We have received an unprecedented amount of requests from people all over the world to expand our watch strap offering with the recent collaboration we did with The Rake & IWC. This special edition watch we did was a limited edition of 150 watches featuring our 1786 Russian Hide NATO straps. We have developed a completely hand stitched watch strap for the Apple Series 4 Watch (includes the hardware ready to fit onto the watch strap).
This new collection includes three straps, one for 44mm, 42mm & 38mm. Each one comes complete with the silver Apple Watch adapter which is all fitted and ready to connect.
These watch straps are priced at £450. They are all lined with soft green kid leather.
The Story of the 1786 Russian Leather
In the eighteenth century, Russia was renowned for making the best leather around. It required taking reindeer hides and subjecting them to a special tanning process that was a carefully guarded trade secret. The result was a water resistant leather with a rich reddish brown color, a cross-hatch pattern, and a smell unlike anything else (supposedly it repels bugs, though we haven’t tested this ourselves). After the 1917 Russian Revolution, production was stopped and the tanning process was lost to history.
A cargo ship called the Metta Catharina sank in Plymouth Sound on its way from St. Petersburg to Genoa in 1786, with bundles of this leather on board. The dark mud off the coast of England preserved these packages until a team of British divers came upon the wreck in 1973. Even after cleaning and restoring the leather, nothing was made from it until 1986 when George Cleverley began making bespoke shoes from the legendary hides. While Cleverley doesn’t reveal its clients, we know the very first pair of these shoes were made for Prince Charles himself. There may or may not be more hides lingering in the Metta Catharina, but no divers are willing to explore the more dangerous parts of the wreck and so supply is currently limited to those already salvaged.