Are Leather Watch Bands Worth It? Tech-Warriors Tell All


Style is 40% clothes, 40% attitude, and 20% accessories.

Okay, I just made those numbers up. 

Here’s what I’m getting at: high-quality accessories help you look and feel your best. 

At Popov Leather, one of our favorite wearable pieces of full-grain Horween leather is the watch strap. A well-made leather watch strap looks elegant in any outfit, feels great on your wrist, and can last for decades. 

There are several factors to consider when buying a new watch band, including:

  • The different material options for watch bands
  • The pros and cons of leather, metal, and other watch ban
  • The advantages and benefits of leather watch bands

Types of Watch Bands

The loop of material that connects to a wristwatch and wraps around the wrist is known as a watch band or a watch strap.

Watch straps may be made from: 

  • Leather 
  • Metal 
  • Rubber, nylon, and other alternative materials 

Let’s explore the key benefits and drawbacks of the different materials you may choose for your watch band. 

1 - Leather Watch Bands

Leather is regarded by many watch-wearers as the most comfortable and attractive strap material. Leather is considered the preferred option for pairing with formal attire. However, you never seem overdressed when sporting a bit of leather.

High-quality leather captures that rare combination of elegance and rugged durability, making it a suitable choice for all settings, from the garage to the boardroom. 

Are there any downsides to leather? Well, a high-quality leather strap is among the more expensive options you could pair with your timepiece. Of course, most buyers with a BIFL (buy it for life) mindset are eager to pay a bit more for heirloom quality. 

2 - Metal Bracelets

Metal watch bands are known as bracelets. Metal bracelets are durable, easy to clean, and look nice with many high-end watches.

Regarding style, metal vs leather is a matter of personal preference. Both band types can look great when they pair well with an individual’s sense of style. 

Metal bracelets are fairly low-maintenance. They aren’t prone to stains and can be easily cleaned with a wet rag. However, there are a few drawbacks to metal concerning practicality and comfort. 

First of all, metal bracelets are prone to stretching out. Occasionally, stretching, pressure and friction loosen the bracelet’s pins or wear out the metal links, resulting in a broken bracelet. 

As for comfort, metal isn’t always the nicest material for constant skin contact. Some wearers may prefer the extra heft of a metal bracelet, but a heavy watch strap can be uncomfortable during exercise. Metal may also feel harsh or pinch your skin. 

Plus, metal changes temperature more than most materials, so your bracelet will feel extra hot or cold, depending on the weather. If you wear a metal bracelet, you may find yourself putting your watch on and off frequently to avoid unpleasant sensations on your wrist. 

3 - Nylon, Rubber, Canvas, and Other Alternative Watch Strap Materials

Leather and metal straps are the top choices for most watch-wearers, especially when style is a priority.

Other watch band material options include:

  • Rubber
  • Nylon
  • Canvas
  • Hemp 

Alternative strap materials are often low-priced, but vary widely in quality. Some bands offer compelling daily use benefits for very active individuals. Rubber, for example, is waterproof while nylon is quite durable. 

While rubber and nylon straps may be practical choices for some watch-wearers, they typically don’t score many style points. 

If you want a strap that’s durable, comfortable, AND looks great, leather is the way to go. 


Advantages and Benefits of Leather Watch Bands

If you choose a high-quality leather strap for your wristwatch, here are the key advantages that you’ll enjoy.

Leather Watch Bands Are Stylish With Any Level of Dress

Leather is known as the most appropriate watch strap material for formal attire.

Personally, I don’t care much for the rules of fashion that tell people when they can or can’t wear certain items. However, I won’t argue the point that leather looks amazing as part of a dressed-up ensemble. 

Better yet, you never need to swap out a leather watch band. The fit is just as appropriate with casual clothing as it is with formal wear. 

As with all of our goods, Popov Leather watch bands come in the four earth-tone colors shown below.

Leather Watch Bands Are Comfortable on Your Wrist

For some folks, the sensory benefits of leather are their favorite aspects of the material. The unique smell of high-quality leather, the rustic beauty of a leather patina, and the smooth feel of leather on skin—these are qualities that no other material can compete with. 

Smooth, soft leather is perfect for watch bands. The material stays snug without pinching or scratching the skin. If you enjoy the feel of leather, a watch strap can provide that gentle, comfortable contact throughout your day. 

Need to make sure your new watch strap will be a good fit? Popov Leather wrist bands are designed to fit average-sized timepieces on wrist circumferences of 6–8.5 inches.

What Is the Average Wrist Size?

The average wrist circumference for medium-sized men is 6.5–7.5”

The average wrist circumference for medium-sized women is 6–6.25”

Popov Leather watch straps are designed to fit wrist circumferences between 6–8.5”


What Popov Leather Customers Are Saying About Their Watch Bands

Fans of high-quality leather goods are passionate people. So we receive an enormous amount of feedback on all of our products. Our reviews form page after page of enthusiastic affirmations, along with the occasional bit of constructive criticism.

Here’s what people are saying about Popov Leather watch bands:

  • The high-quality full-grain Horween leather is clearly built to last.
  • Leather watch bands go great with any outfit or level of dress.
  • Leather feels pleasant around the wrist for daily use.

"Impressed by the quality of the leather. Put this on my daily watch and used it for over a year, I can say this leather holds up to any beating.”

Cyrus W., Verified Popov Leather Watch Band Reviewer

"Incredibly premium feel. Truly feels it will last for generations. Countless compliments from watchmakers."

Anonymous, Verified Popov Leather Watch Band Reviewer

"The quality and thickness of the strap speak to a long-lasting fit and comfortability that complements any style. The simple design and supple leather rest gently on the skin."

Anonymous, Verified Popov Leather Watch Band Reviewer

"I was amazed at what simply changing a strap can do for a watch. Love the natural leather. Comfortable, simple and well made."

Andrew B., Verified Popov Leather Watch Band Reviewer

Easy Style Upgrades for Tech Professionals

Whether you’re the most fashionable guy in the office or you’re an unabashed nerd who’s focused solely on practicality, leather is the perfect choice for your wristwatch band.

Our watch bands and Apple Watch straps are made from premium, full-grain Horween leather and hand-sewn with Tiger thread. Material quality and pride in craft are clearly evident at first glance. 

For more buying guides and leather care tips, visit the Popov Leather blog

Written by Ryan Popoff

Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Reach out with questions.

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