Wednesday, 3 June 2015

The Zipper Watch Strap - Part One

I thought it was time to dive into another project! This is a little something I scribbled down a couple of years ago, but which suddenly developed urgency as my favourite leather strap started to disintegrate!


Despite owning  a few slightly more "horologically passable" time pieces, this old quartz beater is my go-to. Not only does it never need winding, but it also doubles as my wallet thanks to a sneaky NFC chip on its back. Until my Pebble Time gets here, it's as smart as i need a watch to be!


My idea is to use an open ended zipper, as found on jackets and raincoats, to create a double loop around the wrist, which is then locked by doing up the zip! The result is no buckle underneath the wrist, and a funky visual twist on a striped NATO strap. Here are the sketches from work:


The only "difficulty" is in that zips aren't adjustable in length. It's not easy to get one in a perfect length, a person's wrist circumference is variable, and if a product is to be marketable it has to fit more than one person.

A solution is on the right side of the page. The central part of the strap, which runs under the watch body like a NATO strap, has an elastic backing, and the top piece is "ruched" to allow it to stretch AND mount to the watch pins. To expand the watch strap, you simply move the watch to more central pins, stretching the centre of the strap and increasing the length.

I've bought some cheap elastic waistband material which can double in length when stretched. A rudimentary bit of maths gives me 40% stretch possibility from the top fabric if i use semi-circular loops. With only 8 loops that results in 16mm of possible range!

I have a couple of zips on the way, and a neat trick for removing watch pins. When they arrive i'll dive into the prototyping which involves fabric, floss, and many staples!