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Into Leather?

Best Custom Watch Straps

There are dozens — if not hundreds — of guys making custom leather straps these days, and a few doing nylon. You can too. All it really takes is some serious time on Google and YouTube looking for information, a leather supplier, a few knives, needle and thread, and Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours of practice.

In case you don’t have that kind of time, we’ve rounded up some top current strap makers for your sampling pleasure. And lest you think these guys are dilettantes, at least two of them parlayed their passion into an OEM manufacturing concern for well-known watch brands.

timekeeping-promo-logo-gear-patrolThis article is part of GP's fresh new face to TIMEKEEPING, a weekly chronicle on the utility, design, tradition and innovation of watches.
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Style Pick: Anderson Woven Suede Belts

Italian-brand Anderson has been crafting quality leather goods and accessories since 1966. Their classic woven belts are made from premium suede and are versatile enough to complete all manner of well-considered looks. Brown is naturally a solid conservative choice, but there’s also Navy and Grey options if you’re one to take the road less traveled….

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Style Pick: Billykirk Hand-Stitched Leather Laptop Sleeves

Over the years, we’ve raved about Billykirk’s products and founders, and their latest laptop sleeves ($219+) reaffirms our love. It’s a classic Billykirk piece – blending chic with toughness, and elegance with durability. Featuring hand-stitched Horween leather, a Chicago asset since 1905, this sleeve exudes rugged class. In any boardroom or meeting it sends a…

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Style Pick: Feit Handmade Vertical Wallet

Some call it a science, some call it an art. Regardless of how you choose to define it, in the process of wallet making, two elements are absolutely essential — functionality and form. The folks at Feit have brought these two universal principles face to face in the 2012 Spring Hand Sewn Collection. Their Handmade…

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Shoot in style

A7 Original Camera Strap II

Dress up your favorite shooter with the A7 Original Camera Strap II. Each strap is made in the U.S.A. by a family-owned NYC based leather manufacturer. Color options include black, brown, or a slightly pricier but reversible olive and gray edition. Whatever color your prefer, it’s guaranteed to look classier than advertising your camera model…

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All of your cards, all in one wallet

Holdfast Indispensable Photographer’s Wallet

One of our favorite camera accessory companies Holdfast, started by professional photographer and GP reader Matthew Swaggert, has just released the perfect piece of gear for managing your memory cards and money. The 4.35″ Indispensable Photographer’s Wallet ($45+) features a foldable design with three pockets. The exterior slide pocket holds IDs and the various other…

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Bookin' It Old School

Electric Library Embossed Smart Cover

Etsy maker “punkassjim” came across a photo of an antique electrical handbook and got inspired. The bold title and fun aside notes seemed to describe the iPad 2 perfectly. So, he decided to recreate the look into a set of custom iPad 2 smart covers. All of his wares are made by hand from leather…

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Pickturesque

Corter Natural Leather Guitar Picks

Experiment with your sound by giving these Corter natural leather guitar picks ($10) a strum. Besides looking great, this creative use of American certified vegetable tanned leather scraps provides a little more give compared to the traditional plastic variety, resulting in a slightly warmer play tone. Like any other faithful leather product, repeated use will…

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Experience that shows

HoldFast Photography Equipment

HoldFast is a new brand born from the passion of professional photographer and long time Gear Patrol reader Matthew Swaggert. After years of being frustrated with the overly complex, uncomfortable, and militia-styled gear that flooded the photography market, he decided to channel his experience and love of American heritage to create something better. The HoldFast…

Sperry-Top-Sider-Cloud-Logo-Shipyard-Rigger-Boot-Gear-Patrol
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Style Pick: Sperry Cloud Logo Shipyard Rigger Boot

Sperry’s Cloud Logo brand puts a trendier spin on American originals. The shipyard rigger boot features genuine handsewn construction, a removable, full length molded footbed, and Sperry’s own Wave Comfort System for added cushioning and air circulation. $140 | Sperry Top-Sider

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Style Pick: Wolverine Mayall Boot

The Wolverine Mayall is a new addition to the famed boot maker’s No. 1883 collection. Featuring a soft full-grain leather upper with a textured, plaid woven print lining, the 8” boot can be folded down for extra versatility, providing two distinctive looks. Thanks to a full-foam foot bed, these boots feature the same comfort and…

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Style Pick: Free / Man x Wood & Faulk D-Ring Belt

The D-ring collaboration from Free / Man and Wood & Faulk is comprised of 1.5″ thick, 10oz North American steer hide tanned in the English bridle fashion with solid brass or nickel plated brass rings. The end result is an extremely durable, yet flexible leather classic that will develop character with age. A collaborative logo…

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Leather. Head.

30 Minutes With: David Munson

Adventure, and the gear you take along for the ride never ceases to enthrall us here at GP. David Munson, CEO of Saddleback Leather Co. is a kindred spirit in that regard. Subsequently, we decided to sit down with him and pick his brain on everything from the best strategies for approaching world travel, to…

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Schoolyard Carries

Billykirk Schoolboy Satchel

The Billykirk Schoolboy Satchel ($355) wins our vote for its timeless looks and size. Made from 100% vegetable tanned leather and measuring a shoulder-friendly 14″ L x 10″ H x 4″ width, it’s the perfect bag for hauling your tablet or ultralight laptop around town without being mistaken for a bike messenger. Removing the shoulder…

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Protection Never Looked So Good

Dom Sunglasses Holder by Barret Alley

Sunglasses are a money pit for many. You eagerly drop $100 and beyond to buy a pair for the season, knowing they’ll be destroyed soon by stepping or sitting in the wrong place — if they aren’t lost before then. The Dom sunglasses holder by Barret Alley ($150) won’t change this law of the universe,…

Oliver Camera Strap
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Strapped For Class

Draught Dry Goods Oliver Camera Strap

You spent hours researching it and threw down stacks of cash to get that perfect camera setup. When the gear arrived, you attached the included strap to your rig, stuck your neck through, and immediately realized you’d transformed into Clark Griswold. Now that wouldn’t be so bad if a young Beverly D’Angelo appeared too, but…

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One Beautiful Beast

Estwing Claw Leather Handle Hammer

Estwing was founded by Swedish immigrant Ernest O. Estwing nearly a century a go. Ernest had a talent for forging hammers from one solid piece of hardened steel and the rest as they say is history. Estwing tools are still made in the USA in Rockford, Illinois and this Estwing Claw Leather Handle Hammer ($26)…

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A World Apart from Samsonite

Bill Amberg Selvage Leather Lugger

We like pretty much every kind of leather good Bill Amberg comes up with, but we decided to share the Leather Lugger first mainly because it strikes a good balance between price, size and style. Available in Olive, Brown, and Grey (pictured above) color options, each bag is made by West Country craftsmen from hardwearing…

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A Beast of a Belt

Tanner Goods Standard Belt

Tanner Goods produces their Standard Belt by hand in the enviable climes of Portland, Oregon. It’s constructed from 9/10 ounce,  1.5″ wide, heavyweight English Bridle Leather, has hand burnished edges, and has been properly branded with the Tanner mark. Our test model was in natural-finish leather with a Nickel plated roller buckle and keeper, plus…

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Like Two Shoes in One, Hand Made in Maine

Quoddy for 3Sixteen Deck Chukka

Combining two classic men’s shoe styles into one beautiful silhouette, these Deck Chukka’s are as stylish as they are well crafted. Created for fashion outfit 3Sixteen by shoe maker Quoddy, each pair is hand sewn in Maine with locked-stitched tips and kickers by one individual craftsman. Material wise, the shoes are made from Chromexcel leather…

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High-End Street Meets Luxury

Jump Vanquish

<p Women have heels, we have sneakers. Like our better halves, sometimes you just can’t have too many pairs, especially when it comes to high-tops. Here at Gear Patrol, we’ve always been fans of Converse, but sometimes you want some tops with a little more sustenance. We found just that in the JUMP Vanquish.

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Vintage-Inspired, American Made

Red Monkey Designs Hellion II Belt

Over 10 years ago, Red Monkey Designs was started out of a garage in Southern California. Best known for producing hand-built leather accessories from custom watches to guitar straps, RMD has quickly become a go-to destination for rock stars and celebrities in search of vintage-inspired leather goods. Their clientele includes the likes of KISS, Metallica,…

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For These Leather Heads, It All Started with a Watch Strap

Billykirk and the Fascinating Story Behind The Brand

Here at Gear Patrol, we usually bring you one carefully selected and reviewed product at a time. Today I’m changing it up and bringing a whole company to your attention. Billykirk is a unique company owned and run by two design minded brothers, Chris and Kirk Bray. All of their products are manufactured here in…

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Lacoste Proof 2 Leather and Mesh Sneakers

The Lacoste Proof 2 is an update to the Proof, a retro-inspired sneaker that uniquely combines leather and mesh. We’re obviously fans of white sneakers here at Gear Patrol and so, why the hell not show you another pair we own. The Lacoste lace-up sneaker manages to be both simple and retro without looking like…

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Pottery Barn Manhattan Leather Armchair

A man needs a proper chair – a place where he can sit, relax and enjoy a drink, book, music or movie without disturbance or nag. Forget the couch or that tattered cloth beast sitting in the corner of your living room, this chair is throne befitting for your posterior. The Manhattan Armchair from Pottery…

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Lead Home Theatre Seating Group

A contemporary, cutting-edge design, the Lead Leather Seating Group is a unique approach to home theater furnishings. Sleek and sculptural, the recliners also offer plush comfort. Seat cushion unfurls as you recline, providing you with one continuous surface &emdash; no uncomfortable metal bars between footrest and seat Patented footrest system unfolds to support the entire…