Choosing the Perfect Handcrafted Watch Strap

Choosing the perfect Bas and Lokes watch strap

Choosing The Perfect Watch Strap


Every day we’re asked for tips on how to choose the perfect strap to complement your watches. The right strap can absolutely transform any watch. It can compliment it by bringing the focus to the watch itself or it can be so interesting that both the watch and the strap make a bold statement. A strap can give it a whole new look and feel. It can also breathe life into a dusty old watch you fell out of love with ages ago. You can even have several straps to wear with one watch for total versatility and to match your lifestyle.


So here are a few tips to help you find one or several of the perfect strap best suited to match your watch and personality.

Choosing the perfect Bas and Lokes leather watch strap

Tip #1 – Choose a leather strap that complements the color of the watch dial, hands or markers

Take a good look at your watch. Do any colors or tones stand out? Try choosing a strap to complement your dial.
If the dial is brown, then leather in dark brown tones or tans look great for a slight contrast and warm feel. Going with black leather will give it an even more interesting contrast if you are looking for your watch combo to stand out. If your dial is black, these are probably the most versatile watches as they look great with almost any leather. Lighter leather tones stand out even more with black dials. Go with darker colors for a more stealthy look.


Bas and Lokes "Bowen" black handcrafted leather watch strap Rolex Daytona


If your dial is cream or champagne color, then perhaps consider brown or tan straps for a warm and elegant look. White or silver dials are very versatile as well and look excellent with dark and lighter straps. Brown and tan leather lend a warm feel. Grey and black leather are a starker look and provide maximum contrast. Bold leather colors can be used with these dials to make a statement.


Bas and Lokes green handcrafted leather watch strap on Rolex Daytona gold


With watches that have hands or markers in colors that stand out, it’s often best to choose leather that first looks great with the dial. Next choose a thread color for the stitching to compliment the color of the markers or hands by matching or contrasting it.


Matching a Bas and Lokes leather strap to your watch


Tip #2 – Match it to your wardrobe, shoes or accessories


Think about the clothes you wear. Is there an article of clothing or accessory that you wear often, such as wearing the same shoes and belt? This is a good starting point. Choose a strap in the same color or similar tones so it matches these accessories. If it’s a leather jacket you love, then perhaps consider matching it to that or accessories like your favorite bag or wallet.


Matching Bas and Lokes vintage inspired leather accessories

Graf Zeppelin 7640.1 and Bas and Lokes Wyatt dark brown leather watch strap

Tip #3 – Consider where you will be wearing your watch to


If you’re looking for a dressy strap to wear to work with suits or similar attire, typically straps with full stitching are just the ticket as they are a bit more formal. Choose straps in black or dark browns as they’re subtle and don’t stand out as much. If you are the kind of person that wants to make a statement in a formal environment with your suit at work, then go with suede or a bright color to stand out and make a subtle splash.


Bas and Lokes handcrafted leather watch strap on vintage Rolex Datejust


If you’re looking for an every day strap, then think about the kinds of clothes you wear and your style. If you’re more casual, then straps with a vintage look will look fantastic. And don’t forget suede, it’s very versatile and looks beautiful with both casual and elegant ensembles.


Rolex Pepsi with Bas and Lokes "Jensen" natural handmade leather watch strap


Tip #4 – Match to your personality


Forget any rules. Throw them out the window. Wear whatever the heck you think reflects your personality. If it looks crazy then it looks crazy. If its boring, who cares. You’re happy, right?! We think that’s all that matters.


Bas and Lokes suede watch straps


Tip #5 – Can’t decide?


A beautiful handcrafted watch strap can transform any watch and with so much choice, you don’t have to be stuck with any one strap. Sometimes, while most of us dream of having a large watch collection, it’s not always possible. It’s often much easier to have one or two good watches and a handful of different straps that can give you a range of looks for a multitude of occasions.
Panerai Watch Strap Transformation


Bas and Lokes handcrafted black Kingsman leather watch strap


In less than a minute, it’s super easy to swap from a smart formal black strap that you wear to work, to a beautiful vintage style brown one to wear with casual attire on weekends.


Bas and Lokes grey leather watch strap

Hope you’ve found these tips useful. So how do YOU go about choosing the perfect strap for your watch?


Bas and Lokes

Transform Your Apple Watch

Ah the Apple watch. A technological marvel. You can make calls with it, send and receive messages, receive the news, check your heartbeat when you work out, you name it, but did you know you can transform the look of your watch to match your style better? You bet you can and we’re here to help you find the perfect watch strap.

Apple Watch looking smart with our “Jono” black leather watch strap.

Swap your straps to match your outfits or your mood. You don’t need special watch straps made. You can mount any of our two piece watch straps to your Apple watch. It’s easy as.

Apple watch third party adapters paired with our "Skyfall" watch strap.

Apple watch third party adapters paired with our “Skyfall” watch strap.

All you need is a third-party Apple watch adapter which can be sourced virtually anywhere online for only a few dollars. With an adapter you will easily be able to attach one of our straps to your watch in a matter of moments. They slide into your watch securely and lock into place and if you have several adapters you can have several straps already on standby ready to swap out in seconds.
Our russet vintage tan strap collection with a space grey Apple watch.

Our russet vintage tan strap collection with a space grey Apple watch.

Depending on the size of your watch and the adapters you purchased, you can mount straps from 20mm up to 24mm wide.

Apple watch complimented handsomely with our "Beaumont" natural handcrafted leather watch strap.

Apple watch looking exquisite with our “Beaumont” natural handcrafted leather watch strap.

My Apple watch is a Series 2 model in Space Grey. Its the smaller 38mm model and with my adapter, I am able to mount any of our two piece 20, 21 or 22mm wide watch straps easily and any of those sizes look exceptional. If you have the bigger 42mm Apple watch model then you will most likely be able to mount 22,23 and 24mm straps to your watch.

Outfit complete. Our grey beige "Brock" handcrafted leather strap with the Apple watch.

Outfit complete. Our grey beige “Brock” handcrafted leather strap with the Apple watch.

 Handy tip: when purchasing your adaptors for your Apple watch, make sure you check with the seller as to what size watch straps you can fit to your adaptor so you are sure to purchase the correct width strap from us.
Total transformation. Gorgeous wrist shot of our "Beaumont" natural handcrafted leather strap and the Apple watch.

Total transformation. Gorgeous wrist shot of our “Beaumont” natural handcrafted leather strap and the Apple watch.

Let us know if you have any questions or need help choosing the right strap for your Apple watch. We’d love to help.

-Bas and Lokes

Bas and Lokes X Russell’s Reserve Collaboration

Bas and Lokes X Russell's Reserve Kentucky Bourbon Collaboration

Bas and Lokes “Ford” wallet and “Excelsior” handcrafted leather watch strap.

Bas and Lokes recently partnered with Kentucky bourbon makers, Russell’s Reserve, craftsmen from back home in the USA, for an exciting three day pop-up collaboration event here in Sydney.

We were invited to lead workshops teaching a few dozen lucky volunteers how to make a vintage style simple version of our popular “Ford” wallet. The Bas and Lokes classmates got to hand sew, finish and personalize their wallet.

After every workshop, students then got to sample some of the best bourbon Russell’s Reserve have to offer in a small private tasting. We sampled their 10 year bourbon and Single Barrel bourbon. (Note: in the interest of safety, we always recommend drinking bourbon after cutting, sewing, and finishing your leather projects).

Bas and Lokes X Russell's Reserve Collaboration

Bas and Lokes “Dante” notebook sleeve, “Excelsior” watch strap and “Ford” wallet.

We had lots of fun running the class, meeting some great new people and sharing some of the skills and secrets of the Bas and Lokes workshop.

If you love bourbon (and we do), Russell’s is outstanding served straight, but it also makes for a mean Old Fashioned. Leather and Bourbon, now that’s a fine combination.

“Old Fashioned” bourbon recipe

Here’s our favourite Old Fashioned recipe:

2 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
1 Tsp. Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Muddle, stir with ice, and strain over one large cube into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist

If you try it out, let us know what you think.


Bas and Lokes

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