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Thread: Rivets for a flieger-style strap

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Rivets for a flieger-style strap

    Can anyone recommend where to buy the size and style of rivets used in flieger-style straps? I am guessing these are a type of Chicago screw, but I can't find anything suitable on eBay.

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    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    I believe that they are called Chicago screws. For this one I had to cannibalise the screws from one of Eddie's straps as the strapmaker couldn't get the size I wanted either. The heads are 6mm and the holes need to be 3mm; the depth of the screw means the strap couldn't be any thicker than 4mm and even then it took a bit of squeezing to get the threads to bite.


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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    I believe that they are called Chicago screws. For this one I had to cannibalise the screws from one of Eddie's straps as the strapmaker couldn't get the size I wanted either. The heads are 6mm and the holes need to be 3mm; the depth of the screw means the strap couldn't be any thicker than 4mm and even then it took a bit of squeezing to get the threads to bite.
    Yes, those are exactly what I am after. I've searched on "Chicago screws" and "binding screws" but all the ones I can find seem to have either a 9mm or 10mm head. There must be someone out there who has the sole distribution rights to the watch strap industry!

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Found some here via a search on WUS: https://www.jurgensgermany.com/shop/...etail?Itemid=0

    $18 plus postage for a set of four, though, so will carry on searching for alternatives.

  5. #5
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    Yes, those are exactly what I am after. I've searched on "Chicago screws" and "binding screws" but all the ones I can find seem to have either a 9mm or 10mm head. There must be someone out there who has the sole distribution rights to the watch strap industry!
    I agree; I can't find anything on Ebay. I suspect you either need to track down a specialist trade supplier or spend a bit of time on Alibaba.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    I agree; I can't find anything on Ebay. I suspect you either need to track down a specialist trade supplier or spend a bit of time on Alibaba.
    We are both on a mission aren't we :).

    OP, they are also called sex screws believe it or not. Good luck with the search and let us know if you find any.

  7. #7
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    Rivets for a flieger-style strap

    How about these?

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/4486...ss-steel-rivet

    Just realised these are too wide, being 10mm x 6mm. The smallest they have are 8x6 - will keep looking.
    Last edited by alfat33; 30th July 2017 at 20:23.

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    How about these?

    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/4486...ss-steel-rivet

    Just realised these are too wide, being 10mm x 6mm. The smallest they have are 8x6 - will keep looking.
    I did find some, see here: https://www.jurgensgermany.com/shop/...etail?Itemid=0

    $18 plus postage for four, though.

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    Yes I saw that link thanks. Some nice straps on there as well, if a little pricy. I'm pretty confident we should be able to find some for less than 1 each.

  10. #10
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    I did find some, see here: https://www.jurgensgermany.com/shop/...etail?Itemid=0

    $18 plus postage for four, though.
    I wouldn't go there for two reasons. Firstly, for less than that, you can buy one of Eddie's open-ended aviator straps, get the screws and still have a spare strap. Secondly I recall seeing a couple of things over the years about Jurgens and I wouldn't give him my business.

    e.g. http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.ph...-so-i-did-this

    I appreciate that Jurgens USA and Jurgens Germany seem to be two separate companies but the above link is from the US site.

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f222/av...sa-662894.html

    He used to sell extensively on MWR and I have a feeling that he may have been booted off there too.

    Edit: yes, he's been banned. http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/member.php?194-J%FCrgen
    Last edited by Carlton-Browne; 31st July 2017 at 08:14.

  11. #11
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    And bingo (I found it by searching on Jurgen on MWR):

    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...chicago-screws

    https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/chicago-screws

    If you are thinking of doing an order then it might be worth getting the pack of 100 and we do a group buy. I'd happily contribute a third of $40 plus post.

    The other option is I try to find them under whatever god forsaken, multi-syllable compound noun they are known as in German and see if I can find Jurgens supplier.

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    And bingo (I found it by searching on Jurgen on MWR):

    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...chicago-screws

    https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/chicago-screws

    If you are thinking of doing an order then it might be worth getting the pack of 100 and we do a group buy. I'd happily contribute a third of $40 plus post.

    The other option is I try to find them under whatever god forsaken, multi-syllable compound noun they are known as in German and see if I can find Jurgens supplier.
    Unfortunately from reading the reviews of those same screws on amazon.com I think the dimensions given (6mm, 10mm and 13mm) relate to the distance between the two heads, rather than the diameter of the head. It's a shame, as I will be in New Jersey this week and could have picked them up.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Well, the good news is that I know what they're called; either Chicagoschrauben or Buchschrauben (book screws) but I can't find anything under 8mm yet.

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    Well, the good news is that I know what they're called; either Chicagoschrauben or Buchschrauben (book screws) but I can't find anything under 8mm yet.
    I know, if we wanted 9mm or 10mm the world would be our oyster!

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    I searched for 1/4".

    What about these?

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/132242764412

  16. #16
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Nope - Kappendurchmesser 10,2mm. The heads are 10mm.

  17. #17
    Master animalone's Avatar
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    Smallest I could find was 8mm heads
    https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/5...ss-steel-rivet

  18. #18
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    FFS. In German :).

    Eddie must be laughing if he is reading this.

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Etsy Studio looks to be the most promising option so far.

    I can see these that purport to be 7mm head diameter, with a 5mm barrel diameter and 4mm length: https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/2...=sr_gallery_19

    Then these that are 8mm, with a 3.5mm length: https://www.etsystudio.com/listing/4...=sr_gallery_11

    I may well order some to see what they are like.

  20. #20
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    7mm is pretty close but the strapmaker will need to be spot on with the holes otherwise the head may work itself loose with only a 1mm overhang around the 5mm shank.

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    7mm is pretty close but the strapmaker will need to be spot on with the holes otherwise the head may work itself loose with only a 1mm overhang around the 5mm shank.
    You raise an interesting point.

    Whilst recognising how historically the rivets may have served a real purpose, I was thinking that these days they are primarily for display only, as most of these style straps I've looked at seem to combine rivets with stitching.

    Or have I misunderstood?

  22. #22
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    You raise an interesting point.

    Whilst recognising how historically the rivets may have served a real purpose, I was thinking that these days they are primarily for display only, as most of these style straps I've looked at seem to combine rivets with stitching.

    Or have I misunderstood?
    It depends on the watch you need it for - watches in what's known (rightly or wrongly) as 1928 pattern all have fixed lugs so you're a bit stuffed without working screws if you want to be able to change straps yourself. If my Helvetia used spring bars I wouldn't even know what a chicago screw is.

  23. #23
    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    It depends on the watch you need it for - watches in what's known (rightly or wrongly) as 1928 pattern all have fixed lugs so you're a bit stuffed without working screws if you want to be able to change straps yourself. If my Helvetia used spring bars I wouldn't even know what a chicago screw is.
    Of course, now makes perfect sense.

    I can't find the "slap forehead" emoticon as I really should have thought that through.

    I was actually looking at the fixed-lug PRS 40 this morning and thinking about how to affix a leather strap to that, other than a NATO, and usable screws would be the obvious answer - in fact I think Jurgen do such a strap.

    The 8mm screws have a 4mm barrel width, so one thought would be to hold them briefly against the bench sander to take them down to 7mm, as that would then allow 1.5mm overlap.

    I'll carry on looking though.....

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    Rivets for a flieger-style strap

    A couple more options here:

    1. I believe that these chicago screws really do have 6mm heads, although the barrel is 7mm long:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252422359661

    And also thought why not just try rivets? 100 for 2.99

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221428174167

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    A couple more options here:

    1. I believe that these chicago screws really do have 6mm heads, although the barrel is 7mm long:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252422359661

    And also thought why not just try rivets? 100 for 2.99

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221428174167
    Many thanks for posting these.

    Looking at the photo I think the challenge with the 6x7mm is that they are designed as a standalone "post" (a bit like a dumb-bell) with the screw going into one of the bases. You can see that in the gunmetal one on the far right that doesn't have the securing screw attached.



    My guess is that these are designed for securing a closing strap onto a bag, etc. That's going to make them a challenge to use on a watch strap unless you can grind down the base at one end. That might be an option worth pursuing, though it will depend on how deep the screw thread goes.

    My experience with the rivets is that where I've used them before to replace the poppers on jacket pockets, etc. the overall quality is pretty poor. The domed cap damages quite easily. I also feel they will look cheap compared to the chicago screws, and I don't want to end up with a strap that is let down by the details.

    Thanks again for posting.

  26. #26
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Having worked out the German for these I decided to see if book screws is a thing in English and it is. They are also known as binding screws, interscrews and sex bolts as already mentioned. This link looks interesting as they say they make to order.

    http://www.ukpatternbookfasteners.co.uk/index.html

    Everything on their site seems to be 9.5mm (3/8") which seems to be a bit of a standard. It also appears that when a single dimension is mentioned then this almost universally refers to the length of the shaft which makes it difficult to search when you are more concerned about the head diameter.

  27. #27
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    What do you think of this? A cheap eBay strap while I figure out a really nice one. It's got its flaws but I like it more than I thought I might. It's got a rough charm - that's what I'll tell myself anyway.



    It's dark brown leather and the 'furniture' is silver apart from the metal keeper which is bronze - don't ask me why.

  28. #28
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    The strap looks alright in terms of texture and colour and obviously the roller buckle looks good. Did you punch the holes for the rivets or were they already there; they look a bit spaced out?

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    Craftsman willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    What do you think of this? A cheap eBay strap while I figure out a really nice one. It's got its flaws but I like it more than I thought I might. It's got a rough charm - that's what I'll tell myself anyway.



    It's dark brown leather and the 'furniture' is silver apart from the metal keeper which is bronze - don't ask me why.
    That doesn't look half bad!

    To really do the watch justice it would be nice to find some rivets that matched the shade of steel of the watch case. Other than that I do like the textured leather in the strap itself. Carlton-Browne's comments on my other thread about Adi's strap have won me over to the roller buckle as well.

    I do like the Helvetia - both yours and Carlton-Browne's have got me searching the internet - and I can see that a search for rivets could end up being a very expensive exercise!

    Excuse my ignorance, but how is the pointer set on the watch dial - presumably via the bezel? I did see a part movement and case for sale in the US, but was none the wiser.
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 11th August 2017 at 12:54.

  30. #30
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    Excuse my ignorance, but how is the pointer set on the watch dial - presumably via the bezel? I did see a part movement and case for sale in the US, but was none the wiser.
    Yes, it moves with the bezel.

  31. #31
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    The holes were already punched. They are too far apart if you have the proper stitching like on yours Alan, but I don't mind them like that on this one. I don't know why the rivets look a bit gold, they are completely silver, at least the ones by the watch case. I'll try to get a better picture checking for reflections. The roller buckle is pretty crude, hardly precision engineering. I like it more than I thought I would but it still has the feeling of being put together by an enthusiast rather than a piece of fine leatherwork. It's also too long for my small wrists but just about wearable.

    The bezel on the Helvetia rotates,
    moving the pointer. It's taken me more than a year to find one that wasn't mucked about, overpriced or just trashed. CB and Wibbs have been extremely helpful - I am a complete novice and they have the real expertise. You might try mwr.com if you aren't on there already. For guidance I paid just over 500 for this one. I'm sure that is a lot more than they were 5 years ago. Equally you see 1500 quoted for some not so good examples so be warned :).

  32. #32
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    Rivets for a flieger-style strap

    Here is another picture hopefully with more even colours. The rivets by the case do have a slight yellow cast but not as noticeable as the first picture. I expect the plating is very cheap. As mentioned before the metal keeper and the rivet by the buckle are just the wrong colour. Let's pretend they are service replacements. [Edit: the seller is sending me a replacement steel keeper and rivet].



    Here is the back. The strap is lined with a kind of rough black leather.

    Last edited by alfat33; 11th August 2017 at 15:25.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    The strap looks alright in terms of texture and colour and obviously the roller buckle looks good. Did you punch the holes for the rivets or were they already there; they look a bit spaced out?
    Since you wrote this I've been comparing my strap with others including yours, and realised how right you are. Scrap my previous answer, it's got nothing to do with the stitching.

    A little bird told me today some Chicago screws of the correct size might turn up in the next couple of days. I might experiment with shortening the strap and making new holes a bit further in. This is still a dress rehearsal for getting the final strap made anyway.

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