Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Strap on shenanigans

In which G.M. Norton lauds his new leather watch strap.



As you know if you follow my witterings, I love my wristwatches. 

I now have far too many to count, which either suggests a problem with basic arithmetic, or a little thing called obsession.

I’m really enjoying my made in England Smiths watches at the moment. I previously penned an ode to my Smiths Antarctic and have since got my hands on a Smiths A404, which most closely resembles the wristwatch that Sir Edmund Hillary carried up to the top of Everest.

A great believer that a strap can make or break a watch, I treated my A404 to some ‘new shoes’. After asking for strap recommendations on a Smiths Facebook group, a Smiths super fan put forward David Boettcher who runs a website called Vintage Watch Straps. David specialises in straps often found on trench watches, but makes your usual two piece straps too so after considering my requirements, I promptly placed an order.



I was keen to get a strap that was reasonably similar to the one that Hillary worn with his Smiths De Luxe, which I believe is still on display at the Science Museum in London. So I ordered a handsome brown leather strap, that’s straight rather than tapered, with a leather keeper and open ends rather than stitched or glued. The open ends mean I can wear the strap with another watch I have with fixed bars. 



I placed the order a few weeks ago and the strap arrived on Thursday. 

I’m absolutely overjoyed by it. Made from Italian leather, it was a bargain at £22 plus delivery. As soon as I opened the envelope, the strong intoxicating aroma of leather filled the air. Removing the paper from around the two leather pieces and I could have jumped for joy. The colour, the softness, everything.

If you need a watch strap, I have no hesitation in also recommending David. 

The only problem now is my other Smiths watches are demanding parity! 


G.M. Norton
Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'

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