Watch Bands For Luxury Watches – Rubber Or Leather?
It is easy to classify straps for luxury watches into merely leather or rubber. In truth, luxury bands for watches vary greatly in material, and different watch face styles work better with different band styles. Different watchmakers also show partiality towards one strap material or the other. NATO, galvanized rubber, stainless steel, leather, and others. There are rolex watch bands with either rubber or leather finishing for people who want something different.
Leather is one of the more usual materials used in straps for luxury watches. It is extensively used by all of the great watch design houses, but galvanized rubber is proving popular as a modern alternative to leather. But how do these two compare? Is one better than the other? This article attempts to answer these questions.
Leather Watch Straps
Leather is perhaps the material of choice for traditional luxury watches, but specific leathers also vary. Nubuck, full and top grain, suede, and cordovan are all different types of leather, each with its own characteristics.
Leather is so highly regarded in the luxury goods industry because the material naturally exudes an aura of affluence that can not be matched. From the pleasant smell of a new car’s interior that is upholstered in quality leather to the rich feel and texture of a leather jacket or couch, leather is a classic luxury material. When leather is used in the straps of a wristwatch, it stretches and molds around the wrist to fit. It feels natural and supple against the skin and doesn’t chafe or irritate the wrist.
When handled properly, leather can age beautifully, and well-maintained leather wristwatches often look spectacular decades after they were made. Leather is quite durable and has character, in that it changes over time. Many enthusiasts and connoisseurs appreciate this as leather’s most defining attribute. A leather wristwatch’s appearance often matches the experiences of its wearer. As an accessory, leather timepieces match quite well with most casual attire and just about any formal attire.
However, it should be noted that leather also has a few downsides. Leather is not suited to a very active lifestyle and is not usable for timepieces used by sports persons or athletes. There are two reasons for this; first because although leather is durable, it can stretch and ultimately break when subjected to strenuous physical activity. In addition, even though it may possess some resistance to water damage, leather is ultimately porous and will eventually bubble and warp due to moisture.
Another limit with leather for watches is that it’s difficult to find in colors other than the traditional black, brown, and other similar earthy colors. As a fashion piece, its range is somewhat hamstrung because of this.
It also must be mentioned that natural leather is gotten from the hide of animals; be it cows, crocodiles, or some other animal, the argument about supply and sustainability may put leather-made wares in a bad light.
Rubber Watch Straps
Rubber originally came on the scene as a material used in straps for sports watches because of its durability and waterproof nature. Although athletics is still the market where it finds the most use, rubber is also becoming popular in the luxury timepiece industry. Like leather, vulcanized rubber is supple, extremely comfortable, and contours to the shape of the wrist. It relaxes into its original shape, however, and that may be a pro or con depending on taste.
Nothing can quite match the unique feel and texture of quality leather, but modern manufacturing techniques create synthetics that mimic to a great extent the characteristics of leather without its limitations.
It is much stronger and more durable than leather and is also perfectly waterproof. Rubber can also be made in any conceivable color and shape. Its synthetic nature means that there are no limits to style or design.
Of course, rubber cannot match the natural quirks of a leather watch, and it can’t create nostalgia or invoke sentiment as leather and other natural materials do. Ultimately, the choice between leather or rubber straps is the wearer’s rate and preference.