Handcrafted Custom Watch Straps

By Remko Hottentot

All watch straps are custom-built to your specifications

All watch straps are customized to your requirements in terms of length, width, thickness and stitch lengths. All straps are hand stitched.

Hand vs machine stitched
When you use a machine, that line of stitching requires two separate threads that lock around each other in what is known as a “locking stitch”. Whereas, a hand-stitched line uses a single thread with needles on either end. Hand sewing has a superior strength and durability with a beautiful look. It is time-consuming, and that’s part of its charm. Each time you pick up a hand sewn piece of leather, you’re witnessing something of the person who made it. Yet it’s about more than simply clinging to traditions. There are tangible benefits to hand-sewing leather—and aesthetic ones as well.

Hand-sewing provides the greatest strength and security when it comes stitching materials together. The saddle stitch in particular is one of the strongest, most adaptable, and permanent hand stitches. The term “saddle stitching” originated from the saddle makers who employed the technique, though the origins of the technique likely go back much further.

Vintage straps are one thickness from begin to the end. You choose the thickness which usually varies between 3 and 5mm.

The Classic types are between 2-6mm and most of the time fitted with padding and lining.

To measure your wrist, bring a meter of seamstress, if you don’t have one, use a string or a tape and then put it on a ruler. Wrap your wrist loosely, once you get the measurement, round to half a centimeter above.

Strap sizing guide (estimates):
6.0-6.5” wrist/ or 15-16.4cm    120/70mm
6.6-7.0” wrist/ or 16.5-17.8cm 125/75mm
7.1-7.5” wrist/ or  17.9-19cm     130/80mm
7.6-8.0” wrist/ or 19-20cm       135/80mm
8.1-8.5” wrist/ or 20-21.5cm    140/85mm
8.6-9.0” wrist/ or 21.7-23cm    145/90mm


I use high quality vegetable tanned leather including Horween, Harness, calf(lining), nubuck, kangaroo amongst others as well as exotics such as toad, eel, ostrich(leg) etc

Vegetable tanned, commonly known as veg tan, is the oldest method used for tanning hides and skins. This is a tannage using the tannin extracted from the bark of plants and trees.

The vegetable tannin has the effect of filling the leather and creating a firm, full feeling to the tanned dried hide.

The characteristic colour of natural veg tanned leather depends on what type of tannin is used. The colours will range from a warm blonde to a dark brown.

Veg tan leather will develop a beautiful patina over time with everyday environmental exposure and product use.

Cow hides are the staple raw material for most tanneries. Cow hide is versatile in its end use and richly available in Australia.


Calf lining in multiple colours

Kangaroo leather has the highest tensile strength of any hide leather, this is due to the fibre structure that runs parallel to the surface of the leather. Hides are usually quite thin, but very strong.

Kangaroo is available in multiple colours in chrome tan and suitable for some fun colour combinations. Chrome tan kangaroo can change colour over time.

I use Julius Koch Tiger thread and available in a variety of colours and thicknesses (range 0.4 to 1.0mm) to choose from. On request linen thread can be used.

The padding or filler can be made of various substances, but rarely does one substance alone offer the perfect solution. Materials range from felt, cork, compressed cotton, high density foam and of course leather itself. My preference is leather filler of vegetable tanned leather.

Edging is possible in various widths varying from 1.0, 1.5 or 2mm. It’s all a personal choice.

Edge coating
Vintage straps are usually left neutral or burnished(black / brown).
Classic straps are edge coated with Giardini edge coating using a suitable matching color setting.

Most watches have their own brand buckles. Panerai has developed a watch strap «exchange» culture hence the reason my 24/26 mm straps can be delivered with an in-sewed GPF buckle. See below.


Everything is possible with the right resources. You will very rarely receive a “no” to a request.

Emotional straps are really fun to work with and create. It starts with an understanding and good dialogue with the end user, and what they would like to achieve with an item such as an old belt or a handbag – which can be repurposed to an everyday watch strap.

It’s awesome to give some love and respect to old and sentimental items and a new lease of life and purpose. It’s fundamentally challenging people’s perception of “rubbish”, celebrating the reuse and recycling of a sentimental and/or end of life item through art.

A wrist watch only becomes a piece of jewellery once it’s been fitted with a beautiful leather watch band!

Interested? Let's Design Something Together