cinturini and Hirsch are your best choice when going for these.
  179.  
  180. -Metallic straps&Bracelets
  181. Some what of a dodgy area, since many manufacturers create different bracelets with different results. More like guidelines on the bracelets part.
  182.  
  183. *Materiel and finishes
  184. -316L stainless steel is the most common and recommended, can't quite go wrong with it.
  185. -Titanium is very light and is also anti-allergic. Usually less common but much better then stainless steel, also easier to buff out scratches.
  186. -PVD coated steel, biggest pile of cheapshit possible. Avoid at all costs unless you want every scratch to shine in the sun. Found on cheap watches and is the cheapest method to make them black.
  187. -rose"gold/"gold coated steel, same as PVD, avoid at all costs.
  188. -Ion coated steel, if you're really want to go black. Only proper way to go.
  189.  
  190. *Finishes
  191. 3 types of finishes possible:
  192. >Polished
  193. >Brushed
  194. >Bead blasted (Uncommon, since very similar to brushed)
  195.  
  196. Things to note when looking at a watch with a bracelet:
  197. >Is it folded links? (cheapest option, rattle and quite shit) or is it solid links? (Best option, also much heavier and feels much more substantial)
  198. >Are the endlinks that touch the watch case, curved (thin folded steel), straight (just cover the springbar), or are they solid? (Most end links are curved or straight, solid end links are the best but are uncommon)
  199. >What kind of clasp is it? (two button clasp, latch clasp, tri-fold clasp or etc)
  200.  
  201. Most aftermarket watch bracelets aren't made for a particular watch and come with straight endlinks or very general curved endlinks.
  202. If you're searching for your particular one of a kind watch, chances are that you won't find any that are a perfect fit.
  203.  
  204. Some popular models, like common Seiko divers, Rolex submariners and etc will have a lot of aftermarket bracelets up for sale.
  205.  
  206. Common styles for those are:
  207.  
  208. -Jubilee
  209. Common arrives with Seiko divers, usually is made of folded links and is shit. Aftermarket variants that are solid links (But curved endlinks) exist, but overall the style isn't that good looking to start with.
  210. -Oyster
  211. Common with Rolex submariners. Usually is solid link and feels substantial. Best looking of the bunch and is also available to Seiko divers, Base Seiko models are folded links so go for the aftermarket ones or go for the Super Oyster (3 times as expensive).
  212. -Engineer
  213. Heavy and blocky bracelet, feels very substantial and has a very unique supertool look. Comes with straight endlinks only.
  214.  
  215. These kinds of bracelets are common on eBay, but one very well beloved manufacturer is Strapcode (Also sells good quality natos and mesh bracelets). I'd highly recommend browsing his wares for comparison, and occasionally he stocks on unique "test" models.
  216.  
  217.  
  218. *Mesh straps:
  219. Aka chainmail straps, very unique and ubiquitous straps that are both common and not so expensive.
  220. Most mesh straps are just called Mesh straps, but there are two distinct styles:
  221.  
  222. -Milanese (or Milanaise) mesh
  223. Very thin and fine, perfect for dress watches. Also very comfy.
  224.  
  225. -Shark mesh
  226. Big steel chainmail rings, looks very tool-esq. Perfect fit for divers watches. Also can be adjust with a plier.
  227.  
  228. Popular sellers and manufacturers:
  229.  
  230. *Staib
  231. -Best mesh bracelets on the market, made in Germany, and you'd be hard pressed to find any other Milanaise that can compare in quality. Though can be a rather pricy.
  232. *Vollmer
  233. -Another Germany company, great mesh bracelets as well and usually at half the cost of a Staib made one. Can be a bit tricky to find
  234. *Strapcode
  235. -Well respected manufacturer, makes great quality sharkmesh for the price and won't cost you an arm and a leg.
  236.  
  237. *Small buying advice regarding all bracelets:
  238. NOS or vintage bracelets aren't always a good idea, since a lot of them (Especially vintage Soviet bracelets, sometimes also vintage Jap&Swiss bracelets) are folded links.
  239.  
  240. But if you want to, go ahead.
  241.  
  242. *Expendable watch bracelets (Aka 70's pornstar bracelet)
  243. Flexible metal bands which are very practical and comfortable to wear. Due to their elasticity, expansion bands can be taken on and off easily without the need for a clasp.
  244.  
  245. Slightly uncommon, but perfect fit for vintage watches. Vintage Spiedel and Kreisler expendable bracelets are god-tier, new ones are mostly alright.
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