Metal is the ideal material for a man’s accessories. Whether it’s a stylish belt buckle, a pair of gunmetal glasses, or the strap of his watch, every man’s style can be elevated by some metallic accessories.
Your Guide To Leveling Up Your Look With A Metal Watch Strap
In this article, we’ll get you up to speed on how to choose the best metal strap for your watch. You will also learn how to coordinate your metal watch band with the rest of your outfit, giving your look a distinctly put-together feel.
When Did Metal Watch Bands Become Common?
In the latter half of the 20th century, metal watch bands began becoming as common as their leather counterparts. Before the 1950s, leather was the dominant material for watch bands. Leather gives a watch a unique look and feel that appeals to many wearers.
However, the advent of the stainless steel watch band made it clear that there were other worthy contenders in the ring. In the 50s, as international travel by airplane became more common, specialized watches for pilots began featuring metal straps, giving them a distinctly modern look that is unmistakable even now.
The metal band has become a mainstay in watch-wearing culture, often associated with specialized watches for aviators, professional drivers, and seafaring hobbyists. Although pilot’s watches, racing watches, and nautical watches are some of the most common types of timepieces to feature metal straps, other watches can be found featuring metal bands as well.
As dive watches began becoming more common in the mid-20th century, they started to carry an inherent association with luxury. Although the dive watch design was originally intended for the specific purpose of underwater use, its stylish look made it easily cross over into the position it now holds as a staple for both casual and formal wear. Dive watches look great with metal straps, and this type of watch helped solidify metal’s reputation as an ideal material for watch bands.
Why Wear A Metal Watch Band?
Metal is an extremely stylish material for accessories, giving any outfit a unique look that cannot be provided by leather or canvas. It is also one of the most low-maintenance materials that a watch band can be made from. This is in large part due to the fact that metal will not absorb sweat and dirt in the same way leather does.
Leather’s tendency to absorb debris after long periods of wear does not disqualify it as a great option for a watch band. However, the inherent characteristics of a metal watch band make it easy to wear without requiring much cleaning or maintenance.
In addition to being low-maintenance, metal watch bands are extremely versatile. As exemplified by the dive watch and other similar timepieces that look great with both formal and casual outfits, metal is easy to pair with many looks. If you intend to own just one watch, one with a metal band is definitely a viable option.
Metal watch bands have a reputation for modernizing an outfit and giving it a feel that is distinctly masculine. If you need to make a lasting good impression and appreciate a minimalist wardrobe, metal watch bands are a great choice for you.
What To Look For In A Metal Watch Band
We’ve laid out a few major dos and don’ts to live by when choosing a metal watch band. Sticking to these guidelines, you’ll end up with a strap for your watch that is high-quality, low-maintenance, and looks great.
- Always opt for stainless steel. Some lower quality metal straps will end up wearing down over time, but stainless steel will retain its good looks for decades.
- Look for a watch band with separate interlinked metal pieces. As opposed to one uniform piece of metal, linked metal bands feel more comfortable and fit much better on your wrist.
- Make sure your watch band is the same color metal as your watch. If you mismatch metals, your watch will end up looking jumbled and unsightly.
- Choose the color of your metal strap based on your style preferences and the colors you wear the most. Silver pairs better with some colors than gold, and vice versa. In addition, gunmetal and black stainless steel watch bands can also make excellent additions to many outfits.
Why You Should Own More Than One Watch Strap
For some situations, you need to augment your watch’s appearance to help it better fit with a specific outfit. In these circumstances, you don’t necessarily need an entirely different watch – a new strap can make a big difference.
If your watch came with a metal band, it’s a great idea to get an additional strap made from leather. This way, if you wear an outfit that will be better complemented by a leather strap, you can quickly switch out your watch’s band and be good to go.
Below are several key considerations to bear in mind when looking for a secondary watch band for your metal-strapped watch.
- When looking for a secondary watch band, make sure you choose one that is the same width as your current band. Many watches have a 22mm band width, but it is always wise to double-check, especially if you are purchasing a third-party strap.
- Look for a leather strap that pairs well with the color of your watch and fits your fashion preferences. Remember that black leather is traditionally considered more formal, while brown leather tends to be associated with more casual looks.
- Consider the color of the rest of your accessories. If you wear an abundance of black leather, it is wise to pair your watch band with your black belt, shoes, and any other accessories that are part of your daily look.
Likewise, if you favor brown leather, go for a brown watch band. Color coordination can take any outfit to the next level, and it is especially important to consider when you are wearing leather goods.
When Is Another Material A Better Option For Your Watch Band?
Some watches are not designed to pair as well with metal straps. Field watches, for example, are typically found paired with canvas bands, which complement their rugged design.
Metal watch bands are often on specialized watches such as those designed for sailing, racing, and aviation. These watches are complemented by the modern look of a metal band but can also look great with leather bands.
As for dive watches, there is a relatively even split between rubber, metal, and leather bands, all of which pair extremely well with the dive watch’s versatile design.
One of the only circumstances in which you will definitely want to opt for a watch band that is not made of metal is when wearing a field watch. Because field watches are widely considered to be much more casual, they typically look great with the standard canvas strap. However, leather is also a viable option for a field watch’s band, pairing well with the rugged, timeless look of the field watch.
As for other types of timepieces like dive, nautical, racing, and aviation watches, both metal and leather bands are common and look great. Some watch enthusiasts consider leather, particularly black leather, a more formal-looking material than metal. However, this is a relatively subjective debate, coming down more to traditional standards of watch-wearing and having less of an impact on the modern watch-wearer.
In almost every circumstance, a metal watch band will look formal enough to wear. Metal-banded dive watches, for example, are often even worn with tuxedos. It is worth considering, though, that black leather is traditionally considered the only viable watch band material for extremely formal outfits. Fortunately, most men rarely have to don black-tie attire, making this a relatively moot point for the majority of watch enthusiasts.
Choose A Watch You Love
Of course, one of the most important considerations to make when it comes to your watch and its band is your personal preferences. If you love the look of a metal watch band, your decision-making process ends there.
You always have the option of owning multiple watch bands made from different materials and in different colors, offering you plenty of different looks from a single watch. Ultimately, it’s up to you which direction you take your watch-wearing in.
There’s plenty of freedom for personal expression with watches, and your choice of band is just one of the ways that you can make a statement with your timepiece. Wearing a high-quality metal strap lets the world know that you mean business and know how to look sharp for any occasion. It’s a perfect pick for nearly every watch.