Original Release: April 2012 (launch day product)
Measuring for your own custom watchband
Following the instructions below will ensure that you receive a custom watchband that fits you and your watch perfectly (though it will intentionally be snug at first).
- Ensure that your watch can accept a NATO/grosgrain style band. Most can, but some have non-standard case/band connections.
- Our measuring instructions require that you have a NATO band on-hand to measure from. You’ll need to start there before investing in a premium custom button-stud band.
- Measure twice, cut once. You’re doing the crucial measuring, so follow these three steps on our to ensure a precise fit:
- Feel free to contact us if anything doesn’t make sense, or you have any questions during the process, and we’ll gladly walk you through it.
A note on leather stretch & measuring sizes (or How I learned to stop worrying and love the leather):
Leather stretches–but not on its own, like an old rubber band. We have attempted to size our products to take the stretch into account, and still result in a product that fits appropriately: Additionally, if a particular leather/weight will stretch too much for a particular product, we don’t use it–so you don’t need to worry about picking or not picking a product/leather based on which leather type it’s made out of; get what you like, don’t worry about stretch, and if your particular piece stretches abnormally, contact us for a replacement. We do our best to ensure that products perform similarly when they leave the studio, but as leather is a variable/non-engineered product, occasionally a piece just breaks in differently than normal, and we’ll fix the issue for you. Different types of our leathers may stretch more (and differently) than others, depending on their own qualities (type of animal, location on hide, etc.), and the method in which they were finished at the tannery. Here are our thoughts and observations on leathers that we work with regularly:
- Chromexcel (Natural, Ink, Black, etc.) tanned leathers tend to stretch more than others: an average sized bracelet can easily be stretched almost 1/2 of an inch with limited force, and an adjustable watchband will usually stretch one extra hole’s length (1/4″) after a week or two of wear. Chromexcel often takes on a slightly lighter color when stretched.
- Veg Tan leathers ‘give’ slightly less than Chromexcel, but sill stretch–especially when wet. Stretched Veg Tan typically retains the same color as unstretched.
- Latigo leathers stretch very, very little, due to their tight grain and tanning processes.
- Shell Cordovan leathers exhibit minimal stretch compared to the veg tan and chromexcel, due to the unique structure of the leather. They will, however, move slightly with time and pressure–an average bracelet-sized strip of Cordovan can gain just under 1/4″ in length with limited, intentional force; this is why our Original Custom Button-Stud Watchband is tight at first, and stretches to fit perfectly after one or two wearings.
- Russet leathers stretch very little, if at all, though are initially more stiff than the other leathers. With time and wear, they will soften up, but not as much as the other leathers.
- Ultra-Thin HF (Horsefront) leathers are very thin, but due to the characteristics of horsehide, exhibit minimal stretch. They are excellent for when the absolute lightest weight leather is needed, but a very light weight regular chromexcel or veg tan (cow hide) leather would lose its shape.
With that said, if you are not happy with the size shipped to you, please refer to our Return Policies page for return shipping, replacement, or refund instructions.
Installing (and wearing) your new Button-Stud Watchband correctly:
Our installation ‘best-practices’ to avoid scuffs (and get all the benefits of the design). Your first inclination, with a shiny new watchband, is to take it out of the box and slide it through your watch face, just as you always do with a NATO band: Tag end first. However, pulling the band all the way through the springbars, or removing your band by pulling on the stud end can result in a scuff from a sharp-edged watch case. Stay (so) fresh and (so) clean (clean): [unordered_list style=”bullet”]
- Do not ‘center’ the watch face on the watch band, as you would with a normal-style/every-other-watchband-out-there. You’ll see all the adjustment holes (rather than having them hidden behind the watch face, thereby presenting a nice, smooth, minimal leather band), and the button will rest on the pulse point of your wrist and get in the way while working (as well as being more likely to get snagged on something). Once you wear the button-stud watchband, you’ll realize how uncomfortable it is to have watch clasps in your way while working…and you’ll be so glad you took the time to read this. Hey–we’re here to make your life better…or something like that.
- Always keep the watch face close to the button stud–if you can see more than one adjustment hole while wearing the watch, you aren’t getting the benefits of our original design. You can check out all of the photos of the watches on the site, if this verbal description doesn’t make sense.
- Avoid pulling the strap all the way through the springbars–only the pointed end of the strap and the adjustment holes themselves should ever pass through the springbar gap in your watch face. Pulling the entire band through can leave a big, probably-permanent scuff/scratch right down the middle of your band due to a sharp edge on your watch case.
- To install and remove the band, first remove the button stud–as above. If you’re able to install/remove the band with the button-stud still installed, re-read the above point–you won’t put your eye out, but you’ll end up with a scuffed up band from a sharp watch case edge (i.e., yer’ doin’ it wrong).
- When installed and worn correctly, any scuffs on the leather as a result of installation will be hidden, the adjustment holes will be hidden, and the button-stud will stay out of your way while working at a desk. Hey…we don’t call it ‘form•function•form’ because it rolls so easily off the tongue–this is a sleek and very functional design (and we want to make sure you get the most out of it).
- In short–hide your holes, and avoid band torture by following the above tips.
Be sure to ‘Mind the Gap’:
On some watches (a vintage Omega Seamaster, for example), the springbar is very close to the case itself, leaving a tight space to slide a NATO-style band through. If it is relatively easy to swap grosgrain bands on your watch, this is likely not your situation. However, if you find that your case/springbar dimension is particularly tight, and getting your new band through is proving difficult, form•function•form recommends obtaining a springbar tool in order to easily remove the bar and install your cordovan band. The Swiss company Bergeon makes a quality option in their ‘6767’ model. It will take at most 15 seconds to figure out how to use the tool to remove the springbars; just make sure the ‘spring’ doesn’t shoot the tiny part across the room–that will take hours to undo.
Installing the band ‘point-first’, as above, rather than ’rounded-end first’ will make the whole process go much more smoothly, especially in a tight springbar gap; we intentionally pointed the end of the band to make installation easier–slipping the small point through the springbar enables a good grip to pull the rest through.