How Do I Choose a Leather Watch Strap? 5 Things to Consider

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When you’re trying to choose the right watch strap, you certainly can’t go wrong when you opt for one made out of leather. Leather offers the ultimate in comfort and looks, and while many people assume it’s far more expensive than other types of watch bands, the truth is that the price is lower than you think. That being said, you can still choose the wrong one if you’re unaware of what you need to look for when shopping for a watch strap. There are many different types of leather as well, but don’t let all of this confuse you. Below are some tips that can help you find the best leather strap for your watch, and it’s all a lot easier than you think.

1. Know the Difference Between Real and Fake Leather

For this task, you might as well learn how to read the fine print. If the product description has the letters PU anywhere in it, stay away from the watch if you’re looking for genuine leather. PU is actually an imitation or synthetic leather – not the real thing – so you’re not getting real leather in this type of strap. Oddly enough, the price between a real leather strap and a synthetic or imitation leather strap is not always that much, so you likely won’t be saving a lot of money by going with the fake leather strap.

2. Look for the Stitching in the Band

When you’re looking for the best type of leather for a watch strap, the leather itself isn’t all that matters. The truth is, if you see long, wide stitching on the watch band, you’ll know you hit pay dirt. That type of stitching is a symbol of extra durability and sturdiness, and it also means that it can withstand more than just the normal amount of wear and tear. This is one of the reasons why manufacturers also sometimes use stitching that’s in a contrasting color. They want it to stand out so that you’ll know this is a high-quality watch with stitching that goes above and beyond what normal watches do.

3. Consider the Type of Leather You’re Buying

When it comes to the types of leather available for watch straps, you might be surprised by how many good types of leather there are. One of the best leathers for watch straps is calfskin leather. Why? Because with the exception of very formal occasions, you can wear a calfskin leather watch to any event you like, whether casual or dressy. In addition to calfskin, other types of leather also work well in watch bands, including:

  • Exotic leather, which includes alligator, stingray, crocodile, and a few others.
  • Suede, which are usually casual watches but can be worn to some events that are a bit on the dressy side.
  • Textured leather, which is usually made out of cowhide and stamped with a texture. These are very chic watch bands.

Leather straps for watches usually look good in casual settings and in many dressier settings as well. Knowing where you’ll be wearing your watch most of the time will help you figure out which one is best for you.

4. Don’t Forget About the Watch’s Hardware

While you may not realize it, when you choose a leather watch band, you have to make sure the hardware is also high in quality. Never choose anything that will corrode, rust, or tarnish. Avoid sterling silver if you can because over time, it will “turn” and become a different color. Try to find a leather watch that has hardware made out of 304 stainless steel whenever possible. The hardware includes the buckle at the end of the band and the parts that connect the band to the watch itself.

5. Leather Watch Straps Need Special Care

It’s also good to keep in mind that just because leather is a high-quality material doesn’t mean you can wear it forever and not give it proper care. In fact, a good rule of thumb is to clean and condition your watch band every other week, or twice a month. Simply remove the band, remove any dirt and debris that is on it, wash it with mild soap and water, let it dry completely, then use a top-notch leather conditioner on it. If you do this, your watch will last for many years to come.