Turnaround time: 4 to 5 weeks
Moving holes around on your custom Panerai strap... it's not the answer

Wait, holes are put in a specific place to start with?

Yep, on my straps I follow the standard set by Panerai, which is to start holes at 50mm down from the lug edge of the watch.  This starts the holes far enough down that when the strap is on your wrist you will mostly see strap instead of right away seeing the holes for the buckle tang.  On watch straps with round holes, as seen above, my holes are 4mm wide and spaced about 4mm apart.  For custom straps with oval holes, as seen below, my holes are 4mm wide and about 3mm tall, and I space the oval holes about 3mm apart.  I use 5 holes for round up to 150mm tongue length, then I use 6 and I use 6 holes for oval up to 150mm tongue length, then I use 7.

Oval holes

Can you start my holes at...

Sure, I can start holes wherever you want, I can put as many or as few as you want, I can space them closer together or further apart, I can even not punch holes at all if you prefer.  But I don't recommend doing any of that.  Moving holes around only introduces another variable that may cause the strap to fit incorrectly.  The correct way to get strap fitment right is to order the length of strap that's correct for your wrist size.  A note on this:  It's personal preference.  Neophytes to the world of handmade, custom length watch bands usually say they want the buckle dead center on their wrist and a tiny amount of tail.  But really, having the buckle off to the side is more comfortable and also more stylish, as is a fair amount of tail.  But that's into the weeds, the bottom line is: If the buckle isn't in the "right" hole on your strap, the correct solution is to order a strap that's sized more properly to achieve what you want... not to move the holes around on the strap.

Holes too far apart, reducing adjustability

But I really want my holes to be...

No problem!  If you know what you want and tell me what it is, I'll do it!  This is a rule of thumb, not a law set in stone.  I personally prefer that a watch straps fitment be addressed by ordering the proper sized strap rather than moving holes around here or there.  But that doesn't mean your way is wrong, if you know what you want let's do it.

Just the one hole then, guvn'r?

The One Hole Punch

There's people out there who are firm believers in The One Hole Punch.  A single hole for the Panerai strap that's in the one spot they use, and never another hole shall touch the strap.  That's fine, but personally I think it looks unbalanced, unfinished even.  My punching hand gets to itching when I see The One Hole Punch.  It feels like the job just isn't finished yet, there's just... four more things... that have to still be done.  You like it, go for it!  But again, I personally don't recommend it.


These are just my opinions.  If you know where you want holes on your strap, just let me know and we'll do it.  You're the one wearing the strap, if you know what you want that's the best thing for you to do!

August 01, 2019 by Micah Dirksen


Charlie  Wilbur

Charlie Wilbur said:

Oh my, have I had some fun with this over the years. Probably more due to a body that is constantly changing than anything else, but also because of straps from all over the place. I stopped punching my own holes a long time ago, it’s a great way to ruin a nice strap. Since I like my watch snug, if I find an in between strap, I just go tighter and hope for some stretch. :-) Nice blog.

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