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Thread: Has anyone converted their collection to leather straps and put away their steel?

  1. #1

    Has anyone converted their collection to leather straps and put away their steel?

    Just wondering with all these nice posts such as the show your divers on leather thread and best strap maker thread. I have been on a mission to find the perfect leather strap (or some other non metal material) for each one my watches with the intent of putting away the bracelets for some time . I have a few different reasons for this. One is to give the watch a different/unique look. The variety of strap colors that can bring out other features of the dial and watch to make it pop. Another is my incredible expanding and contrasting wrist size which seems crazy at times with the slightest temperature variations bracelets always seem too loose or too tight. Yea, I have micro adjustments but it still isn't as easy as taking it up or down a notch in a second's time with a strap. The final reason I'm interested in doing this is I find a broken in, worn in and aged leather strap much, much more charming then a scratched up steel bracelet. I'm not saying I will never go back to my bracelets if I do the conversion as I do enjoy the build quality of the bracelets on certain watches I own, just want to try something new. Anyone done away with most of their bracelets and replaced them with some nice straps? Please post em if you got em!

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  3. #2
    I predominantly prefer leather over steel, except in cases where the original watch comes with a metal bracelet and is an integral part of the design.

    For instance, consider the Oysterquartz. I feel that this watch is made to be worn with a bracelet. Ditto for the B-1 and the flight bracelet. With many others? I could go either way. And sometimes, it's just laziness preventing me from switching to leather, to be honest.

    That and versatility -- if I choose a particular shade of leather, then I can't wear that watch unless my shoes and belt match (I know). With dress watches, this is easily done. I have as many shades of leather straps as I do shoes, so I cycle through watches, belts, and shoes.

    But with non-dress watches, it gets more challenging. Will I be wearing a motorcycle jacket? My armor is only in black. Or will I be in sneakers? Will I be wearing a flight jacket? Black or dark brown? Anyway, my point is, that the all-leather answer is much easier for dress watches but much harder for casual or "tool" watches.

    And this is why my Seiko Monsters and 5s, as well as my pilot watches, are either in steel or have NATO or rubber straps. That way, I can pick the right watch for the job and my mood and not worry about color coordination.

    Heaven knows I am OCD enough.
    Last edited by M. Montaigne; Nov 29, 2014 at 02:12 AM.

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  5. #3
    Member Drop of a Hat's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Wherever there's doughnuts.
    I personally dislike leather. Don't find it comfortable.

    "He's just a witness"

  6. #4
    Member wschofield3's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Boston, MA
    Too much "wet" here in the winter and sweat in the summer to consider having a leather strap love, although, I do prefer the look on a couple of watches I have. I love bracelets, especially mesh where applicable.

    Of your watches, JP, I'd never take the GS or the Exp II off of their bracelets, especially the GS. Just my opinion but the GS bracelet is one of the most beautifully finished I've ever seen. When I had mine, I stared at it almost as much as the watch itself.

    Even though I love mesh, I still prefer this one on leather/croc....

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    I switched it up over the summer and thought it looked good...

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    Last edited by wschofield3; Nov 29, 2014 at 03:12 PM.

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  8. #5
    Misunderadjustimated dbakiva's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Chicago area, trending north
    I put an alligator strap on my Datejust. Feels "vintage" rather than "dated."

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  10. #6
    There's only ONE good reason to wear a watch on a leather strap: The caseback is easier to photograph

  11. #7
    I switch a lot of my watches to leather from November to April for a couple of reasons:
    -outdoor swim season is over; I wear most of my watches during various water sports (and I leave a couple on rubber or steel in case I do any winter dive/surf/kayaking)
    -I find leather warmer against my skin. So leather from Nov to April, then back to cooler-wearing steel for the summer.

    Last edited by popoki nui; Nov 29, 2014 at 07:17 AM.
    Eterna | Tudor | Seiko | Casio | G-Shock | Orient | Swatch | Mondaine | Zodiac (pre-Fossil) | Rolex | Wenger | Pulsar Time Computer | Omega | Timex | Bucherer | Citizen | Bulova | Glycine

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  13. #8
    I've actually gone the opposite way. I've grown frustrated by the restrictions of leather. I can't wear it to the gym (I'm not leaving it in the locker when I shower), the beach, the pool or anywhere on a really hot day when I'm going to be active.
    I have watches on leather straps but I only consider buying watches on bracelets now.

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  15. #9
    Something clever... bu11itt's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Southwest LA
    I used to be exclusively leather and NATO, couldn't stand a bracelet. Then I picked up my Grand Seiko, with the intention of putting it on leather as soon as I could. Unfortunately the 19mm lugs made that more difficult so I took to wearing it on the bracelet and found that I didn't mind it; in fact I started to enjoy it. Now I really have no preference and wear what I feel like and will swap from bracelet to leather to NATO depending on weather and mood.

    Quote Originally Posted by wschofield3 View Post

    I switched it up over the summer and thought it looked good...

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    Every time I see your PML on mesh I think, "That really shouldn't work, but boy does it ever." Excellent combo.

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  17. #10
    MultiModerator Martin's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    The Netherlands
    I've taken a lot of watches of their bracelets to put leather on them, but after a year or so, I all put them back on metal again. One of the exceptions is my 2-tone DJ, I love that one on leather. The same would apply to a solid gold watch in my opinion, I don't think I will ever wear a gold bracelet. Unless when specifically required with a certain outfit to certain parties
    But I have bought a 10 bagelsport specifically such an occasion

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