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oooGlossary of terms commonly used to describe leather watch strap types and finishes



This glossary of leather terms will hopefully offer a little insight into the meaning and significance behind many of the often misundertood descriptions widely used to describe leather watch strap types and finishes.

Aniline : Leather that is colored all the way through with a transparent dye. The effect is applied by immersing the leather in a dye bath. Because the finish is transparent and shows the natural texture of the leather, only the best quality (usually hand selected) hides can be used. Aniline leather watchstraps have a unique look and feel sometimes described (somewhat unflatteringly) as having 'pre-stressed' look which is subjectively speaking a fair description, but does little to descibe the distinctive appearance and finish that characterises superior quality aniline watchstraps.

Antiqued : A leather watch strap that is dyed with one color over another (usually darker over lighter) so as to create rich highlights and an artificial aged appearance. Also called distressed leather.

Buffed Leather : Leather from which the top surface has been removed by abrasion. Often known as suede or nubuc . Watch straps of this type will typically have a will

Corrected Grain : Leather that has been buffed to remove blemishes, then covered with a new, artificial grain created using pigments and other finishes.

Distressed : Another term for antiqued leather.

Embossed Leather : Leather that has been "stamped" with a design or grain under very high pressure. Used, for example, to simulate alligator hide. Contrary to popular belief - many superior quality embossed grain leather watch straps are quite literally indistinguishable from those manufactured using the significantly more costly exotic hides and in somes cases offer superior performance, handling and durability. TSS beleive that a superior quality embossed leather strap is a wiser and more cost effective choice than buying a poor quality exotic hide. Even though a strap is stated as being manufactured from genuine Alligator, Crocodile or Lizzard, this should not be interpreted as a guarantee of manufacturing or hide quality.

Finish : Any enhancing effect applied to leather after it has been tanned. Examples are dyeing, embossing, buffing, antiquing, waxing, waterproofing, and so on.

Full Grain Leather : Leather which has not been altered beyond hair removal. Full grain leather is the most genuine type of leather, as it retains all of the original texture and markings of the original hide.

Glazed Leather : Aniline-dyed leather which has been polished to a high luster by passing through glass or steel rollers under great pressure.

Glove Leather : Lambskin or other very soft leather typically used for gloves but equally well suited to certain watchstrap designs.

Grain : A word used to describe the natural characteristics of a watch strap that has been manufactured using an unprocessed hide, such as its pores, wrinkles, markings, and texture.

Nap : Describes the soft, "fuzzy" effect achieved in leather by buffing or brushing.

Natural Grain : A leather watch strap that displays its original grain.

Nubuc : A leather watch strap whose surface has been buffed and brushed to create a soft, velvety effect. Differs from suede in that while suede is created from the flesh (inner) side of a hide, nubuc is created using the grain (outer) side, giving it added strength and durability.

Oil Tanned : A leather watch strap that is tanned using oils to create a very soft, pliable finish. Oiled leather watch straps generally have a low sheen or semi-matt finish.

Patina : The aura or luster that develops in a quality leather watch strap as it ages.

Perforated : A leather watch strap into which a pattern of small holes is stamped using a die.

Pigmented Leather : Leather that has been coated with a flat surface color on top of or instead of the usual dye finish. Leather is usually pigmented to add durability and hide natural blemishes.

Pull-up : Describes the behavior of leather that has been treated with oils, waxes, and dyes in such a way that when the leather is pulled or stretched, the finish becomes lighter in the stretched areas. Considered a mark of high quality.

Remborde Edge Watchstraps : In the early days watchstraps were generally cut edge. This is when two pieces of leather were simply glued together and the shape cut out. Although this is a simplification, it is basically how early watchstraps were made. The main problem encountered with this basic construction methodology was that it allowed water and perspiration to easily penetrate the strap. This could cause the strap to smell and degenerate more quickly due to it's porous nature.

Then came the turned edge watch strap. This was a construction method were the top and bottom pieces were cut prior to gluing. The edges of the strap were then skived to make them thinner. The edge of the top piece was then folded under and the bottom piece glued to the top. This technique consequently allowed manufacturers to produce watch straps in a wider variety of designs that were more aesthetically appealing than had been previously available with simple cut edge types. It also reduced the chance of water and perspiration ingestion but the downside was that it made the strap weaker and less durable as the leather had to be skived so thin.

Then a famous shoemaker developed a new adhesive which could be applied to the leather and allowed to dry. It was then reactivated later in the process. This helped to revolutionise the way in which watch straps were manufactured. The top and bottom sections could now be cut in large numbers, hung up and sprayed with the adhesive and allowed to dry.

The top and bottom piece of leather are then placed in a precision made mould and a precision press then bonds the two pieces together under extreme heat and pressure. This process helps to mould the strap and makes it almost completey impervious to water induction without weakening the strap in any way. Although this is a much-simplified explanation it should help to make the advantages of Remborde construction more understandable.

Sauvage : A coloring effect created by blending two similar dyes to create a watch strap with a mottled or marbled appearance.

Semi-Aniline : Aniline leather to which a matching pigment layer is added to eventhe color and add protection.

If you have any suggestions or additional content that you think might expand or benefit the above glossary - please email any comments or contributions to ken@thestrapshop.co.uk

TSS is a Specialist UK supplier of high quality leather watch straps, Rubber & PU Divers Watch Straps Waterproof Watch Straps and watch strap accessories including deployment buckles, spring bars  & selected watch tools.

TSS watch strap index








Watchworx TSS stock the following replacement watchstrap types.

Leather Rubber Nylon Velcro Nato G10 Waterproof Divers Deep Padded Alligator Buffalo Crocodile Ostrich Deployment Watchstraps Aniline Aviator Military Vintage Classic Sports Double Thickness Lizard Calfskin Remborde Anti Allergy Silicon Rubber Nubuck/Suede Traditional Saddle Leather Contrast Stitched Hand Finished Extra Long

Watchworx TSS also stock a range of spring bar tools for convenient removal and changing of watchstraps and bracelets

TSS Watchworx supply military, vintage and classic style genuine leather watch straps compatible with a wide range of military, classic and vintage watches including mid to high end brands such as CWC, MWC, Ruhla, Marathon SAR, Hamilton, Sinn, Zeno Watch of Basel, Bell & Ross, IWC, Luminox, Traser, Ollech & Wajs, Junkers, Muhle-Glashutte, Lemania, Omega, Breitling, Doxa, Kobold, Rolex and Glycine.

If you are searching for an excellent quality military, classic or vintage watchstrap that doesn't come with a 'stand and deliver' price tag, the TSS/Watchworx range will impress both in terms of quality and price. TSS has evaluated literally thousands of military, vintage and classic watchstraps from manufacturers around the globe. Every TSS Watchworx watch strap (at every price point) has been selected for its superb handling qualities and excellent construction quality. Any sample which doesn't meet these fundamental criteria, simply isn't stocked, period !

While it is acknowledged that you can buy cheap replacement watch straps of similar appearance elswhere, TSS is confident that you will not find straps of this quality anywhere else for less. Many years of careful research have been devoted to the sourcing and selection of stock prior to presenting this collection and TSS Watchworx genuinely believe the watchstraps seen here to be among the very best available in terms of quality, construction and value for money! If you can find a military, vintage or classic leather watch strap of the same design and quality as those seen here for less money, TSS would genuinely like to hear about it.

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