Leather vs. Metal Watch Straps

Written by e.c. rosenberg
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Leather vs. Metal Watch Straps
A high-quality leather strap is just one of many choices. (gold watch image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

There's no "right" choice when selecting a watchband. Both leather and metal watchbands are attractive, functional and sold at all price points. Individual preference should guide a decision.

Watchband Vocabulary

"Watchband" is a generic term describing the band holding the watch on the wrist. A metal watchband is called a "bracelet," while a "strap" is a watchband made of any material other than metal.

Function and Comfort

Typical daily activities should be taken into account when making watchband choices. A leather strap may feel less noticeable on the wrist, while a metal bracelet lasts longer under varying conditions.

Leather vs. Metal Watch Straps
A watch can take different types of bands. (watches image by Oleg Ivanov from Fotolia.com)

Style and Elegance

A leather or metal watchband in a high-quality material conveys power and elegance for both men and women but elegance can also be displayed more subtly. A bracelet or strap should be appropriate to the situation in which you wear your watch.


In 2010, most watchbands, of any material, will run between £6-$200. A strap or bracelet that's higher quality than the watch will make the watch look better but the reverse is true as well.

Leather vs. Metal Watch Straps
Watchbands cost as little--or as much--as you want to spend. (cdregal7 image by Paco Ayala from Fotolia.com)

Other Considerations

Some watches' construction limits the choice to either strap or bracelet. Avoid allergenic materials, regardless of how attractive the watchband. Inexpensive cloth or rubber straps can be a fun alternative if you like to change looks frequently.

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