Metal vs. Leather Wristwatch Face-off

Smartwatches have standardised the aesthetics of a wristwatch, i.e., a screen-like dial with a rubber or polymer strap. You don’t find this tedious approach in classic mechanical and quartz movement wristwatches. Rubber and polymer straps are considered the least preferable options for those watches. Instead, the competition is between leather and metal to be used in the strap of a top-quality classic wristwatch.

If you have made your mind to buy a luxury classic wristwatch but are still sitting on the fence about the strap option, continue reading this post. Here, we will provide you with a dispassionate comparative review of metal and leather wristwatches. This unbiased metal vs. leather wristwatch comparison will help you pick the right option for your wrist.

Leather Wristwatch

Leather straps look great on the wrist with their understated presence. They also make a great combination with the bezel and crystal of the dial. First, let’s have a glance over the upsides and downsides of a leather wristwatch.

Benefits of a Wristwatch with a Leather Strap

These are some of the advantages of investing in a top-quality leather wristwatch.

Comes Out Better with Formal Wear

Many people like to wear classic analogue wristwatches at formal gatherings and engagements. A leather watch goes well with formal wear for both men and women. Whether you are donning a three-piece, blazer, or a skirt suit, a wristwatch with a leather strap will look the part.

Made for Matching

Besides working out better with formal wear, a leather wristwatch is also great when you are making matches and contrasts within your attire. Leather straps are available in a range of colours that you can match the colour of your belt, shoes, ties, pocket squares, scarves, etc.

Easy to Fit

Like any other wearable, a wristwatch needs to have a design and construction that makes it an easy-to-wear device. In this context, a leather wristwatch is a better option than its counterpart. You don’t have to look for an exact size when shopping for a wristwatch with a leather strap. Even if you pick a watch with a bit longer strap, you can easily adjust it to the perimeters of your wrist by putting the buckle tongue in the right adjustment hole.

Convenient to Wear

Besides hassle-free adjustment, a leather wristwatch is also a great option for its convenience index. You can wear it for long hours without getting your wrist embossed with the impression of the strap. A top-quality leather strap remains soft on the skin as compared to bands made of other materials.

Doesn’t Break All of a Sudden

If you get a wristwatch with a pure leather strap, you don’t have to worry about it breaking or tearing down. A quality leather strap takes years to wear out and that too when you are using it recklessly.

Downsides of a Wristwatch with a Leather Strap

You need to be mindful of these possible downsides of a leather wristwatch.

Matching Limitations

A leather strap in any particular colour might not match all attires. For instance, a wristwatch with a light green strap is not for all outfits and occasions. Nonetheless, brown, black, and white leather straps can go with most of your dresses.


On a hot and humid day, wearing a leather wristwatch for an extended period can get quite bothersome. Its unbreathable fit can cause heating and excessive sweating.

Metal Wristwatch

Metal wristwatches look cool, stylish, and high-end timepieces. They boost luxury through and through. Let’s have a quick look at the advantages and downsides of a metal wristwatch.

Benefits of a Wristwatch with a Metal Strap

Luxurious Look

The sleek metal straps with all its shiny links make a wristwatch a luxurious wearable. Even if a metal wristwatch is not from a high-end brand, it can still emulate the form of one.  This is the reason why it is easier to find imitations of metal wristwatches by famous brands.

Easy to Clean

A good metal wristwatch boasts a strap made of corrosion, scratch-resistant, and stain-proof material. You can wear it without worrying about its strap getting exposed to water or any other liquid substance. It won’t develop any stains. Even if there is a spot on the strap, you can easily clean it with a wet tissue or towel. It is difficult to have such hassle-free cleaning with a leather wristwatch.

The Strap Doesn’t Wear Out

Like rubber polymer or leather straps, a top-quality metal strap doesn’t wear out even after years. If you do clean the links after a while, you can keep your metal wristwatch in pristine condition for decades.

Downsides of a Wristwatch with a Metal Strap

A metal wristwatch might not be a better option to spend on for these reasons.

Difficult to Adjust

You need to pick the right size when picking a metal wristwatch because you can’t adjust its size on your own. In most cases, you need to go to a watchmaker or a repair shop to get the links removed to make the watch a perfect fit for your wrist.

Can Break Down

A metal wristwatch is always prone to a total collapse. If it gets undone, it can scatter like a string of beads.

More Temperature Sensitive

Metal is a good conductor. Therefore a metal wristwatch can get hot or cold during extreme weather. For instance, wearing a metal wristwatch under direct sunlight can lead to burning your skin.

Final Verdict

After skimming through the pros and cons of both metal and leather wristwatches, you can make your judgment. If we are to make a verdict here, we would declare leather wristwatches a winner between the two. Leather wristwatches outweigh metal ones with their advantages. Moreover, the downsides of wearing a leather wristwatch are not worse than the ones mentioned for a metal watch.

If you have been convinced to invest in a good leather option after reading this metal vs. leather wristwatch debate, don’t forget to check out the top-of-the-lined branded yet affordable collection of Tee Tree Watches.

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