Inthebagcraft Custom Shell Cordovan Strap

Pandemic-related international shipping delays have slowed the influx of new review watches to a trickle here at Time Bum Headquarters but lucky for me, the postman arrived with a package from Hong Kong yesterday. Inside, was a custom strap from Etsy seller inthebagcraft and it is glorious.

inthebagcrafts Shell Cordovan leather watch strap
Inthebagcraft offers a wide range of leather bags and accessories. Their watch straps include pass-throughs, vintage-style minimal stitch, as well as more tailored pieces with full stitching, finished sides, and optional padding. Prices range from $33 to $155 US. I ordered one of their more distinctive pieces, a black and tan in Japanese Shinki-Hikaku Shell Cordovan. Their items are not named so much as described (this one is “Leather Watch Strap, Leather Strap Shell Cordovan Watch Band, Vintage Watch Band…”) so you are better off just browsing by photo.

inthebagcrafts Shell Cordovan leather watch strap

Color options are limited for this model but there is still much to choose from. Once I placed my order with inthebagcraft we began a friendly, detailed exchange in which I provided photos of my watch, all relevant measurements, and chose my thread color, backing leather, and edging. I selected double-faced construction where both the upper and lining are black shell cordovan (sheep leather lining is the other option) and a natural color on the broad edge, creating an eye-catching two-tone effect.

The strap was destined for my Phobos Eagle Ray Bronze, a sharp-looking diver replete with glossy black and gold elements and matching buckle. As such, I specified a standard 115/75mm length with 20mm lugs tapering to an 18mm buckle and selected warm tan thread. Overall thickness is about 3.5mm. All said and done, my strap came to $103.88 and shipped two weeks later. Then I waited as Coronavirus restrictions killed what is normally fairly rapid trans-Pacific shipping. As commercial air travel evaporated, parcels got bumped, and my little package inexorably crawled from Asia to America.

inthebagcrafts Shell Cordovan leather watch strap Underside

It was well worth the wait. This strap is meticulously crafted. Every hole is ramrod straight, every stitch is tight. The underside of the strap is lined with the top side of the cordovan so it mirrors the front and the tabs at the lug ends are skived and sealed so well you have to look twice to see the seam. The shine on the black leather is just luscious, perfectly complementing the ceramic bezel and polished gold on the Phoibos while also contrasting nicely against the brushed and patinated bronze case.

inthebagcrafts Shell Cordovan leather watch strap On Phoibos Eagle Ray bronze

Inbagcraft supplies the strap with the most comprehensive bag of strap tools I’ve yet encountered. You get extra pairs of both straight and curved spring bars in addition to the set already fitted to the strap, a spring bar tool, an awl, a hole punch, a cleaning cloth, and keychain containing a tiny set of flat and Phillips head screwdrivers. 


I could not be happier with my purchase. This strap is exactly what I wanted and better than I had hoped. It’s not enough to just wear it, I’m almost tempted to eat it. I certainly would not hesitate to order another, slow shipping be damned. Head over to inthebagcraft at Etsy and check out their work for yourself. ⬩


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