Turnaround time: 4 to 5 weeks
Panerai custom Mauser ammo strap

My watch was made last year, why would I ever put a 50+ year old piece of leather on it?

Good question, the short answer is:  Because it looks AWESOME.  The long answer is:  Many watches are built to adhere to a vintage aesthetic, with many paying direct homage to actual war tools.  Panerai is a fine example of this aesthetic, while many of their newer models are aimed at a more refined, complicated look Panerai has consistently produced models like the 372 which are a direct modern equivalent of the vintage watches they produced during World War II.  It's a wonderful opportunity to have a watch that looks the vintage part without having all the headaches and frustrations that can come with owning an actual vintage watch.  As such, a custom ammo strap (a strap made from the leather of authentic ammunition pouches) such as a Mauser or Z-Matten is a great accent to a watch already intended to look the part of a vintage piece.

Very vintage looking 372 on a very vintage Mauser

Yeah fine, but I don't own a Pan-ehr-ai or however you say it... what about my watch?

There's no reason at all that a custom leather ammo strap won't look fantastic on your non-vintage looking watch.  In fact I've found that genuine vintage leather watch bands can really enhance the looks of modern watches, giving them a completely different style that often comes up just rosey.  Also, there's something really cool about wearing an honest to goodness piece of history on your wrist in the form of a custom ammo strap.

They don't have to be old to enjoy an old strap

What about modern leather that looks old, is that ok?

That all depends on your personal preference.  I make all of my leather watch straps in a thicker, more vintage style that reflects a simple, robust quality which hearkens to an older time.  But many of my leathers are modern leathers, which makes them easier to source and less expensive to own.  I draw the line, though, at fake "ammo straps", aka straps that are patina'd through all sorts of methods to make them look old when in fact the leather just left the tannery last month.  All of my ammo straps as well as several of the Rolled Canvas straps are made from genuine vintage military materials.  But even my more modern straps such as those found in the Fine Leather collection maintain a more robust, vintage feel that looks great on any watch.

New doesn't mean old, but it also doesn't mean bad

July 11, 2019 by Micah Dirksen
Tags: Opinion



dp said:

Spot on Micah, love how the old ammo straps look on the modern watches. Keep up the great work my brother.


Matty said:

Well said, couldn’t agree more!


Mike said:

Spot on! I have 5 watches and about 50 straps In my opinion the strap makes the watch. Put a Mauser on a 232 and it looks like it came right out of battle. Switch over to one of your dark chocolate leathers and it’s the classiest wristwatch in the boardroom. Why spend $2k, $5k, $10k+ when a few hundred dollar strap can be transformative?

Chris Mead

Chris Mead said:

Agreed, well put Micah. Cheers

Jay Pulli

Jay Pulli said:

Don’t let Jose see that you wrote “the vintage watches they produced during World War II.” That story was made up by Richemont in 1998. I’m ashamed to wear a Panerai. Except when I’m not. 19 years going so far.

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