If a freshly redesigned worn&wound wasn’t enough for you, now we are excited for our first new product release of 2016. Over the last two years, we’ve made and sold many a Model 2 strap; our everyday go to vintage-style strap that simply looks good on everything. During that time, we’ve learned a lot about the strap, how it performs and the types of leather that work best with its simple, unlined design. After doing R&D over the last several months, we’ve decided to rethink these straps, simplify the color options, and use heartier, veg-tanned leathers from Wickett & Craig tannery of Pennsylvania. Now titled the Model 2 Classic, our first three color offerings, Black, Mahogany and Amber, are staple straps that every collection can use.
Making Leather the Old Fashioned Way
But before we get into the specifics of each color, we want to tell you about Wickett & Craig, as their leathers will be playing a crucial role in many of the products we will be releasing. Founded over 150 years ago, Wickett & Craig exclusively produces vegetable tanned leather. This is an older, more labor intensive and all natural form of tanning, where the leather is soaked in a liquor of tannins from tree barks for two weeks before being finished with colors, waxes and surface treatments.
We had the opportunity to visit Wickett & Craig’s tannery out in Curwensville, PA a few months back, and loved what we saw. They took us through their entire factory, showing us each and every step in the leather making process. Starting with the raw, still-haired hides, then following the process from tanning, to splitting, to hot-stuffing, to drum-dyeing, to finishing and more. The whole process takes around 6 weeks per skin. As said, vegetable-tanning is an older form of making leather, and while plenty of more modern machines are involved, it’s still a very hands-on, aggressive, labor-intensive process. And the results are stunning, showing that the old way still works.
The resulting leather is strong, real strong. It’s used to make saddles, holsters, cowboy boots, belts, the straps for some of our favorite bag brands and more. For our purposes, there are a few reasons why we really like the leather, but the primary one is high resistance to stretch. Out of the box, so to speak, the Wickett & Craig leather is much stiffer, with very little elasticity. As it breaks in it softens and patinas beautifully, but maintains its structural integrity. I.E. in a year you wont be on a smaller hole. The other big factor is character. These leathers are rich and gorgeous, with beautiful colors and a luxurious feel.
The Model 2 Classic
So, we experimented with various types of Wicket & Craig leather, and chose Oiled Latigo for our first three colors. Latigo is a rugged leather that has been drum-dyed and hot-stuffed (tumbled with hot waxes) for a deep coloration and supple feel. We went one step further with this leather and had our hides “hot-dipped” in all-natural oils and waxes. This darkens the leather further, adding a waxy look and feel to the leather’s surface, as well as a gorgeous pull-up to the lighter colors.
A black strap is like a pair of black jeans, every collection needs at least one. For our Model 2 Classic – Black, we used a leather that is actually drum-dyed (tumbled in a drum with color) multiple times, coloring it all the way through. As mentioned, it’s also hot dipped, giving the surface a waxy-matte sheen. The result is a dark black strap with gray edges for a no-fuss, clean look. To keep it simple, we used waxed black braided cord for the hand-tied knots around the lugs and hardware. Whether on a pilot, diver or vintage dress watch, this strap will look the part. Available here.
Like black, having a true, dark brown is a no-brainer to pair with your watches. Chances are you have some dark brown shoes or boots and a dark brown belt, well this is the strap that will go along with those. That said, it’s far from a boring brown. The Mahogany has a strong pull-up effect, revealing an inner current of darks reds when bent or stressed. This gives the leather a dynamic, color shifting property that gives it a ton of character. We matched the Mahogany with khaki waxed braided cord for a bit of contrast, but an overall earthy feel. Available here.
For those of us who like something a bit more eccentric, the Amber is the way to go, and represents a medium-brown in our new series. A few shades lighter than the Mahogany, the Amber starts with bright tan base, which is then darkened through waxing. It too has a dramatic pull-up, but this time revealing oranges and golds that emanate from within, like the material it takes its name from. For thread, we went for an interesting contrast using a steel-gray that brings out the finishing on watch cases. Put this strap on watches with hints of orange or red in the dial to make them really pop. Available here.
And that’s the new Model 2 Classic. We’ve been wearing them for a few months now, and love how they look, feel and have worn-in, and we’re sure you will too. All three colors are available now in 18, 20 and 22mm for $65. Oh, and as always, these are American-made, manufactured in our hometown of New York City, and an original worn&wound product, not just our name on someone else’s straps.
Our existing Model 2 Horweens are also currently on sale for $55 in limited colors and sizes.