The story behind the Cabot Fifty strap

December 19, 2022

The story behind the Cabot Fifty strap


The Cabot Fifty strap is an appropriate finishing touch to the Cabot Fifty timepiece, made in England utilising material from original World War II denison parachute smocks that were worn by paratroopers dropped into enemy territory in Europe. The smocks are incredibly valuable wartime relics, and again are a testament to the British manufacturing of the day, creating a strap that could only be described as the perfect companion to the Cabot Fifty watch. 

"The Denison was a true smock, in that it was pulled over the head. There was a large opening that closed with a zipper, along with a collar lined in wool flannel. The Denison was made from heavy cotton twill to make it windproof; its primary purpose was to keep the soldier warm during the flight and the parachute descent. Unfortunately, however, it was not waterproof, and tended to get quite heavy in the rain. Once on the ground, it was intended as a practical combat uniform. As such, it was the first officially-sanctioned British item of dress to be camouflaged. For the earliest versions, camouflage fabric was not available; sand-coloured cloth was hand-painted with green and brown patches, using mops or large brushes. This camouflage method was developed by Major Denison, for whom the garment was named. Not surprisingly, the paint tended to wash out; eventually, screen-printed camouflage material was produced, but the brush-stroke effect was retained. Each bolt of camouflage fabric was slightly different from the next." Learn more

Photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum (BU 1169).

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