Watch Guides

Informative guides and tutorials on topics such as getting started with watch hobbies, watch maintenance, and basic repairs.

I Tried Making a Leather Watch Strap at a Local Workshop

Leather Watch Strap

As a self-proclaimed cheapskate who can never justify spending more than 10 bucks on a leather watch strap, I’ve always been curious about the art of leatherworking.

So when I heard about Yogyakarta’s reputation for leather crafting, I knew I had to dip my toes and try it out for myself. That’s how I found myself signing up for a leather making workshop for beginners at Kaula Leather Workshop, eager to satisfy my long-held curiosity and finally experience the thrill of making my very own leather watch strap.

Kaula Leather Workshop, Yogyakarta
Kaula Leather Workshop, Yogyakarta

The Workshop: Chill Vibes and Knowledgeable Teacher

Kaula Leather Workshop, Yogyakarta
Easy enough to find the workshop – thanks to the signboard
Kaula Leather Workshop, Yogyakarta
Upon arriving at the workshop, I was struck by the relaxed vibe of the place.
Kaula Leather Workshop, Yogyakarta
It even has a pool!


Before we arrived at the workshop, I had already let them know that I wanted to make a leather watch strap and that my sweet husband wanted to make a leather purse for me. When we arrived, I showed the teacher the watch strap sample that I had in mind, while my husband chose a design from their purse collection.

The teacher was so friendly and knowledgeable, and he quickly helped me cut the calf skin to the perfect size for my 20mm black leather watch strap. I was making the strap for my husband’s Hamilton Intra Matic Chronograph H watch.

Kaula Leather Workshop, Yogyakarta
The teacher helped us cut the calf skin according to correct sizes


As I brushed on the black paint onto the leather, I felt my excitement building up as the leather watch strap began to take form. It took a few layers of paint to achieve the deep black shade that I was going for.

Kaula Leather Workshop, Yogyakarta, Watch Strap Making
Circle, circle, straight
Drying Leather Watch Strap
Drying – the most time consuming part


While waiting for the paint to dry, the teacher suggested making a keychain and bracelet as a bonus activity, which turned out to be a fun way to pass the time.


When the paint had dried, I noticed that the color wasn’t as black as I had hoped. The teacher advised me to brush another layer of polish, which helped to darken it.

Making Leather Watch Strap
Painted another layer of polish of some kind, to make it shinier and darker

After the teacher did some stitching on the strap, I then punched some holes, put some glue, sanded the edges, and applied wax to give it a smooth finish. Putting on the buckle was a bit challenging, but with some adjustments, I was able to complete the watch strap.

Leather Watch Strap Making
Cut it precisely to make sure both upper and lower straps are of same width
Making Leather Watch Strap
Put on some glue
Leather Watch Strap Making
Punched some holes
Leather Watch Strap Making
Grooved/Indented it out


The entire process took a while, as my husband was also making a leather purse for me at the same time, but the end result was worth the wait. I felt proud of the finished product and can’t wait to show it off. It was a fantastic learning experience, and it gave me a newfound appreciation for the art of leatherworking.


20mm Watch Strap: 350 000 IDR or USD 23
Big Purse: 625 000 IDR or USD 40

I won’t lie, the workshop wasn’t exactly cheap, but for almost 7 hours of creating something with my own two hands, I’d say it was worth it. There’s just something special about being able to proudly wear a watch strap that I crafted myself.

In conclusion, I highly recommend checking out Kaula Leather Workshop if you’re interested in trying your hand at making leather goods. It’s a great opportunity to learn a new skill and gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into creating beautiful leather items.

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12 Best Affordable Watches You Can Gift (Under $100)

Watches don’t have to be expensive to be good. Here are the 12 best affordable watches under $100 that are perfect as gifts.

Criteria For This List of Budget Friendly Watches

When it comes to gifting watches to someone, I would prefer it to last. I didn’t want to gift a smartwatch or a fashion brand watches that will only last a few years. So here are my criteria for this list:

  • Price below/around $100
  • Reputable brands
  • Good track records
  • Value for money

12 Best AFFORDABLE Watches under $100
(in 4 categories)

Category 1: Digital Silver Casio

Let’s start with the good old digital watches. When it comes to digital watches, there’s only one brand you can go for. Despite its ridiculously low price tags, Casio has been regarded as one of the best watch brands out there. This style of silver Casio suits those who love the retro look. There are of course lots of models with slight variations from each other.

Here are the ones that I will recommend after trying them on my tiny 150mm wrist.

Casio A168

The Casio A168 is a bigger brother of the A158, which is a silver version of the famous F-91W. As you can see in the photos below, they look pretty much the same, but the thicker A168 does have a little bit more wrist presence.

Casio A158 and Casio A168 from ben's watch club
Left: A158; Right: A168
Casio A158 Wristshot
A158 on my 150mm wrist
Casio A168 Wristshot
A168 on my 150mm wrist
Backlight Casio A168 vs A158
Also, this particular model (right) has a better backlight than the A158 (left)
Chris Pine (Wonder Woman) wearing Casio A168
Chris Pine is seen wearing Casio A168
Source: Warner Bros.
Casio A168

Casio A700

If you would like a thinner, sleeker and might I add, slightly more elegant design than the A168, look no further than the Casio A700. With only a thickness of 6 mm, it is the thinnest Casio digital ever.

You can either opt for this mesh bracelet or this retro looking one. Notice that there are differences in the color of the watch itself too. The mesh featured a silver dial, while the retro bracelet features a usual 80s-looking black dial.

Casio A700
Casio A700
Casio A700W-1ACF
Source: shensarloji
Casio A700WEM-7AEF
Source: shensarloji

Casio AE1200 a.k.a Casio Royale

If your loved one likes James Bond and has a thing for geeky gadgets – you can go for the Casio AE1200. In the 1983’s James Bond movie: Octopussy, he was spotted wearing a Seiko G757 5020 Sports 100:

Seiko G757 5020 Sports 100
Seiko G757 5020 Sports 100
Casio AE1200 Worldtime
Casio AE1200

Known as Casio Royale (a play on the James Bond movie: Casino Royale), as you can see, the AE1200 looks a little bit similar to this. This causes a cult following for this watch. The best part of the watch is that it has a world-time function, with a push of a button, you get to see different time zones. Pretty cool.

At a point in time, I actually owned this and modded a little bit. I removed the words illuminator and the 10-year battery because I thought it will be cleaner that way. But afterward, I sold it because it looks kinda big and awkward for my small wrist. Kinda regret it now, not gonna lie.

Casio AE1200 Worldtime
Slight modifications on this piece before I sold it
Casio AE1200 Worldtime

Casio A500

What if you really like the world time function, but just like me, you have a small wrist – well afraid not! Casio A500 has come to save us. This A500 is a smaller and slender-looking watch with the same features as the Casio Royale. Even while recording this, I’m getting the itch to purchase one of these to replace my AE1200.

Casio A500 Worldtime
Source: selenelion
Casio A500 Worldtime

Category 2: Robust G-Shocks

From a clumsy wreck like me who always drops things, hitting things to a hardcore outdoorsy fireman, get them a Casio G-Shocks. Mr. Ibe, a Casio Engineer at that time set up “Project Team Tough” after he broke a mechanical watch gifted by his father. This team was created to invent a watch that is simply unbreakable.

Following these Triple 10 Principles:
10 Year Battery Life
10 Bar Water Resistance
– Survive 10 Meter Drop

After throwing over 200 prototypes, the first G-Shock was born.

Original first G-Shock DW-5000C 1983
Source: G Shock UK

Casio G-Shock DW5600

This is by far, the most famous g-shock model, in fact, it is the original design designed by Kikuo Ibe.

Casio G-Shock DW5600

One thing to note, however, is because of its shock absorption design, this may wear a little bit big on those with smaller wrists. So a tip would be to drop by your local retail shops to try it on and see if it fits. Below is what it looks like on my 150mm wrist:

Casio G-Shock DW5600 Small 150mm Wristshot
DW5600 on my 150mm wrist
Casio G-Shock DW5600

Casio GMA-S2100 a.k.a. CasiOak

Nicknamed after Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Casio GMA-S2100 got its nickname because of the similar octagonal design of the watch case. This is also one of the most famous models out there when it comes to the Casio G-Shocks.

I often overlook these CasiOaks because somehow I didn’t find them to be attractive. But surprise surprise, one day I visited a G-Shock shop and spotted this particular model: Casio GMA-S2100, and tried it on. To my surprise, wow. I like how it looks! The next thing I find myself doing is, researching everything to know about these CasiOaks, which I did before.

Casio GMA-S2100 CasiOak

I found out that this specific model is a smaller version than the usual CasiOak. Casio also marketed this smaller version as a women’s size watch. To be honest, I feel any guy can pull this off especially the white and the black one.

Black Casio GMA-S2100 CasiOak 150mm Small WristShot
The smaller CasiOak surprised me. This fits better than the DW5600.
Wrist size: 150mm
Casio GMA-S2100 CasiOak

Category 3: Adventurous Field Watches

Field watches, also known as military watches, are durable timepieces designed for use in rugged outdoor environments. They typically feature a simple, easy-to-read design with large numerals and hands, and a utility-style aesthetic making them a popular choice for adventurers.

Timex Expedition

Timex Expedition is a line of field watches produced by Timex, a well-known watch manufacturer. These watches are designed for outdoor enthusiasts and feature durable materials, such as water-resistant cases and shock-resistant movements.

Timex Expedition watches often have large, easy-to-read dials and come equipped with features such as Indiglo backlighting, chronographs, and timers. They are known for their combination of affordability, ruggedness, and functionality, making them a popular choice for people who lead active lifestyles.

Timex Expedition

Seiko SNK Models

Seiko SNK803
Seiko SNK803

Category 4: Classy Dress Watches

Dress watches are timepieces designed for formal occasions and are characterized by their understated elegance and refined appearance. These watches typically feature simple, minimalist designs with elegant metal cases, leather straps, and clean, uncluttered dials.

Dress watches often lack the rugged features and added functions of other types of watches, instead emphasizing their classic style and subtle luxury.

Casio MTP-VT01 or LTP-VT01

This watch has a stylish and modern design that is sure to catch the eye. It features a durable stainless steel case and band, but a very scratch-prone acrylic crystal. The watch has a simple and easy-to-read display, making it perfect for those who prefer a minimalist style.

Both watches have precise quartz movements, ensuring accurate timekeeping, and are ideal for people who dislike the idea of setting the time occasionally.

Whether you’re looking for a modern and stylish watch or a classic and timeless one, the MTP-VT01D-1B and LTP-VT01D-1B have got you covered. I personally bought these two watches as a couple’s watch pair for both my parents.

Casio Souple Watch Casio MTP-VT01 & LTP-VT01

Seiko SNKL Models

The Seiko SNKL is a stylish watch that’s a hit with those who appreciate quality and design. Produced by the reliable brand Seiko, it’s part of the popular Seiko 5 collection. With its affordable price tag and dependable performance, the SNKL offers great value.

The watch has a sleek stainless steel case that stands out and a simple but eye-catching dial with easy-to-read hour markers and hands. Whether you’re looking for a stylish accessory to wear on the weekends or just want a high-quality watch to wear every day, the Seiko SNKL is an excellent choice.

Seiko SNKL41, SNKL45
Seiko SNKL

Seiko SNXS Models

Seiko SNXS79
Seiko SNXS79

Orient Tri Star RA-AB0034Y19B

The Orient Tri Star RA-AB0034Y19B is a truly stunning timepiece that is overlooked and underrated. Its bright sunburst dial and high-quality construction make it a standout watch that is sure to turn heads.

Orient’s stock image of this timepiece does not do justice. I first came across this watch through MinitWatch’s YouTube video, and I was so impressed with it. So, if you’re in the market for a new watch, I highly recommend giving the Orient Tri Star a closer look. You won’t be disappointed.

Orient Tri Star RA-AB0034Y19B
What a beautiful sunburst dial!
Source: minitwatch
Orient Tri Star RA-AB0034Y19B

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How to Change Watch Battery in 8 Simple Steps

Are you still visiting watch repair shops to get your battery replaced? Well, guess what, it is easier than what it may seems and you may even attempt it yourself. I will be breaking down how to change your watch battery in 8 simple steps (with picture and/or video).

If you prefer a video version: here it is.

Before you begin:

Determine what type of case backs you have

Watches typically have two types of case backs enclosing the movement inside. It’s important to know how to differentiate it because it will determine the required tools.

Snap on / snap back case back tissot watch Tissot T035210a
Screw Down Case Back

Tools you need (for snap-on case backs)

As I will be changing my mom’s watch – Tissot T035210a, I will be sharing how to do via snap on case backs.

The essential tools that you will need are:

  • Pry tool knife
  • Tweezers
  • Spring bar remover tool
  • Cloth or tape
  • Batteries
  • Your watch

The not-so-essential tools but highly recommended are:

  • Case back presser
  • Finger cots
Tools Needed to Change Watch Battery

I highly recommend an affordable watch repair tool kit here. It is pretty complete set and affordable. Good for those who are beginner in watch repair/watch hobby. Here are my affiliate links:

Beginner Affordable AliExpress Watch Repair Tool Kit

Step 1: Remove whatever obstacles in front of you

This depends on your watch. You may have to remove these:

  • Strap / Bracelet – using spring bar remover
  • Deploying clasp

All this so that you can open your case back easier.

Removing clasp - to change battery

Step 2: Pry open the case back

Again depending on your watch, most watches have an indentation or a lip on the case back like shown in this picture below:

Lip on Watch Case Back

If your watch doesn’t have any of this indentation like mine, you just gotta try to pry it open safely with cloth / tape.

Pry open case back for watch battery change
Use your knife to pry them open. It might take some tries, and then woila!

Step 3: Don’t lose anything

Once you open up the case back, take a picture of the movement inside. The next time your battery runs low, you can refer to this picture so you know which battery to get before you open up the case. USEFUL TIP!

Tissot T035210a Battery, Open Case Back
Example of the picture I took years back

Step 4: Remove the old battery gently

Be careful not to touch any other things, especially the coils.

Change Watch Battery Tissot T035210a

Step 5: Replace it with a New Battery

Time to change the battery! Use your tweezers and place the new battery in. Check whether is it ticking normally.

Changing Watch Battery Tissot T035210a

Step 6: Clean the watch while you’re at it

If your watch is dirty, clean it. DO NOT use a damp cloth, a micro fibre cloth works best.

Step 7: Put the case back on

Carefully place back the gasket.
Note: Most watches have a groove/indentation on the case back, so that you won’t break the crown, but mine doesn’t. So I will just put back like how I took it off.

Placing gasket back on the case back before closing

Step 8: Secure it and that’s it! You’ve done the easiest watch repair – changing the battery!

If all is well, just press it using your hands. You’ll feel it once it’s snapped back into place. And you’re all done! 

Securing Case Back Tissot T035210a

What if it doesn’t snap back into place?

If it doesn’t snap back into place, this is where a case back presser will come in handy. 

 Case back presser

I hope this article helps.

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