After sharing my first leather watch strap prototype in a post yesterday evening, I decided to focus on updating the design based on the lessons I learned. I wasn’t thrilled by the outcome of the first prototype, but that’s how a lot of first projects go! This next iteration took about 5 hours to make from designing to cutting templates, tooling, and finishing. I’m excited about how this one came out and there’s only one more tweak to make to the template before making lots of these beautiful watch straps! Here’s how the day went.
1. Redesigning the watch band’s design
In my initial prototype, I liked the subtle curve that goes from the narrow clasp area to a wider finish at the watch connector. For this next iteration, I decided not to have one long cut that’s folded in half to create each watch strap. Instead, I cut two sides per strap and glue them together. I also decided to experiment with an insert piece that’ll add a little depth to the watch strap closer to the connector piece. Lastly, I used a thicker leather for this version.
2. Cutting, tooling, and stitching
Using the wood templates that I cut out using the Glowforge, I cut my favorite red leather, tooled, and stitched each strap all by hand.
3. Attaching the accessories
As you could see in the photographs, this prototype was made without any of the connector pieces in place. Instead, I used a stainless steel pin to hold the areas where the accessories would be disassembled and pieced onto the watch strap. This is simple to do with the apple watch connectors that only require 2 screws to be removed as well as the strap buckle that is a spring loaded pin.
I’m excited by how this 3rd prototype came out and there’s only one minor adjustment to this strap that I’ll be making before I’m satisfied with it as a new product to add to my collection! Let me know what you think!