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Kostas Venizelos is a highly specialised watch strap leather-smith with his brand ‘Kostas Straps’.
He is making bespoke orders of vintage leather straps for important watches and he is writing for us about his leather stories!

Leather stories

Leather is a material that humans have learned to use for more than 7000 years.
People always found it very useful in their everyday life as it had hundreds of applications.
In Ancient Greece the use of leather was very extensive and for instance the footwear sandals made of leather have now a legendary status.
It is such the importance of leather in Ancient Greece that it is included in many mythological stories. Jason and the Argonauts were sent to a quest for the Golden Fleece which was the hide of a ram.
In Homer’s Odyssey, the master of the winds Aeolus has given Odysseus a leather bag with all the winds of the world except one.
After all the Ancient Greeks brought leather right onto the front lines. Its characteristics like being weatherproof, durable and light weight was perfect for its widespread use in the battlefields. Either at the specific made war sandals or the shields of the greek warriors.
In my field of work I am specialising in making leather straps for a specific brand of  watches, Panerai. An Italian brand that provided military watches to the professional divers of the Italian Navy from 1940 and that they were used mostly for underwater activities and in the battlefield before, during and after WW2.
The extensive underwater usage might have been something that the watches could be engineered to be full proof but their leather straps is a different story whatsoever.
The beauty of the sea was always in the forefront of the poems and songs of Ancient and Modern Greeks artists. And it is inevitable as Greece is surrounded by the magnificent and mysterious Mediterranean Sea.
But as we know the sea can also be very treacherous. And it can dissolve everything in her path and within.
So leather had to withstand the continuous battling of the dried saltwater in the wrists of soldiers.
Many different techniques have been tried and tested and only few could say that these can adequately stand the test of time.
Attempting to replicate leather techniques of the past requires a lot of research, dedication, skills and above all passion for the end result.
I endeavour to create straps that although they were made today, they look as they have found their way through the sands of time and carry with them the history of the past.

Kostas Venizelos was born in Athens and has studied Multimedia and Graphic Design.
He has worked as a graphic designer for few years before embarking into a journey of exploring other creative arts.
A fan of poetry, he was attracted to writing since he was a teenager and followed the dream to present his own work. In 2001 he published his first two poetry books.
Few years later, in 2004 he moved in the UK to complete a Masters degree in Derby University in Art and Design with a focus on ‘visualising poetry’.

This work illustrated his poems through different mediums with the aim to achieve the same feelings without the impact of language as a barrier.

He exhibited this work around the East Midlands through the mediums of video and photography.

In 2010 he has turned his favourite hobby into his own business as a highly specialised watch strap leather-smith with his brand ‘Kostas Straps’.
He is only creating bespoke orders of vintage leather straps for special watches and their collectors.
He now lives in Nottingham and he has a devoted clientele from all around the world.

Instagram: kostasveni