A beautiful watch needs a beautiful watch strap. Every leather watch strap wears out, especially if you wear the watch every day. But if you give the tire a little love now and then, it will stay beautiful and last longer. With these tips you will certainly succeed.
1. Keep the tire dry
Leather does not tolerate water well. So try to avoid contact with it, even if the watch is waterproof. Do not shower or swim with a leather strap and be careful when washing it. If the tire does get wet, let it air dry. Never on the heating or in the full sun, because that causes discoloration and dehydration.
If you often come into contact with water, for example because of your work, you can consider purchasing a universal water resistant band from the Morellato brand.
Top Tip: Before using the watch, spray the outside of the strap with a colorless protection spray that you also use for your leather shoes.
Due to the direct contact between the watch strap and the skin, the leather can be affected and eventually even smell bad. Sweat in particular is not good for genuine leather. Therefore, when the weather is warm, wear your watch a little looser. This allows the tire to breathe and dry. Or choose a different strap during this period, for example made of metal or canvas.
Top Tip: Choose a watch with an Easy Click or Quick Release strap. This way you can easily change watch straps. Many brands, such as Fossil and Cluse, have many of this type of watch strap in their collection as standard.
2. Avoid folding
In any case, when you take off your watch, put the watch away as flat as possible. It looks nice on a stand or around a cushion in a watch box and stores it practically, but you bend the leather continuously, with the risk of deformation and crumbling.
If you do keep the watch on a stand, do not fasten the buckle with the pin through a hole to prevent folding.
Top Tip: Have you been sweating a lot for a day? Then dry the strap with a cotton cloth before you put the watch away.
More expensive leather straps often have a folding or butterfly clasp instead of a buckle. As a result, the leather ‘buckles’ less and retains its shape better. You can also attach a universal folding clasp to your leather strap yourself.
3. How to clean leather strap?
If the belt has become a bit dirty, you can easily clean it. Preferably loosen the strap from the watch, or work very carefully.
With a dry cotton cloth, wipe the belt and remove dust and dirt. Moisten another cotton cloth with lukewarm water and add a few drops of liquid (green) soap. Do not use detergent or similar! Wipe both sides of the tire in a circular motion. Then use a clean, damp cloth to remove the soap.
Dry the tire in the air (never on a heater) and when it is completely dry apply a protective layer on the outside with a colorless leather cream or leather spray.
Top Tip: You can buy a good leather cream or spray at the shoemaker.
Special types of leather such as snake or crocodile leather
Reptile leather is one of the rarest and most precious leathers. You will find these straps mainly at more luxurious watch brands such as Maurice Lacroix. We also sell universal watch straps made of special types of leather such as snake leather, lizard leather and crocodile leather from the brands Pryngeps and Morellato. The leather of these animals is naturally soft, but has a great toughness, which makes the quality very durable and the tire can withstand water well. Nevertheless, you have to be very careful when maintaining these – often more expensive – watch straps.
Do not use soap, but only a lukewarm, damp cloth to clean the belt and always iron with the scales. Let the strap air dry and when it is completely dry, rub it with a special maintenance cream for reptile leather or a neutral leather oil. Again with the scales!
Top Tip: When the cream or oil has absorbed, you can polish the tire with a soft cloth.
Suede and unfinished leather watch straps
Suede, nubuck and other unfinished leathers should not get wet at all. Moisture immediately absorbs and stains. You can only care for a nubuck strap with leather grease or saddle soap.
Top Tip: Occasionally brush up a suede strap with a clean hard toothbrush.
Still in need of a new watch strap?
Despite all good care, your leather watch strap will eventually wear out. Even then there is no man overboard, because at Techzle we have a huge range of brand watch straps. With our unique strap finder you can find the original strap for your watch in just a few clicks.
You can read more information about the maintenance of metal watch straps here.