Free shipping in the US on orders over $100!

0

Your Cart is Empty

The Fractal 2.0 is Back and Better than Ever!

by Bryan Schultz November 11, 2020 2 min read

the new and improved Fractal belt buckle in two great finishes - distressed stone and stealthy black ops

We know it's been a while, but the Fractal 2.0 is finally ready! Here's a quick rundown of all the improvements we made to the new version of our most popular design.

#1: Redesigned button

We went back to the drawing board and made significant changes to every aspect of the Fractal 2.0's quick-release button. The new design has a hollow cut through that lightens the button and increased its cool factor by 10. We added reinforcing braces and a thicker piece of steel to reduce wobbliness, improve magnetic attraction, and enhance overall strength and reliability. The button also sits higher inside the buckle to reduce the likelihood of accidental opening.

maker's hand holding two different Fractal belt buckle buttons. The one on the left is satin gunmetal with blue racing stripes. It is a beefed up version with extra bracing and a hollowed out area on the bottom. The one on the right is the original version in matte black with red racing stripes.

Based on fan feedback, we decided to create a machine to stress test the new design to ensure it could stand up to the rigors of long-term daily wear. We set it up to perform 73,000 open/close cycles, simulating roughly ten years of use by a person with a tiny bladder. The results were excellent - the new button showed no signs of stress or damage. Click below to see it in action.

#2: Stronger Magnet

While we were reengineering the inside of the buckle, we decided to upgrade the magnet. We changed from an N35 to N42, a 20% increase in strength. This new magnet combined with the redesigned quick-release button for a more reliable open-close action and less likelihood of accidentally bumping open the buckle.

#3: Cooler back design

The back of the Fractal 2.0 got an upgrade as well. We added more recessed lines and angles to amp up the cyberpunk feel. This has three benefits - it looks pretty awesome, reduces the overall weight, and creates more space on the inside of the buckle for the new button to move.

the back of an angular buckle attached to black leather. The finish is a whitewashed pewter that highlights recessed words "obscurebelts.com", a patent number, and cool racing stripes. a logo on the inside of the buckle peeks through a hole in the back.

#4: New brass sizing stud

The precision-made machined brass sizing stud is the most engineered part of the design that you never see. Tighter tolerance on the inside slot means less slop of the internal mechanism. New chamfers and a lower profile help align the stud with the back and inside of the buckle, pulling it closer to the body. The chamfers also have softer edges that are gentler on your fingers when you change your size.

a close up of two metal studs with next to each other. the one on the left is black chrome with 90 degree edges. the one on the right is milled brass with chamfered edges. there is a horizontal groove in both for the hook of the buckle's mechanism to attach to.

#5: Tighter tolerances

We have tighter tolerance between openings and moving parts on version 2.0. This reduces the chance of rattling inside the buckle and ensures the button operates smoothly, even after years of use.

#6: Softened edges

We faced a challenge with the face of the Fractal. We wanted to keep the striking angular look of the original while reducing hard, sharp edges that have a tendency to wear faster. The Fractal 2.0 still has its signature fractured planes, but we softened the edges your hands touch the most for better wear and a more comfortable feel.



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The Belt Blog - Where Engineering and Design meet Wearable Art

Obscure Belts' Bryan unrolling and inspecting a slate gray full grain leather cow hide
What is the Best Leather for Belts?

by Cristina Carrera March 12, 2021 6 min read

There are three main things to consider when choosing a type of leather to make a belt out of - the grade or quality of the leather, what part of the cow the hide comes from, and how thick the hide is.
Read More
Dramatic fan of the six previous versions of the Dial buckles arranged around new Series 7 Dials.
7 Features of the Series 7 Dial

by Cristina Carrera November 11, 2020 2 min read

The Series 7 Dial is the culmination of 15 years of design and engineering. It is smaller, lighter, snappier, and more ergonomic than ever before. We went back to the drawing board to make sure every aspect of this new design is the best version it could be.
Read More
Belt designer work table with sketchpad, belt buckle prototype, designer belt bag, and Dieter Rams Less but Better book
10 Principles of Good Belt Design

by Bryan Schultz October 25, 2020 5 min read

What is good design? Bryan and I ask ourselves this question about our belts every day. Is it the simplest buckle, or the one that makes you the happiest to use? Is it one that holds your pants up the best, or the one that sparks conversations with strangers?

Read More