Leather vs Metal Watch Bands: Which Is The Best For You

The easiest and cheapest way to reform the look of your watch is by altering the watch straps. Different watch straps of various colors and materials can project an array of eye-catching illustrations. As watch straps are cheap to buy, you can easily afford the suitable straps sweetly combined with your lovely timepieces.

Leather watch straps and metal bracelets are common phenomena on the wrist. Popular luxury watch brands like Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe offer such bracelets and watch bands. But both of the watch strap types can’t suit the same situations. So you need to know the difference between leather straps and metal watch straps.

Though we oversimplify the facts by only differing between leather vs metal watch straps or NATO vs ZULU watch straps, it’s not that easy. To gain the perfect perspective of the leather straps and metal bracelets, you need to know the exact aspect of leather and metal straps. It’ll help you to pick the suitable leather or metal watch straps without being fooled and compromised.

If you want to feel the beauty of your watches and straps for a long time, take care of your watch and straps following proper measures. Learn the tips for taking care of your luxury watch and make it shine as new as before. Polish the watch band on a regular basis and enjoy a neat and clean experience on your wrist.

The purpose of all straps is to clasp your wrist perfectly on any occasion or situation. But not all watch bands are made equal nor they serve the same purpose. In this article, I’ll explore the facts that will help you to pick the suitable watch straps for you. So let me educate you with the practical use and broader contrast of leather vs metal watch straps

Short Intro To The Core Of Leather Straps

Leather vs metal watch bands
Barton Leather Straps

Watch enthusiasts are fond of leather straps for its soft and soothing comfort on the wrist. But don’t be fooled if you hear leather straps. Because there are certain variations you should know before you buy a leather strap.

We can subdivide the leather straps into mainly 2 types- Faux leather strap and Genuine leather strap.

Faux leather straps are straight from factories and made from the plastic base. They are lightweight but not durable. The synthetic leather has lots of backslides. Faux leather straps wear out pretty soon. You need to carefully use it avoiding certain activities. However, it has positive aspects too. As they are not from animal hides, you don’t need to compromise with the ethics. And also, Faux leather straps are eco-friendly.

The artificial leather strap has become popular in some figurative monikers. As they are far from using animal hides, ‘vegan leather’ beautifully suits them. They have other names such as ‘bicast leather’, ‘pleather’, ‘leatherette’ etc. Proprietary names also come by such as Naugahyde and Alcantara who are famous for their distinctive artificial leather.

Genuine leather straps are artistically prepared and polished in tanneries. They are hundreds of times better than the faux leather. They’re prepared from animal hides. A plethora of variations are seen in the use of animal hides. The quality differs from the use of hides from different animals.

Normally, genuine leather straps get its core material, hides from cows, calves, sheep, shark, pig, crocodile, alligator, goats, ostriches, equines and so more. The number of straps made of cowhides is substantial. Calf hides are soft and tender and they’re way more comfortable on the wrist than others. 

Shell Cordovan is an exceptional, expensive, and fabulous leather strap prepared from horsehides. Historically, this expensive leather was originally produced in the shoemaking city of Cordova in Spain. Though Horween Leather Company in Chicago is now using such leather to manufacture its hallmark product.

Some leather straps are also embossed with alligator or crocodile patterns. It’s now common to use commonly acceptable leather inside and the different patterns outside. Padded straps feature opulent finish using the padded core sandwiched between the leather layers. However, other than the animal reserve rights and ethics issue, genuine leather straps are more reliable and also used widely.

What Is Metal Straps: A Trip To The Core

Metal watch bands vs leather straps
Kai Tian Stainless Steel Bracelet

Metal straps are gorgeous and aristocratic as we’ve seen it featured on Haute brands. But the more the types of metal, the better chance to be used as straps. That’s why you can avail of straps of stainless steel to platinum in the market. But different finishes and materials also cause distinction in the naming of the metal watch bands.

Stainless Steel is the most popular and most used metal in watches as well as straps. It’s not only cheap to buy but it also resists tarnishing and extends the band’s life. Some watches come with gold, silver, or platinum bands. They are more expensive. But they’re hard metals that last for long-term. Different patterns also emerge bands like famous Oyster or Jubilee.

Leather vs Metal Watch Band: The Differences

As leather and metal watch bands are prepared from different materials, they have distinct features. Top of all, it’s an absolutely personal choice of taste. But it can be a bit affected if you explore the pros and cons of leather vs metal watch bands.

Plus Points for Leather Straps 

Leather vs metal watch bands
Barton leather straps

Leather Straps are lightweight on the wrist. The soft and pliable leather straps are comfortable and pleasing on the wrist than the hard metals. The natural touch of tanned leather is far more appealing than the metal bracelets. 

With a plethora of variations, leather straps can meet your demand with high-end finishes and dazzling patterns. As different animal hides have different types of textures, you can choose from minimal to parallel patterns. 

Leather straps can adjust to most of the lugs width easily. It stretches and adapts to the wrist over time. As it evolves, it creates unique patinas on the straps with interesting appearance. 

The leather band has a solid buckle that can’t be easily undone. Strong stitching around the rings and pin buckles secure the watch nestled on your wrist. Unlike the metal straps, the solid pin buckles can beautifully keep your watch strapped to your wrist.

You can put on the leather bands with fun as they are highly functional in resisting sweating. The leather absorbs the sweat makes it feel free. Unlike the metal straps, it doesn’t create any engraving on the skin though tightly strapped. Leather straps can easily control the lesser evaporation of your skin.

Leather bands are truly classy and stylish in every sense of fashion. The classic feeling of it also encourages vintage models to become associated with. Leather straps are the epitome of luxury and elegance. When matched with your watches, clothes, or shoes, leather straps can project the extreme of aristocracy from every angle.

Minus Points for Leather Straps

Who doesn’t feel traction to the gorgeous leather straps! But they also have some frustrating but limited drawbacks. 

As the leather strap absorbs sweat, it tends to be wet and wear out soon. Because most of the leather straps are not resistant to water. And from time to time, it catches quite a large amount of grimes. That’s why leather straps get easily stained. You have to regularly wipe the bands once every year. And it’s quite easy. Sometimes some specific leather bands tend to look better if they pass quite a long period.

Plus Points for Metal Straps

Kai tian metal watch band
Kai Tian metal watch bands

A metal strap is a great way to showcase your shinny wrist. It’s a great alternative to a leather strap. They look gorgeous and expensive. High-end luxury watches like Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe normally feature such metal straps.

The compact molecules of metal make it so strong that it hardly breaks. No need to worry if your bracelet comes in contact with water. Stainless Steel and other galvanized metals always resist tarnishing. If you’re an extreme sportsman, your sweat can’t make the metal straps wet or weary.

The seemingly unbreakable metal straps are perfect for any rugged purposes. As metals are resilient, they don’t stretch over time. It’ll need extreme heat for a little volume extension. So no need to worry at all at normal temperatures. On hotter days, you may experience itchiness on your wrist as sweat remains trapped under the straps.

Stainless Steel doesn’t get stained a lot like the leather straps. But it can be a bit hard to polish the specks of dirt in the angles of bracelets. An automatic cleaner will do it with ease.

However, metal straps are adorable on the wrist for its magnetic appeal with striped color and patterns. The versatility of the metal bands allows you with plenty of options to customize. The deployment clasp closure ensures that the watch won’t fall in even if it’s hit hard.

Minus Points for Metal Straps

In comparison to the leather strap, the metal strap is heavy on the wrist and some people feel uncomfortable with it. Though stainless steel is comparatively lighter in weight, gold or platinum band feels weighty. However, the stainless steel bracelet is widely used. And luxury watches feature weighty karats of gold and heavy molecular platinum.

To adjust the bracelet on your wrist, you need to remove links from watches. If you buy from the shops, they’ll fix it for you. The online vendors only offer you the instruments and instructions needed to fix the links. 

Metal bracelets tend to lose their bond if hit hard or get caught forcefully on something. The clasp can then easily get undone. But the watch brands endeavor the drawback to a great extent. The deployment clasp closure on metal straps will hold your watch grasped on your wrist. Rolex introduced this type of clasp closure first.

Though the metal strap doesn’t fade like the leather straps, you can keep it sheen and shiny by regularly wiping it. It will prevent metal straps from being less lustrous and appealing.

Metal is a good conductor of heat. If you keep your straps on at an extreme temperature for a prolonged period, they will be hot or cold to wear. Later, your body temperature will shift to the straps while worn. The inner movements can also be affected sometimes. So be aware of putting it on the optimum temperature.

Leather vs Metal Straps: Are Leather or Metal Watch Bands Are Better

Though it’s up to your personal preferences, some points you can consider to find your best suit. Nobody will complain if you wear leather straps and metal straps for everyday wear. But some people like to be specific about using the straps as it doesn’t always go with the watches or events.

The leather watch strap normally compliments all casual or formal events. And to be more specific, it seamlessly blends with the dressy outlook. Leather straps can easily match with the clothes and shoes.

The leather straps diffuse a feel of vintage classic. It’s because our ancestors used to strap their necessities with animal hides. The lustrous leather straps with iconic IWC Mark XVI, Oris Audi Sport GMT, or Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra may even date back hundreds or thousands of years ago. If you want to feel the vintage, the classical leather straps will do the best. Hides from alligator, crocodile, and lizard were historically widely used until the animal rights ethics roll on.

In case you’re looking for metal straps, you’ll be happy to know they’re quite elegant in style. The metal strap can seamlessly project your strong personality and social status in the crowd. The expensive look and durability of the metal straps can’t be ignored.

Rolex produces watches and their straps that feature an overall striped and colorful pattern. The Oyster and Jubilee bracelets are the most popular ones. You need them anyway if you buy the Rolex Perpetual.

But I think you’ll want to use the metal straps in more casual events rather than the formal meetings. It projects a masculine nature in every way. Metal straps are good to go with the sporty events. As it’s durable and longer-lasting than the leather strap, metal straps cans serve you through rough and robust conditions.

However, both metal and leather watch straps are better in their own way and usage. Watch straps are inexpensive and you can alter them frequently. If you wear them matched with your accessories, the straps will bring you tons of accolades from the crowd. 

Before The Wrap Up

Besides leather and metal watch bands, you can find plenty of watch straps. All of them have some distinctive features and use. Try to freelance the variations and put on your favorite one.

While shopping, you may want to put on the straps and feel the vibes. There you can relate the article with your practical perception. Then you’ll be wise enough to bargain your favorite and suitable watch straps.

You can also buy NATO or Zulu watch straps that are very popular nowadays. They are comfortable and easy to interchange. Moreover, the watch straps can serve you for years to come.

Hopefully, this article helps you to gain enough insights about metal and leather watch bands. Let me know if you’re thinking about buying a watch strap. Also, share your valuable feedback if all goes well (or bad:) with your shopping

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