A watch isn’t complete without the right band. Here are our top picks for the best leather watch straps.
If you’re in the market for a watch strap, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options out there. The world of watches is a deep rabbit hole, and you can spend a lot of time (and money) on straps alone.
It’s understandable. You want to choose a strap that looks nice for the particular watch you’re wearing. So what do you do?
First, you can think about the material you want. While there are lots of different types of straps, many are made out of leather.
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Just like leather phone cases, leather straps offer a nice balance of quality, longevity and affordability, which is why we’re focusing on them for this list.
A good leather strap will last you many years of regular wear. Whether you want an eye-catching statement piece or a classic black leather strap, you’ve got options.
Need a quick list? Here are our top three picks for the best leather watch straps:
The Model 2 Premium by Worn & Wound is widely considered one of the best leather watch straps, and it’s easy to see why.
If you’re brand new to watches and just want a cheap strap that will serve you well, this is probably the one for you.
Bas and Lokes Everett is a high quality leather watch band that’s perfectly suited to your wrist. The Everett features a gently tapering strap and a slim buckle. It goes with just about any outfit thanks to its minimalist design.
Read on to see the full list…
Affordable Leather Watch Straps
If you’re buying your first leather watch band – or if you just can’t drop $100+ on a strap – then take a look at these budget-friendly bands.
Barton Espresso Leather
If you’re brand new to watches and just want a cheap strap that will serve you well, you should check out Barton’s line of affordable leather quick release bands.
All of these bands have quick release spring bars that make it easy to swap straps. What’s especially nice is that Barton offers two sizes: a standard length for wrists measuring 5” to 8” and a long length for wrists 7” to 9”. If you have smaller wrists, the standard length should fit you well.
Barton straps are made from hand-selected top grain leather, and they’re available in a variety of colors. (You can even choose the color of the buckle.) For just $25, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck here.
Hirsch is another popular brand that makes inexpensive leather watch bands. Like Barton, Hirsch offers excellent value for money, and that’s obvious when looking at their Osiris line.
You’re getting fine-grained calfskin leather with a softglove lining for just $32, which is a huge bargain.
You can also choose from tons of strap widths (from 12mm all the way up to 24mm) for a band that suits your style and wrist type.
On top of that, the Osiris is splash resistant, which makes it a great everyday band that you can throw on and forget about. (Of course, you’re probably making sure your watch doesn’t go anywhere near water, but still.)
The Osiris is definitely an entry-level product, but it’s one of the best leather watch straps you can buy on a tight budget.
Crown & Buckle Brynn
Crown and Buckle is yet another company that produces a range of budget-friendly options, proving you can get high quality leather watch bands even when you’re pinching pennies.
While they have a range of appealing bands, the Brynn is one of their most versatile. The rich brown leather features unique “scarring” that adds tons of character.
At just $36, the Brynn is hard to beat. While you won’t be getting a luxury Italian leather band, you will be getting a daily driver that you can rely on. And it still looks great, so you’re not compromising on aesthetics. It’s currently available in 18mm, 22mm and 24mm.
If you want something with a bit more flair, try the two-toned Anchorage strap that features royal blue threading on light brown leather. All of their other bands are similarly priced to the Brynn, so you can even buy a few without breaking the bank.
Fluco Horween Shell Cordovan Leather Strap
German company Fluco makes some really cheap straps (they start at about $23), but they also offer some more midrange options that are quite nicely priced.
Like ColaReb, Fluco is quite an underrated brand. You won’t see them mentioned much, but Fluco has lots of dedicated fans who swear by their straps.
Fluco’s most expensive strap is this genuine Horween shell cordovan leather strap, and impressively, it’s only $68.
Horween has been around since 1905, and they’re the longest operating tannery in the US. Their leather is considered by many to be the standard for quality. (In fact, many of the bands on this list are made with Horween leather.) Suffice it to say you’ll be getting high quality materials.
This is one of the cheapest Horween straps you’ll find, so it’s worth considering if you want a better leather. It’s available in 18mm or 20mm, and you can choose a silver or gold buckle.
Hadley Roma MS2042
Like most of the companies we’ve looked at so far, Hadley Roma makes a lot of inexpensive straps but also offers some higher-priced (and higher quality) straps that are a significant step up.
Their MS2042 is one such band. Retailing at $70, it’s made with Cordovan style oil-tanned calf leather and has a Panerai style polished steel buckle.
The copper-colored stiching pops against the dark brown, and the French finished painted edges ensure that the sides of the strap look just as good as the main band.
Worn & Wound Model 2 Premium
The Model 2 Premium by Worn & Wound is widely considered one of the best leather watch straps, and it’s easy to see why.
Its gracefully tapered design works well with almost any watch, and it’s made from Horween top leather with a vegetable tanned lining.
The leather varies in texture, so your band will be unique, and the hand-tied waxed cotton knots are the icing on the cake. The Model 2 Premium is absolutely premium, and for under $100, it’s a superb deal.
It’s available in a whopping 14 cool colors (such as coal, moss and peanut) and lug widths (18mm, 20mm and 22mm), so you can mix and match with almost any type of watch, from vintage divers to brand new field watches.
Leather Watch Bands Over $100
For the second part of the list, we’re going to look at next level straps that are a bit more expensive but also much higher quality.
NOMOS Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan
German-based NOMOS Glashütte draws inspiration from Bauhaus design, which emphasizes the connection of function and fashion.
Take one look at their Genuine Shell Cordovan strap, and that influence is instantly apparent – this is a sleek, versatile band.
Made from Horween leather and tanned in Chicago, this strap is durable and long-lasting. It’s an excellent choice for watch lovers who want a robust strap that will go with almost any watch.
While this strap is only available in black or brown, it comes in 4 lug widths (17-20mm) and 5 lengths. All around, it’s a fantastic value.
Bulang and Sons Olive Grey Nubuck Leather
Bulang and Sons is a luxury brand renowned for its top-of-the-line products. They describe their approach as “premium without being presumptuous,” and their watch straps embody that sentiment.
All of their watch bands are understated yet classy, and they pair well with any watch.
One of our favorites is the Olive Grey Nubuck Leather strap. It’s a beautiful light olive band that’s handcrafted in Tuscany by Italian artisan Jean Paul Meniccuci.
Its soft, suede-like leather feels great on the wrist, and it’ll also hold up over time, developing unique patterns of wear. To ensure softness and durability, Bulang and Sons handpicks their leather and uses traditional vegetable tanning.
For roughly $130, you’re getting a long-lasting leather watch band that’s handmade by a master artisan. If it’s within your price range, this Bulang and Sons strap is hard to pass up.
Bas and Lokes Everett
In terms of looks alone, the Bas and Lokes Everett might be the most dapper strap on this list.
Available in a handsome light grey, the Everett features a gently tapering strap and a slim buckle. It can be dressed up or down as you like, and it goes with just about any outfit thanks to its minimalist design.
The Everett is unique in that it’s a semi-bespoke band. You choose the lug and taper width, strap length and buckle finish. Bas and Lokes then handcrafts the strap in their Sydney workshop.
The result is a high quality leather watch band that’s perfectly suited to your wrist. So if you want a bit more control over the construction of your strap, the Bas and Lokes might be the one for you. At $160, it’s definitely an investment, but it’s worth it if you want a high quality, customizable band.
HODINKEE Calfskin Watch Strap
HODINKEE is another big player in the watch strap world. They make some of the best leather watch bands on the market, which is why you’ll see them recommended by many watch enthusiasts.
For this list, we’ve chosen their Calfskin Watch Strap in dark brown, but it’s available in lighter colors too.
This dark brown color will go with many different dials, from white or cream to black and blue.
But, no matter which color you choose, you’ll be getting an exceptional product. And over time, the leather will develop a patina, so it will become more matte as you wear it.
Priced at $108 at the time of writing, this is a high end leather watch band, but you usually get what you pay for with leather goods!
WatchGecko Ostend Baranil Leather Watch Strap
Combining the qbest of both worlds, the Ostend Baranil Strap from WatchGecko takes its calf leather, chrome tans it, then vegetable tans it as well.
Chrome tanning produces a higher level of water resistance on a hide’s surface, which is why it’s popular for boot leather.
Meanwhile, vegetable tanning adds properties that help leather maintain its shape, hence its popularity for bag leather.
The result here is a supple, premium strap that doesn’t actually need much breaking in. Just look at how fine that leather grain is!
Regardless of what color you go for, the ivory contrast stitching adds a pop of color that’s fun and stylish, but more subtle than bright white stitching.
Delugs Nubuck Slim Strap
Nubuck is like the resort-ready linen shirt of leathers. It’s light but sophisticated and effortlessly classy, just like this Nubuck Slim Strap from Delugs.
Appropriately, the colors are decidedly neutral. Even the darker shades have a sort of breezy aesthetic thanks to the Nubuck’s napped and velvety surface.
This strap is super soft and supple on the underside where it touches your skin. But, despite its delicate look and feel, nubuck tends to be pretty resistant to wear.
Plus, the textured surface allows light scuffs and scrapes to blend in, so this strap will age gracefully.
Veblenist Unlined Bourbon Shell Cordovan Strap
Not only is this strap made of exceptionally strong, stretch-resistant shell cordovan, but Veblenist offers some uniquely cool customization options.
You can choose between a squared or pointed end, for example. You can also choose different hardware colors, like a vintage-esque gold tone or an authoritative-looking matte black PVD.
And the unlined construction balances out the dense, tough nature of shell cordovan, resulting in a strap that wears surprisingly lightly and breathes well.
By the way, shell cordovan straps are super versatile. You can easily pair this strap with a dress watch (since dress watches traditionally go with leather) or a field watch (because it’s just as robust as it looks).
Handmade Gold Brown Marble Strap by Seventhcreation on Etsy
Straight from the independent artist community known as Etsy, this Gold Brown Marble Strap by Seventhcreation is fully hand-crafted, making each piece genuinely artisanal.
The surface has a veined “marbling” texture, similar to vintage leather-bound books, giving it a gentleman explorer vibe.
This handsome marbling on the surface gets even more attractive over time as it patinates.
Even the lining is premium. It’s a sweat-resistant, smooth calf leather from Zermatt, which double-tans their leathers for extra suppleness.
There’s a wide range of sizing available, from 16mm to 26mm. And, since this piece is coming from an actual artist, you can always request some customizations.
Epsom Calfskin Strap at The Strap Tailor
If you’re looking for a luxurious leather strap to compliment that Swiss investment watch (or level up your budget watch), The Strap Tailor’s Epsom Strap is undeniably an excellent choice.
It literally looks like it was cut out from a high-end luxury bag. Along with its tapered silhouette, the grain on the surface is a bit more organized, giving it a less chaotic look.
Still, this doesn’t take away from its natural aesthetic since the lines still ripple organically.
Epsom calfskin is quite durable, but more importantly it’s softer and far more scratch-resistant than regular cowhide.
It’s normally not as strong as cowhide, but considering the impeccable stitching on this strap, and the fact you aren’t using the material to make a horse bridle, using calfskin is truly a best-practices approach when it comes to premium leather accessories.
B&R Brands Calf Leather Band
The B&R Brands Leather Band is 100% understated, making it a trend-resistant and truly adaptable accessory. There’s probably not a single watch that won’t go with it, from dress to sport to tool.
It’s fully monochromatic, devoid of contrast stitching, and has a straight, non-tapered silhouette.
To match this simplicity, the surface is completely smooth and textureless to the naked eye. The well-padded Italian calf leather is immediately soft and cushy, while the stainless steel hardware acts as a timeless accent and durable fastener.
This makes it an easy grab-and-go strap if you don’t want to think too hard about what to pair with your watch. Some might call it an essential.
FAQs About Leather Watch Straps
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the best leather watch bands for guys:
Which Leather Is Best for Watch Straps?
There isn’t a “best leather” for watch straps. Unlike boots, watch straps don’t take much abuse, so the type of leather really comes down to your preferred look and feel. Try to avoid low quality leather (often called “genuine leather”), and opt for top grain or full grain leather instead.
What Is the Softest Leather for Watch Straps?
Most leather will break in and soften up quickly, but if you want to skip the break in period, look for chrome tanned leather instead of vegetable tanned leather. Some types of leather, like lambskin, are soft right out of the box.
Can You Put a Leather Band on a Dive Watch?
Yes, you can put a leather strap on a dive watch, but it’s not the best choice if you actually plan on getting the watch and strap wet. Leather won’t tolerate water as well as nylon or rubber.
Are Leather Watch Straps Better?
Many people find leather watch bands to be more comfortable than steel bracelets, especially after they’re broken in. But choosing the right strap isn’t just about comfort; it’s also about aesthetic.
Can I Wear a Leather Watch Strap Everyday?
Yes! A high quality leather band will get better over time. It’ll soften up and develop a nice patina, so feel free to wear it everyday.
Is Alligator Leather Better?
Real alligator leather is a luxury material that will cost significantly more than calf leather. It’s not more durable or comfortable than other leathers; it just has a more unique and dressy look.
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