Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gorilla Leather Straps - A true hidden gem in strap making.

You purchased your grail timepiece, congrats. You have worn it for over a year now and although you may still stare longingly at it, several times per day - truth is, it is getting a little bumped around. So you break out your Cape Cod cloth or titanium refinishing pen and go to work. A few minutes later, you have a watch case that looks like it just left the showroom case. You go to put your leather strap back on it and it looks like it just does not belong. The original strap has taken a full year of daily wearing (and removing) and is looking a bit tired. You could go back to the AD (authorized dealer) and drop over $150. + on a new OEM strap. Maybe a brown one, or a gator/croc selection,(for a lot more $$) or you could go a different route...a custom strap, made exclusively for you with hand stitching and an endless selection of hides and thread colors all for a lot less than most other "custom" strap makers. Don't get me wrong, there are a number of aftermarket strap manufacturers out there putting together some real nice looking product. My favorite choice happens to be Bo at Gorilla Leather.

Bo hasn't been making straps for all that long but is a true student of design. He started drawing at the age of 3 and he is the currently a self taught Graphic Designer for a MLB team . Most recently he redesigned the teams logos and uniforms, so you know the guy has talent. He took to strapmaking rather quickly mainly because the options that were out there were far to expensive and he saw an opportunity.

While all handmade straps are truly custom, Bo takes "custom" to a whole different level. Lets say you decided to purchase a Gorilla Strap. While he does, from time to time, have pre-made straps available, the real joy is customizing your own. Once you email Bo at Gorilla Leather he can send you a form that has nine (9) different selections that you have to choose to make your strap. They range from choosing your size (6 different measurement points), 4 different cut options, numerous stitch patterns and thread options, and of course, so many leather options that you may lose your mind trying to decide. Bo's Flickr page has plenty of pics to help guide you through the process.



"There is a base cost for each strap." Says Bo. "From there you can customize your design by choosing your own options. If there is a price next to an option, that additional charge is tacked on to the base charge of the strap. If there is no cost listed, it's a free option. Genius!" An average strap custom made to your liking will cost you less than $100. bucks - an unbelievable bargain. You can also get WWII ammo pouch straps or genuine Ostrich leg for an extra $30. Each strap is branded on the back with Gorilla Leather "G" stamp.

If you have ever had a custom suit or pair of shoes made for you, you know that these things take time. Well the same goes for strap making. Bo takes his time with his craft. "Time required to make each strap is based on my current work load. And if it wasn't obvious, I take my time to turn out an excellent product and do everything I can to make your vision a reality. So yeah, it takes a while. Don't email me every week asking status of your strap. I will hate you.." He says jokingly. "Let me work and be patient." Shipping is USPS flat rate $5. but for a little bit more, you can get it any way you choose.



Gorilla Leather also creates some unique non-watch leather goods. Your pooch can show off his own custom dog collar, or you can travel in style with Bo's luggage tags. If you dream it, I'm sure Bo can make it. If you have any questions, just email Bo@artofbo.com or Twitter.com/@gorilla_straps and he will gladly answer any questions you may have. His website, www.gorillaleather.com will be going live on 10/23-09.

I guess now you can add strap making to the list of things "Bo Knows..."

2 comments:

Nhien said...

Nice straps. You may also want to have a look at Bas and Lokes Straps www.BasAndLokes.com Great stuff.

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