Adapting Leather Straps

You can make a normal strap fit a watch that normally needs a special strap

More and more watches are being made with straps that need to be ordered directly from the factory. Customers seam to like watches which the watch strap “flows” into the casing of the watch. Yes I agree it looks good but they do not think about replacing it when it is at the end of its life.

To get the watch looking good you need the original strap or a strap that has been made specifically for that model. Anything else doesn’t look perfect.
Unfortunately the originals end up being expensive.

There is something you can offer your customers instead. With a bit of care you can adapt leather and rubber straps to fit most of these special fit cases.

Here is how I do it with no special tools (there are pliers made for doing this but this way gives a better finish)

Step one is to warn the customer that it is not going to be perfect. If you don’t then there is a chance that they are going to be unhappy and you will loose them as a customer.

This is the original strap which the customer does not want the original because it is expensive and he wants a change. He wants something brighter.

This is the strap he chose. Hmm not what i would have chosen but it is his watch. 
Using a scalpel mark the sides of the notch.

Cut the sides of the notch first. To cut the end cut half way through the leather starting at one corner then repeat on the other corner.

Turn the strap over and repeat on the underside.

To tidy up any loose fibres use a cigarette lighter to singe them. If the strap is dark brown or black tint the cut leather with a permanent marker.

Fit the strap using the original pin and you have a happy customer. 
Since some of the strap has been cut away it will be weaker than it was originally. This weakening depends on how much leather you need to remove. I always say it is done as good as possible but I can not guarantee how long it is going to last. This way the customer will not expect it to last as long as the original.

You can cut rubber, silicone and plastic straps in exactly the same way.

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