Context matters, given that both rubber straps and leather straps each have their unique strengths and weaknesses. It all boils down to the use and occasion! Let’s do a deep dive into the properties of both straps and discuss the differences between rubber and leather straps.
Looks and texture
It come as no surprise that active users and athletics prefer rubber straps for its waterproof properties. Rubber itself is naturally homophobic, repelling water and only needing a quick wipe. Rubber straps also do not trap sweat and thus does not emit odors over prolonged use,making it a very suitable candidate for watches that would be exposed to athletic activities.
The use of Zermatt leather, a smooth calfskin leather, as the strap’s lining is used by Hermes for its strong water-resistant properties, making it a must have if you want your strap to be able to better weather against moisture. The tanning process of the leather also contributes to the waterproof properties, depending on the quality of the agents used and the overall treatment process. While this may not be able to compete with rubber straps on the athletic level, leather straps made with Zermatt leathers and well-tanned leather are still sufficiently water resistant for daily use and casual wear for dress watches. You are not going to be doing deep diving with your precious Rolex watches, right?
Durability and Ageing
Rubber straps can last, for a very long time. Modern rubber straps are made with innovative technology to make them supple and durable. Similarly, leather straps made with quality materials can last as long, with Barenia being one of the few leathers that can patina over time for a beautiful aging effect.
Another factor that is less commonly considered lies in the exposure of straps to the heat. In Singapore’s tropical weather, the sweltering heat is a known nemesis responsible for melted straps. While it is rather unfortunate that neither strap do well in the heat, the scale of damage differs for both.
Convenience vs Customization
For leather straps, in exchange for the waiting time and additional costs, you do get more exclusivity and flexibility of choice, from the material, colours, and even the finishing of your straps! With various types of leathers, you have endless of possibilities crafted for your beloved time piece!
Overall, there are respective pros and cons between rubber and leather straps, all summarized below.
- Sweat resistant
- Cheaper compared to leather
- No waiting time for purchase
- Not customizable
- High risk of damaged spring bars under humid conditions
- Lesser variety in colours and textures
- Tacky texture
- Water resistant
- Ages beautifully
- Pleasing texture
- Different styles for different occassions
- Smarter visual and outlook
- Not fully waterproof
- Higher cost compared to rubber straps
- Lead time required for crafting and customization
The final verdict
Why Solitaire Official
Highly water resistant and scratch proof leather straps
All our straps come with the highly water-resistant French Zermatt leathers as the default lining! Following the style of Hermes, we adopt the techniques of hand crafting and hand stitching our straps individually, producing high quality leather straps that is sure to last for a very long time, a few years at the very least!
Fine quality crocodile leathers
On top of this lining, is our crocodile leathers originated from Heng Long Tannery, which is acquired by LVMH. Heng Long Tannery is well known for providing the finest quality of leathers available, and with that, you can rest easy knowing that our leather straps are the best that you can find!
Our leather straps come completed with a beautiful matte finish with a soft-to-touch sensation, while having scratch resistant, sweat-proof, and waterproof properties! This makes your leather strap versatile as you can look stylish while keeping an active lifestyle and at the same time, you can also look classy and smart with your leather straps on dressy occasions!
Fast processing time
While many are dissuaded from getting a leather strap due to the processing time required, you can rest assured that our processing time is faster than many other bespoke strap manufacturers, with a lead time of around a month. We can craft leather straps for almost every model of watches, all made to fit your wrists perfectly!