The spring ’05 issue of VITALS MAN is my favorite magazine of all time. I still have it in the WC magazine rack at my apartment. It has dynamite recommendations on a Ravello getaway itinerary and insightful spotlights on then-emerging brands like Band of Outsiders and Adam Kimmel. A short piece in the back was entirely devoted to “The Updated Preppy Handbook.” It was in this section that I first saw the belt buckle above. It was labeled as a product of Craftmasters of Nantucket and after I did some research I realized it was only available on island. I’ve spent the past four years trying to acquire it. When I couldn’t find another vendor who manufactured something similar I tried to put it into the spring ‘09 vineyard vines line. Needless to say it was dropped like most of the other things I proposed…J. Crew ended up running a version about a year ago but the claw didn’t have the heft or sculptural quality I was hoping for so I passed.
Thankfully, This past February The Trad began his weekly column The Friday Belt. His first edition featured a Springfield Rifle Sling he picked up from Narragansett Leathers, a small handcrafted leather goods store in Damariscotta, Maine. When I decided to investigate the store further I found that they sell a whole slew of sculptural sterling and brass buckles, including my coveted lobster claw. I procrastinated with the purchase until last week but it’s finally here and I am happy. Thanks to The Trad for the tip and Ann Marie from Narragansett Leathers for being so helpful!