Da Luca Custom Vintage Ammo Pouch Watch Strapsearch

Da Luca Custom Vintage Ammo Pouch Watch Strap

Da Luca Custom Vintage Ammo Pouch Watch Strap

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3 hours left, 3 purchased, 5 needed, looks like this one won't happen.
Cloaca
This product is garbage... you dont want it. I lost a brietling Navitimer after months of trying to condition the strap it cracked, broke, and fell off my wrist! Seriously avoid these guys all together brah!!
This is generally what I think of when I hear "ammo pouch watch strap":

Black ammo pouch straps?
Cloaca
Yes, we do not see black ones as often as the brown ones. Enjoy.
Pardon my ignorance, but what about these ammo pouch straps makes them so much more valuable than standard leather? This seems more like recycling than anything. Are only ammo pouches of a certain quality used? Dasman's post certainly doesn't support the quality of the product. If QC is loose, then here's a French ammo pouch for five bucks from this surplus place: http://www.armysurpluswarehouse.com/french-leather-double-ammo-pouch.html. Please explain to me why these straps are worth at least twice as much as other high quality leather straps.
sistem_32
Yeah, it seems to me that the leather, which is an organic product, would dry out over time unless it was continuously taken care of. There may be some way of rejuvenating it, but whenever I've gone down that rabbit hole there never seems to be a consensus (Never use X vs. X is great).

From looking at other maker's ammo pouch watch bands, the main appeal is the distressed look combined with artifacts of the original pouch, such as stitching holes and stamps/brands. The Da Luca straps here seem generic looking. But dasman's photos have put me off of ever buying an ammo pouch strap. Looking more closely at reviews of ammo pouch straps, the surface cracking seems common, although product photos take care not to emphasize it.
Cloaca
Don't let my photos put you off from Ammo Pouch/vintage leather straps... they can be wonderful. I have 3 swiss ammo pouch straps and one strap made out of a US holster. None exhibit any of the issues seen in the photos I posted of the massdrop/deluca strap. All are gorgeous, with character/patina that new straps won't have for years&years (if ever).

I don't know if the difference is leather selection, treatment of the leather (multiple vendors have told me they condition the leather prior to making them into straps), or the production methods... but IMO the right strap transforms a watch.
Received my strap today. While I had hoped these would be a great value proposition, all I can do is express disappointment.

TLDR summary:
- Did I expect these match the quality of bespoke ammo pouch straps like Ted Su or Dangerous 9? No, at less than 1/2 the price that would be an unreasonable expectation.
- Did I expect these to be serviceable and appear half decent? Yes, but unfortunately what I received will never see a watch and will instead be a $99 lesson learned.

----11/20 update - MD reviewed my post here and I am able to return the the strap for a full refund.----

Full version:
The stitching is fairly tight/even, but the strap I received is nowhere near the appearance of the straps shown in the description, nor in the product photos with the Rolex and Panarai watches in the Da-Luca's discussion post. What I rec'd...:
- ... is dry and cracked. The leather was obviously never treated or conditioned prior to production. The leather is cracked at stitches, cracked at holes, and is badly cracked at the buckle fold-over. I would be afraid to lose a watch on this strap.
- ...is much, much thicker. At 4.2mm thick, the tail barely fits through the keeper (with some effort) and is out of scale with the 20mm strap. It is obvious that the leather was never skived.
- ...sheds like crazy. I took photos of the strap over a white piece of paper and the debris shown is purely from that limited handling. While I knew in advance that the back would be raw (ie., no liner), I did expect that they would do something to treat it. My Colareb straps are raw, but very wearable. If worn, I imagine this strap would thin over time from shedding, and would loosen the stitching.
- ...has a skewed buckle. The buckle end of the strap is not square, meaning the buckle itself runs off at a slight screw to the strap.
- ...has a non-symmetrical tail. The cut on the tail isn't even close to being symmetrical. I assume that a pattern would have eliminated this type of issue, but I guess not.
- ...has lips at the lug end foldovers. I don't know if the foldover at the lug end is wider than the strap, or if it is slightly skewed to the strap, but the foldover creates a lip on one side of the strap. This is the least concerning of the bunch as I can just trim the lip with a knife, but I shouldn't have to.

In short, I would put this at roughly the same quality as something I could produce at home (never having made a strap before). My stitching probably wouldn't be quite as even as Da Luca's, but I would hope all other aspects of my homemade effort would be better. A $99 lesson learned...

For comparison purposes, the last photo is a similar color tone swiss ammo pouch strap (stock, not bespoke) that has a leather lining; quick change spring bars; a much nicer buckle and two keepers. Yes the strap is almost twice as much, but in hindsight, is a much better value.









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In case anyone else cares, or reads this, I gave up on the Venetian Cream. Waste of time. The only thing that will satisfy the dry cracked leather is vasiline. Like a new baseball glove, this seems to work perfectly. I have applied it about five times, and other than the colour changing to a much darker shade, the cracking has stopped, and the strap might last a few years now. Time will tell. I will not be buying products from this company again. They have a responsibility to inform their customers of care and set-up instructions, and not expect us to guess and test until we figure it out. No instructions were provided. Shame on them...
dasman
Geez that looks awful glad u were able to return it
Let us know if anybody has any last minute questions about the drop and straps available here. We look forward to helping out.
I have a couple of ammo pouch straps and can appreciate the history and the vintage leather vs the newer stuff. Questions on this drop:

- The light/med appear almost identical and the dark not so dark. Are the colors in the photo accurate/representation of the colors (realizing that they will vary slightly due to the specific pouch used)
- Any chance of getting a brushed buckle option? or maybe an upcharge to a more substantial appearing buckle (I imagine those INOX buckles are going to look small on a 22 & 24 mm straps).... maybe an ARD buckle?
- The straps appear to be straight (ie., same width at lug as at clasp). Can these be made with a "standard" 2mm taper? (ie., 2mm narrower at clasp).
- One of the photos shows two keepers (one fixed, one presumably floating) while the listing states a single (presume fixed?) keeper. Is there any way to get two keepers?
- The photo of the "light" strap appears to show a pretty long tail past the holes as compared to the other two colors (which appear more "standard"). What is the difference between those straps and what would we be getting?
- How thick are these? The photos make them look pretty thin.
- There aren't any photos of the back of the strap... are the backs raw? or is there a backing of some sort?
- The leather in the photos look amazingly non-distressed... will the straps have stamps, carved initials, etc? I'm not wanting "extra" stitching/repairs/gouges/etc, but I would also be somewhat disappointed to get something that looks "brand new" with no vintage appearance at all.
- The photos in your post show the strap on a Panarai... do these straps have the Panarai tube at the lug ends? The photos of the straps themselves make these look like the straps are intended for springbars.

Thanks


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We generally punch the holes around the same area unless the strap is extra long, then we shift the holes down the strap, accordingly. I hope this helps and makes sense.

Lots of time, we are going off of the specs of our customers and their custom placed orders.
DA-LUCA
Thanks... that cleared things up
We wanted to give you some more info on this drop and answer any questions you may have on this unique offering. Doing this drop was new territory for MD as well as us on a more mainstream level, as these straps are something very different from whats out there in the mainstream watch strap marketplace. While it may look like a basic leather strap and nothing more, these are in fact extremely unique, vintage, hard to source and they are like wearing art on your wrist as each one is truly 1 of a kind and different. Each ammo pouch is close to 60 years old and while these are quite old, they will gain a truly gorgeous patina over time and last for a very long time. The quality of the leather is top notch as each pouch is military grade leather. They get better the more you wear and use them, but they do need some sort of leather conditioner as we try to leave them as raw as we can to allow our customers to choose the leather conditioner of their choice. Each strap is different so you will be getting a 1 of a kind strap, some have markings on them from actual soldiers wearing them while others may have been sitting in storage for most of their lives. We have even received pouches that had initials hand carved into the pouch by the actual soldiers, while others have had stamps on the back side of the leather. Yes, there are many cheaper leather options out there for your watch and on the outside, these look basic, but they are much more than that and once we run out we have no major source to get more, so they truly are limited in nature. We are making each strap ordered on this drop to your specs and as always, everything is hand done including the stitching. If you have any questions simply drop them in the discussion area and we will be happy to do our best to answer them.
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Bending the leather into the retainer all the time wears it out after a while, which is shame if it's a unique leather. Could you recommend a brand of deployant in a brushed stainless that would work with these particular straps?
Outtyninja
We don’t normally offer deploy clasps so we have little to no knowledge of the best places to source them. Many of our customers have had their ammo pouch straps for 3-6 years and their straps look great, if not better than when they purchased them. We haven’t seen any negative results from the use of a tang buckle.
I'd agree. The "retail" price they put here is silly -- $230 should get you first quality crocodile - not any kind of regular leather. I bought their leather zulu strap, but this is ridiculously priced. Don't do it.
These do not look anything like the high end ($200.00+) bespoke straps I've seen out there - they look marginally better than a $20.00 strap, from the photo anyway. Can anyone chime in on the quality of these?
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Watching the Dangerous9 "Making of" video, I'm impressed by his shop and equipment and custom jigs and tooling.

https://vimeo.com/131193202

And check out the watch he's wearing. I tracked it down to Kaventgsmann, who seems to make one offs and small batches of extreme watches. Too expensive for me, but way cool.

http://www.kaventsmann-uhren.de

That's the actual watch in the video.
You should contact Weiss Watch Company about supplying them. His whole thing is "Made in U.S.A." Or even "Made in Los Angeles [County]." He has a watch that, outside of the mainspring, he makes from scratch, with the help of subcontracting machine shops, completely in Los Angeles. He started a second company to sell the L.A.-made movements to other watchmakers, since they are ETA clones, and ETA is starting to cut back on selling movements outside of its Swiss group.

But I think his bands may be sourced from Shinola in Detroit, so he may be open to a San Diego supplier. Or he could lend you a workspace and you could make some bands in Los Angeles. Then all he'd need is a Los Angeles-based mainspring maker to be 100 percent Made in Los Angeles [County].
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