17 Watch Band Types and Which One is Right for You

Choosing the right watch band for your needs is an important decision. You want to be able to wear it at work, with a suit, and in casual settings. There are many different watch band types out there that will fit all these criteria but narrowing down which one is best for you may seem difficult.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most popular options, including leather bands and metal bracelets, so that you can make a choice easily!


What’s a watch strap?

A watch strap is the part of a wristwatch or pocket watch that secures the the watch on the wrist or pocket. A metal bracelet may also be called a “watchband”. Generally speaking, we consider a watchband a fashion accessory, acting both as a functional piece and for decorative purposes.

While watchband styles range widely, watch bands with round or square corners are more common. Watchbands with a unique shape tend to be more expensive.¬† Watch band styles such as “halo” watch bands are amazing and always in fashion.


How to choose a watch band

Before you pick the right watch band that’s suitable for you, there are some qualities you can take special note of. Below are some quick questions to keep you going.

Material: What material is the watchband made from? We have outlined the various watch band types below according to their materials.

Softness: How rough are the edges of your new strap?

Fit and finish: Is there a risk that it’ll fray or slip off due to its design, composition, material, or tightness around the wrist?

Price: Does price matter for you in this purchase decision? It would be best if you stayed within your budget when changing your watch straps.

Style: There are various styles of metal, fabrics, and textures to choose from.

Affordability: Can you afford the watch band?

Time requirement: How much time are you willing to invest into keeping your strap clean without it being an inconvenience for yourself or those around you?

Durability: Is the material durable enough to last long? Consider picking durable straps if you need them for job-related purposes.


Watch Band Types and Styles

Leather Watchbands

The first type of watchband is one made of leather. The leather band has always been popular because of its flexibility and tendency to stretch and conform to the body. It tends to fit the wrist and is very comfortable to wear.

However, many people do not like leather bands because they wear away after some time. The other problem with the leather band is that some can be very costly to replace should they get damaged. Thankfully, there are ways to maintain your leather watch bands.

a) Normal Leather Strap

Ritche Quick Release Leather Watch Band Top Grain Leather Watch Strap 18mm 19mm 20mm 21mm 22mm 23mm or 24mm for Men and Women

If you are looking for a more durable option, a regular leather strap would be the best for you. This band comes with heavier and more expensive materials that will last much longer than your typical leather watchband.

The other advantage to these bands is that they usually come with metal buckles on them, preventing any damage or scratching. It’s the perfect strap for casual and office wear.

b) Stitched Leather Strap

BINLUN Genuine Leather Replacement Watch Band Multicolor Waterproof for Men Women(12mm,14mm,16mm,17mm,18mm,19mm,20mm,21mm,22mm,23mm,24mm)

Stitched leather straps are a great option if you do not want to waste your money on an expensive strap. These bands are made from cheaper leather and have stitching on both sides of the band. The stitching is usually black, which contrasts with the brown leather strap, giving it an elegant look.

c) Grained Leather Strap

16mm 18mm 20mm 22mm Lizard Grained Leather Watch Strap Slim Waterproof Genuine Leather Watch Band Brown Color with Stainless Steel Buckle

For formal dressing, the exotic or grained leather strap is the way to go. These bands are made from top-quality leather and come in various colors, such as brown, black, or navy blue.

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If you’re willing to spend more on straps, this kind of leather strap will undoubtedly catch your attention. The black alligator strap is an example of a grained leather strap.

d) Rally Strap

DASSARI M5 Leather Rally Racing Watch Band Strap - Choose Your Color - 18mm 20mm 22mm 24mm 26mm

If you constantly wear leather straps, you’d notice it’s not breathable. The rally strap aims to solve this problem. The strap has large perforations that allow easier breathing and provides a more lightweight feel.

e) Bund Strap

Bund Strap Waterproof Leather Watch Strap

If you want to go for a bulky leather strap, then the Bund strap is the way to go. Bund straps feature an extra strap that wraps over the buckle for a more secure fit.

The extra strap protects the watch from sweat which can eventually cause the case back to fade.

f) Aviator/Pilot Band

RIOS1931 Aviator - Genuine Buffalo Leather Pilot Style Watch Band with White Stitching 154x82

While this was initially a concept by the German air force during the second world war, the pilot band is still trendy today. It’s designed from leather and metal buckle to make it lightweight and durable for pilots.

g) Ostrich Leather Band

Leather Watch Strap, Genuine Ostrich Leather, Red, 22 mm, Regular Length

Another type is an ostrich leather strap which looks more like a belt for your wrist than a watch band. This band will emphasize your masculinity, but it may not suit every occasion.

If you need something to match a more formal suit, this is for you. You can also find one with an inlay of gold or titanium, which will be even dressier and go well with any outfit.


Nylon Watchbands

Another type of watch band for watches is the nylon watchband. This watch band does not buckle under stress, and you can easily replace it if it becomes damaged. Some nylon watch bands can also be costly because of the amount of work needed to make them.

a) NATO Straps

Carty Military Nylon Strap 6 Packs 18mm 20mm 22mm Watch Band Nylon Replacement Watch Straps for Men Women

If you want to add your flair and identity to your watch, you can do so with a NATO strap. The band is made of nylon and has two layers that come together in the middle to secure it.

Nato straps are best for the wearer that prefers an active lifestyle and wants a unique watchband option to show their personality. You can also pick up nato straps made from leather.

b) Zulu Straps

Ritche 18mm 20mm 22mm 24mm Military Ballistic Nylon Strap With Black Heavy Buckle Watch Band (Glossy Buckle)

Though Zulu straps appear similar to Nato straps, they are made from a thicker material than nato straps. This means they’ll last longer given the thick band material.

Zulu straps are perfect for sports and military watches. If you own a small watch, then it’s ideal to go for nato straps. Zulu straps are bulkier and won’t easily fit between the spring bar of a small timepiece.

c) Perlon Strap

Ullchro Nylon Watch Strap Perlon Braided Woven Watch Band NATO Men Women - 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 mm

This strap is durable and resistant to tear. This is because companies use a weaved thick nylon to make them. The meshed basket design makes it more attractive compared to other nylon straps.

This band type blends well with field and sports watches.


Metal Watchbands

Stainless steel bracelets fall into this category. This watchband type is also trendy among men watches. Watches with this kind of watchband can also be relatively expensive.

a) Shark Mesh Bracelets

18mm/20mm/22mm/24mm Stainless Steel Dive Shark Mesh Milanese Watch Bracelet Strap Band (Silver, 22mm)

If you want a durable metal mesh bracelet, then consider the shark mesh bracelet. Initially introduced by Omega, its chainmail design is durable, breathable, and lighter.

b) Oyster Bracelet

19mm Solid Stainless Steel Oyster Style Replacement Bracelet Date

Introduced by Rolex, this bracelet style is popular among men’s watches. This type of watchband is made from stainless steel. With fewer swivel points, this bracelet style feels a bit stiffer on the wrist. You can use this bracelet on your casual and sports watches.

c) Presidential Bracelets

President bracelet
Source: https://www.watchmaster.com

Initially found on the Rolex day-date watch worn by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the presidential watch band is a solid link bracelet. It is also made from stainless steel and has an elegant look. This bracelet is heavier and flexible than the oyster band, but it is more durable.

See Also:   6 Tips for Caring and Maintaining Leather Watch Straps

d) Jubilee Bracelet

Seiko 22mm Jubilee Watch Band - Stainless Steel- for Models Diver SKX007, SKX009, SKX171, SKX173, SKX175, SKX175 Cal.7S26

If you are looking for a fancier mono or duo color bracelet to go with your suit, consider the Jubilee bracelet. It boasts the appearance of a watch, especially when you use the two-tone model. The links on this bracelet are thin enough to be comfortable.


Rubber Watchbands

Rubber watchbands are also popular. They can be made from various materials, including oil-resistant rubber, silicone, or silicone with fiberglass reinforcement and natural gum rubber.

Rubber is often used in sports watches. That’s because it is flexible and durable enough to withstand the rigors of exercise while still providing comfort for the wearer all day long.

a) Tropic Style Straps

Tropic Rubber Watch Band, (Dive Watch Strap) (20mm, Anthracite)

You’d quickly notice a tropic strap with its weave pattern on the outside. The strap allows the wearer to adjust it to fit their wrist easily. One advantage of this strap type is that they are easier to clean and maintain than other straps.

b) Silicone Watch Band (Silicon Rubber Watchband, Adult Unisex)

Silicone Rubber Watch Band - Waterproof, Silicone & Rubber, Includes Spring Bar & Tool Set - Perfect for Active Wear

Silicone watchbands are an excellent choice for those who have skin sensitivities to other materials like metal. This is because it is hypoallergenic and durable. For a fashionable look, check out rubber or gummi sport straps. They are waterproof and have a sleek appearance.

c) Rubber Watch Band (Men’s Silicone Watchband, Unisex Sports Fitness)

Genuine Luminox Replacement Band/Rubber Strap for Navy Seals Series 3000-21 mm Black

A rubber band is made from silicone and fiberglass reinforcement, making it more durable than other materials found in this category. Rubber watchbands come in many different colors and styles, so there’s something for everyone. If you prefer a more fashionable look, check out the Gummi All Sports Band.

One advantage to a rubber band is that it’s easier to clean than other materials.

Rubber bands are also great for individuals who work in high-risk environments such as manufacturing or construction. This is because they will not irritate the skin as metal watchbands can.


Selecting the Right Type of Watch Bands for You

Type of Material

When choosing which types of watch bands to buy, one must consider the type of material that the watch band will be made out of.
Nylon and rubber bands are commonly casual. Leather watchbands (genuine leather, synthetic leather, and top grain leather) are more formal in style. Plastic and metal bands are an excellent choice for those who like to be on edge.

Outdoor Activity

For those who are interested in wearing watches on the job, safety is always an essential factor. Some employers encourage their employees to wear watch straps that come equipped with safety clasps. We recommend leather or rubber straps because they can be easily replaced if they become worn out or damaged.


Frequently Asked Questions

What type of watch band is best?

The type of band you choose will depend mainly on your personal preference. This is because the kind of band you choose will determine the overall appearance of your watch.

If you are unsure what type or color is best for you, take a look at what watches people in your social circle wear. Pick out one that aligns with your style but also matches their taste. You want to be stylish while still being yourself!


Which watch band is most comfortable?

Generally, rubber watch bands are the most comfortable. Rubber bands are flexible and durable so that they can keep up with all of your active lifestyle choices.

Rubber watch bands are tactile and soft to touch. These properties make them an excellent choice for people who don’t like wearing metal or leather watches on their wrists all day long. Metal and leather bands may cause skin irritation after prolonged use.


How long do silicone watch bands last?

The lifespan of silicone watch bands varies depending on the wear and tear. It usually takes around two years for them to last.

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Silicone watch bands are waterproof, so you can wear them in the shower and while swimming. However, your silicone band will deteriorate faster if you don’t take care of it. Washing it regularly with soap and water or using a cleaning solution specifically designed for rubber products¬† will make them last.

Are mesh watch bands comfortable?

While they are attractive to the eyes, mesh bands are very comfortable.¬† The band is flexible, and the material that it’s made from often wicks away moisture. Also, they feel silky and smooth on the wrist.


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