When searching for replacement watch straps, you will come across an overwhelming number of leather watch straps. So, which should you choose? From fine alligator straps for formal occasions and distressed options with vintage feels to sporty NATO styles, leather watch straps go across a seriously wide spectrum. Let’s get a bit of focus and take a look at some of the best leather watch straps out there and the watches they complement.
StrapsCo Thick for Vintage Flair
Of course, you’re not going to put on bright orange or playful burgundy watch strap in a formal setting. And your office might be a bit too conservative for such throwback whimsy. But for those more casual times, when you want to toss on a whimsical nod to retro fashion, a StrapsCo Thick Vintage leather watch straps are perfect. With a square end, thick-cut, and contrast stitching that really pops against bold colors (we say go with their vivid orange!), this strap adds some serious personality to any number of timepieces. But it pairs particularly well with old-school no-nonsense watches like the Longines Heritage.
Hadley-Roma for Foul Weather
Sure, we talk about water resistance when it comes to watch cases all the time. This is especially true of dive watches; we want to stay secure at depths that would literally crush even the best pro divers. We look for water resistance should our dress watches get an unwanted splash here and there. But why doesn’t anyone talk about water resistance for the straps? Enter the Hadley Roma Water-Resistant strap. Made of Italian alligator grain leather with a stainless steel buckle, this durable strap pairs well with a chronograph from notables such as Omega, Rolex, or Breitling. Contrast stitching plus a padded design gives it something of a vintage leaning that exquisitely complements these classic timepieces.
Swiss Reimagined for a Sporty Style
True, many a sports watch goes best on a sturdy rubber strap. You may wish to go between a stainless steel bracelet and a classic NATO nylon for your on-the-go chronograph. But Swiss Reimagined throws a nice leather strap into the offerings with its patented calfskin leather with imprinted carbon fiber grain. Enjoy the supple feel of tanned Italian calfskin leather and the sporty touch of race-style fibers in an unusual, yet somehow inevitable, a mix of luxury and utility. This watch wears best with larger timepieces such as traditional chronographs but is versatile enough to pair with a variety of tool watches and even smartwatches.
Zulu for Your Inner Explorer
The first thing you will notice when you gaze upon a Zulu is that it owes its design to NATO straps. It simply looks like a big leather NATO. And it is — sort of. But the Zulu is thicker than traditional nylon straps. In fact, the Zulu is thicker than most of the leather straps on the market, which along with its distressed leather finish, gives it a bold presentation. It tells the world you’re apt to hop a cargo ship to explore parts unknown at the slightest whim. A Zulu also has big and rounded hardware, in contrast to the smaller buckles on the usual NATO choices. Obviously, given its size, this strap wears best (and really only) on larger watches that match the Zulu’s heft.
Rally to Get Your Racing On
Most people will initially see your Rally strap as a style statement, as it is a visually arresting piece. The large round perforations cut out of the sides of the bands are simply apt to get noticed and make an unashamed homage to vintage auto racing gloves. But there’s a practical side to the throwback flair of this strap — ventilation. If you will be wearing your leather strap out and about on a summer day, it’s pretty nice to get some airflow on your wrist. But who are we kidding? You wear this strap for its looks and ability to pair with vintage tool watches, field watches, and really any timepiece that exudes an old-school aesthetic.
DASSARI Quest to Go Boldly Bund
Are you ready for a one-piece bund-style leather strap? Of course, you are! While specifically made for Tudor Heritage Ranger watches, the Dassari Quest fits any number of watches with its unique one-piece design. Constructed with soft calf leather, the strap adds high-end condensed leather on its underside to provide some extra comfort. The strap is nicely accented by rivets, a stainless steel tang buckle, and contrast stitching that adds, as its name suggests, a sense of discovery and adventure to your timepiece.
Ullu Skinny for Anti-Apple
You’ve had your eye on leather watch straps from Apple to go with its smartwatch but just can’t click “buy” with that cringe-worthy price tag. Why not look to the Ullu Skinny? Crafted with fine Italian leather and available in an assortment of fun colors, the Skinny Strap was made to fit the Apple Watch at a more competitive price. But, for some, the Skinny Strap is just too, well, skinny. Fear not, the brand also has a thicker padded version that’s available for the exact same price. And sure, that bright hand-colored strap will fade over time, but rest assured the ensuing patina will create some interesting hues that will eventually make your strap a one-of-a-kind creation.
Leather Watch Straps Conclusion
So, whether you’re looking to put a fine finish on your dress watch, add a dash of daring to your pilot watch or give your favorite timepiece a vintage vibe, get yourself a great leather strap today!