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Advanced watch strap making, questions

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I've been  dabbling in watch strap making for a while now, but seem to have hit a plateau as I'm not improving anymore. When I see what some strapmakers are achieving, I want to learn the techniques required. For example, how does one go about to patina the leather like this? What leather would you use?
And most importantly I like the horizontal line and the darker parts along the edges.
If anyone has any tips, I would love to hear about them



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I never stitch across a strap or belt like I see in your pics. I found a really nice watch on the ground many years ago. The band had failed along the stitch line and the owner had not noticed when it fell off his wrist.

Think of that stitch line like the serrations between 2 postage stamps.

I wonder if the leather in your 1st pic is a pull-up leather, so its designed to show wear and tear as it ages. .

As for darkening a line along the edge, you could try some antique.

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