The ammo bands are special. There is no doubt every pouch has a history and a unique story and it would be extremely interesting to hear it if only someone could tell it.
Some pouches I get into my hands are accurate and almost new: with a specific smell of the army storage. It is almost obvious that such pouches have been waiting for the use on the shelf among other military equipment for years and finally have found their place in the surplus either to be recycled to remade for other useful products. Such as watch bands, for instance. The leather of such pouches is extremely nice and soft, not dried and will serve long due to its veg tanned nature, thickness (3,5 - 4 mm) and high-quality intended for the toughest conditions, the pouch never finally experienced. This leather gets a new life when a watch enthusiast plans it for the next watchband use, and we never know will it be used in the desert or mountains, following its owner's lifestyle. The straps are waterproof and can be used while swimming or diving.
The other pouches come with lots of scratches, patina, and year stamps from 1930th. It comes to the mind that they might have been used on real occasions in Europe. The story of such pouches is so rich and so silent, that in some cases you would like to hear it before reusing the pouch. I try to save the year marks in the first turn when cutting the pouches for reuse, that owners would know and respect the past of each band.
The Swiss pouches are divided into the back and front parts before the watch bands production. The back side contains the year and Swiss marks. It is more strong than front pouch side and quite thick for cutting it with hands (which is almost impossible without risk of hurting your hands if you are doing it with a knife).
The original pouches are stitched with a waxed thread (more than 1 mm thickness). Some pouch models allow to save the original stitching as it is on the band and use the parts of the leather originally stitched for the army use. Like the model below of the strap made of the Yugoslavian pouch (1960th-1970th). The band has original buckle from the pouch belt and original stitching along the sides (beige), the part with the band holes is not stitched and has the marks of the hand-stitched original pouch belt.
However, it is not always possible to save the original stitching due to the different bags and stitch location constructions.
I use the cutting forms for the correct sizing control and maximum quality control over the shape of the product made of the unique material.
The cutting forms are made to order and designed by me, based on the experience of the leather hand-cutting for years. Many of the operations while making the band are still manual and can not be replaced by the tools.
For stitching, I use the waxed thread (1mm or thicker) and use as close in appearance thread as possible to the original one.
The stamp location does not always allow to place them on different watch bands parts. Sometimes they appear to be on the same side. In some cases, it is hard to save both. But I try to compromise as much as its possible to save both original stamps, even if the design will be differing a bit form the offered image. in fact, each strap requires careful planning before producing each strap.The final outcome is always unique and might slightly differ from the initial product listing. The above-mentioned reasons as well the size of the strap influence
the watch band design: it is harder to locate marks on the 16 mm wide strap compared to 26 mm one. Therefore, each watch strap is unique and made to order for each owner and watch.
The ammo straps are very demanding in planning and execution. Each piece has to be planned well before cutting and unique full of history bag. Therefore, I appreciate the watch owners decision for ordering the ammo strap and their willingness to provide as many details and wishes concerning the ordered product as possible.
The straps are too unique and are made to order, therefore, it is not possible to cancel the order if the strap is already cut or to return it (if the sizing is correct). I do remake the faulty products, but unfortunately not able to accept return in cases which are caused by other than faulty product reasons (which happened in less than 1 % cases).
Hope you will measure your watch carefully before ordering this unique strap since later size changes are quite challenging (once the strap is cut it is not possible anymore).
Please, contact us directly by email in case of any questions regarding the watch strap planning and ordering. The strap thickness can be reduced if your watch lugs do not allow to use massive straps. All bands are about 1,5 mm thick at the lug parts. And can be made thinner till 1 mm on personal requests.
The ammo straps collection can be checked here: https://finwatchstraps.com/collections/ammo-vintage-leather-bands-1950-1960th
Please, do not hesitate to contact us for special inquiries: finwatchstraps at gmail.com