An All-Include Guide To Leather Watches
A wristwatch without a strap is nothing more than an odd-shaped clock. The strap of a watch is undoubtedly a fashion accessory that can alter the entire appearance and feel of the timepiece. Additionally, the band is what makes it a wristwatch. Without a strap, you won’t be able to wear it.
Generally, when individuals search for the right band for their wristwatch, their mind immediately reminds them of one word that rhymes with quality – leather. Leather watches, as the name suggests, are timepieces with bands crafted from animal pelts. If you’re planning to purchase a watch strap made from this material, then you should know what you’re about to get yourself into.
Here, you’ll learn about everything associated with leather straps for watches, including where it comes from, the various grades of the material, and its different designs. Before going into the details, however, you should know about the most preferred watch band materials preferred by people all over the world.
Watch strap materials
As already mentioned earlier, watch strap materials are available in many varieties and types. The choice of the right band for your wristwatch will dictate how it will look. The substance used in crafting the strap is one of the main criteria when it comes to selecting an excellent timepiece. The overall appearance and functionality are two other vital features to consider, as they give you the satisfaction that you desire.
- Leather:Watches with a leather band are commonplace because it’s inevitably the best. It also happens to be one of the most durable natural materials available. Timepiece bands crafted from this substance are elastic, carefree, and long-lasting. You can choose from three different types of leather. The first one is faux leather, which isn’t the real deal. Manufacturers use a plastic base to create it. Then, there is genuine leather. It’s profoundly more durable than faux leather. The price of an average leather band is relatively low, and it will always be of high quality. The third one is full-grain leather. Apart from being the most durable among the three, it’s also the most luxurious. This material is much better than the second one, lasts longer, and works with both casual and formal attire.
- Stainless steel:The second-most favored band material for wristwatches is stainless steel. Apart from being durable, it isn’t as expensive as gold, silver, titanium, or platinum. Manufacturers use stainless not only to craft the strap but also to create the body of the watch. The substance itself is versatile enough to be on the wrist of a swimmer or a diver. Then again, the only problem with this material is that it’s tricky to change its appearance. Furthermore, the weight of stainless steel often makes it uncomfortable for the wearer.
- Wood:Timepieces carved from wood are winning the hearts of people all over the world due to the eco-friendly factor. Manufacturers create both watches and straps using wood. They can frame and shape the features of the products in various designs and colors. However, it’s wise to take your time to recognize the properties of watch straps manufactured from wood. In doing so, you can create a unique style statement.
- Vegan:Vegan watch straps, also called cruelty-free leather, are exclusive leather varietals that differ from others. It’s environmentally friendly, and manufacturers never use deadly toxins or chemicals to create them. Millions of people all over the globe support veganism these days due to the availability of vegan alternatives for most products. This material is for you if you want the quality standards of leather without hurting animals.
- Nylon:Nylon may not look very appealing at first glance, but it’s currently one of the best watch band materials available. It’s especially beneficial to people during the summer months and those who reside in predominantly warm countries. Nylon is durable, practical, and timeless. It’s also comfortable and water-resistant. The best thing about this substance is that it’s more breathable than most other materials mentioned here. You can clean them easily when they get wet.
- Silicone:Silicone rubber has incredibly high and low-temperature resistance. Besides feeling comfortable on your wrist, they are available in a massive array of colors. It’s non-toxic and eco-friendly too. The material is elastic, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to deform it. Then again, it isn’t too tensile. Therefore, you shouldn’t test it by overstretching it.
- Polyurethane:Compared to silicone, polyurethane rubber is more robust and isn’t too expensive, either. You should add straps made from this material to your wristwatch if you’re a diver or swimmer. It would prove useful in other sporty activities as well because it’s comfortable and flexible. Most people consider using them as replacement bands.
- Ceramic:This material is rather more unique than the others mentioned here. It’s tough enough to withstand rough handling, and you won’t be able to scratch it easily. Watch bands made from ceramic will retain their beauty for years. It may look heavy, but when you wear it, you won’t even realize its presence. Watch straps made of ceramic are as light as aluminum. Manufacturers often coat the finished band with precious metals, such as gold. The only problem with ceramic is that it’s prone to shattering. So, if you drop it accidentally, then it may break like glass.
- Titanium:This substance is a transition metal with a silvery hue. It has a low density and incredible strength. Timepiece manufacturers say that this metal is almost twice as strong as stainless steel. Due to an excessively high melting point and difficulties in machining, titanium is relatively pricey. No matter how many scratches it sustains, it won’t break.
Information on leather
Whether it’s a watch pouch leather or watch leather band, you need to careful while choosing the material. That’s why it’s better to know more about it before you buy anything.
- The sources:The best way to ensure whether the leather wristwatch band is ethical or not is to know where it comes from. Cows are generally the largest producer of is material, but the industry utilizes other animals too. These include sheep, pigs, buffalos, snakes, goats, ostriches, alligators, and stingrays. You may ask why it’s unethical to gather this material from one animal, but not from another. Well, if you consider the other purposes served by the creature, then you’ll understand the reason. The substance that is a byproduct of an animal is ethical. Everything yielded by the animal is useful. On the other hand, slaughtering an animal only for its pelt is an unethical practice.
- The types:If you believe that you’re paying for a top-notch-quality item simply because you see the words “genuine leather” printed on it, then you need to alter your perception. In reality, you aren’t doing anything more than scraping the bottom of the jar when you purchase authentic leather. Here are the different grades of the material.
- Full-grain – The leather watch rollmanufactured from full-grain leather means that the manufacturers used the most durable part of the animal’s pelt. They even leave the grain of the hide intact. Every natural characteristic would be visible to you, including the perfections, as well as the imperfections. This leather grade lasts longer and can withstand better wear and tear than the others.
- Top-grain – It’s the second-best leather grade. As the name suggests, this variety comes from the top cut of the animal hide. However, unlike the previous version, this one undergoes processing. Manufacturers attempt to get rid of all blemishes, scars, and other imperfections. They last long too, but not as much as full-grain leather bands.
- Split-grain – Split-grain leather, also called suede, comes from the top part of the pelt, but almost four to five layers deeper. Understandably, it isn’t as durable as the other two mentioned above. So, if you prioritize comfort over quality, then suede bands would be perfect for you.
- Genuine– The term may sound enticing, but, in reality, manufacturers use the leftovers of the materials used in manufacturing high-end products.
- Bonded – This one is the worst version of leather. Regardless of the product that you own, if it contains bonded leather, then it deserves to be inside a dustbin. If the manufacturers of leather products didn’t use this material for any specific purpose, then they would have ended up in landfills anyway.
- Grains and designs:Watch bands made of leather feature several kinds of grains and designs. In general terms, one such watch strap will inevitably feature solid leather with visible stitches. Here are a few strap designs worth mentioning.
- Suede straps– These bands consist of smooth, solid-color designs with bold stitches in a contemporary shade.
- Waxed straps– These bands have a waxed finish with a vintage appearance. They also have a unique, streaked lightening effect when folded.
- Sharkskin straps– They have a unique grain texture with impressive durability. You should choose these bands if you want something visually interesting.
- Alligator straps– Finally, these watch bands will always feature a simple design showcasing the fabric’s inborn characteristics.
There are two significant benefits of wearing leather band watches. First of all, they are stylish enough for informal gatherings as well as formal environments. It means that you can wear one such wristwatch at a night out with your buddies or an office party with foreign clients.
The second benefit is that the material is indescribably comfortable. You can wear a timepiece with leather straps for extended periods. You won’t experience any skin irritation. It’s because this material doesn’t scratch the wrists of the wearers. It doesn’t become irritating; regardless of how long you wear it.
Cleaning the leather straps
Leather is a classic fabric material that human beings have been using since time immemorial. Despite being durable and tough, this substance requires regular upkeep. A leather band watch keeps on absorbing the sweat of the wearer as well as dirt. It’s also sensitive to specific liquids and direct sunlight. Here are a few tips on cleaning the leather bands of your timepieces.
- Take it off: Indeed, you should always detach the strap before you start cleaning it. Otherwise, the cleaning agents can affect the watch case or the dial.
- Wipe with dry cloth: Start by wiping the leather strap before using any liquid cleaning agent. It will remove dirt from the surface of the band gently. If you start with intensive cleaning first, then the grainy debris present on the surface can create scratches. You should use a soft piece of cloth that you generally use to clean or polish jewelry.
- Apply soap: Now, you can clean the band with soap thoroughly. Gentle soaps are the best for this purpose because harsher varietals can drain the natural moisture and waxy appearance of the leather. Use a piece of jewelry-cleaning cloth and apply a small amount of soap to it. Make sure that you dampen the cloth slightly instead of soaking it in water entirely. It’s the only way to prevent causing water damage. Rub both surfaces of the leather gently with a cloth using a circular motion.
- Get rid of soap residue: Once you complete the procedure, rinse the cloth under running water to get rid of soap residue. Now, squeeze out excess water and lightly wipe the straps with it. In doing so, you will remove the soap residue present on the band.
- Let it dry: Finally, you should leave the leather strap to dry. Don’t put it outside under direct sunlight, and don’t use a hairdryer, either.
- Conditioning: In the end, apply a few drops of leather conditioner on the straps. Gently rub the surfaces and let it dry again. Make sure that the conditioning agent is suitable for jewelry, wristwatches, clothing, and accessories only. Industry-grade conditioners that are suitable for furniture and factory machines are too harsh. They may not damage the leather, but they will be harsh on your skin.
If you have been reading this topic from the beginning, then you should know everything about leather straps for wristwatches. Armed with this information, it shouldn’t be too challenging to purchase leather bands for your favorite timepiece.