FITTING A RUBBER STRAP TO A REISSUE SUB 300T
© Dr. Peter McClean Millar - December 2003
Quite a few people have asked about a rubber strap for the 300T reissue. I decided to have a bit of a go myself. What follows is a step by step guide of what I did. First I assembled the following tools.
The watch holder was about 10 dollars. This is invaluable if you do any "tinkering" with watches. Te screwdrivers were a couple of dollars, the craft knife, 50 cents and the rubber strap was 6 dollars at Walmart
Taking out the screws which hold the steel bracelet is so much easier if you have a holder.
I used a pin to score and make small indentations in the rubber strap at the same width of the leatherette original.
I cut the rubber using the marks as a guide. I left the size just a little bit bigger than the original so the end pieces would be compressed into the lugs. Assemblly was the reverse of dismantling.
This is what the finished article looked like.
And a wrist shot.
The strap I used is comfortable and long enough to be used over a wetsuit. I was in a hurry and didn't quite get the strap even but it isn't noticible. I like it. If I was designing it I would have small steel inserts in the pin holes for added strength as I'm not sure how high the stresses are across the width, especially as it is now reduced in length to aboout 14mm. If using liners, there could also be a problem with corrosion due to differences in the steel type between the pins and the liners and differential aeration. However, good cleaning and drying after submersion of the watch should be standard practice after any dip in the water. Cutting always leaves sharp corners which act as stress raisers so I sanded down the cut edges of the strap.
I wore the watch for almost a week and was really surprised how comfortable it was. The 300T became a different watch. I have small wrists (6 1/2 inches) and the length of the strap bothered me a bit. I was going to just cut the ends off but I decided to let someone else try it and see if they liked it as much as I did. So I went and got another design of strap and fitted it. It also was a bit long due to the SUB 300T's case lenght of 55mm, so I cut off about an inch and tapered the end. What a difference. This is the strap for me. I don't dive so I don't need the extra length for a wet suit. There is just something nice about the orange and black. Doxa really were on the right track with the extra leatherette strap supplied with the SUB 300T reissue. The problem with it was it just wasn't built to do the job it was designed for.
Here's a side wrist view. Note how the curved lugs on the SUB 300T reissue allow the watch to hug the wrist.
All in all, I'm really pleased with the rubber strap modifications. I never thought I'd say it because I always claimed to just like steel bands, but I really like the SUB 300T reissue on a rubber strap.