Guarded Goods Shell Cordovan Watch Strapsearch

Guarded Goods Shell Cordovan Watch Strap

Guarded Goods Shell Cordovan Watch Strap

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Just received mine today.
What I like about it: - Good leather, arrived with a couple of minor scuffs but nothing that wouldn't disappear after some wear - Not forced to have a dangling/folded strap end like on nato straps. Fits more like a regular two-piece. Width is spot-on. - I can see this wearing in and darkening quite nicely after a month or so - Had some reservations about the gloss when ordering but it is actually quite nice in person - This smelled absolutely terrific when I took it out of the bag
What could be better: - Tang and buckle are 1-1.5mm wider than the strap; feels flimsy when off the wrist - Would have liked an option for brushed hardware to match my watch
Like another person on this thread, the metal strap keeper is slightly crooked. Hopefully this shifts back over time as well. Overall, am not complaining for the price. Would order again if I was after another colour (like #4... #4 is pretty nice). Photos with brushed/better-fitting hardware for reference.
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Photo of my newly darkened strap. Was bourbon.
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I went with the pebbled grain one and quite like it. My strap is well made and had no scratches. All the holes were perfectly punched and the width was right on. I can only note two issues: 1. My metal keeper is crooked as some others have noted. I can't really straighten it as the stitching is too tight, but it is minor and on the bottom of my wrist. At some level, I like it as it will remind me that it was handmade. 2. Massdrop: Please do not fold my cordovan strap in the shipping package! I know cordovan is crease resistant, but still (it's a nice cordovan strap!!!) get a longer bag or roll it up!
Overall, a very nice strap though.
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Cyn1c
Like the pebble grain. Curious to hear how the surface holds up.
Decided to keep mine despite the flaws (and since MD gave a small credit to make up for it). I put on some Boos Block Mystery Oil, and it covered the nicks pretty well, though it did darken the color.
I will say the strap is super comfortable and disappears under a shirt cuff.
Adding some pictures here if anyone is interested in the future. I picked up natural glaze. I scratched the shit out of it, then removed the glaze with saddle soap, and sort of restored it with some renovateur. The past few days been an adventure for the strap already, haha.
Note, apply pins on top of strap in place. Leather feels great, and if you like the smell of quality leather, that's there too.
Overall, like it. Second to last hole fits me for 6-6.25 inch wrist.

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Took receipt of mine yesterday. My 20mm watches are going to get more wear over the next few weeks.
I also received the District Leather one I ordered several weeks before this drop yesterday too.
Both straps seem to have fit issues, but generally happy with both.
The Guarded Goods one is a little narrower than my 20mm watches and the District Leather one is a little wider than my 20mm watches.
The Guarded Goods Strap is just small enough for my 6.25" wrist as I'm on the send to smallest hole.
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Maybe this? Though, it's possible I did that, but it's so small that it doesn't bother me.
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ChurchillW
Mine are a bit more prominent than that and were definitely on there already. Nice Sinn, btw.
I like the bourbon color, but the metal keeper is also slightly crooked. I realize no one will see it, but it kinda bugs me.
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Tried that several times but it won't stay vertical. Either metal is bent inside or stitching on one rnd isn't in line.
Any idea what happened with these nicks/scratches? Tooling slipups or did some yutz in Jeresy cause those while repackaging the straps?
JohnnyCredit
Yeah it does shift back eventually. Minor thing, I'm ok with it
More pix:
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Just got mine. Looks and feels pretty good. There are a couple of small scratches, to my surprise. Probably not worth sending back, but a little annoying for a $70 handmade strap.
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Just got shipment notification!
We need to get this going again. Maybe this time in the 2 piece? These are incredible watch straps, retail price or otherwise.
This is a good deal for shell Cordovan. I really want the green one but I'm not a fan of the 1 piece pass through straps. Any chance of adding the 2 piece standard option?
JohnnyCredit
I saw that already. Hoping he would do the $65 price like this one.
Never mind. Re-entered all my info and this time it worked. Go figure.
This is a solid deal on a shell strap. I looked at the Fluco ones on eBay, but they're lined, and to me that's something to wear out. And not NATO style. Plus I like supporting a self-employed craftsman.
JohnnyCredit
I got a Fluco strap and absolutely love it - just in case you're curious about them!
Just tried to join this drop, but after I entered my payment info and address, the "join" button was still not clickable. Thought maybe the color I wanted was sold out, but even after switching to other colors, no dice. I hadn't left any blank unfilled. Anyone have an idea what's happening?
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Stupid question but I cant tell which color the top strap is. If anyone could help it would be much apriciated.
MikeRana
Top color was #8.
If you want more purple/brown tones, go with Color #8. If you want straight brown tones, go with Dark Cognac.
I want to support upstart companies but I honestly can't find value in this drop other than if you want a one piece, and MAYBE the green colour would look good with my SARB017. For this price you could pick up a very nice Hirsch band elsewhere online. If it were around $40 I definitely give it a shot.
tetraninja
Thanks for the comments. Not that I'm trying to sell these to you, but there are a few key things you're missing.
1. These are made from Horween Shell Cordovan. This leather is around $120 / square foot while other standard leathers (like the ones Hirsch offer) are probably around $4 / square foot (if that). This is definitely more of a luxury leather than any of those.
2. Hirsch is mass-produced. They don't explicitly say where they are made on their website, so that would lead me to believe they're made in a factory in China. All of my straps are cut by me, burnished by me, and hand-stitched (not machine stitched) by me in my house in Minnesota. My "company" is me. One guy. So if you like supporting local companies who are doing everything themselves, you might like supporting me!
3. I'd challenge you to find a better priced Shell Cordovan watch strap online and I am pretty sure you won't (outside of Etsy probably since a lot of that is made overseas now too).
Not saying you need to buy one of my straps, but I at least need to plead my case that the pricing is not out of line of similar straps that you can find at two other more well known watch supply places for $140 for a Horween Shell Cordovan strap or $90 for non-Horween Shell Cordovan strap. I am more than half of one of the most popular versions of these straps. If that isn't value, I don't know what is. :)
tetraninja
Wow. You don't know shell if you're comparing these to the regular Hirsch straps unless you're comparing them to the genuine crocodile ones.
These are solid leather straps which means they won't break down, stretch or distort the way padded straps eventually do. They'll last a long time. The keeper looks to be just as tough as the rest of band which is sueded on the backside so that it'll remain stable during wear. But as someone suggested, you want to use an efficient spring bar tool to install both sides. Spares you the chance of scratching the watch case.
Horween uses Horses. Shell cordovan is equine hide.
Putting that up there, just in case it matters to folks when they make their choice to purchase...or not. I don't think folks actually KNOW this info. Not like the manufacturers are real open about that.
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Is that your answer to the "why"? hmm.
TiffanyPoodleslide
I would disagree that manufacturers aren't open about it. They are pretty open about it in interviews. There are many types of leather, but I believe that shell cordovan always comes from horses. http://bestleather.org/all-about-shell-cordovan-with-horween-leather-co/
Having used this type of strap before (but different vendor), a word of warning. Make sure there's plenty of room between the watch case and the spring bar. If it's a tight fit, the strap may be scratched by the case edge as you pull it through. This damaged an expensive shell cordovan strap of mine. Be careful!
crec4e
Wouldn't be too overly concerned about scratching the strap, but good for other people to know if they are.
any chance a two piece ever drops?
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I would be interested in a two piece. I am cursed with large wrists, I have found there is usually more flexibility in two piece sizing
WhichwaydidheGo
That's an interesting perspective. I have 8" wrists and prefer NATO and Zulu straps because too often with two piece straps I'm on the last hole, and there's often not enough strap left to get much into the second keeper. That said, if the strap is long enough to get me to the second or (preferably) third to last hole, I'd prefer a two piece to a one piece.
Unglazed natural unavailable this time around?
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Haha no worries, picked up the glazed after reading through your post on the differences, I'm sure I'll be just as happy with that. :)
rhinocerosbladder
You'll love the glazed just as much. Unglazed is cool at first but ultimately it ends up looking exactly like Glazed after it wears in. Thanks for your support!
Received mine this afternoon and rushed to put it on my watch, only after I tried on my watch did I notice that it was cut next to the second to last hole.
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The watch straps have been shipped to Massdrop! Thanks all for your support. It is fun to be involved in a community that enjoys supporting smaller businesses. I am quite literally a one man operation (with the occasional assist from my wife!) to get this done on top of my day job. It's my creative outlet and it is a lot of work, but I love doing it. So thanks again!
Watch straps have been completed! I'll get them shipped off to Massdrop by the end of this week.
Hello everyone! Just providing a quick update. I have all the watch straps cut out, all edges are burnished and I have about 2/3 of the watch straps stitched up already. I plan on finishing the other 1/3 over the next few days and then need to cut, finish and stitch the keepers.
I expect to have these shipped to Massdrop by the end of the week so we should be a little early on the delivery! Thanks again for your orders and support.
GuardedGoods
Hey quick question. If these are too thick, would it be possible to sand them down or cut them down? Or would this ruin the leather?
diserasta
Unless you know what you're doing, it wouldn't be possible. Splitting shell is tricky business.
Thinking to pick the dark green in 20mm. Not sure if the strap will be thin enough for Submariner. What is expected thickness for this colour? In the group shot, the green one seems the thickest.
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Thanks. Sent.
eesh
I ordered the dark green and it is significantly thicker than the #8 I ordered at the same time. May not be a problem with newer, "modern" watches but its a tough fit on the vintage Seiko for it was intended. May need to order some curved bars to accommodate the strap.
All that being said, the green shell is luscious; its absolutely gorgeous out of the box. I can't imagine what the patina will be as it ages. Do it.
Is it possible to ask for an additional hole? I don't see an option for it in the payment options, but I thought I'd try my luck and ask anyway (:
houseatreus
Unfortunately it isn't easy to accommodate one off requests through Massdrop. I haven't found anyone who the strap didn't fit though so I think you should be fine.
Can you describe the glazed vs. unglazed natural leather?
CBeeZ
I actually wrote an entire blog post about it on my website. May as well just refer you to that instead of retyping it all here:
https://www.guardedgoods.com/blogs/leather-talk/horween-unglazed-natural-shell-cordovan-aging-patina
GuardedGoods
Perfect. Just ordered the unglazed!
What color is the main thumbnail picture for this strap?
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Awesome, I'm in for one, thank you!
Carroll.zv
You'll love the color!
Nice, fair price for Horween which is the best, but not a bargain in my opinion considering this is a group buy. Crown & Buckle/Strapsco options also.
watchkook
As far as I am aware, Crown & Buckle doesn't offer Horween Shell Cordovan watch straps. They offer a lot of standard Horween leathers but we are talking about $6 / square foot for a standard leather versus $115 / square foot for this Shell Cordovan. I don't think you'll find a better price anywhere else with this many shell cordovan colors.