As I have been waiting for my Leica M3 to return from its total tear-down and subsequent re-build, I’ve been thinking that perhaps a new neck strap for it would be in order; something more befitting a 60 year old camera than the stock Leica nylon/rubber strap that I have been using for all of my rangefinders over the last few years.
(In the past, I’ve tried products from all over the world from all the various well-known strap manufacturers — and I mean all of the well-known ones — and for one reason or other I have always found them lacking.)
Recently, however, I stumbled upon the website of Mr. Harry Benz.
“Yet another hand-made strap purporting to be different than the competition“, I thought.
I was prepared to discard Mr. Benz completely because, frankly, I had never heard of him before. Yet as I read through the description of how Harry makes his straps, I realized that he was indeed creating something unique. He even uses a different leather — not cowhide (I’ll let you discover for yourself on his site what it is).
Given the level of craftsmanship and passion for detail, I expected to find Harry located in some venerable city known for its artisanal leather industry. Imagine my surprise when I instead discovered he was living in my very own city of Toronto, Canada.
After a few emails back and forth I had placed a custom order specifying the colour, design, and length of my strap. We also arranged to meet in person for pick-up and payment once the strap was ready.
Well today I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Benz, and I wasn’t disappointed in either the man or his product. Although I don’t yet know how well my new neck strap will endure over time, I have a sense it will outlast me.
In the meantime, I can marvel at the beauty of it.
All photos above taken with an iPhone and © Prosophos.