How Long Should a Leather Watch Strap Last?
A leather watch strap should last between six months and four years depending on the kind of leather it is, and how well it is looked after. Traditional leather watch straps tend to last closer to the year mark, but a genuine alligator or calfskin strap will often last longer. As with everything though, there are a bunch of variables that can influence these numbers. However, there are three simple steps you can take to get all leather watch straps to last longer than expected:
- Have a rotation of watch straps.
- Replace the standard pin buckle with a clasp.
- Maintain a regular cleaning routine.
How to Make a Leather Watch Strap Last Longer
For watch enthusiasts, a watch strap is an important purchase; it makes a statement that expresses our individual style. There is nothing worse then, than when your beloved supple leather watch strap becomes cracked and unwearable.
Even though a leather watch strap can look better after it has a few signs of wear because it gives it more character, this look isn't for everyone - especially if the strap has become unreliable.
To make your watch strap last longer, you should:
1. Have a Rotation of Watch Straps
Much like you have a rotation of trainers or shoes, you should have a rotation of watch straps to help your leather watch strap last longer. This stops an individual strap from being worn weeks on the trot, preserving it for a longer period of time.
The added benefit is that a solid rotation of watch straps allows you to match your watch to your outfit and mood! A comfortable dive watch worn to the beach in summer can become a refined alligator strap for dinner in a matter of minutes. Quick-release watch straps are the best for these changes as each strap change should only take a couple of minutes max.
2. Replace the Standard Pin Buckle with a Clasp
If you replace the standard pin buckle with a clasp, you put less stress on the strap where it would normally fasten through the buckle. Almost all watch straps can have a shiny new clasp fitted to it.
Our clasp recommendations are as follows:
- SPORT Deployment Clasp in PVD Black
- SPORT Deployment Clasp in Polished Steel
- SPORT Deployment Clasp in Brushed Steel
- PUSH-BUTTON Deployment Clasp in PVD Black
- PUSH-BUTTON Deployment Clasp in Polished Silver
- PUSH-BUTTON Deployment Clasp in Brushed Silver
3. Maintain a Regular Cleaning Routine
As with most of our belongings, you can extend your leather watch strap's life and keep it looking timeless with a regular clean.
We recommend that you follow our full guide here, but the general process is as follows: remove the watch strap; clean with a gentle soap; use a leather conditioner and repeat every two weeks.
Our Longer Lasting Leather Strap Picks
Handmade watch straps tend to last longer due to the nature of the craft. We'd recommend:
Straight from his workshop in Lucca, Italy, Jean Paul Menicucci and his team produce hand-crafted and hand-finished vintage style Italian leather watch straps. The Distressed Tasso strap is wrought from soft, supple suede leather and carefully given a worn, coarse appearance that has an appealingly rustic look upon the wrist.
Available in a selection of earthen tones, this is a comfortable, natural-looking band that fits in well with a wide variety of men's and women's watches.
Hirsch LONDON Matt Alligator Leather Watch Strap in Dark Green
As part of the Hirsch Selection range, the London strap is generally made-to-order. This strap is crafted from genuine Louisiana Alligator skin, with samples specially-selected for their large, uniform scales. The strap is also edge-lacquered and remborded for a refined, more durable finish.
Morellato LEVY Vintage Calfskin Leather Watch Strap in Light Brown
Founded in 1930 by Giulio Morellato in a Venetian workshop, the Morellato name rose to prominence as a mark of quality and style. With an ever-expanding range of styles in their repertoire, Morellato produce straps to suit all tastes.
The Morellato Levy is a traditionally-styled strap wrought from high-quality vintage leather. This is a perennial favourite, featuring muted and understated colour, with a matching tonal edge stitch and moderate, rounded padding encased in a semi-remborded construction.
The RIOS1931 New York is a durable watch strap with a substantial shape, crafted from refined shell cordovan leather for a glossy, uniform look.
A Long-Lasting Alternative to Complete Leather
The Hirsch Performance collection is a great alternative to complete leather straps - they are rubber lined but have a leather top. This gives you the best of both worlds: the rubber does the leg work and makes the strap last longer, and the leather top gives you that recognisable and handsome look from above.