About 1787 Straps
The name 1787 Straps refers to the year that the current breed of reindeer was brought to Vopnafjörður, Iceland from Norway. This special breed was the only one brought to Iceland that survived the harsh winters and landscape. Descendants of the 35 reindeer brought here in 1787 live in the highlands in the eastern part of Iceland which 1787 straps are made from.
1787 Straps was founded in Reykjavík, Iceland January 2017. It is owned and operated by a watch nerd/collector/enthusiast, Eiður Aron Arnarson. An old soul, lover of all things vintage and avid traveler. With the ultimate goal to make something unique, comfortable and durable.
The idea to make an Icelandic reindeer leather watch strap came about around two years ago (2016). For most watches I own I change the straps out frequently either because they are uncomfortable oem straps or just to spice things up and get a new look out of an old watch, like I always say the strap is half the look of the watch. Me being a tinkerer and good working with my hands I thought to myself it would be fun to make myself a strap from Icelandic reindeer leather. After doing a lot of research on how to make a watch strap I decided to go for it. With a vision of making something unique and comfortable for my watches I purchased my first reindeer hide in January 2017 and for months studied and tested meticulously how to integrate the reindeer leather into a watch strap that would fulfill all aspects a watch strap should have. This originally was not meant to be a business but with the finished product in hand I thought to myself this is something watch enthusiasts will love.
There is a plethora of watch straps out there for sale but there is only one place where you will find a unique, comfortable and durable wild reindeer leather watch strap ! Let me tell you more.
Each strap is completely handmade in Iceland by me and production is limited. I only use high quality leather, tools and materials to make the straps and I take my time ensuring each strap is up to standards.
When I set out to make a perfect reindeer watch strap I had three criteria that had to be met.
The straps should be unique.
They had to be comfortable at all times.
The straps should be durable and last a long time.
After ten months of brainstorming, hard work, trial and error, testing and feedback I am ecstatic with the results and excited to share my creation with my fellow watch enthusiasts.
The straps consist of Icelandic reindeer leather and full grain bullhide leather. The top part of the strap is reindeer giving it the very unique look and feel. The reindeer leather is approximately 1 millimeter thick and it is very strong, durable and naturally water resistant. With time and wear the reindeer leather develops a beautiful patina which is very desirable, especially if you put it on a vintage watch.
The texture and color varies a little between the leathers used since they are from wild animals and the leather does not go through an unnatural process to give it a uniform look. It is kept as natural as possible.
Pictured below is a prototype strap. This has been my daily wearer for the last 7 months. So much water spilled, sweat, grime, poured garlic oil accidentally over it.. well it´s gone through a lot ! This strap has never been cleaned in any way other than rubbing it with a dry cloth. It still has that nice leather smell like when it was new!
Spring pins still not visible despite the strap being drenched in water multiple times!
The straps form to the wrist, this makes them extremely comfortable to wear.
Beautiful patina that has formed over time! started out with the same look as it´s product photo.
To give the strap the right thickness and added strength full grain leather is added underneath. The full grain leather is the strongest, most durable and most natural part of the bullhide. It will last longer, resist sweat and water better and form better to your wrist than other leathers used under watch straps. The full grain leather also has the desired characteristic of forming quickly to your wrist making them extremely comfortable to wear. The noble side of the full grain leather is always the side that touches your wrist, very sleek, soft and comfortable.
Everything is done by hand! Cutting the leather to size, gluing, stitching, finishing the edges, stamping the logo etc. There is not a machine that comes near the straps when making them.
I use the most natural materials available when making the straps. Stitching is done using waxed Coats Barbour 100% flax linen thread, a very strong natural material. Padding used in the classic straps is bullhide leather. The edge coloring I use is specific to each color of reindeer leather to fit the strap, It can not be customized.
The straps are presented in our signature box (made in Iceland) that was designed by me in collaboration with Iceland's largest printers.
The name 1787 Straps refers to the year that the current breed of reindeer was brought to Vopnafjörður, Iceland from Norway. This special breed was the only one brought to Iceland (fourth group of four brought here between 1771-1787) that survived the harsh winters and landscape. Descendants of the 35 reindeer brought here in 1787 live in the highlands in the eastern part of Iceland which 1787 leather straps and accessories are made from. Originally the reindeer were meant for husbandry but farmers did not find the use so the reindeer have since being brought to Iceland always roamed wild. The reindeer are always referred to as Icelandic even though they are not indigenous to Iceland since they have developed their own unique characteristics over hundreds of years.
Currently the population of reindeer in Iceland is about 6000 animals. The population is closely guarded with organized hunting every year, keeping the population not too big and not too small. All reindeer leather used in our straps is from wild animals that have been brought down in the organized and controlled hunting.
I work closely with the only tannery in Iceland that tans the reindeer after they have been brought down by Icelandic hunters. They ensure that 1787 Straps receive the best leather available. The tannery received the tannery of the year award in 2016 from World Leather Magazine.