At Montana Silversmiths, Every Buckle Has a Story™, and this may be the biggest one yet.
And we do mean big.
With their 50th anniversary approaching in 2023, Montana Silversmiths knew they needed to celebrate in a way that was as unique as their custom accessories. Then it clicked.
The team buckled down to create the world’s largest belt buckle. The large-scale replica, which achieved the record title in Dallas, Texas, USA on 20 October 2021, measures 3.20 m x 4.43 m (10 ft 6 in x 14 ft 6.4 in).
With each intricate detail created to exacting specifications over the course of six months, the record-breaking belt buckle is a to-scale replica of an existing buckle available for sale.
Building the world’s largest belt buckle
The Montana Silversmiths team chose their iconic Big Horn trophy to tell the company’s story in the biggest way possible.
"We are paying homage to a quintessential piece of the West and cowboy way of life", said chief marketing officer Judy Wagner.
The buckle, which is a longtime customer favourite, is adorned with a large cowboy silhouette, golden flowers, silver stars, and the company’s signature silver filigree.
"The buckle is a perfect way to celebrate the industry and come together to showcase our lifestyle in iconic fashion. It’s a culmination of a lot of people’s hard work, it is amazing." - Judy Wagner
Delivering and setting up the record-breaking replica was as labour intensive as creating it. Weighing over a thousand pounds, the oversized Big Horn buckle had to be built and transported in four separate sections.
Large crates and a special stand were constructed to transport each quadrant and place it on display in Montana Silversmiths' Dallas showroom.
To prepare the installation for its big debut, the ducts for the air vents in the showroom had to be rerouted to make enough room for the buckle’s height.
But the struggle to accommodate the colossal clasp didn’t stop there.
Making it through multiple doors and taking the quadrants up the freight elevators to the 14th floor of the Dallas Market Center for its unveiling was a challenge almost as big as the buckle itself!
After creating and transporting the four 250-pound sections of the colossal buckle and installing special stands to hold it upright, it made its grand appearance during the 100th Anniversary of the Western and English Sales Association Market (WESA), paying respect to their retailers.
Montana Silversmiths have been operating for five decades, taking inspiration from the "spirit, drama, and romance of the West".
They started out by creating custom belt buckles for rodeos and other events, before adding other lines and products to their collection including necklaces, bracelets and rings.
Although they have diversified their offering over the years, their cornerstone product remains their customizable belt buckle, which they have supplied to professional bull riders, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the National Finals Rodeo.
"Every buckle has a story, and this one tells our story in a big way. This is who we are: authentic, innovative, and genuine." - Judy Wagner