(Click on any photo to enlarge)
Hi strap lovers. I want to give a shout out to Lee Johnstone for his winning design for my new Revue Thommen Airspeed Instrument. This competition was announced way back in June, and I had expected to announce much earlier, but life have been busy and I wanted to really mull over the great designs that were submitted. Lee's Design was: "Grey Croc with Red stitching to make the most of the watch Facia and for it to stand out". This caught my imagination in a couple of ways: First, I love Grey Alligator and I just happened to have a wonderful Grey gator in stock from our premium Alligator hide supplier Swiss Hides. Second, since the grey Gator in question has really huge scales (this was from a 7 foot plus animal) and the Airspeed instrument has nice wide 26mm lugs, it would really be a great showcase for the strap possibilities of this hide. Third, I'm a big fan of the Grey strap/Red stitching combination. Since like most submittals, the overarching design concept was there, but a number of the finer details weren't, was able to add my own design preference to the mix. As you can see, I build the strap to the essential shape of the Bell & Ross BR01/Br03 strap shape, which I had not originally planned to do, but this strap design allows for the best showcase of the giant scales of this alligator hide. Additionally since the strap is quite wide at 26mm at the lugs, 35mm at the widest and then tapering to 26mm at the buckle (as opposed to 24/34/24 for a BR01 strap), there was plenty of room for stitching, so I decided to add double stitching, because it was a great showcase for my super fine stitching that we offer on all our 'SuperExotic' upgrade straps. Using 3 ply waxed Irish linen of Red and Slate Grey, I think the look is quite striking and subtle at the same time. I had originally planned to use the Grey Alligator in the Swiss Hides color, but and had stitched the long side in Red and Cream White to match the numbers on the dial, but thought it was too bright, and decided to dye the Grey to a bit more of a Charcoal and re-stitched the strap in Red and Slate Grey instead. I'm really glad I did because the results have much more of a masculine, military feel. At 26/35/26mm this is a very substantial strap, using our 26mm brushed 'D9' screw-in Pre-V buckles. I chose to use my favorite lining material: Eel skin, super soft and ultra thin, Eel adds an unmatched level of luxury and super softness the wearing experience. as you can see form the photos, the alligator is rolled at the notches around the lugs instead of simply cut, which I have recently started to do with all exotic skin straps for straps that have this notching if the skin flexible enough to allow for it. Also this strap at about 3.5mm this is very soft and supple and just overall exudes luxury. I'm really happy with the new strap for my Revue Thommen Airspeed instrument and want to also send a big thank you to all the guys that submitted their design Ideas. This will certainly not be the only time that I offer a strap design competition. In the meantime, Lee has won a Dangerous9straps' exclusive 1951 vintage Swiss Army Nato/Zulu strap for the watch of his choice. Congrats Lee and thanks again for your great strap design!!