Watch straps can make or break a watch - kind of like the frame on a painting. And of course what one person likes, another might not - part of it is down to personal style and personality. That aside though, here we take you through our top five leather watch straps that will look great on a variety of watch styles. What's more, each one is available to buy now for under £30. The perfect illustration that, when buying from us, you don't need to spend a fortune to get high quality leather straps!
The Kington Horween Leather Strap (aka - the king)Some people think of Horween leather as being the king of leathers and looking at our Kington strap it’s easy to see why.
Available in a total of four colours, this indulgent Horween leather strap is buttery smooth, supple and nicely contoured. It is lightly padded towards the lug ends and beautifully edge-stitched around the full perimeter in a contrasting thread.
Turn the strap over and you’ll see ‘genuine Horween 1905 USA Chicago’ proudly embossed, indicating that the leather is sourced from the world famous Horween Leather Company based in Chicago USA, which has been tanning and producing high quality leather for over 100 years.
Take a look at the profile of the strap and there is further evidence that, despite its affordable price point, no expense has been spared. The remborde technique has been used in its construction, which ensures it’s not only highly durable but well-finished too, with a lovely smooth feel to the edge of the strap. Of course, if you’re a leather goods addict you’ll love the smell too!
The Kington is ideal for vintage watches, or modern watches that aren’t overly heavy. The beauty of these straps lies in their suppleness, which mean it doesn’t even need wearing in. Better still though is that they will continue to look great in months and years to come.
You can buy the strap in four different colours, from ever-popular and versatile browns, through to red. Red (pictured above) looks particularly good on watches with neutral coloured dials such as black, grey, cream, white, champagne.
Available in 18mm, 20mm and 22mm lug widths, each strap tapers in width towards the buckle which ensures a comfortable and elegant fit. Thickness also tapers from around 4.6 mm at the watch end to 2.6 mm at the buckle. Eight precisely machined buckle holes ensure the perfect fit, and the strap is secured by a fully polished stainless steel buckle and features one fixed and one floating keeper with decorative grooves.
In a nutshell: A staple of the Geckota strap line-up and a true classic!
A shorter version of this strap is also available, made from Italian leather
Foxley Genuine Italian Leather Strap (aka - the fox)
From a visual perspective this hand-stitched strap is distinctive and makes a real statement. The unusual design features four chunky, contrasting, vertical stitches at the lug ends for a purposeful no-nonsense look.
Made of high-quality genuine Italian leather, this strap is also sympathetically tanned in Italy, known throughout the world for its excellence in leathermaking.
Whilst the leather is unpadded, it feels substantial and only tapers slightly giving it quite a masculine appearance. The tail end is cut in a v shape and complimented by thick v-shaped stitching.
In total, seven variants are currently available. Opt for one of the four plain colour variants and the leather is smooth and very uniform in colour and texture. But if you’re after more texture, have no fear as we also offer the Foxley in alligator print and black buffalo leather. All are 3mm thick and immediately pliable straight out of the box.
Take a look at the profile and you’ll see that the Foxley has a cut-edge construction, which leaves the raw edge visible, but protected by a layer of special transparent coating, applied late in the process to help minimise the chances of water egress.
The Foxley strap is more suited to medium to larger sports watches or tool watches due to its chunkier, brushed stainless steel buckle with pin recess. There are six oversized punched holes to secure the pin buckle and one fixed keeper and one free-running keeper to hold the tail end of the strap neatly tucked in.
Seiko addicts will particularly love this strap as the spring bar holes are larger than normal to allow for the use of fat Seiko spring bars.
The Foxley is available in two lug widths – 20mm and 22mm. The green variant, pictured here on a Damasko DC56 in black, looks fantastic with tools watches or watches with a military vibe. It should also look killer with bronze-cased watches or those with green, or neutral-coloured dials. The Grey Matt variant would pair well with more contemporary watches and our Brown Vintage brings a more classic and versatile look on huge variety of watches.
In a nutshell: A watch strap a tad more on the masculine side, but with character in spades.
Helmsley Genuine Leather Watch Strap (aka the rugged gentleman)
Made from genuine Italian calf leather, with ultra-soft premium nubuck inner lining, the Hemlsey is available in three timeless colours and is an essential strap for any collector.
Although unpadded, it’s a substantial strap with medium rigidity, so although it’s reasonably pliable from the outset it does benefit from a bit of wearing in. The leather has a slight grain to it along with natural variances due to the natural material and tanning process used. The beautiful aroma of the leather will leave you in no doubt that it’s a good quality leather.
The strap is edge-stitched in a contrasting beige thread, with additional double stitches and the lug end of the strap for added character and durability. It’s a classic vintage look with a beautiful 4mm taper which helps with overall comfort.
Take a look at the profile and you’ll see that the Helmsley has a cut-edge construction, which leaves the raw edge visible, but protected by a layer of special transparent coating, applied late in the process to help minimise the chances of water egress.
The pin buckle is fully polished stainless steel, whilst the non-buckle side to the strap has eight perfectly punched holes to ensure a good fit for a variety of wrist sizes. Two keepers complete the package; one fixed and one floating.
The Helmsley is available in 20mm and 22m lug widths in a choice of brown, blue or black – classic and popular colours which should cover most options. Pictured here is the brown variant on a Daniel JeanRichard Bressel.
This is a strap that will look right at home on aviator watches, or field watches!
In a nutshell: Smell that leather! Timeless quality that will never go out of style.
Dedworth Distresso Cowhide Quick Release Strap (aka - the cowboy!)
What can we say about the Dedworth that hasn’t been said!
As its name would suggest, it’s a strap for those who love the perfection of imperfection. Yes, thanks to its genuine oiled cowhide leather it has the appearance of a strap that has already been worn in – think of it like a wonderful naturally-aged raw denim. But one thing’s for sure, you won’t find imperfection in its construction. The strap is edge-stitched and features hand-painted sides and a hot-stamped line detail to bring added refinement. It’s a very well made strap indeed giving you the best of both worlds.
This strap also solves a problem that watch enthusiasts will know all too well. How often have you been drawn to a pre-owned or vintage watch only to find that the retailer has fitted a brand new and totally inappropriate budget grade leather strap? (usually shiny and of poor quality to maximise their margins). In fact even some brand new 'reissues' form premium brands don't always get it right either. If this sounds all too familiar, the Distresso could be the perfect way to rectify that without costing and arm and a leg. The beautiful waxed leather looks great from the outset, but will continue to tell the story of your time with your watch through picking up marks and scuffs as you wear it.
The Dedworth Distresso is available in three lug widths – 18mm, 20mm and 22mm – all of which are slighty shorter than our standard sizes. The 18mm version tapers by 2mm at the buckle end, whilst the larger lug widths both taper by 4mm. A brushed pin buckle, a fixed keeper and a floating keeper complete the package. The strap is fitted with quick-release springs bars making it easy to change watch straps; a godsend for those glad to see the back of damaged leather!
In a nutshell: A perfect match to vintage watches or vintage inspired re-issues, this strap will just get better and better!
We feel the last word should go to one of our valued customers who said: “It’s as good as some straps I’ve got that are three times the price”.
Radford Top-grain Nubuck Leather Strap (aka - the smooth operator)
Want top-grain leather without breaking the bank? Yes? Then the Radford leather strap could be the answer to all your prayers.
This refined strap is crafted in a matt nubuck and hand-stitched to perfection by one of our Spanish suppliers. As well as being wonderfully soft to touch, the stitching is done using a fine thread for a dressier look than the other straps in our top five list. The inner side of the strap is lined with genuine calf leather.
You can tell by looking at the profile of the Radford that it has a cut-edge construction with painted sides giving a clean look. The buckle is executed in fully polished stainless steel and there is one fixed keeper and one free-running keeper. This strap has seven holes of adjustment.
Available in a choice of five colours, from strong classic black or versatile chocolate brown with contrast stitching to altogether softer colours (beige, camel, olive green) with matching stitching.
Choose from either 20mm or 22mm, both of which have a 4mm taper for added comfort on the wrist. With a maximum thickness of 3.5mm the Radford is quite a thin strap, but this has advantages when it comes to comfort.
The Radford Nubuck is particularly well-suited to watches on the dressier side of the spectrum, more classically proportioned sports watches, or vintage watches.In a nutshell: It's a soft touch, literally! Classy, understated and demure.