The Watch Site banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks,

This is an illustrated tutorial about strap notching, since so many people have asked me how I do strap notching recently. Nothing like pictures, you know! ;) Those of us on slower connections may even have to reload to get all the pictures to show, but I think it was worth the effort.

This is not my idea, by the way, I learned how to do this from other SCWF and PMWF members, and there was even another tutorial posted, but when I found it in the mirror site, all the pictures are missing. So I decided to do mine own.

My project for this afternoon is my Seiko SKXA47K White Knight, with its semi- integrated bracelet. I’ve wanted to put this on a strap for a long while and now is the time! Below are the basic tools I'm going to use, an Exacto blade to do the cutting, Super-Glue to hold down the 'flaps' after I cut them and magnifying goggles so I can see precisely what I'm doing.


Click for Big Image



I picked a 24mm pilot style strap because it seemed like the right overall width to match the White Knight case design, but you can see the problem in the picture below, the stock bracelet has a small (15mm) center part that sticks into the case to mate up. I certainly didn't want a 15mm strap on this monster of a watch, so my plan is to cut notches in the strap, on the outside corners, to create a 15mm wide center section that will mate up like the original bracelet.


Click for Big Image



Here I'm using a soft sharp pencil to mark the lines I'll cut on, using the case lugs as my model. You could also use the bracelet to determine where to cut. Measure and make your marks carefully, remember the advice, "Measure twice, cut once!"


Click for Big Image



Now the scary part, cutting the expensive strap you bought. :eek:hmy: Cut straight down from the top, but with the blade angled slight as shown, so your cut is deeper at the back of the strap that it is in the front. Cut all the way down through the 'pin loop' to the thick part of the strap, at this angle. You can always go back and cut more deeply in the front if you need to!


Click for Big Image



Now you cut in from the edge, on the back side ONLY, to meet the top-down cut you made. You are trying to make a 'flap' out of the corner of the strap that is in the way, so you can pull the flap to the back of the strap, out of the way, and glue it there. Then it will have a smooth 'shoulder' and look original, not like it has hacked out.


Click for Big Image



Below you see the first two cuts are done, and the 'flap' I'm talking about.


Click for Big Image



Try folding the flap down to create the notch and hold it up to the watch case to check on the fit. Usually, in my experience, but not always, the notch won't be deep enough, and now is the time to perhaps cut the front a touch deeper, but more importantly (and more effectively) trim some of the material out from behind the flap so it can fold down more and make the notch deeper.


Click for Big Image



Be careful when trimming the material out from behind the flaps, I had to trim some of the thick strap material below the back of the flaps in this case, so they would fold down deep enough. Try not to cut the stitching either!! Here is a picture of both sides cut, and trimmed, ready to fold over and glue.


Click for Big Image



And below you can see one flap folded down and Super-Glued. You can also see where I have trimmed some material away from the back of the strap on the other flap. I put the Super-Glue on the inside of the flap, fold it over, pulling tightly to make the notch as deep as possible, then hold the flap to the back of the strap until the glue sets. I occasionally lose a little skin in the process. :rolleyes:


Click for Big Image



And here is the tongue side of the strap, all glued up and installed. The leather where the spring bars go through will stretch over time, so don't make the notches too deep. I usually cut them such that putting the spring bars on is fairly difficult the first time, which is a pain I'll admit. But the upside is when the leather stretches later the strap will still be a nice tight, attractive fit. :cool:


Click for Big Image



And below, through the magic of editing, is the whole strap, cut, glued and fitted! Quite a different look from the original bracelet, but looking very proper and professional, no rough edges. Another hint is to use a black magic marker on the remaining exposed edges of the cuts you made so they are dark black and don't distract from the professional appearance of your work.


Click for Big Image



Next is installing the nice butterfly deployant, and trying the completed project on! So here are a couple of hairy wrist shots of the completed project. Here's a normal top-down kind of shot.


Click for Big Image



And here is an angled version that shows more of the new strap. I like it! :grin:


Click for Big Image



That's all there is to it! It's easy and effective. Don't be tyrannized by those integrated bracelets anymore, declare your independence and notch a strap! :p

And it's the same concept as these 'outside' notches to create an 'inside' notch like I had to do for my SNZC41K, shown below. You just cut one large notch out of the middle leaving two 'ears' like the original bracelet.


Click for Big Image



Thanks for hanging around, I hope this helps us all enjoy our watches even more!


- Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I have a brand new Seiko 7T62-0HA0 which has a similar lug situation to the SNZC41K shown in that last photo, which would require an "inside" notch to a leather strap in order to get a leather strap to fit.
I have the leather straps, and I'm ready to cut them (and hopefully post photos after I finish), but I can't figure out how to get the original metal bracelet off.
I had thought that the original metal bracelet had two sets of very small spring bars on both sides, but now I don't think so. The lugs are drilled lugs, but none of my spring bar tools can fit into those drilled lug holes. Inside those holes, it almost looks like there are pins similar to the pins that would be removed when shortening a metal bracelet. Do I need to try to pound out those "pins" where the bracelet meets the lugs? If so, how do I get the watch to sit right while I do that? Which side do I push through? Is there just one pin going the whole way through?
And if that works, do I then use two sets of very small spring bars, or will normal spring bars fit? (I don't see how they could).

Can anybody help with this?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,235 Posts
This sounds like a job for your local qualified watchmaker, who will have the tools and experience you need to safely remove the bracelet, and then find a way of fitting your leather strap (if possible while still maintaining a secure fit). Otherwise you might try reposting your query on the main forum where more eyes will see it, along with some pictures so one can have a better idea of the situation.

Best of luck,
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top