The selection of a leather watch strap or metal bracelet depends upon several factors like durability, aesthetics, fashion, and of course, your personal preference. Different materials are used to make watch straps/bands, such as rubber, canvas, nylon, Leather, and metal. Leather and metal are widely used materials to craft watch straps. In this article we will find the answer to a commonly asked question ” Leather Watch Straps or Metal Bracelet ”
In rapidly changing fashion trends, it’s essential to look stylish; choosing the right accessory on the right occasions defines your personality. It’s rightly said by “Louis Raphael (a prominent men’s apparel brand),” “The first step to be respected is to look respectable.” Since a watch is the main accessory a man wears, so should be worn correctly.
Leather Watch Straps:
Leather has been the only material specifically known in the fashion industry for centuries. Even with emerging alternatives like vegan leather, canvas, rubber, and other synthetic materials, it’s still gaining its space and is still known for versatility and quality.
Leather is a processed form of an animals’ skins and hides, which gets chemical treatment & tanning process to stop its decay. It’s physically strong, durable, and supple and is derived from almost all types of terrestrial animals, but the most common are cow, calf, sheep, goat, lamb, ostrich, horse, and crocodile. Every kind of leather has a specific use, depending upon the type of accessories being crafted with it.
Among several types of watch straps, leather strapping wins for being natural, comfortable, versatile, and has the potential to match the outfit effortlessly. Without giving it a second thought, you can wear leather watches formally and casually. If you are a big fan of old-fashioned, then a vintage leather band would be a good option; let’s discuss them in more detail.
The leather watch strap is an invention of war fought in the 18th century when soldiers felt the need to bring pocket watches on their wrists.
Pros of Leather Watch Straps:
There are 09 reasons why leather watch straps should be the first choice for watch enthusiasts.
⦁ Leather Watch Straps Are Comfortable.
Leather is a natural material known for its comfort, and it outclasses other straps/bands options like rubber, stainless steel, canvas, nylon, and synthetic material. It hugs around the wrist firmly when putting the buckles’ tongue in the right hole as per your wrist size.
⦁ Leather Straps Are Versatile.
One of the best features of leather straps/bands is their versatility because of the different options in color, leather types (cow, calf, alligator, horse, ostrich, goat, sheep), different thickness levels, stitching pattern, style (NATO, pilot, bund and rally straps) and textures (suede, pebble leather, distressed Leather, grainy Leather). In color, the brown leather watch band has maximum variation, and every watch lover has at least one or a few brown straps in their collection. If you are unsure which color to buy, a black watch strap can be a good option since it goes with maximum outfits on several occasions.
⦁ Leather Watch Straps Are Lightweight.
These are lightweight compared to metal ones. It doesn’t matter how thick a leather strap is; it won’t be heavy like a metal watch band/bracelet.
⦁ Leather Watch Straps Stretch Over Time.
Regular wearing of watches with leather straps stretches straps after some time, similar to leather shoes, jackets, bags, belts, wallets, etc. It’s an instinct of the skin that it breathes and stretches.
⦁ Leather Watch Straps Get Softened.
You may feel the newly bought pair of leather watch strap/band is stiff, but you don’t need to worry as the leather gets softened with age; it absorbs moisture and skin oil when under regular use. Though it’s dead animal skin, it breathes and allows airflow, which other synthetic materials don’t.
⦁ Leather Watch Straps Develop a Patina.
If good quality leather is used in making accessories, it develops a patina over time. Patina is a smooth gloss on the surface of the leather, which appears through regular use of the product and gives an excellent appeal to the accessory, and it looks more natural.
⦁ Leather Straps Are Best for Formal Wear.
The right choice for dress watches is the leather strap/band; it can easily match with a leather belt and boots to enhance your appearance. There’s a specific criteria to follow while matching your watch straps/bands; however, if not decided, a black leather watch strap could be a good choice that can go with most outfits. Leather watch straps rightly address the criteria for wearing a watch with a suit.
⦁ Leather Watch Straps Are Easy to Install.
Watch straps/bands come up with two options; one is a traditional spring bar that needs a tool at the time of installation and removal, and the other one is a quick-release spring bar. The quick-release spring bar requires a slight nail push to install the strap to the watch. In the case of a traditional spring bar, you can use dental floss if the tool isn’t available.
⦁ Leather Straps Make the Watch Secure on The Wrist.
The firm grip of the leather straps/band doesn’t let it spin around the wrist, and the watch doesn’t get undone accidentally; on the other hand, the one-centimeter-long tongue of the buckle inserted into the right hole of the band keeps it tighter.
Cons of Leather Watch Straps:
There are two main downsides to Leather Watch Straps.
⦁ Leather Watch Straps Need Care.
To prevent leather watch straps from cracks and to maintain their shape, the strap needs care as we do with our leather shoes; if shoes are cleaned and polished regularly, we will enjoy wearing them for a longer time. On the other hand, water is perceived as an enemy of leather; if it gets soaked into it, let it dry naturally or pat dry with a clean, cotton cloth (don’t put heat on it or under direct sunlight, placing it next to a window could be a good idea). Therefore, there may be better choices than leather straps in hot summer and heavy sweating.
⦁ Leather Watch Straps have Limited Life as Compared to the Metal Bracelet.
Good quality Leather straps/bands can survive 3 to 5 years and may be more if properly looked after. Wearing one leather strap all the time will wear it out quickly. Longevity is even affected when the same strap is worn while sleeping or during workouts. That is why it’s highly recommended to give rest to a leather strap by having a few more in the collection to rotate them periodically.
Metal Watch Straps/Bracelets:
Metal watch bracelets are a great alternative to straps/bands made of other materials because of their durability. These are water resistant, and sweating doesn’t harm them; however, wearing them in extreme temperatures may affect their comfort.
Metal Watch Bracelet Pros:
There are three main benefits of choosing metal watch bracelets over other straps/bands.
1. can be easily cleaned.
2. Water resistance and a good option for swimming and outdoor sports.
3. Durable and less likely to wear out, it goes well with the age of a watch.
Cons of Metal Watch Bands:
1. Cheaper and poorly designed metal bracelets may pull the arm’s hair
2. Cheap metal bracelet does not fit ideally, like a leather watch strap
3. Feel heavy on the wrist.
Final thoughts on the watch straps’ selection:
Both leather and metal watch straps have their own plus points and use. Most of the time, it’s more of a personal choice. Metal watch bracelets/bands need low maintenance but are not a good choice in extreme weather (becomes hot and cold quickly). Leather is more classy and fashionable but requires slight care/safekeeping.
Can You Replace Leather Watch Straps with A Metal Bracelet?
Yes, both can be interchanged anytime; you need a proper tool and a levelled surface.
Which is More Suitable for Everyday Use: Leather Watch Straps/Bands or a Metal Bracelet?
It depends on what you do daily; if you spend most of your time doing indoor work, leather could be the best choice, and if outdoor activities involve sports and physical work, metal bracelets could work better.