Leather Watch Band vs Metal Watch Band: What’s the Difference?

One of the biggest decisions you have to make when considering purchasing a new timepiece is what type of wrist strap you want.  There are numerous factors to consider when thinking about what will be the best and most functional wrist strap for your lifestyle.  There are also numerous considerations to take into account when deciding between leather watch bands and metal watch bands.  Will you need a strap that is more durable than it is fashionable?  Do you want to ensure you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for durability?  Will your watch band be exposed to water or moisture?  To determine which strap is right for you, here are some key differences between leather watch bands and metal watch bands.  


Leather Watch Bands

The quintessential classic strap for any watch is the leather watchband.  Made from leathers sourced from varying locations, it’s a pretty safe bet that a leather watchband is going to remain timeless, and offer a ruddy, patina look for years to come.  Leather is enduring, durable, and stylish.  


Today’s leather watch bands are available in colors like tan, black, brown, and dark brown.  If you own a watch that offers the ability to interchange straps, you can change the color of your leather watch band to match your mood or outfit.  


Leather watch bands are incredibly durable, but their one Achilles heel is that they are typically not water-resistant.  While you may find some leather watch bands that have been treated to resist a minimal amount of water, that is usually only enough protection to guard against being caught in a rain shower, spilling a beverage, or everyday sweating and skin oils.  


Leather watch bands take years of wear on the chin, with very little need for maintenance or repair.  


Metal Watch Bands

Commonly referred to as a bracelet, a metal watch band is composed of links of chained metal.  This metal can be made from a precious material such as gold, silver, or platinum.  These materials will, obviously, cost more than a metal watch band made from stainless steel.  Unless you have your heart set on a platinum wrist band, stainless steel is probably the best option in terms of durability and visual appeal.  


One of the strongest metals, stainless steel resists scratching and breaking, unlike other softer metals.  Additionally, stainless steel refuses to show fingerprints, dirt and grime, and other environmental hazards like other metals may.  


Another reason to go for a stainless steel bracelet style watch band is for water resistance.  Unlike a leather band, a stainless steel band can withstand water exposure for limited periods of time. This makes a stainless steel or metal watch band a more desirable band for wearers who don’t want to have to worry about getting their timepiece band wet or who prefer to not have to change out the wrist strap.  


A metal watch band can also be easily dressed up or down depending on need and occasion. The shiny brilliance of the stainless steel bracelet makes it a no-brainer for pairing with dress clothes for a night out, but it is just as comfortable paired with jeans and a t-shirt as it is with a black tie and trousers.  


The differences between leather watch bands and metal watch bands are mainly style and durability.  You’ll want to consider what you actually need from your watch band to determine which is right for you.  Consider how much moisture your watch band will be exposed to and what kind of other durability scenarios you’ll place your watch strap in.  These factors will help you select the perfect watch band, be it leather or metal.