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Soft or Hard – Leather vs Metal chain strap

Soft or Hard – Leather vs Metal chain strap

Leather versus Metal chain for watches? That’s the question for many watch enthusiasts and the thing is a watch can either make or break your outfit.

Imagine showing up for a black-tie event, your outfit is on point, until you turn to check the time to the gaze of everyone and you raise a calculator wristwatch with a rubber strap – NO!


For watch lovers, we all know that a watch is a reflection of one’s personality, although one has to point it out that Nigerians love chain watches given the show-off nature of many and of course the presence of a metal watch is hard not to miss.

When it comes to textures of watches, outside style and personal choice one has to consider the weather elements as well and care for watch materials. For us in the tropics, we have to deal with heat, moisture and the occasional water.  All of these things play a role in the lifespan of your watch and, more importantly, your strap.


If your taste runs into sport watches or you’re an outdoor person, enjoying the sun, chances are your favourite pieces feature a stainless steel or metal bracelet.

Take a dive watch as an example, they often come in stainless steel bracelet serving as a versatile watch, which looks good with formal attires. A metal band gives you a solid feel because of its weight and texture.

Metals are mostly sturdy. Titanium offers lightweight appeal, but steel and other metals offer that weight that some people enjoy feeling on the wrist. However, metal is more expensive than most other materials


On the other hand, leather watches tend to be more exquisite than metal types and they come on variants such as snake skin, alligator skin and so on. A well-made leather band would give your watch an appealing classic look that is very suitable with formal occasions. It’s also much more comfortable relieving you of irritation and heaviness.

If indoor activities are your thing, then a leather strap will suit you much better. These straps offer comfort on the wrist and give a dimension to the watch that shows style. Leather is relatively easy to take care of in the right temperatures, but watch it, with our kind of weather these straps tend to get a bit sticky on the wrist.



So we’re back at our first question, leather versus Metal chain for watches? Different straps have their own pros and cons, so they don’t necessarily eliminate each other. As a rule of thumb, it is best to keep an open mind on straps, and stick with your personal preference based on experience. Leather typically is more formal while metal straps offer more versatility, but at the end of the day it is your comfort that matters most.

Extra tip – When in doubt always match your watch with your shoes just like your belt – metal with metal and leather with leather. Below are a few more tips when it comes to matching textures of your watch with your outfit

  • Black tie – For formal events, simplicity is key. A simple dress watch in a classic style and black leather band works excellently.
  • Business – Go with a simple and classic styled gold or silver, thin cased watch with a dial with limited or no complications. Leather bands are more corporate, plain metal straps are suitable.
  • Casual – Watches with metal bands, are considered less formal. A metal band is generally suitable for casual wear while a leather band is suitable for any purpose.
  • Sports – For physical movements, such as sports, a dress watch would be inappropriate, so rubber or metal works best.

Side note: One of the hottest trends for straps is the NATO strap. These fabric straps come on a variety of colours and patterns, and the best part is that with a swap of a strap, a watch converts from formal to sporty. These straps are usually easy to change and extremely functional and they can get wet, dry pretty quickly and usually don’t stick to the wrist. With constant water and sun, they may fade a little but that is part of the charm of a NATO strap.


NATO  Strap

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