When it comes to choosing a watch, a lot of attention often goes into choosing the watch face and how it looks overall. There are more watch strap options available today than ever before. Watch straps, just like other accessories, help to add another element of personality to your watch and create extra detail to your outfit.
If you are savvy enough to own a watch that allows for interchangeable watch straps, you can always swap and change your strap for different colours and materials depending on your day and whether you want a formal or informal look.
As different materials, buckles and other types of closures can drastically change the whole vibe of your watch just with a simple switch. Then once you build up a collection, you can choose to match your watch strap to your outfit or mood.
Firstly, you can’t go wrong with regular leather watch straps. They have been around for decades and good reason for it too. They are hardwearing, long-lasting and not to mention they are also very comfortable to wear and also look the part. Leather bands do come in more colour varieties today than ever before. More colour options help to add a touch more personality to a person's wrist.
Pros of Leather Straps
There are many pros to choosing a leather band for your wrist watch. Leather is a natural material and has a soft comfortable feel against your skin, which is more comfortable and wins up against stainless steel or other metal band options. Not to mention leather is super versatile for different looks, so is fit for both day-to-day life and formal events too.
As well as leather offering a versatile look, it won’t cause any sort of irritation to even the most sensitive of skin, as it's a breathable material for all. Due to it being a natural material, it stretches and moulds to the individual wearer over time.
This is the same when it comes to wearing leather shoes, boots, belts, bags and any other wearable leather product - even with the toughest of leathers. Your leather watch strap will tend to get more comfortable with wear over time. Just like a fine wine, leather ages well, so even when your leather strap gets old, well-loved leather can give you a vintage look.
Leather might be your best option if you are a single watch wearer and don’t care for an entire watch collection fit for different occasions, or if you own a watch that doesn’t offer an interchangeable strap feature, a leather watch strap will be fit for all your needs, which overall shows that leather makes for a good investment and worthwhile choice.
Cons of Leather Straps
There are many positives to leather watch straps although some cons still exist. Leather can be more on the pricey side. Depending on the manufacturer, the brand or the quality of the leather used, leather watch straps can set you back a bit - so think of them as more of an investment piece. Leather bands also don’t tend to do so well in hot weather as they can feel a bit clammy and uncomfortable on the wrist, so wouldn’t be the best choice for the summer months.
Rubber has become ever more popular compared to a traditional leather option, and they are also more comfortable on the wrist than metal bands. They generally offer a more sporty look which is fit for an everyday casual look, and can make for a great modern watch.
The Popularity of Rubber Watch Straps
Rubber watch bands have become seemingly more popular around the last 10 years. This is down to the rise in popularity of Smart Watches being a big factor, as they tend to come with a rubber band as the obvious material to use for tracking sports and other physical activities. As a rubber band is waterproof, it’s a super hypoallergenic material and won’t harvest bacteria like other materials.
Pros of Rubber Watch Straps
Not only are rubber watch straps good for Smart Watches, due to the nature of the material and the waterproof aspect of it, rubber bands are also life-proof - fit for wear in all weathers and cleans up easily too.
Rubber watch straps are also good for their price. They are pretty inexpensive compared to other watch strap alternatives. A cheaper material means you can own more for the price of one leather strap, so you can interchange the straps to match any outfit.
Rubber straps often come with a diverse range of colours and patterns which can appeal to many and have often more variety than what leather straps have to offer. This can be more of an accessory, like a piece of jewellery or bracelet rather than a plain piece of equipment for telling the time. The wide option for such personalisation is why rubber can be more popular than leather, for those that want more than just your bog-standard plain band colour.
Even if leather is your thing, you can now buy rubber straps that imitate real leather, so you can get the look without the price tag and luckily they look so realistic to the real thing you would forget that it is not.
Cons of Rubber Straps
A downside to a rubber strap is that rubber is pretty casual, and the look doesn’t quite give off that super-smart vibe that a classic leather strap does. You wouldn’t find some of the most iconic luxury wristwatch brands out there such as Rolex creating a rubber watch strap. This would simply take away an element of class from such a high-end brand that specialises in luxury products as rubber is not a luxury material, so it simply would not fit the image of the brand. Rubber is usually only best for casual wear and usage.
As a watch is such a personal thing, there really is no right or wrong choice when it comes to the material of your watch strap. There are different benefits to whichever material you choose. The popularity of both rubber vs leather really is no conversation when it all comes down to personal preference. You can read all the buying guides in the world but what want in a watch and whether you need it for more formal or casual events, or whichever your preference, trying on different watches with different straps really is the best thing to help you decide.