Vintage straps on modern watches, why would you do that?
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