Introducing High Craft Watch Straps by worn&wound

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Over the last few years, we’ve learned a lot about making watch straps. A few months ago, we released our Model 2 Premium and Classic straps, which were evolutions on our existing designs. We pushed the style, quality and longevity of these straps in to new territory. Though priced with value in mind, we felt they easily competed with straps priced at $100 – $150. So, we thought to ourselves, what would happen if we pulled out the stops? What could we achieve?

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So for our new High Craft series, we set out to create a new standard for American-made watch straps. We wanted to push the boundaries of quality, elegance and comfort that were achievable, focusing on hand-made details and craftsmanship, sparing no expense.

Each strap is labored over by a team of highly skilled craftsmen and women working in the heart of NYC’s garment district. Transforming raw materials into refined straps is a process that takes many steps, each requiring expertise. Though a few machines are employed in the process, the majority of the craft is done by hand, whether in the form of precisely thinning areas of the leather with a knife to create seamless transitions or creating each hole with a hammer and punch for clean edges or tying and searing each knot for security. It was important to us that the straps still had a hand-made appearance, avoiding an overly sterile or commercial feel. The result is a watch strap that simultaneously has the ruggedness expected of American-made goods and the sophistication desired for the finest of time pieces.

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In terms of design, the High Craft series combines the best elements of our existing straps into a highly finessed concept. From our Model 2 Premium, we’ve used our structural, vegetable-tanned lining leather, sourced from the Wickett & Craig tannery in Pennsylvania. This gives each strap a strong core that resists stretch, provides a comfortable, neutral surface to rest against your skin, and makes sure the strap will break in beautifully, molding to your wrist shape. We combine that leather with aesthetic top leathers sourced from some of the world’s finest tanneries, such as Chicago’s Horween, giving us endless options for color and texture.

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Next, we’ve pulled the sculpted contouring of the Model 1 to create an unrivaled feel and gorgeous form. Some watch straps out there are stuffed with foam or other fillers. Ours are 100% leather. These straps are hand sculpted through a process called skyving to create a strap that is thicker in the center, tapering down as it reaches an edge. This gives the strap a firm, yet supple texture with a slim and elegant edge, which is then carefully painted with multiple coats of complementary color and a clear protective layer.

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Our first design under the High Craft moniker is the Vintage line, which is defined by a 4mm taper and clean row stitch. Measuring 120mm on the hole side and 75mm on the buckle side, they are sized to accommodate a wide range of wrists. The flowing lines of the profile provide a dramatic look and a light feel, while also allowing for the use of vintage buckles to match your favorite watches. For our tip, we went with a slight variation on the English point we typically use, creating a smaller, more subtle end. The straps are finished with a single keeper in a complementary color.

For our initial offering of High Craft – Vintage straps we have four exceptional colors:

Rye

Previously only used on our Model 1’s, Rye is a gorgeous, bright tan Chromexcel leather sourced from Horween. Named for one of our favorite varieties of whiskey, Rye has a vibrant, honey brown color that subtly changes under stress as oils move around its surface, creating a dynamic appearance. For the edges and row stitch we used dark brown to bring out the color within. Try the Rye on sport watches to add some color and on watches with hints of gold.

Black

The cornerstone of any strap collection, a good black strap is a go to for a sleek and sometimes formal option. For the first time, we’ve used Horween’s Black Chromexcel, a famous leather that you’ll find on some of the best shoes and boots, such as the Wolverine 1000 Miles. We chose the black Chromexcel to create a strap with an even surface, deep and dark tone and oily sheen. We kept this strap the way Agent Dale Cooper takes his coffee: “black as midnight on a moonless night,” with matching edges and row stitch. Black goes with everything, so play around with combos.

Saffron Suede

Another first for us, for the High Craft – Vintage we’ve sourced a few long-nap suedes from Horween. The kind of suedes with rough, unpredictable surfaces, creating highly dynamic straps. We’ve named Saffron after the spice in its raw form, which has an alluring burnt red color. The swirls of nap create pockets of darker and brighter reds, constantly shifting throughout the day. For the edge paint, we went with a dark red/brown to compliment the suede, while with the stitch, we went with dark gray for contrast. For the keeper, we used our Crimson leather, playing off of the dark reds within. Saffron is unlike any color we’ve encountered before, having fun, unexpected results with different watches. Anything with blues or reds will be a natural fit, as will a watch with some tropical aging.

Sage Suede

Our second long-nap suede, also from Horween, is a pale gray with a hint of soft green we’ve dubbed Sage. Another altogether new color for us, Sage has quickly become a team favorite. The light color is deceptive, at times appearing like colorless mid-gray, and at others having a cool, minty quality. The long-nap gives it an abundance of texture, with colors shifting from darker to lighter shades. For the edges and row stitch, we went with charcoal gray to bring the strap down a few tones, while for the keeper, we used our Moss color to add more green into the mix. Sage looks great with everything, but responds particularly well to titanium or matte cases, pale green lume and white dials.

Designed and manufactured by worn&wound in New York City, the High Craft straps represent a new benchmark for luxury watch straps. Available now on shop.wornandwound.com in 18, 20 and 22mm for $150.

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  • ZBT71

    Fantastic looking straps, especially the rye. I have a watch that needs that strap!

  • Is it weird that I want to put the Rye strap on my white Orient Golden Eye, a watch that costs less than the strap?

    (I have the Model 2 Premium in Coal btw, and it’s fantastic – I’ve got it on my Seiko SARG011)

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