Watch Straps 101 (Part 2)

by Dana Li


Looking to switch up the look on your watch? One of the easiest ways to refresh your look and give your watch a brand new feel is to get a new strap. There are so many leathers and materials out there to choose from, each with a different aesthetic and wearability, that can instantly elevate a piece. If you’re like me and also have smaller wrists, straps can be a great way to wear your watch more comfortably and fitted as well. Continuing from Part 1, here are 6 straps with some exotic leathers that can make your watch really stand out from the crowd.


Crocodile/Alligator

Crocodile and alligator straps are one of the more common exotic leather straps available. Many brands will offer this leather for their watches sold with the strap instead of the bracelet. Crocodile and alligator can come in 2 patterns, the square scales and the round ones. Square scales will give your watch a more classic look while the round scales can add some texture to your piece. This leather will look just as good in a bright, bold color as it will in a neutral shade.

Source: Jean Rousseau (Left - Classic Watch Strap Alligator 3.5 in Carmine Red with Square Scales

Right - Harrods Watch Strap Alligator 3.5 in Carmine Red with Round Scales)

Ostrich


Ostrich leather is incredibly durable and supple, making it a wonderful choice for a wearable, every day strap. The quill (the dots on the ostrich leather) gives an elegant texture to the strap that look especially fantastic with neutral shades such as gray, taupe, brown, and navy. Over time, ostrich can also darken and develop a patina as it’s worn.

Source: Jean Rousseau (Classic Watch Strap Flat Sherry Ostrich)

Lizard


One of my favorites for a watch strap, lizard easily makes a watch pop with the texture from its scales. If you’re looking for a bold look, a lizard strap in a bright color such as red, pink, green, and orange can instantly turn your watch into a statement piece. Make your dressy pieces even dressier with this gorgeous leather.

Source: Jean Rousseau (Harrods Watch Strap Lizard 3.5 Orange)

Python


Probably my favorite exotic leather overall, python will instantly give any piece an edgy look. The scales and natural pattern on the skin make a unique watch strap that can be paired with a casual or dressy timepiece. Though python is very durable, moisture can cause damage to the skin and the scales to lift, so be cautious wearing a python strap in settings where it may come into contact with water.

A Morulus Python strap on my vintage Root Beer GMT

Stingray


Stingray leather has been gaining popularity lately as a fun, eye-catching option for strap lovers. Stingray is extremely durable and naturally water resistant, making it a great choice for those who do not want to worry too much about moisture; however, the skin is often stretched over a base of calfskin so excessive water can still damage the strap. The pearl-like texture looks great with both neutral and bold colors.

A stingray strap on my vintage Root Beer GMT

Salmon


Salmon leather has a unique texture from its scales that will easily elevate any watch. Because the skin is so thin, it holds color extremely well, making it perfect for bright colored straps. Despite its aquatic origins, salmon should be kept dry and away from moisture as water can cause the scales to lift over time.

Source: Jean Rousseau (Classic Watch Strap Salmon 3.5 Icy)