Saturday, May 18, 2019

Strap review...

Today we shall be looking at Wotancraft's WWII Leather strap reference #71r2. I picked up this strap for my Tudor 7016 Submariner. The strap comes in at 120/70 mm 20mm version.

Some basic specifications:

Leather with ivory stitching and leather lined on the inside
Thickness: 3mm
Keeper type: fixed and floating
Edge finish: waxed edge (?)
Buckle: IWC style pin buckle 

The long side. 

The strap width tapers from 20mm at the lug end to 18mm as it moves down the length of the strap. The end of the strap is pointed. 

The strap is signed on the long side, on the inside of the strap. 

The stamping is not very clear sadly. 

The strap provides about 30mm of adjustment with the holes spaced 5mm apart. There are 6 adjustment holes.

The view of the adjustment holes from the under side. You can already see some stretching on one of the adjustment holes. :)

The buckle end. 

The fixed and floating keepers are very well made. The keepers are 7mm wide. The edge of the keeper is not treated and left raw. 

The floating keeper is very secure with the cross type stitching. Very nice touch. 

The watch comes with an IWC style pin buckle. It is well made but there are signs of tool marks. The buckle has a brushed and polished finish. 

I especially like the beveling along the edge of the buckle.

The tang is 1mm thick and is polished.

The insides or underside of the buckle has a polished finish as well.

The edge of the strap looks like it is wax sealed but I am not sure. I like the overall finish of the strap.

Oh, the strap is not made of ammo pouch leather but  with modern leather that has been treated to look like vintage leather.

The inside of the strap is lined with a darker leather strip. 

In conclusion, it is a well made strap. It is very comfortable on the wrist and while the strap looks like it is rough and tough, the leather is actually very soft, more so once the strap is broken in. I like the strap. I like the finishing, the overall quality and the overall feel. 

I have to say that Wotancraft thus far have not failed me  with their straps.

For more information:

Friday, May 17, 2019

TOCKR D-Day C-47 "Alfred Pepper" Bronze watch

Introducing the D-Day C-47 "Alfred Pepper" Bronze 75 Piece Limited Edition watch.

Since late 2018, Tockr has released two 100 piece editions of the D-Day C-47 watch in stainless steel, and the 75 piece bronze limited D-Day C-47 “Alfred Pepper” series is the latest extension of the collection, designed and produced by Tockr in partnership with CAF to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. No more than 500 D-Day C-47 watches will ever be made by Tockr, and no more than 75 bronze watches of that series will be made.

The dials of this 75 piece bronze edition are also cut from authentic salvaged aircraft material from the “That’s All, Brother” aircraft, which led the D-Day invasion into Normandy, 75 years ago. Tockr has taken the utmost care to faithfully preserve and protect the original, genuine markings and unique character of the airplane material through each dial. Consequently, no two watches are alike. The D-Day C-47’s distinct dial types each featured dark to light hues of brown and green and varying degrees of painting, stamping, or weathering. “Clean Cut” dials feature light to medium weathering and exhibit some light, original distressing; “Stamped” dials feature medium weathering and select “Stamped” models also display original typography in yellow, brown or blue hues. “Hard Worn” models feature heavily weathered, crackled, and chipped dial material with large areas of exposed aluminum.

Through an anti-glare sapphire crystal, the wearer can admire each precious piece of history, preserved beneath a special anti-corrosion sealant. An airplane shaped second hand, coated in vivid orange SuperLuminova, ticks along over the dial, visually linking the watch to the storied “That’s All, Brother” aircraft. The Austin, Texas based brand commissioned legendary watch designer Emmanuel Gueit to design a 42mm cushion shaped case for the watch series, and the case also houses a Swiss automatic ETA 2834 A6 movement that is assembled in Switzerland. Each Tockr D-Day C-47 “Alfred Pepper” model comes presented in a military inspired, keepsake wooden box with two straps: a drab green strap made from canvas webbing and a brown leather band.

Photographs: Tockr watches

The Tockr D-Day C-47 “Alfred Pepper” retails for $2,700 and will be available for sale later this month.

For more information:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Laco RAD-AUX Auxiliary Observer Watch

German watch brand Laco has teamed up with online wrist-watch enthusiast publication aBlogtoWatch (ABTW) to develop a post-apocalyptic, conceptual art-watch. The concept itself is a tribute to Laco's watchmaking history, and a nod to the video game Fallout by Bethesda Game Studios.

When ABTW Founder Ariel Adams discovered a potential to develop a watch for historic German watch brand Laco, he approached ABTW contributor, friend, and designer Matt Smith-Johnson with the opportunity. Laco’s unique “Erbstück” line of watches presented an interesting creative outlet. The watches could be rapidly aged to look like storied vintage pieces, so combining their love of horology and gaming culture, they decided to design a watch around the storytelling of Fallout. Crossing the distinctive atompunk aesthetic and post-apocalyptic lore of the game with Laco’s brand history resulted in the “RAD-AUX” Auxiliary Observer. Limited to 143 pieces, the Laco RAD-AUX is the crown jewel of the Erbstück series, both looking and feeling like a watch that has survived multiple catastrophes. It has the appearance of an in-game item, yet it is a functional timepiece you can wear.

Fallout players will be familiar with the electrically powered Personal Information Processor, or “Pip-Boy”: A device worn on the wrist that offers crucial information about the dystopian nuclear wasteland players must navigate throughout the game. The Laco RAD-AUX is envisioned as a partial mechanical backup to the Pip-Boy. Used in conjunction with a rad-meter (or radiation dosimeter) you could calculate the rate of fallout after a nuclear event, and relay tolerable exposure times to other survivors. Users can also reference a radiation exposure guide, engraved on the RAD-AUX case back.

“It wasn’t difficult to imagine a watch that myself and other enthusiasts would like – what was difficult was creating something beautiful, unique, and inspired that didn’t feel like a cheesy Fallout souvenir,” recalls Ariel. “I wanted a watch that both horology and sci-fi fans could actually wear, without feeling like they were dressing up for cosplay,” adds Matt.

The cases, hands, and dials of the Laco RAD-AUX have been hand-aged and highly patinated by a single specialized Laco technician in Pforzheim, Germany, using a proprietary rapid-aging technique. This closely guarded technical process takes countless hours for each case, dial, and hand set.

This rugged mechanical timepiece is fully equipped for the rough-and-tumble life of a Fallout survivor. Containing a Swiss automatic movement (ETA 2824.2) with 38hr power reserve and hacking seconds feature, this watch will keep moving as long as you do. The 42mm diameter case has features a 20mm lug width and 13mm thickness. A sapphire crystal treated with anti-reflective coating ensures crisp dial legibility, even in post-apocalyptic conditions.

Laco also worked with prop-makers, printers, and artisans in the United States and Canada to create an immersive presentation for this watch, complete with weathered artifacts that look like they could have been lifted from the Fallout game. The straps have been hand-crafted in the USA from leather and vintage German parachute canvas, each individually treated to match the weathered look of the RAD-AUX.

Each Laco RAD-AUX timepiece is presented in a tin-box, weathered by a prop maker, and the accompanying printed materials have also received a weathered treatment. By examining the watch and included “artifacts,” collectors can decipher the dystopian adventure the watch has endured. Only 143 of these unique collectors’ items will ever be produced, and they are available online now.

For more information:

More photographs of the watch.

Photographs: Laco