Thursday, September 09, 2010

Strap Modification

I finally pull the trigger and got the Marathon SAR (search and rescue) watch. This is a watch that I have been wanting to get but never got around getting it. Why do I like the SAR? I think it is one of the best tool watch out there. Finally one came up and I got it. This watch is from the May 2005 contract. The watch comes fitted with the Marathon rubber strap. I have to say that it is one of the most comfortable straps that I have ever used. It is soft and well, comfortable.

However I felt that it does not do justice to the watch. The strap, I feel is too thin for the watch. It does not give a 'presence' to the watch. So I decided to change the strap. I know I could get the very popular metal bracelet from Marathon for the SAR, but not at the moment. I feel that the strap is better fitted to a thinner watches like the Omega Seamaster.

What strap should I use on the watch? I decided to go with the Seiko Z20 curved vented strap. I personally feel this is a better match. However the Seiko strap is much too long for me, and I have an 8 inch wrist. So a modification was required. The tip had to be cropped. 

I also wanted to have a nice finish to the strap after I cropped off the tip. So the tools involved with the modification, a pair of scissors, an eraser, a blade, a watch maker hammer, a file, strap removing tool and Tamiya Finishing Abrasive P2000 paper.

The strap in question, the Seiko and the Marathon.

I cut off the tip of the strap. 

Remove the Seiko original buckle. I will replace it with the Marathon original buckle.

Now the real work begins. Use the file to file the tip to the profile that you want. I used the old tip as the guide to form the new ends. Once you get to about the correct shape, use the Tamiya Abrasive paper to finish the job. Make sure the strap is always at a right angle to the paper to ensure the tip is square to the top and bottom surface.

So what is the use of the eraser? Well it is to give the ends a matte finish and to 'smoothen' the edges. You can see at the two edge of the eraser, grooves corresponding to the thickness of the strap end. It gives the ends of the strap a 'buffed' look.

The 'new' strap ends. The top view.

The bottom view.

Refit the strap with the Marathon buckle.

Fit the straps to the SAR and the end product.

I like the new 'line' of the watch, the way the strap flows with the lugs of the watch.

True that the Seiko strap is not a comfortable as the Marathon strap, but I feel that the thicker Seiko strap gives the SAR more presence. It complements the SAR. The only thing I don't like about the Seiko strap is that it tapers from 22 mm at the lugs to 18 mm along the strap. It would be better if it taper down to 20 mm. Oh well, you can't have everything. The hunt is of course on for a Marathon metal bracelet.


  1. Nice job. Here's a link for the metal bracelet:

  2. Hi DrPetey,

    Welcome to the blog. Thanks for the link to countycomm for the SAR bracelet.

    Best regards,