A Comprehensive Guide To Choosing Your Watch Strap

A Comprehensive Guide To Choosing Your Watch Strap

A proper watch strap is a vital companion to all watches, and switching between various straps is a simple way to play around with a completely new look and style. A vast and extensive strap collection can widely increase the number of styles you can choose from, catering to and complementing a certain outfit based on the occasion or event. 

On top of that, straps by their nature, are much cheaper as compared to an entirely new watch, so it’s undoubtedly more cost-effective to splurge on your collection of straps. With the wide array of straps available, it can be daunting to choose one – or a few – for your jewellery watches, and there’s where we come in! Here are the different types of straps available you can choose from. 


Initially created for British Army soldiers back in the 1970s, NATO straps are ideal for sports and performance activities since they’re durable and easy to clean. For the perfect look, pair them with military and sports watches.

The most noteworthy feature of a NATO strap is its one-piece construction. Most straps comprise two separate pieces and can only be applied by removing both the string bars that are attached to the watch, making the procedure of switching out straps a time-consuming one. On the other hand, NATO straps are merely woven beneath the spring bars, so they can be easily removed in a few seconds, making them extremely functional.

2. Leather 

Leather was one of the first materials used for straps when the favoured choice of a timepiece shifted from pocket watches to wristwatches. A good thing about leather straps is how they are usually ideal for any occasion. As a general rule of thumb, when choosing leather straps, wear a darker strap when you’re attending a more formal event.

They are also relatively durable, and certain types age beautifully as they develop a patina over time. These days, there are plenty of choices when it comes to leather, varying from its source, embossing, treatment, and colour. Thus, you can easily find a few that match your price point and aesthetics.

3. Rubber or silicone

Rubber straps are usually associated with convenience and affordability. Recently, luxury watchmakers are starting to utilise rubber straps to hop on the trend of making luxurious items look casual. While rubber straps are made of organic material, silicone straps are synthetic and offer a high resistance to extreme temperatures.

Rare exceptions aside, rubber and silicone straps are excellent as they’re very durable and don’t give off a foul odour, as long as they’re cleaned regularly. They’re also easily adjustable to best fit your wrist.

4. Metal

Metal straps encompass all kinds from gold to stainless steel, but generally, they have a shiny and sleek look. Unlike NATO and leather straps, metal straps are typically non-adjustable, so you need to get them fitted. However, once you get the perfect fit, they are super easy to put on, as you just need to clasp it tight.

What makes metal straps an excellent choice is how versatile and durable they are. They won’t absorb moisture like NATO and leather do, and can be washed easily with water. Additionally, they’re great for both casual and formal wear too.

5. Mesh

While technically also made of metal, mesh has a markedly different look than other metal bands. It mimics the look of woven material, and offers a highly flexible version of a metal strap.

Its appeal lies in its intricate yet elegant look. Finer mesh is more commonly seen on ladies jewellery watches, while coarser mesh give a more masculine look. Like other metal straps, mesh is washable and won’t absorb moisture and odours.


Since you’re much clearer when it comes to the various straps available, choosing your watch straps now will be a walk in the park. The best part is how you can choose from multiple straps, and in turn, switch up your final look without having to buy multiple watches. As a trusted retailer and distributor, Leong Poh Kee is the right place to head to for all your watch-related items. With many options to choose from, you’ll find the perfect item.