IWC Mark XVIII – Customer Watch Spotlight

IWC Mark XVIII Brown Wyatt Watch Strap

This month we’re lusting over our friend Iain’s IWC Mark XVIII. This handsome watch is heir to one of the most iconic pilot watches ever.  He paired with our “Wyatt” brown padded handcrafted leather watch strap. We love how our strap transformed an already spectacular timepiece into something really special. We love the simplicity of the dial with its function driven single date display. Previous models were either a bit to big or way to small, but this one, at 40mm, IWC crafted a case that is just the right size and sits perfectly on the wrist.  It’s so incredibly striking and has so much impact.

IWC Mark XVIII Bas and Lokes Wyatt Watch Strap

We can see why Iain was encaptivated by it. He recently told us “I’ve only had my watch a couple of months, I knew I wanted an IWC Mark series pilot watch after seeing one in the wild. It took me three years to save for it and about the time I was ready, IWC announced the release of the new Mark XVIII and I fell in love all over again. I did have to wait another four months before they were released for sale but now I’ve finally got there I am very happy with it and will be for years to come. Most of my watches are on after market custom straps and this is no exception.”


We’re so glad he loves this pairing. Thanks so much, Iain, for sharing your photos with us!


Watch Unwind – Graf Zeppelin 7640.1

Graf Zeppelin 7640.1

The Graf Zeppelin 7640.1 perfectly paired with our “Camden” saddle tan padded watch strap.

Good Watches Tell Time, Great Watches Tell A Story.

The love of the German made Graf Zeppelin 7640.1 as told by Lokes

I’m unashamedly sentimental about watches. For me their value doesn’t lie with what they cost. Their value lies in the time and experiences they have borne witness to. With the story of how they came into my possession and with changes that meant they got relegated from an every day favourite worn with love, to a relic left in the bottom of a jewellery box or top draw.

Graf Zeppelin 7640.1 and Bas and Lokes Wyatt Strap

A winning combination. The Graf Zeppelin and our “Wyatt” chocolate brown padded leather strap.

I look back fondly on the mickey mouse watch I had as a kid, I loved it because it was my first watch, and the one I learned to tell time on. I remember the waterproof Lorus watch I bought with my own money as a nine year old back when Swatch watches were all the rage. The Lorus kind of looked like a Swatch and since I didn’t have quite enough money saved at the time it was the best I could manage. My sweet mother tried to make me feel better about my purchase and not being able to afford the Swatch and told me Lorus was a much better brand anyway. Bless her. When I turned eighteen my parents gave me a TAG. I still wear that watch, and love it like an old friend.

But My Graf Zepplin, the focus of this post is a newer edition. It’s elegant and strong at the same time. It looks great with a highly polished black strap for special ocassions, and amazing in a broken in brown strap with blue jeans on the weekend.

Graf Zeppelin 7640.1 and Wyatt dark brown strap

Blue jeans, Italian boots, our “Wyatt” strap and the Graf Zeppelin.

I love the silver white face of this watch, it gives it a timeless quality. At first glance you wouldn’t know if this was a hand-me-down from a grandparent or brand new. The case is polished stainless steel. It’s so smooth you can’t help but run your fingertips over it or admire the way the light touches the curves, catching the eye.

Our "Gideon" black suede padded strap is perfect on the Graf Zeppelin.

Our “Gideon” black suede padded strap is perfect on the Graf Zeppelin.

This particular model was made to celebrate the 100 aniversary of the German passenger carrying, hydrogen filled, rigid airship Graf Zeppelin which was commercially operation from 1928 to 1937. That makes it a nice little conversation piece. I love the Zepplin logo, it looks like something right out of world war II.  I also love the font and mostly I love that this watch has a lot going on, yet the face looks uncluttered.

Graf Zeppelin 7640.1 and Buckland watch strap

Enjoying a drink. Our “Buckland” chestnut strap dresses up the Graf Zeppelin.

I’m one of those people who look at my watch about 40 times a day. I look at it every time I have to date a document. I often take it off and sit it on the desk beside my keyboard if I really need to focus on something and cannot be distracted. I find looking at the face of this watch keeps me calm and focussed. Maybe because whenever I check the time on my smart phone I fall into an abyss of push notifications and reminders of all the things I have to do, or don’t have time to do. Where as the Zepplin with its creamy calm face and reassuring hands seems to say, stay focussed, take your time, and you’ll get this done.

Graf Zeppelin 7640.1 and Bas and Lokes Elias rust suede watch strap

Dressed to kill with our rust colored “Elias” suede padded watch strap.

How about you? Whats on your wrist? Got a story about your watch that you’d love to share with us? Email us about. We’d love to hear all about it and maybe feature it on our blog.

Thanks for your reading. Til next time

Lokes and team

Zelos Abyss – Customer Watch Spotlight

The Zelos Abyss watch and our “Huck” burgundy watch strap.

Zelos Abyss and Bas and Lokes "Huck" modified burgundy watch strap

Zelos Abyss and Bas and Lokes “Huck” modified burgundy watch strap

We were thrilled when we recently received these beautiful photos from “J” , one of our raving fans of his handsome Zelos Abyss watch. It’s paired in these photos paired with a slightly customized version of our “Huck” burgundy leather watch strap. He opted for dark brown linen thread instead of the olive thread our “Huck” is originally designed with.

“J” is an avid fan of the crowd funding platform, Kickstarter. He loves that it’s not just a place to find interesting new watches by small watchmakers, but other interesting and innovative products as well. He believes it to be a great place for emerging small businesses “to find a way to connect with people who care about their products and have a real passion for contributing in a more meaningful way that just buying something off a shelf.” Zelos Watches launched its brand on Kickstarter with three highly successful campaigns of three different watch models launched on the crowd funding platform since 2014.

Zelos Abyss Bas and Lokes Huck Burgundy Watch Strap

Zelos Abyss looking ravishing paired with our “Huck” burgundy watch strap.

When “J” saw the Zelos Abyss, he felt that it was a “watch that spoke to him personally on a lot of levels.” He found it to be “well designed and constructed, with an all bronze case and buckle that is a beautiful metal capable of aging and growing with the wearer, it is not a homage to anything other than itself, and it is just a fantastic example of form and function working together. “

Zelos Abyss Bas and Lokes Huck Burgundy Watch Strap

A beautiful bronze patina always looks outstanding paired with burgundy and brown tones.

“It is a true dive watch made with real care by a small microbrand watch maker that loves their art.” He missed out on the original Kickstarter Abyss campaign and therefore kept an eye on the watch stalking it for months until we was able to save for it and buy one.   “I am not a rich person, I work hard for my money and like most people I can’t always afford the things I want but don’t “need”.  But then the same week I got a hard won promotion I had been working on for months, I noticed Zelos put this watch on sale and providence can’t be ignored.  I have loved this watch every day since and honestly I have a hard time taking it off.”

We can see why he has a hard time taking it off his wrist. It’s quite a handsome watch and looks incredibly well made. Thanks so much for sharing your story and exquisite photos, “J”.  Wear your watch and our “Huck” strap in good health!

Zelos Abyss Bas and Lokes Huck Burgundy Watch Strap 4

Stunning backside

A little about the Zelos Abyss watch from the manufacturers site:

“A watch built to withstand 3000m of crushing water resistance and crafted from marine bronze which ages based on your experiences.

The Abyss was conceived to survive the most punishing of depths. Every part of the case was redesigned to resist the intense water pressures which would easily crush metals.

Bronze was the natural choice for the Abyss, closely linked to the sea as it is one of the most corrosion resistant metals available. An oxide layer, called a patina, forms a protective skin over time to protect the metal. This patina individualizes each Abyss, creating completely unique pieces.  What starts out as a shiny rose-gold, ages with the atmosphere into a rustic brown.

Maintaining a water resistance of up to 3000m requires a complex balance of thick metal casings and fine gaskets sealing every possible point of leakage. A double O-ring system seals the hefty 4mm thick stainless steel screwdown caseback.”

Watch Unwind – The Iconic Omega Speedmaster Ref. 3592.50

Omega Speedmaster 3592.50 with Bas and Lokes "Lancelot" black handcrafted padded leather watch strap

Omega Speedmaster with Bas and Lokes “Lancelot” black handcrafted padded leather watch strap

Good watches tell time, great watches tell a story.

As you know, we love watches. We love sitting with a drink and admiring those tiny and intricate ticking mechanical works of art. Once a month or so, we’ll share a story about a watch we find interesting and tell a snippet about that watch’s personal journey. We’ll be kicking off this series with, you guessed it, my beloved Omega Speedmaster. So grab a drink, sit back and join us for a short a read.


Omega Speedmaster paired with our"Wyatt" brown leather padded watch strap.

The Speedy paired here with Bas and Lokes “Wyatt” brown leather padded watch strap.

Many of you have seen countless photos of my Speedy all over our social media and website. Let’s face it, I absolutely love that thing. It’s such an iconic watch, after all, it was famously worn on the moon. I remember seeing a photo of a customer’s vintage Speedmaster on one of our new watch straps at the time and was captivated with how exquisite it looked. I’ve obviously seen this watch thousands of times before, but something about it this time was different. I suddenly felt a strong urge to own one and embarked on a quest to find the perfect one.


Omega Speedmaster 3592.50 with Bas and Lokes Wyatt strap

Looking spectacular with our “Wyatt” brown padded strap.

Like many of you who cherish the thrill of the hunt for the perfect watch, I started saving for it and stalked the Speedmaster online for weeks looking at thousands of photos of various references from different dealers before deciding on the right one.  I definitely wanted a vintage model as I’ve always been a fan of watches with a bit of history and a story of their own.


The reference 3592.50 is all the business with our "Wyatt" brown padded watch strap

Having a drink with the Speedmaster and “Wyatt” strap.

After weeks of searching, I asked a few of our customers for referrals to dealers of vintage Omegas. I was introduced to a gentleman online who is a collector, sells vintage models and loves to match up people with the perfect watch. I described what I wanted and was quickly shown a handful of watches that matched my criteria. When I saw his first offering I knew I found the one. The 3592.50. I took one look at its exquisite display back and was captivated with what I saw; an elegant and intricate, decorated gold-gilt movement. It was love at first sight. Needlesstosay, it was on my wrist within a few short days. That was two and a half years ago. I’m still in very much in love.
Omega Speedmaster with "Lancelot" black padded leather watch strap

The Speedmaster dressed to kill with our “Lancelot” black padded watch strap.

Omega Speedmaster 3592.50 with "Jordan" padded watch strap.

The versatile “Speedy” Pro strikingly paired with our “Jordan” caramel padded watch strap

Sadly, I don’t know anything about this watch’s life. However, I really enjoy pondering its history and what its life may have been like with its previous owner. Had she/he saved for a long time for it? Was it an impulse buy or perhaps a gift? What parts of the world has it seen? What kinds of emotions might it have felt through the owners wrist? Love? Tenderness? Curiosity? Side splitting laughter? Eureka moments? What made the owner give it up in the first place? Things like that.


In the short time I’ve owned it, I’ve added my own bit of adventure, emotions and history to its life.  Last year, I wore it on the day I went to meet my biological father for the first time where I learned that he too has a love of vintage watches. A few months ago it was strapped to my wrist when I signed the papers to purchase my first home. It was on my wrist back in August when I celebrated my 40th birthday in New York City while happily surrounded with family that I hadn’t seen in years.


This watch experienced a severe panic attack with me a few months back while traveling on a flight from San Francisco to Sydney. We were two hours out of San Fran when the pilot announced that there was some kind of computer problem that indicated that both engines had potential for failure. I remember how calm he sounded. Whatever the problem, it scared the hell out of me and I remember staring down at my watch thinking those next two hours back to the airport were going to be the longest and scariest hours of my life.


Mostly the moments and memories I associate with this watch are happy. I truly believe that wonderfully crafted timepieces inspire us, I know this watch inspires me to create and innovate every day.


Speedmaster and Bas and Lokes "Bronte" suede padded watch strap

Classic elegance. All dressed up with our “Bronte” tan handmade suede padded strap.

There is a ton of technical information out there about this watch and I certainly don’t need to go over that here, but I can tell you a few things about this watch model in particular that really stands out and makes it incredibly attractive to me.


 -It has developed an attractive light yellow patina on the plots. I’m quite the fan of patina.


-This handsome fella has an exquisite display back. Powered by a visually stunning gold gilt 863 movement, I find that I sometimes stare at it far more than the dial and wish I could wear the watch in reverse so I could see its beautiful movement in action.


-The Speedmaster is incredibly versatile and looks ravishing with a variety of different dress situations. And as we are makers of handcrafted leather watch straps, we LOVE that this watch is such a great model. It looks great in nearly anything.


-This model has a hesalite crystal which I much more prefer with this watch vs the Sapphire crystal. I’m just fanatical about the hesalite on this watch. It has quite a pronounced dome and rounded corners. To me, it gives it quite an authentic feel like the one worn on the moon.


-For a vintage watch, its not tiny. At 42mm, it’s not too big, not too small. Just the right size to make a statement.


Bas and Lokes "Camden" English tan handcrafted padded leather watch strap.

The “Speedy” looks great in anything. Seen here with our “Camden” English tan padded leather watch strap.

So how about you? What’s the story behind your watch? We’d really really love to hear about it. Email us your story with some pics and we may feature it in a future article. 🙂


Cheers to that!
Bas and Lokes and the team

Welcome “Maddox” Slim Wallet

Meet “Maddox”, an elegant and beautifully refined handmade leather slim wallet

"Maddox" Handmade Leather Slim Wallet

Available in nine colors

“Maddox” Brown Oil Tan Slim Wallet

“Maddox” Burgundy Leather Slim Wallet