FAQ – Vintager Straps
Custom Panerai Straps

Often imitated and often duplicated, welcome to the legendary Vintager Straps FAQ page

 

Strap sizing:
Strap lengths and widths explained (with length suggestions and lug width chart)

Straps are measured in millimeters.  You need to know two dimensions: Width and length.

Width: Click here for Panerai lug width chart and lug width measuring suggestions.

Width is expressed like this: 24/22 (24mm wide by 22mm wide).  The first number is the width of the strap between the lugs of the watch, the second number is the width of the strap at the buckle.  A "straight" strap is one that is the same width at the lugs and the buckle, i.e 24/24, a "tapered" strap is one that tapers in width from the lugs to the buckle, i.e 24/22.  If you're not sure what width strap your watch uses or whether a straight or tapered strap is more appropriate for your needs just email Micah and we'll sort it out.

Length: Length is expressed like this: 125/75.  The first number (125) is the length in millimeters of the tongue side of the strap.  The second number (75) is the length in millimeters of the buckle side.

What length strap should I get?  Strap length is all personal preference, there is no "right" or "wrong".   Generally speaking people start out preferring shorter straps and slowly gravitate towards longer straps over time.  The table below is an excellent place to start, but don't let it be your bible; my suggestions here are general suggestions that try to please the most people.  Strap length is an art and as your tastes change your idea of what looks "just right" will change too.

Please note: You can't use OEM straps or straps from other makers for sizing comparison.  Just because a strap from a completely different maker that is a different thickness and made from different materials using different construction techniques fits you "perfectly", that doesn't mean the same dimensions will work for my straps.

My strap length suggestions are based on two factors: Wrist size, and Panerai vs. non-Panerai watches.  

Wrist size: Wrap a piece of string around your wrist, mark the string where it crosses itself, lay it flat on a table and measure the distance between the marks.  This is your wrist size.

Panerai vs. non-Panerai: If your watch is a Panerai or other large (42mm+) watch, use the first table below.  If your watch is a smaller watch such as Rolex etc. use the second table.  Lengths differ because a) case size impacts strap lengths, and the look desired for a Panerai vs. a non-Panerai strap are different.

Note: On the charts below some lengths for wrist sizes overlap.  That's not a mistake.  Example: if your wrist is 7.75" you will note that I suggest both 135/85 and 140/90 for the Panerai strap length suggestions.  Which to go with is a matter of taste; if you want a longer strap (maybe you're ordering an ammo pouch strap for instance) go with the longer option.  If you prefer a shorter strap (more conservative, less tail) go with the shorter option.  It's all a matter of personal taste... an art, not a science!

Suggestion: If you prefer a longer strap, move UP one category from your wrist size on the charts below.  If you prefer a shorter strap, move DOWN one category.

Panerai (or large watch size) strap length suggestions.  

    • 5.5" - 6.0" (14cm - 15cm) = 115/70
    • 6.0" - 6.5" (15cm - 16.5cm) = 125/75
    • 6.5" - 7.5" (16.5cm - 19cm) = 130/80
    • 7.5" - 7.75" (19cm - 19.7cm) = 135/85
    • 7.75" - 8.5" (19.7cm - 21.5cm) = 140/90
    • 8.5" - 9.0" (21.5cm - 23cm) = 145/95

NON-Panerai strap length suggestions.

    • 5.5" - 6.0" (14cm - 15cm) = 110/75
    • 6.0" - 6.5" (15cm - 16.5cm) = 120/80
    • 6.5" - 7.5" (16.5cm - 19cm) = 125/85
    • 7.5" - 7.75" (19cm - 19.7cm) = 130/90
    • 7.75" - 8.5" (19.7cm - 21.5cm) = 135/95
    • 8.5" - 9.0" (21.5cm - 23cm) = 140/100
Panerai lug width chart, searchable

Click here for the Panerai lug width chart

Do you make custom length/width/stitching color etc.?

Every one of my handmade watch straps is made to your custom specifications. When ordering you will be selecting: Buckle type/finish, length, width, stitching color, hole shape, tubes yes/no (no unless your watch is a Luminor or 1950 Panerai).  If you have specific requirements, please list them in the “note to Micah” box at checkout.

How thick are your straps?

My straps are mostly around 4mm thick.  Most straps will indicate average thickness right on their description page.

I want my strap 137/88...

"To-the-MM" lengths are not practical; leather is a "living" medium, as I work with it and as you wear it it changes.  Because of this it's impossible for me to guarantee precise lengths.  Even if I could it would change the first time you put it on.  I will strive to match your lengths, but I urge you to order rounded lengths such as 140/90, which is what a length like 137/88 will end up being anyways.

    Strap construction:
    Do I need tubes in my strap?

    If your watch is a Luminor or 1950 style Panerai (with solid lugs that use a screw or the newer pin system) yes, your strap needs tubes.  If your watch is any other type of watch, including a Panerai Radiomir with wire style lugs, no you do not need tubes

    Which brands can you make straps for?

    As long as your watch uses a normal spring bar or screw-in lug mounting system and has a normal two lug shape, I can make a strap for it.

    If your watch uses an unconventional mounting system, requires a complicated custom shape at the lugs or uses an integrated bolster or other mounting piece that is incorporated into the strap I can't make a strap for it.

    To see a list and pictures of some of the many brands I've made straps for, click here.

    Not all straps are compatible with all watches, if you have any questions please click here to email Micah and we can discuss your specific needs.

    What about dress straps?

    I strive to make straps that are rugged and historic in style.  Even my Fine Leather straps  are made in a vintage style; a bit thicker with thick thread and oozing hand-made style.  I'm not saying you can't wear my straps in dressy situations, but if you're looking for a purely "dress strap" this ain't the place to get it.

    Can you "box stitch" any of your straps?

    I can box stitch (with stitching across the strap at the lugs in addition to around the perimeter) any strap.  If you want box stitching, simply mention it in the “note to Micah” box at checkout.  Please note:  All canvas straps will be box stitched unless you request otherwise.

    Can you make a strap like my (OEM/other maker) strap?

    I don't make imitations or copies of other straps, my straps are my own and frankly I'd be embarrassed to duplicate someone else's work.  Rather than trying to duplicate another strap I urge you to instead peruse my website and see if anything I make catches your interest.

    What about buckles?

    When you order a strap you will be able to choose the type and finish of buckle you want.  To see the buckles I offer click here.

    Can you make a strap for my OEM deployant buckle?

    I don't make straps for deployant buckles, which generally require specific thicknesses I can't accommodate.  I've seen deployant buckles mounted on some of my straps but I can't comment on which ones or guarantee it will work for you.

    Can you make my strap curved at the lugs?

    I can make your strap very thin at the lugs and extra wide so that it might curve, but I can't build a curve into the lug ends of straps.

    "Please place the holes on my strap..."

    Rather than moving the holes around the proper way to fit a strap is to order the correct length buckle side, which will put the buckle in the hole you want.  I always start the holes at 50mm from the lug edge of the strap unless you provide specific instructions otherwise.

    I got my strap and it's just a little too loose/tight...
    Click here to see a short video on how to slightly loosen or tighten your strap using the buckle.
    I got my strap and it's a little too wide for the lugs/buckle...

    I intentionally make straps just a little bit "too wide" where they attach to the watch and at the buckle.  This is to provide a firm, positive fit and also to help prevent the strap from shrinking over time to where it's no longer wide enough at the lugs and buckle.  If you give the lug/buckle end of the strap a firm squeeze you should be able to get it onto your watch or buckle.  If it just won't go, please Email Micah and let me know.

      Shipping:
      Where do you ship to?

      I ship to anywhere in the world with a physical address.

      How much is shipping?

      Orders that include at least one strap ship for free, worldwide.  Orders that do not include at least one strap pay actual shipping costs, calculated at checkout.

      How long does standard shipping take?

      Domestic shipping usually takes 3 to 7 days.  International shipping takes 7 to 21 days, but can take even longer if there are issues with customs.

      What about tracking information?

      Tracking information is provided in the shipping confirmation email sent when your order ships.

      What about FedEx, UPS, DHL etc.?

      Shipping via these services is actual cost +$25 in the USA and $150 international.  These services are rarely safer or faster than the free shipping I offer.

      What about taxes and duties on international orders?

      I have no control over your country's tax rates.  All I can offer is that if upon receipt of your order you are charged an unusually high duty or tax I will reimburse you for it.

      Known shipping issues
      • Italy - Italian postal service tends to lose packages
      • Middle East - Shipments can take up to 5 weeks to arrive
      • Philippines - Frequent and long delays in customs
        General:
        What's the turnaround time for straps?

        Please check on the homepage here (opens in a new window), right under the logo at the top of the page you will see the current turnaround time.  Please note: Turnaround times are based on units of one week.  Ex: if turnaround time is two weeks that means that your strap will be completed and in the mail sometime between the calendar day that you order and the end of the second week after that date.

        What about returns? What's your Guarantee?

        Please check the Returns and Guarantee page here.

        Why are your straps any better than any of the dozens of others out there?

        Many strap makers are "weekenders", people doing this as a fun hobby or a way to make a few extra bucks, and many others are "retailers", people who put their names on straps they didn't personally make and often didn't even see prior to mailing them.  I, on the other hand, am a full-time custom strap maker; your strap is completely made by me and is my livelihood, your order feeds my family.  Because of this I care about the creation of your strap in a way that no weekender or retailer ever could.  Every order is personal for me, from the first email you send to the postage on your outgoing package every step of the way it's my hands doing the work, my skill crafting the strap and my integrity and reputation on the line.  I do it this way for a reason: I have everything to lose if you're not happy with your order, which ensures that I'm highly motivated to do whatever it takes to make certain you are satisfied.

        Who makes your straps?

        I do.  Strap making is my full time profession, your straps are my living.  I also designed and maintain this website, including picture taking.

        Do you really personally make every strap by hand?

        Yes I do.  Every strap is handmade to order by me.  I am a one-man operation, no employees.  Well, my wife sometimes takes stuff to the post office, but other than that it's just me.

        What's the difference between a strap maker and a strap retailer?

        A strap maker personally hand makes your strap and puts his own name on the line with every order.  A strap retailer is a middle man who relays your order to the actual strap maker(s), or more often simply pre-orders thousands of straps from an overseas factory, putting their names on straps they didn't make and in some cases might never even see or inspect.

        Is there any way to get my strap sooner?

        I'm a one-man operation so to make your strap sooner I'd have to make someone else's strap later, the only fair option is for everyone to wait their turn.

        Are there any reviews of your straps that I can read?

        Absolutely! Just go to the Reviews Page here for links to many reviews of my work.

        How do I place an order?

        Click on the picture of any strap you'd like, fill out the details and click "Add To Cart".  Verify your strap details and enter your shipping information and payment information.  You are not committed to buying a strap until you have completed payment.

        Can I pay with a credit card?

        Yes, I accept all major credit cards as well as PayPal and Apple Pay.

        How about a discount?

        If you've ordered a few straps from me shoot me an email and we can discuss it :-)

        Do you make bund or NATO style straps?

        No.

        Can you send me pictures of my strap being made?

        Due to time constraints and other concerns I do not take pictures of straps "in progress".  I do, however, send a picture of your completed strap via email the day it's done.

        Can I give you a call about my order?

        I prefer to do all communication via email so that I have a record of what we've discussed, in fact you can email me right now if you want.

        Why didn't you use my instructions from a previous order?

        Because people's tastes change I make every strap exactly as it's ordered: If no special instructions are provided with an order I don't apply any.  I do have records of every order, if you need help remembering previous details email Micah and I'll let you know what we did last time.

        What if my strap gets wet?

        Leather is resilient and can handle getting wet, but soaking straps in water is not recommended as it can cause the strap to shrink and/or dry out over time.  If you plan on getting your strap wet regularly use a good quality leather lotion or oil to maintain the oils of the leather.  Be sure to spot test on the BACK of the strap to see how the lotion will effect the color of the strap, it usually darkens it.

        Do you make straps for "replica" watches?

        99% of people who order a strap never mention what kind of watch it's for, which is fine with me.  As a watch collector it's my opinion that fakes mock and injure the industry and hobby I so deeply love and that, in fact, puts food on my family's table.  If you email me asking for suggestions about which strap will look best on your "replica" my answer is "Sorry, I don't make straps for fakes."

        Can you send me a picture of (lighter, darker, different thread, different buckle)

        As much as I'd like to offer pictures of every conceivable combination I can't do it.  If there's not a picture of it on my website then I don't have a picture of it.

        I have a "Free Strap" card I won at a GTG, it says "regular strap", can I get a Mauser/Canvas/Ammo with it if I pay the difference?

        Free strap cards are good for Fine Leather straps only and can't be used in whole or in part for any other strap such as Mauser, Canvas, etc.

        I'm creating/have created a watch brand and want your straps for it...
        I understand your desire to have an artisan like myself make custom, handmade watch straps for your brand, it's a request that several people have approached me with and that I have regrettably agreed to in the past.  But I do not have a factory or even one employee to ease the work of a large wholesale order, so 100% of the workload is on my own shoulders.  In fact, because people expect the straps to be far cheaper for a wholesale order what ends up happening is; I now have to hand-make however many dozens or hundreds of straps you want at a huge discount while also making all my normal customers who are paying full price wait longer.  In the end I basically donate my skill and knowledge for free, make nowhere near enough money to compensate me for my time and my regular customers get put on the back burner. I'm sure you can understand, then, why I can only say sorry, but I don't do wholesale.
        Are you a watch collector yourself?

        I was a watch nut long before I started making straps and to this day watches are the central hobby and passion in my life.  I regularly attend get together's all over the country and have met many watch collectors and generally great people thanks to my passion for fine watches.

        How did you get started making straps?

        As a watch collector I spent several years buying straps myself.  Several of the straps I'd paid hundreds of dollars for fell far short of my expectations, and I thought "Well I bet I could make a better strap than this."  Turns out I was right :-)

        I want to make straps, can you help me?

        I've spent many years and many thousands of dollars getting this all together and figuring out the literally hundreds of little details that go into making a truly quality strap. I appreciate your desire to make straps and I encourage you to DO IT. You can find out everything you need to know using these steps:

        1. Creativity
        2. Practice
        3. Necessity (the mother of invention)
        4. Perseverance
        5. More practice
        6. Google
        7. More practice
        8. More practice
        9. More practice
        10. More practice

        Did I mention more practice? Have fun!