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Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Best Way To Subdue Bling - How To Add Natural Beauty To Your Gold Or Steel Watch

Recently a friend of mine put me onto a website called Chrono24 and between that and Ebay I have found about fifteen watches I would easily consume if I were a rich man but owing to my bank balance and my recent philosophical crutch of Stoicism I have managed to look but not desire to touch.

In the late 1990's I bought an Omega Seamaster and it was for many years my pride and joy. However, as time wore on I came to find it impractical. I did not like the size of the face or the weight of the bracelet and with time I found myself, the more I worked on computers, not wanting to wear a wrist watch. That changed when in the mid 2000's I purchased a used Rolex Air King from the sister of Elle McPherson. It had originally belonged to the supermodel but she palmed it off to her sister who palmed it off to me. For a smaller wristed bloke like myself it was the ideal size and weight that allowed me to look elegant and keep typing.

One of the things that puts me off these days about Rolex and the like is that there is a preference to have these clunky heavy bracelets coupled with larger 41mm watch heads. The pursuit of bling over taste has been fortunate for those who prefer understated elegance as the previous model 36mm faces seem to be overlooked on the used market and can be bought for much better prices. And if you can find one that's just the face and not the bracelet, the price often comes down substantially again.

One of the most elegant wrist watches I have seen in the last three years was a brown copper face Rolex Daytona on a brown crocodile leather strap finished in rose gold. These watches, new, are a large face and up to $30,000 AUD to purchase. So what if you wanted to get the same look on a smaller face? The answer is that it is possible to do with very little money.

Places such as Wholesale Outlet 990 offer a variety of leather straps with deployment clasps that look almost identical to the real thing. So long as you marry up the the mm width of the lugs on a watch face with one of these bands, it is possible to give a new lease of life to a vintage watch face coupled with the practicality of both being lighter than a bracelet. Add to this a deployment clasp which makes the watch easier to get on an off and improves the lifespan of the leather and you have, in my opinion, a no brainer. Let the bling blingers have their huge faces and big bracelets and give me a lighter less intense watch that can allow me to keep typing.

NB: For those of you residing in Sydney who are looking for a quick fix, try LG Humphries & Sons at 151 Castlereagh Street, Sydney as they keep both leather bands in stock along with deployment clasps and have a number of vintage watch heads on display from the best brands. Click here

So what do you need to do in order to achieve this?

1. Purchase a vintage watch from the likes of Ebay or Chrono24 
2. Find out the size of the lugs on either side of the watch face and whether they are simple enough to attach with spring bars. The older the model the less complicated this will be.
3. Purchase a leather strap through the likes of Wholesale Outlet 990 . Your preference, if you are strapped for time, is to choose one pre-made with a deployment clasp.
4. Wait patiently for the postman.
5. Remove the existing bracelet or springs bars from your watch face.
6. Load the springs into the ends of your new leather watch strap if they are not already in place.
7. Load the springs onto the lugs.
8. Adjust the size of the strap.

An example of a faux crocodile watch strap in ever green  with a Rolex Daytona styled deployment clasp which was applied to a vintage watch head. The green strap can be purchased from Wholesale Outlet 990 on Ebay

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