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Dear watchfreeks community,

I am a watch enthousiast as you are and started my watch hobby when buying my first serious watch, a blackened Panerai 312, in April 2011.

Quickly I fell in love with straps and buckles and developed an exotic taste. I started to make my own straps, but wasn't really satisfied with the overall results.

Frustrated by the lack of quality I started to make buckles. But because I haven't had the tools to process metal, I decided to make buckles out of exotic materials you would normally not think of for a watch buckle, like exceptional pieces of noble wood, animal horn, plastics and fossil mammoth ivory.

For me a watch is more than it‘s metal body, dial and movement. I am seeking for a perfect combination of watch, strap, watch buckle and even (handmade) bolt to make it a perfect symbiosis of watch art.

In the (conservative) German watch forum where I was most active at this time members did not really jump like crazy on my buckles, as you can imagine, but when I presented my first buckles made of fossil mammoth ivory, 10-30.000 yrs old and with a patina developed over the ages in the Sibirian and Jakutian perma frost, I had all the attention of creative watch freaks and exotic strap lovers.

Tattoo Chef , one of your forum moderators, found me on www.facebook.com/finewatchbuckles and on www.finewatchbuckles.com and asked me to present my buckles and combos here on watchfreeks.com.

I have added many pictures in my album and I hope you can see it.

Making exotic buckles is a hobby for me to keep my work-life balance (and to rely from my two little girls :)), and I love to share it with others.

It is not my intention to get rich with it. In real life I am IT product manager for a global player and I love my job.

The watch and buckle hobby gives me the option to refill my creativity and relax a bit in my buckle "lab".

For people as buckle crazy as I am I am happy to sell some of my pieces and - even better - make buckles for your combo of watch and strap.

Noble wood has so many facettes and patterns metal can never have, more than even Damask steel.

I only acquire the most extraordinary pieces of (hard) wood and test all my buckles thouroughtly for durability. Some pieces crack during the continuous crack tests, yes - you can't look inside the wood. But most of them do not, as I mostly use extremely hard wood that grows very slow, like Desert Iron Wood, Serpent wood, Rosewood, etc. Some exceptional wood that is to weak for buckles is stabiized in a technical process with plastic glass - knife makers know about it.

So the buckles that survive my extreme tests are STABLE and do not break unless you play Hercules with them. Mammoth is so strong that it is hardly breakable at all - it was a teeth used for fighting, and this makes it extremely strong.

By the way: Mammoth ivory can be traded without restriction - the beasts are already dead, and I would never use elephant ivory to support the killing of these great animals. Same goes for my straps - my favourite strap maker FIS straps search for antique leather goods on flee markets and get the old lizard, snake and croco leather for a bargain, and recycle the old bags to wonderful watch straps. And no animal has to die.

My black Panerai 312 is the perfect playground for combining straps and watch buckles. But also other watches like an iPod Nano watch or any other watch can truly become a unique piece when meliorated with taste outside the vanilla mainstream.

You know my story now. When you think I am crazy, you are in good company. For all the others (and the name "watchfreeks" is really promising), I hope you enjoy my work.

I have sent Tattoo Chef a set of my buckles and look forward to his deep reviews here on watchfreeks.com. Stay tuned!

All the best,
Ingo











































































 

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I have never seen anything quite so amazing. This is fabulous work Ingo, everything is dead on and definitely unique. They are like nothing else I have ever seen, and that is a good thing! They are very nice and extremely well done! I hope to see more of your work in the future!
 

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Wow....absolutely WOW!!

Some insane looking creations...LOVE IT !! Love the outside of the box designs and as a strap-a-holic some incredible works there too!

I REALLY want a few Damascus buckles, and other cool metals as well. I agree so much that having a killer strap deserves a really cool buckle.

I notice that your buckles appear on the chunky side (nothing wrong with that), but do you also have exotic buckles that aren't so big?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Danny and others,

sorry for the misunderstanding.

I am a buckle collector and used the (metal) damascus steel buckles I have bought as a contrast to the buckles of wood, horn and mammoth ivory I make.

All the damascus steel buckles I have bought from Maddog Straps in Austria:
http://www.maddog-straps.com/de/schliessen.html

The page is in German, but the buckle maker speaks English. Just send an email to [email protected] and refer to me.

All his damascus (and other buckles) buckles have the same shape and are available in 22/24/26mm. A damascus is 145 Euro or so. The web site above shows the extensive manufacturing process.

Best regards,
Ingo
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The damascus steel buckle is produced by http://www.maddog-straps.com/de/schliessen.html- I have bought it regularly (see my earlier reply to Danny).

The wood buckle you are asking for (Desert Iron Wood burl) is 99 Euro plus shipping.

Prices for my buckles are:

•Watch buckle in wood, horn and polymers 79 Euro
•Watch buckle in curled Desert Iron Wood 89 Euro (THE most expensive wood on the planet)
•Watch buckle in brown fossil mammoth ivory 159 Euro
•Watch buckle in blue fossil mammoth ivory 199 Euro (extremly rare)

All watch buckles come with a high-end Swiss made spring bar and a beautiful handmade bolt from Maddog Straps of brass or copper.

•Heart pendant in wood, horn and polymers 19 Euro
•Heart pendant in brown fossil mammoth ivory 29 Euro
•Heart pendant in blue fossil mammoth ivory 39 Euro (extremly rare)

Options:
+10 Euro for a handmade bolt of Bronce (CuSn8)
+20 Euro for a handmade bolt of Damask Steel (200 to 400 layers)
+20 Euro for a handmade bolt of Mokume Gane

Special requests are welcome - please ask.

Insured Shipping with tracking ID (cheapest rate as registered letter).

Best regards,
Ingo
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Danny,

natural material like wood, horn and ivory need a certain thickness to keep their stability. Thin metal bends, wood would crack.

That's why the buckles need to be a bit chunkier than thin metal buckles.

But you can get used to it, and then the metal stuff appears just tiny and you fear to suck it it in when you breathe :)

Enjoy,
Ingo
 
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