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VINTAGE STRAP FROM THE LEGENDARY FLIGHT JACKET

Many sophisticated vintage collectors often say, without hesitation, that American clothing’s in the 1940's have so much style that they even made a war - WW2 - look good. Among different styles of American clothing in the 1930's and 40's, military garments were probably the apex of technological innovation of that time which combined utility, functionality and outdoor fashion. They also served as a medium of 'Americanism' to spread throughout the world Pax-Americana and their culture. Some of the American soldiers' clothing from this particular period are known to continue to influence and inspire contemporary fashion scenes.

Among the military garments of that time, if one has to choose the most iconic and symbolic piece, one of the first things that comes to your mind would be the A-2 Flight Jacket issued by United States Army Air Forces (USAAF).

The A-2 flight jacket has never been literally out of style for more than 80 years since its birth, and throughout its history the jacket entailed many different meanings for different people - Air Force pilots' pride and romanticism, joy of life as cherished by soldiers and officers in the face of a certain death, and a veteran's proud sign of service to his country. Over time the A-2 flight jacket has found its place in the hall of fame for a legendary garment, and it has now become a synonym for true masculine style - which unfortunately is now considered as endangered species.

 James Dean with A-2 Jacket - Early 1950's

 James Dean with A-2 Jacket - Early 1950's

Steve McQueen with Movie Prop A-2 Jacket - "The Great Escape" 1963

 Gregory Peck with Movie Prop A-2 Jacket- "Twelve O’Clock High" 1949

NOSTIME has always been keenly obsessed with the functionality, masculineness and sturdiness found in the A-2 jacket as well as with the sense of nostalgia it creates in the collector's mind. As a token of our homage and respect to the vanishing world of vintage manliness, NOSTIME has decided to run a special project to produce under its brand limited edition leather watch straps using the leathers obtained from a real vintage A-2 jacket.

 USAAF appreciated Dubow’s manufacturing capacity and the quality of its jackets to the extent that they granted 4 government contracts to the company throughout the war period. A-2 batch from the order number 11631, being Dubow's last contract as well as one of the last A-2s made under USAAF contract, is generally known as a nearly perfected form of A-2 jacket in terms of materials and skills used. 

 

For us the A-2 jacket we salvaged is a piece of important history, so we go through the disassembling process with utmost caution and respect.

After disassembling we inspect the leather, which is in a considerably good condition despite 70 years in service. The leather is in seal brown, one of the well-known color variations of A-2 jackets.

Then we proceed with regenerating and revitalizing the leather, so that it can be suitable for making watch straps.

After completion of revitalizing process, the leather recovers tough yet supple condition, typical of good horsehide, while retaining its original vintage patina.

NOSTIME's leather watch strap is 100% handmade. This rare chance to travel across the 70 years of time is made possible thanks to our skilled leather artisans. 

DESIGN CONCEPT
How do we visualize an A-2 jacket on the watch strap?

 

 To find the best answer to this question, NOSTIME collaborated with a Korean community of semi-professional aficionados of vintage flight jackets, "The Ghan". NOSTIME and The Ghan together went through extensive consultations and workshops on how to achieve both esthetical integrity of an A-2 jacket and functionality as a leather strap. At the end, we focused on one symbolic detail of the jacket, epaulet.

The lug end of our leather strap is firmly box-stitched, as inspired by the epaulettes of A-2 jacket, to hold on to your watch securely under any circumstances. This important feature can be materialized only in the skillful hands of our leather artisan.  

The strap is then lined with specially selected soft leather material with matching color to the liner of A-2 jacket, commonly known as 'burnt orange'.

As a basic option, each of our straps comes with a vintage Swiss-Made steel tang buckle from the 1960's, quality guaranteed. 

 

As an extra fun feature we also added a small inspector's 'AN' stamp. The AN(Army/Navy) stamp has the same design as one found in a real A-2 jacket, which shows the product is inspected and qualified by the military quartermaster to be issued to the soldiers.

Last but not least, NOSTIME puts extra importance and efforts in the package design as well. Cardboard box, Mil-Spec stamps and logos, order number and serial number - with all these simple yet carefully conceived features we want our customers to feel as if they have just received a real Government Issue item. 

 

VIEW THE STRAP ON THE SHOP