With leather straps all the rage nowadays, especially among the hip crowd that reveres all things vintage, perhaps it’s time us good folks at H2 Hub bring you some nuggets on how to choose a quality leather strap that suits your personality and style sensibilities. Before we delve deeper into the details, here’s a little background on how it all began. The origin of leather watch straps is often attributed to South Africa’s Freedom Wars, during which soldiers started wearing pocket watches on simple leather bands round their wrists. The broadness of the strap also helped enhance the solders’ feelings of masculinity, as opposed to the thinner straps traditionally worn by women. This transition to leather straps further accelerated with WWI, as the one-piece safety pattern straps became the forerunner for NATO straps later on.
But back to the matter at hand, here’s what you should keep your eye on when selecting your leather strap.
Distinguish between genuine leather and PU leather. PU leather is synthetic and not the real deal, comprising a layer of polyurethane on top of a thin layer of leather. This means you sacrifice most of the inherent qualities leather possesses, such as high tensile strength, resistance to tear and flexing, as well as breathability that allows for skin comfort.
Where possible, only settle for 304 stainless steel or better, as metals like sterling silver are more prone to tarnishing, corrosion or rusting.
Quality straps have long, wide stitches that give rise to added durability. If the stitching isn’t immediately visible, long-term endurance may be compromised, and that’s not something you’d want.