Leather Straps by W.O.E. - The Story

Leather Straps by W.O.E. - The Story

There are a few accessories that every watch owner needs, and a durable two-piece leather strap is one of them. So we went out and designed our own using the best craftsmen in America.  The Jedburgh is a two piece English Bridle Leather Strap and the Desert Night Camouflage (DNC) is a two piece leather/canvas strap using repurposed camouflage uniforms.

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Watches of Espionage Tudor Black Bay 58

W.O.E. Product Development:  At Watches of Espionage, our product development model is to partner with true professionals –masters of their craft– to develop distinct and highly-functional products that honor our community and our core belief that you should “use your tools.” If it doesn't follow our mantra, it doesn’t get made. In short, we design products for ourselves.

Made in America:  There is a lot of virtue signaling with “Made in America.”  That said, supporting American small businesses is in line with our core beliefs as a community so we will continue to default to “American made” when possible.  From a practical standpoint, working with US-based partners allows W.O.E. to rapidly iterate with our suppliers to develop unique and lasting tools.  Further, the quality of American handmade leather goods far exceeds anything else on the market.

DNC Watch Strap

There are some great companies out there making straps but it’s a crowded market with little differentiation among the myriad of straps. The vast majority of straps for sale online are imported from Asia and sold at a significant mark up. There is nothing wrong with that, but it's just not our thing: we believe there is something special about American-made fine craftsmanship. These cannot be mass-produced.  

The Jedburgh – Leather Watch Strap - $125

Watches of Espionage Strap

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Release Date: 22 March, 6 pm eastern - Sign up for "Notify Me When Available"

Named after the Jedburgh teams of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), “The Jedburgh” is handmade in the USA with American-made English bridle leather.  Available in 20 x 16 mm and 22 x 18 mm (lug x buckle width) with buckles in stainless steel and PVD. 

The Jedburgh contains a subtle W.O.E. stamp on the “round end” of the billet end (the part with the holes).  When worn, the insignia is not readily visible.  As with previous W.O.E. products it is developed for a quiet professional who appreciates the history of Intelligence and Special Operations, and honors those who came before us.

Watches of Espionage Jedburgh Strap Leather

“The Jedburgh” is built to last using English bridle leather, chosen for its sturdiness and classy appearance.  Stiff at first, the strap will break in with regular wear.  The rounded tip, contrast stitching and reinforced, wider strap keepers make this strap stand out from the more traditional polished luxury watch straps.

Heritage: “The Jedburgh” is named after the Jedburgh teams of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The strap was designed as a modern interpretation of a strap worn by members of the World War II era OSS.  Dubbed the Glorious Amateurs, OSS officers conducted sabotage and subversion operations in both the European and Asian theaters.  The Jedburgh teams were in many ways the predecessors to modern day Intelligence and Special Operations.

Refined, Yet Adventurous:  This versatile watch strap was designed to fit in in the African bush, New York boardroom or European café.  It pairs well with a beat-up Seiko 5 in the desert or a vintage Rolex Submariner 5513 at your local hipster coffee shop.  It is perfect for a Tudor, Omega, Hamilton, Sangin or anything in between.

Wrist Shot Watches of Espionage

What to Expect: The Jedburgh epitomizes the “Use your Tools” motto and while initially stiff, it will break in like a good pair of boots or blue jeans.  The strap is made to fit individuals with 5.75-7.5 inch wrists but is dependent on the size of the watch: ensure you measure your wrist prior to ordering.  In contrast to the DNC Strap, the Jedburgh has a traditional 4 mm taper to the buckle for a more refined look.

Design and Development:  There is a guy that has been described as the only person in the watch world “more secretive than W.O.E.”  He runs a company focused solely on handmade watch straps and accessories to unspecified high-end clients.  Like many in the watch industry, he values discretion and enjoys a low profile.  Not surprisingly, we hit it off.  While most leather straps are indistinguishable and follow similar patterns, we started from scratch.  Beginning in mid-2022, it took six months to design and produce these straps after many iterations and changes.  W.O.E.’s aesthetic combined with the individual’s expertise and craftsmanship resulted in the Jedburgh.

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Leather And Canvas Watch Strap - Desert Night Camouflage - $185

Watches of Espionage Watch Strap

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Leather And Canvas Watch Strap - Desert Night Camouflage:  Handmade in the USA using Horween Leather base and repurposed camouflage canvas. VERY limited production.

Overview:  This robust strap was personally designed by W.O.E. with the input, guidance, and expertise in craftsmanship by Greg Stevens Design in Utah. The strap is 20 mm wide with no taper, resulting in a sturdy and lasting leather strap.

The watch strap contains a W.O.E. stamp inside the strap based on the OSS Spearhead, and signature “WOE.” Designed for the quiet professional.  Like a great watch, the strap is a tool, made to be used and to last. The patina on the leather and fraying of the canvas edge that can develop over years of use is a bonus.

Desert Night Camouflage Watch Strap

Desert Night Camouflage:  The DNC pattern was originally developed to conceal U.S. personnel from Soviet-era night vision devices (NVD) and was worn by Special Operations Forces in the first Gulf War.  The camouflage quickly became obsolete for its intended purpose due to rapid developments in NVDs. The straps were constructed from military surplus BDU pants and jackets.

Watches of Espionage DNC

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*Photos by James Rupley and Michael Shaffer / @capitolsunset

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