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Exploring Which Strap Type Is Best For Your Style

Posted by Nicholas Crusie on

Exploring Which Strap Type Is Best For Your Style

A Guide To Choosing The Best Watch Band For You

Wearing a high-quality watch is a surefire way to take any outfit to the next level. However, as any diehard watch enthusiast will tell you, there are numerous defining aspects of each individual watch that can make it more fitting as an accessory for a certain type of outfit. 


Some watches are better when worn with a more formal outfit, and some look great in a casual setting. Others are extremely versatile, contributing well to nearly any look. The factors that determine when a specific watch looks best include the type of watch, its color, and the material its band is made from. 

Some of the most common materials that watch bands are made from are metal and leather. Both of these materials can make fantastic watch bands, and there are numerous benefits to wearing both. 

However, for some people, a leather watch band will be more compatible with their overall style. Likewise, many prefer the look and feel of a metal strap. In this article, we will outline the primary contexts in which leather and metal watch bands are best worn and what to pair with both types of watch bands.

Leather Watch Bands: An Introduction

Leather has long been revered as an excellent material for shoes, bags, belts, watch bands, and other accessories. Leather is made from the skin of an animal, typically from cattle hide. The animal hide is treated and tanned, giving it its distinctive appearance and texture. 

Leather can also have color added to it, leading to a wide variety of options for leather goods like watch straps. The most common leather watch strap colors are brown and black, but other colors like gray, green, and tan can also be found. Overall, leather is a timeless and versatile material that will never go out of style.

Why Wear A Leather Watch Band?

One easy way to take an outfit to the next level is by coordinating the colors of the leather goods you wear. This leads to a major selling point for leather watch bands: they can be paired with leather shoes, a belt, and other accessories to make an overall cohesive look. 

If you wear a brown leather watch band, for example, you can level up your style by matching it with brown leather shoes and a brown leather belt. 

Brown leather is typically considered more informal than black leather, but it looks great paired with many formal outfits. The only context you would want to exclusively wear a watch with a black leather band would be a very formal event with a black-tie dress code. Brown leather is generally deemed too casual for black tie attire, especially in a more traditional setting. 

The standards applied to the different colors of leather date back centuries and are more the products of tradition than objective style guidelines. Both black and brown leather watch straps are great options for wearing in nearly any setting.

In addition, leather watch straps look great paired with casual outfits. Leather tends to be a more versatile material for accessories than metal or canvas, and a leather watch can look just as much at home worn with a flannel, jeans, and boots as with a suit, tie, and brogues. If you often need to switch back and forth between casual and formal attire and only want to own one watch, one with a leather band is a great choice.

What To Look For In A Leather Watch Band

One of the first considerations to make when looking for a leather watch band is genuine leather. Some lower-end watches come with faux leather bands, which can look deceptively similar to authentic leather. However, faux leather is typically indicative of a reduction in quality and craftsmanship.

When it comes to watches, the highest quality materials and components are well worth the investment. A cheap watch is more liable to malfunction or break down altogether. It may seem like a budget-friendly move to opt for a cheap watch, but you get what you pay for. Mediocre watches will leave you disappointed and often need replacing quickly.

In addition, take into consideration the style of your leather band. Some leather bands have embellishments and patterns. These additions can be aesthetically appealing, but they can also sometimes detract from a watch’s compatibility with formal outfits. A simple, timeless leather watch band is always a great choice, but there is plenty of room for personal expression when it comes to your choice of watch band. 

Finally, if versatility is your primary goal, a black leather watch band may be your best bet. Suitable for even the most formal occasions but often compatible with casual looks as well, black leather is a great choice for the aspiring minimalist who wants a universal watch that pairs with any outfit.

Metal Watch Bands: An Introduction

Metal watch bands are commonly seen on many different types of watches. They are notably lower-maintenance than their leather counterparts, which need routine cleaning and conditioning to stay in good shape. A high-quality metal watch band will generally stay looking great for decades with minimal upkeep and attention.

In addition, many associate metal watch bands with luxurious dive watches and other similar timepieces that are often paired with classy suits and other dressy attire. Although black leather is often considered the most traditionally formal material for a watch strap, metal makes a great alternative.

Metal watch bands have a unique level of versatility that makes them worthy rivals to leather straps. Metal pairs well with casual and formal outfits but contributes something far different to a look in terms of color and texture. If you are wearing just one accessory with your outfit, a metal watch can be a great choice, standing out from your belt, shoes, and other accessories in a way that’s tasteful but not clashing. 

Overall, metal as a material is one of the most durable options for a watch band and is able to withstand plenty of wear. Unlike leather, metal is relatively impervious to sweat and dirt, quick and easy to clean, and unlikely to get significantly discolored over time. 

However, metal also gets much hotter and colder than leather, affecting the wearer in potentially unpleasant ways. Normally, a metal watch band’s receptiveness to temperature changes will not cause significant discomfort to the wearer, but it is a factor worth considering nevertheless. 

Why Wear A Metal Watch Band?

Metal watch bands are low-maintenance, look stylish, and are easy to pair with many different outfits. They stand neck and neck with leather as contenders for the ideal watch strap, and the choice between the two is ultimately up to you. 

If you are looking for a watch that requires as little attention from you as possible, something to slip on effortlessly each morning, a metal watch with quartz movement is a great option. Metal bands typically fit just as well as their leather counterparts and can be adjusted if necessary. In addition, quartz movement allows a watch to work perfectly without requiring winding thanks to battery power. 

What To Look For In A Metal Watch Band

One of the primary factors that can influence your decision-making process when choosing a metal watch band is its color. Gold and silver are common, but gunmetal and other colors can also be found. 

Both gold and silver specifically pair well with other colors. Earth tones tend to match best with gold, whereas black and blue pair well with silver. Depending on which colors you wear most frequently, a gold or silver watch band might be a smarter choice.

Is There A Winner?

As you might have guessed, there is no objectively better material for a watch band. The choice is up to you. Depending on your style – the colors you wear, how formal or casual you choose to dress, and so on – you may want to opt for one material or the other. However, there truly is no superior material for a watch band.

For both leather and metal bands, there are pros and cons. Leather requires more maintenance but has a uniquely timeless look and feel. Its texture is a major selling point for many. On the other hand, metal is lower-maintenance and looks distinctly modern but responds more to temperature changes. 

Both materials pair especially well with certain outfits and specific colors, but you can find a versatile watch with a band made from either. It’s up to you to decide which one fits your style and personality best. 






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