The beginning was somewhere in 2010 if I remember correctly. Working as I software engineer, I was always trying to find what will be my next hobby. Usually, it was related with software and making automated stuff using microcontrollers. Sometimes it was completely unrelated like my adventures in aquariums, some woodworking projects, playing with audio amps, speakers and stuff and the list goes on 🙂
In all the above cases, I have to admit that as soon as I was satisfied with the results, I was in search for another hobby. Searching here and there I discovered leather working. Here I have to say that I was always in love with leather jackets, shoes, bags etc. But working with leather is completely a different story. I started doing my homework on leather, through forums, old books etc. About three months later I had enough information to go ahead with my first big purchase, the tools and the leather.
This is my nixie clock, I made this from some old Nixie tubes and a microcontroller.
My beloved Omega Cosmic 2000 from late 60s
Now it’s a good time to say something about watches. I was a watch fan from the time I remember my self. My first watch as a kid was a Casio DW5600 or similar. Various watches followed including some calculators of course 🙂 I don’t remember my first mechanical watch but I do remember my first automatic, a Seiko skx007. And at the time of writing I have a collection of about 15 watches including a number of vintages watches starting from late 60s. By the way, I first heard of Panerai’s from a friend back in 2004 I think and instantly I fell in love with them.
Now back to leather working. When I received my first delivery of leather stuff I was the happiest man on earth. New tools to play and fantastic natural leather (first time to see how vegetable tanned leather looks like when it’s not dyed). But then the big question, what will be my first leather project?
And then something weird happened. Somehow I realised that from all the leather goods, the one that I wanted make first was a watch strap. A watch strap!! I don’t know why, maybe because I was already a watch fan, maybe for some other reason that I can’t understand. But there was a little problem, I had no idea how to make one. Although, reading books & stuff helped me a lot to understand how to use the tools.
I think it took me two days to finish my first strap, one day to dye the leather and let it dry overnight and one day for all the other stuff. And what is the best part? I did it myself without getting help from anyone or any resource and I’m very proud of that (yeah I know in the end you’re just putting two pieces of leather together but the little details make a big difference). I have added a picture of my first strap here for reference. FYI, I’m still wearing it from time to time with my PAM024.
This is my first ever made watch strap and my first ever made leather project!
That’s how the leather fever started. That’s all for now, in a next post I will let you know how this hobby has been evolved to become a real job.