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Watch straps
Watch straps | Search Strap
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How do I keep my leather watch strap looking good?

Posted 14 May 2020 by Miriam

A nice watch comes with a nice watch strap. Every leather watch strap wears out, especially if you wear the watch every day. But if you occasionally give the strap a little love, it will stay beautiful and last longer. With these tips you will certainly succeed.

1. Keep the strap dry

Leather does not tolerate water well. So try to avoid contact with it, even if the watch is waterproof. Do not shower or swim wearing a leather strap and be careful when washing dishes. If the strap does get wet, let it air dry. Never on a heater or in full sun, as this causes discoloration and drying out. If you often come into contact with water, for example through your work, you could consider purchasing a universal water resistant band from the Morellato brand.

Top Tip: Before using the watch, spray the outside of the strap with a colourless protection spray that you also use for your leather shoes. 

Due to the direct contact between the watch strap and the skin, the leather can be affected and eventually even start to smell stale. Sweat in particular is not good for real leather. When the weather is warm, wear your watch a little looser. This allows the strap to breathe and dry. Or choose a different strap during this period, for example made of metal or canvas.

Top Tip: Choose a watch with an Easy Click or Quick Release strap. This way you can easily change watch straps. Many brands such as Fossil and Cluse have a lot of this type of watch strap in their collection as standard.

Spray to protect against water
▴ Spray to protect against water
Universal waterproof strap
▴ Universal waterproof strap

2. Avoid folding

In any case, when you take off your watch, put the watch away flat as much as possible. On a stand or around a cushion in a watch box looks nice and stores practically, but you bend the leather continuously, with the risk of deformation and crumbling.

If you do store the watch on a stand, do not fasten the buckle with the pin through a hole to prevent folding.

Top Tip: Did you sweat a lot? Then dry the band with a cotton cloth before putting the watch away. More expensive leather straps often have a folding or butterfly clasp instead of a buckle. As a result, the leather 'buckles' less and retains its shape better. You can also attach a universal folding clasp to your leather strap yourself.

watch on a standard
▴ Keeping the buckle loose avoids folding
folding watch clasp
▴ A folding clasp avoids creasing

3. How to clean a leather strap

If the strap has become a bit dirty, you can easily clean it. Preferably detach the strap from the watch, or work very carefully.

Wipe the strap with a dry cotton cloth and remove dust and dirt. Dampen another cotton cloth with lukewarm water and add a few drops of liquid (natural) soap. Do not use detergent or the like! Wipe both sides of the strap in a circular motion. Then use a clean, damp cloth to remove the soap.

Air dry the strap (never on the heater) and when it is completely dry apply a protective layer on the outside with a colourless leather cream or leather spray.

Top Tip: You can buy a good leather cream or spray at your cobbler.

Clean the strap with water and natural soap
▴ Clean the strap with water and natural soap
Crocodile leather with Cites certificate
▴ Crocodile leather with Cites certificate

Reptile leathers

Reptile leather is one of the rarest and most precious leathers. You will find these straps especially at more luxurious watch brands such as Maurice Lacroix. We also sell universal watch straps made of reptile leathers such as snakeskin, lizard leather and crocodile leather from the brands Pryngeps and Morellato. The leather of these animals is naturally soft, but has a great toughness, which makes the quality very durable and the strap can withstand water well. Nevertheless, you have to be very careful when maintaining these - often more expensive - watch straps.

Do not use soap, only a lukewarm, damp cloth to clean the strap and always wipe in with the scales. Let the strap air dry and when the completely dry, rub it with a special reptile leather maintenance cream or neutral leather oil. Again with the scales, never against!

Top Tip: When the cream or oil is absorbed, you can polish the strap with a soft cloth.


Suede and unfinished leather 

Suede, nubuck and other unfinished leathers should not get wet at all. Moisture is immediately absorbed and causes stains. You only care for a nubuck band with leather grease or saddle soap.

Top Tip: Brush a suede banda clean hard toothbrush.

Brushing a suede strap
▴ Brushing a suede strap
Polishing a nubuck strap
▴ Polishing a nubuck strap

Still in need of a new watch strap?

Despite all good care, your leather watch strap will eventually wear out. Even then there is no man overboard, because at we have a huge range of brand watch straps in stock. With our unique strap finder you will find the original strap for your watch in a few mouse clicks.