My passion for watches started back in 2012 when I first laid eyes on the newly released Tudor Heritage Black Bay 79220R - specifically on the aged brown leather strap. As far as I was concerned, it was perfect! The gilt markings on the dial, gilt hands, faux patina and aged leather strap hit a chord with a classic and timeless style I so adored. Little did I understand the significance of the snowflake hands, burgundy bezel, lack of crown guards or Tudor rose logo.
It wasn't until 2015 that I finally saved a bit of money and decided to take the plunge into the watch world. And the Tudor, it was just as perfect as I had hoped. But before long, like a large portion of watch owners, I fell into the sub-hobby of changing out my watch strap. Given the 79220R was a divers watch and had a 22mm lug width, the obvious choice was the NATO strap.
Over the following months and years, I purchased and trialled an unjustifiable amount of NATO straps in endless attempts to find the perfect one. I wasn't sure of the exact NATO strap I wanted for the Black Bay, but what I was sure of was that everything I had purchased so far was falling short. Similar to thousands of others, my main stomping ground for the purchases was eBay and it became very obvious that regardless of if you spent £5, £10 or £20, the variety and quality on offer wasn't great and everything I had previously bought was much of a muchness - the same nylon material, the same colours and, give or take a few differences, the same buckles and hardware.
As the summer of 2017 ended, my search for the perfect NATO strap for my burgundy bezeled Tudor remained far from fruitful. It was at this point that I realised that if I was finding the search for a reliable seller of a good variety of quality NATO straps frustrating, then others must be too. So I naively thought - why not give it a go myself and offer the range of NATO straps that I wanted and would be willing to buy?! This is were George's Straps started....
Into 2018 I began to receive, test and modify product samples up to the point where as of Spring I was in a position to list and sell the products. I flipped my eBay and PayPal accounts to 'Business' and launched 181 straps in varying colours, styles and sizes.
Fast forward 2 years and I had sold over 15,000 straps and developed a great understanding of what NATO strap lovers really wanted! But, I had also developed a better understanding of exactly what I wanted, and that was a bigger piece of the watch industry.
As time passed by my tastes became more refined and conservative, something most probably aided by my age slowly moving further away from a number that began with a 2. I realised that I not only wanted to offer products of a higher quality but I also wanted to offer products that defined my business and passion. My love of watches started with a Tudor Black Bay on a leather strap and that was the definition I wanted for my company - Tudor watches and leather watch straps.
Hence, GS&W was born. Retailing handmade leather watch straps from Europe and specialising in pre-owned Tudor watches (we made sure to still offer a high quality NATO as well). The accompany the change, 'I' became 'we' and the GS&W team grew to 3. We carried over the great post-sales and customer support I had gained over the past 2 years and started trading under our new name in Autumn 2020. This where you join us today....
Take a look around, and any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Many thanks, George.