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What Is Embossed Leather?

What Is Embossed Leather?

Embossed leather features an authentic replica texture of a range of reptiles and exotic animals, such as crocodile, alligator or buffalo. Keep reading to discover the variation between embossed leather watch straps and genuine hide leather watch straps.

Embossed leather is leather with artificial patterns stamped on the natural grain of animal skin using a combination of high pressure and heat. Embossed leather features an authentic replica texture of a range of reptiles and exotic animals, such as crocodile, alligator or buffalo.

Leather embossing is a technique used in the manufacturing of leather right before it is finished, and more often than not, it elevates the standard and quality of the product. 

Embossed Leather Vs Genuine Skin Watch Straps 

When shopping for watch straps you’ll often see the words ‘genuine alligator leather’ and ‘embossed alligator leather’. But what's the difference between exotic grains and embossed calfskin, we hear you ask? As mentioned above, an embossed leather strap is leather that has been stamped to create a pattern in the hide, whereas a genuine skin strap is the skin of the animal that is mentioned.

Genuine Skins

Genuine skins are sought after for their unique and delicate designs, and will typically. come in more saturated colours with a glossier finish and softer touch. Because they come from animals, they will each have their own natural variation in texture and design, which makes them totally unique as it is impossible to find an absolutely identical pattern. This adds to their sophisticated look and luxurious character. 

Morellato Amadeus Genuine Crocodile Watch Strap in DARK BROWN

Wrought from genuine Colombian crocodile hide, the superb Morellato Amadeus features a detailed natural texture, imbued with vivid colour and a striking semi-gloss finish. This is a truly stunning option if you're looking to add a touch of additional style and luxury to your favourite wristwatch.

Hirsch London Matt Alligator Leather Watch Strap in BEIGE

This Hirsch London 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 Violino Genuine Lizard Skin Watch Strap in GREEN

Featuring the pleasingly intricate small scales of real lizard skin, the Violino is a refined addition to Morellato's collection of luxury genuine skin watch straps.

Each strap is unique thanks to its natural source material, and is imbued with rich, vivid colour, a semi-matte finish and long-taper design.

Embossed Skins

Embossed leather watch straps are usually made from cow leather (cow hide inner and calf leather outer) and much cheaper than real reptile hides. You can also find a wide variety of colours and sizes, which is why they have a more uniform design. With a lower cost and wide choice of specifications, embossed leather straps would be a great option for people looking to mix up their variety without breaking the bank. 

Some may also opt for embossed leather straps because cowhides are a recycled material, as the animals are not bred for their coat, but for the meat industry, unlike genuine reptile skins.

Morellato Liverpool Crocodile-Embossed Calfskin Leather Performance Watch Strap in Dark Brown

The Liverpool watch strap is lightweight, comfortable and writ large with an authentic and complex crocodile-style embossed texture, moderately padded and outfitted with a soft and supple underside layer. This is a superb choice for those looking for a performant band with the aesthetic sensibility of luxury material, while still representing excellent value for money.

Hirsch Duke Brown Quick-Release Alligator Embossed Leather Watch Strap

The Duke is a versatile strap that features an alligator-style emboss, high-quality Italian calfskin construction and superb fit and finish, all at a price that offers peerless value for money.

Hirsch Rainbow Lizard Embossed Leather Watch Strap in BLACK

The Hirsch Rainbow strap has a lizard-style emboss with densely-packed scales that closely emulates the real thing. The strap comes in a range of colours and makes for an excellent accompaniment to classic or dress watches.

Rios1931 Louisiana Alligator-Embossed Leather Watch Strap in NAVY BLUE

The Louisiana strap is a great example of the supreme craftsmanship Rios1931 are known for, featuring high-quality matt-finished cow leather and imbued with an authentic alligator-style embossed texture. 

Outfitted with a tone-on-tone stitch and equipped with a sturdy steel buckle, this is an excellent, dependable rendition of a classic watch strap design.

How To Care For Your Leather Watch Strap

Genuine Skin Watch Strap

The natural leather of exotic animals is extremely durable and does not require special care. Nevertheless, if you want to prolong the life of your watch strap, we recommend following a few simple rules:

  • Do not leave your exotic leather strap in direct sunlight.
  • When the strap isn't around your wrist, store it somewhere safe - either in a watch case or in a fabric bag. Storing genuine skin products in plastic bags can damage the delicate leather; and storing them without proper casing can risk even worse damage. 
  • Clean your strap once a week with a dry, clean cloth or paper towel
  • Avoid applying creams, waxes, glues or any other form of liquids to the leather

Embossed Leather Watch Strap

Calfskin leather is sturdy, durable and resilient when it comes to watch straps, but just like genuine exotic hides, over time they will receive some well-loved wear and tear, and must be well looked after. Discover how to properly clean your leather watch strap here


Vegan Leather Watch Straps 

If real leather - whether that be calfskin or genuine exotic skin - isn’t your thing, there are lots of alternative vegan leather options available that are environmentally friendly, comfortable and highly durable all rolled into one. For example, the Hirsch LEAF Vegan Rubber Watch Strap, which is adorned with real leaves, individually treated using a specialised process for a vibrantly coloured semi-transparent skeletal finish, then hand-applied to the bespoke upper carrier layer.  View our full vegan leather collection here. 



We are WatchObsession, your favourite watch strap store since 2010. Shop our luxury watches, watch straps and watch tools and accessories on our website and become #WObsessed


Written by Kate, for Watch Obsession.

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