The Leather Academy: Make your own vintage leather strap!

We asked, you answered.

It was only about a month ago that we announced a collaboration with Singapore independent watch retailer “Watch Wonderland” with a chance for 4 lucky winners to learn how to make their own leather strap.

Win a seat at The Leather Academy – and make your own watch strap

Well, yesterday was the day that the winners attended the workshop. Follow along on the process and explanation of what was taught, and maybe sign up for your own strap making experience with Watch Wonderland. (click here for link)

Different types of leathers used for making of watch straps – shown here is the bespoke section of Watch Wonderland, where customers can browse the options available.
Jeremiah Ang of J.Myers Co, the instructor of the day briefing the lesson for the next 6 hours.
Explaining the tools that are needed for making the customised straps
Breaking down the anatomy of a watch strap. Measurements of between the lugs, down to the tapering to the buckle and tip of the strap have to be precise at the first stage – pattern drawing on paper. The standard size of a watch strap is 115mm for the long tongue, and 75mm for the shorter end with buckle.
The correct way of holding a pen knife when cutting leather is the same way which you would hold a pen, and support your wrist on the surface. In a gentle, smooth motion, glide the blade in the desired direction. Do not exert too much force on the index finger.
Drawing the paper pattern for the strap.
Carefully transferring the template onto the leather.
White PVD glue is used to fuse the two sides of the leather strap together. Special care is needed to ensure that excess glue will not leak from the sides, staining the surface of the leather.
Skiving of the edges of the leather straps for uniformity in the thickness of strap, including places where overlapping of leather pieces is needed. For example, the tip where the buckle is secured to.
Burnishing gum is applied and rubbed on to the edges to give the strap a nicely rounded, fused look. The same effect can be achieved with water and friction.
The stitching awl is used to punch holes before sewing the connecting parts for better security. Note that it is always better to poke a hole, rather than cut it with a hole puncher, as former will allow the leather fibres to close up nicely after stitching.
A lovely vintage Gagarin with burgundy accents on the new strap. The owner has only punched one hole in his strap for extra exclusivity.
A Seiko Spirit SCVE003 with matching burgundy accents.
Blue accented strap for a Grand Seiko Snowflake.
A special ‘S’ for the initial of the owner.
Dark patina-ed look for a vintage gold watch.
The same shade of strap looking good on micro-brand Lorier’s Gemini Chronograph.
Participants of the workshop and their self-made bespoke leather straps posing for a group wrist-shot.