Turnaround time: 3 to 4 weeks
Patina vs. fake patina: Authenticity matters!
In a world of image why would you care how old the leather in your ammo strap actually is as long as it looks cool, right? Maybe with some scrapes and scratches (freshly applied just last week!) and a nifty 74 drawn onto it in sharpie?
But... is that really what you want to mount on your high-end Panerai, Rolex, IWC or other exceptional timepiece? You have the real deal, you paid for a genuine piece of kit... does an imitation ammo strap really do it justice?
What is patina?
Patina is, according to some, is another way of saying "old" or "dirty" or even "ruined". If that's your take on it more power to you, I also make hand made leather watch straps from modern leathers, you can see them here. But for a lot of us "patina" is a way of telling a story, it's the marks, scars and even grime that an item gathers over a long, hard life where it was used as it should be used. Patina is especially evident and wonderful on vintage ammo leather watch straps: Every scrape, scar, smudge, scratch, each one is part of the actual HISTORY of that ammo strap and evokes the era it lived in. And there's no replicating or faking that history. Patina, real patina, has to be earned, not created, it has to be beaten into existence, not just hammered into your strap with a pair of pliers and some sandpaper. Real, honest-to-God patina, the kind that can only come from actual age and use looks like this:
Genuine WWII and older Mauser ammunition pouches
Fake patina is still patina... right?
Fake patina is just that: Fake. And yes, there's a lot of custom strap makers who will fake up the patina on your strap any way you want. Sorry, I'm not one of them. I'm not interested in the appearance of authenticity. Like many of you I prefer the real thing and I'm willing to seek it out, because authenticity matters. I don't want to wear an ammo strap that isn't even made of ammo pouch leather... what's the point? Which is why when you see any of my custom watch straps with the word "ammo" attached, that's because the main material for that strap, and in the case of the Mauser straps 100% of the leather, is genuine vintage ammo pouch leather, used to hold ammunition, worn, scarred, oiled by the hands of soldiers and buffed on the wheel of time. No fakes, no imitations, no clever "ageing" applied. I clean the leathers lightly and make a strap from it. What you get is the real deal, an honest ammo strap. With some pouches such as Z-Matten the leather is too stiff to use for the entire strap, so I back the ammo leather with regular softer leather for a more comfortable feel, but you'll notice how I stated that up front rather than try to pretend it isn't what it is.
I'm the Sheriff here in Fakesville!
Come on... fake patina is still patina... right?
Fake patina kills the spirit. It takes the beauty of vintage leather and perverts it, creating a lie that stains the quality of the watch it's on. In a world of imitation lives lived out in cyber-worlds full of false comparisons, isn't it worth wearing something genuine? Isn't it worth the trouble to find and pay for authenticity where we can, to champion real patina in the face of tragic imitations? Fake watch = fake person, fake patina might work on a fake watch but if you seek out and demand the real thing, don't let your standards drop when it comes to the strap you wear on your watch. Real patina on real watches gets you here!
A real WWII ammo strap on a real Panerai 190
Isn't it worth it?