Watchstrap Materials: What are the Most Common Strap Types?

Watchstrap Materials: What are the Most Common Strap Types?

There are many options when it comes to buying a watch. You will need to decide on style, functionality and aesthetics. Additionally, you can choose from many materials. You can find something for everyone with the Fitbit Versa Strap from Fitbit Gear ( For some, the strap material can be as important as the watch.

This guide is perfect for anyone who doesn’t know anything about strap types or materials. You’re about to learn everything you need to know about watch straps. This guide will highlight the most common materials used by watchmakers.

Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is essentially an animal hide that has been tanned. Cowhide, however, is the preferred choice for strap makers. Leather’s unique appearance and feel can be used to identify it. Leather is an elastomeric material and can absorb water. Leather is extremely soft, durable and comfortable.

There are many different kinds of leather straps. These can be distinguished by their embellishments.


A classic leather strap consists of a single piece made from leather and has no embellishments. There is no embossing, stitching, or other embellishments. It is as unadorned as possible, with the designer choosing not to highlight the leather’s visual texture.

Contrast Stretched

Contrast stitching on leather straps features visible stitching along the outside edge. Contrast stitching gets its name from the use of thread specifically chosen to contrast with leather. Additional embellishments cannot be added.

A rally strap also has contrast stitching around it. What makes this strap unique is the number of small holes punched through the leather. It’s known as a rally band because of the similarity to a rally driver who wears a leather watch and matching gloves.

Double Ridge

A double-ridge leather strap is decorated with two ridges at equal widths running the length of the strap. The ridges add texture. Although stitching is visible around the perimeter, it is generally the same color as the leather.

Stainless Steel

The most widely used metal for watch straps is stainless steel. A stainless-steel strap can be strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion. However, stainless steel scratches easily. Stainless steel bracelets can be either plated or solid. Watch straps made of precious metals, such as gold or silver, are seldom solid. Also, most gold straps don’t have solid gold. They are stainless steel with gold plating. Solid gold would be expensive and too soft for watch straps. Some watchmakers want to sell solid pieces made of precious metal. For this purpose, they may create a stainless steel bracelet with links made of both the precious metal and stainless steel. This will give the customer more gold while still providing a durable and strong bracelet.


Metal strap fans can also choose titanium. It is grey in color, but can be polished to a shining sheen if needed. Titanium’s great strength-to-weight ratio is its biggest advantage. It is lighter than stainless steel, yet still stronger. Titanium is also resistant to corrosion.


Clay is the final material used for making watch straps. Ceramic materials are organic, non-metallic materials that are baked or fired to make them harder. Ceramic is hard and desirable for watchmakers. Ceramic is hardy and resistant to etching or other blemishes. Ceramic is also resistant to low impacts. Ceramic has limited flexibility. Wearing ceramic strap too tightly can cause discomfort. However, ceramic is beautiful to look at and ceramic straps are very pleasing to the eye.

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