Genuine leather watch straps can be a quality wardrobe item that will spice up your everyday outfits and can be worn just about anywhere. Unfortunately, without proper care, they are prone to wear and tear and might actually break quite quickly.
However, you can extend the life of your leather watch strap by taking care of it, cleaning it regularly and avoiding circumstances that might damage your watch strap. While some wear and tear is bound to happen sooner or later, you can protect your watch strap to extend its life and keep it looking new for longer.
Clean your Watch Strap Regularly
Genuine leather watch straps, like other leather, should be cleaned regularly. You should wipe the leather down with a damp cloth about once every two weeks to remove any accumulated sweat, dirt, or other grime. Rinse your strap off with cold water when you wash it, but don’t let it soak in water, no matter how dirty it is. This can cause mildew, stains, or even shrinkage if the leather is left in the water for too long. If you have to wash your watch strap with soap, go with a mild soap, or with saddle soap. In either case, you can scrub the watch with a toothbrush, unless the watch strap is made of alligator or snakeskin, in which case you should not use soap at all. Many people use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean a watch band because it’s gentler than actual soap. Finally, always dry your watch strap with a warm, soft cloth to remove moisture as quickly as possible.
Avoid Damaging the Band
Another thing that you can do to keep your leather watch strap in good condition is to simply avoid activities that damage the leather. Take your watch off before playing sports, before doing any sort of labour with your hands, before swimming (even if you have a waterproof watch) and before washing your hands. Each of these activities can damage, scratch, or allow moisture to access the leather of your watch which will cause it to break down more quickly. While you can wear your leather watch band under most conditions, it’s usually a great idea to avoid a certain few that you know could damage it. For example, if you’re a mechanic, you will definitely want to remove a watch band before you work. Or if you play tennis, the leather watch strap should come off before the game in order to protect it from stretching, being scratched or from being soaked with sweat.
Genuine leather watch straps like to be kept dry and away from extreme heat. Just like human skin that will crack and dry around radiators, leather will dry out and crack as well; only the results will be more extreme. Keep your watch away from heat sources that could dry it out including fire, radiators, heaters and a constant position in direct sunlight. Another frequent cause of damage for genuine leather watch straps is moisture. Leather should be kept dry at all times in order to avoid rot or mildew on the leather.
Something to consider is that you can occasionally apply a light wax to any matte finish leather watch bands in order to improve their shine, and protect them from the elements. While it won’t do much, it will make your watch band look like new. Removing your watch band every night before you go to sleep can help it last longer and wearing it lose on your wrist will keep the leather from stretching and cracking.
Consider Your Lifestyle
It’s also a good idea to consider your lifestyle before you purchase a leather watch band. For example, if you often participate in sports, you should consider a very durable leather watch band such as a sweat resistant shrunken cowhide watch band with rubber sweat guard on the bottom. If you only intend to wear your leather watch to formal events on the other hand, a delicate alligator or snakeskin watch strap might be for you, but otherwise it will probably be too delicate for everyday wear.
Watch straps come in all shapes and sizes and in different levels of strength and durability. You can research yours before you purchase it to choose one that is suitable for your lifestyle and then take care of it to keep it in good condition for longer periods of time.
Finding a high quality watch band means that your strap will last for longer, look for genuine leather watch straps for longer lasting, better quality bands.