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Dutch watch straps have been a huge hit in the space

Her hobby has developed into a serious business for which she now travels around the world. “Every now and then, I have to scratch my head about what's going on here,” Erica (@erikasoriginals) When we ask how things are going. “I now travel all over the world and can also design limited editions internationally. Who would have thought?”

The success began with her boyfriend's group. He collects watches, especially Doxa. At some point, he came up to Erica with a Marine Corps patriot and asked her if she wanted to make a new elastic parachute band for him. That would make it “seem more authentic.”

Unloading the army

Erica: “This fabric fits the watch perfectly. French Navy divers made the strap themselves in the 1960s and 1970s. They got the watch from the government, but no strap. One made a leather strap, and the other cut the rubber band from a parachute strap and sewed it in.” Belt. It turned out to be very comfortable. Finally my friend asked me: “I want a band like this, can you make it for me?” We found such a band in an army dump. Then I cut the rubber bands and started working on it. This resulted in the creation of a belt For the modification he was very satisfied with it.

After posting the photos on his Instagram page, there were a lot of enthusiastic reactions, and the result was that Erica's friend came to her again three days later with an order for 40 items and announcing that she “looks like she has a new company.”

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Baselworld

It turns out to be the beginning of a wonderful adventure for Erika, who lives in Spain. True to specifications, it then departed for Baselworld, the largest watch fair in Europe at the time. “I pre-announced my arrival via Instagram, with the message that I would enjoy meeting people. I ended up running from here to here for three or four days.

Erica now works with about ten people from her studio in Valencia every day on a large collection of MN belts. They are released in various series (including Original, Mirage, Trident and Vintage) and are available in all kinds of color combinations with special patterns and even stitched flags. “We also provide buckles in different metals upon request. Everything is so that it fits the perfect watch,” she explained.

Mission: Mars

But how does the band actually work? The straps are made of elastic material and have a kind of loop that you put your hand through. Then another hook at the end of the ribbon which you then tie on, and that's it. “It sounds simple, and it is.”

the Tires start from €80 and is in great demand. They are sold by dealers all over the world, but Erika now has several collaborations with watchmakers. “I now make MN straps for Bell & Ross and supply MN straps to Finnish Stepan Sarpaneva, who is one of the best watchmakers in the world. They sell their watches with my MN strap on them.”

The success means we see Erika's tapes more and more. However, there is also a big dream. She adds, laughing: “I want to see him on Mars!” My band has already been to space. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to say which astronaut wore it, but American watchmaker Dave Sutton is a friend of an astronaut who went on a space mission. Dave gave him an MN strap watch from me. Two years ago, Sutton casually emailed me with the following information: “Hey Erica, you might like to know that one of your MN belts will soon be launched on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS).” I read this email with great surprise. Really strange. There is now a very nice picture of the watch with my strap in space, with the Earth in the background, hanging here in my workshop.

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