There’s still of room for personalisation with your watch strap but sometime you want your watch to be paired with the kind of restrained quality that whispers rather than shouts. The kind of addition that’ll get nods of approval from fellow collectors or titters of interest. For that reason, it’s always worth considering a classical leather strap, whether it be calf or something more exotic like ostrich or (checks notes) fish. Here are some of the best around right now.
Delugs L’Atelier Collection, from £79.50
Delugs’ range of chunky, sporty, often field-watch appropriate straps is already impressive. The L’Atelier collection however kicks things up a notch, taking that same style and blending it with a level of refinement that lends itself to classical leather pieces perfectly.
The two-tone twist adds a bit more personality compared to your standard leather strap and the colours – particularly the beautiful woodland green – show that colour and sophistication can go hand-in-hand-on-wrist. Finished with sleek, slim stitching, painted edges and a gorgeous grain, there’s a lot to love in Delugs’ L’Atelier Collection.
Watch Obsession RIOS1931 Waging Organic Watch Strap, £31.50
Despite what you might think, making sure a strap – or any piece of leather for that matter – organic is easier said than done. It involves certifying every step of the process, from the grass the animals eat to the stitching. As Watch Obsession’s gorgeous Waging strap shows though, it’s worth the effort.
Not only is the dark mocha colour that perfect halfway house between black and brown, it makes for a strap that’s soft and sumptuous right out of the box. There’s no need to ‘break it in’ and deal with a stiff strap for a few weeks. Instead, you can pop it on your favourite, low-key watch and if it has a sepia-toned dial, all the better.
The Strap Tailor Ostrich Shin Strap, £143
British strap atelier The Strap Tailor has been killing it with that homegrown quality recently, and while their offering is diverse, there’s one stand-out for multiple reasons: their Ostrich. From the unique grain to the range of eye-catching colours, it’s the kind of semi-exotic statement piece that you want as a counterpoint to your more restrained timepieces.
This dark and electric blue number with its cream contrast stitching is one we’re particularly obsessed with. Imagine it on something gold with darkly blued steel hands and you can start to understand why. Sure, it’s less than hardwearing, but that hand-crafted nature is all part of its charm. And it has a lot of that.
Jean Rousseau Salmon, £190
When we think of classical leather straps, marine leathers generally aren’t at the top of the list – literally in this case because it’s not at the top of the article. However, with an increasing focus on sustainable supply chains in the leather industry, marine leathers are becoming more popular.
This salmon leather strap is produced from waste material produced by the food industry. In mustard yellow it has a gorgeous gradient on each of the scales from a dark brown to yellow that makes the pattern stand out.
Molequin Brown Sugar Alligator, €225 (approx. £195)
One of the most famous classic leathers is alligator and there are few finer than the French strap brand Molequin’s Brown Sugar Alligator. It’s the quintessential dress watch companion, pairing beautifully with rich gold tones from yellow to rose.
The signature ridges of the scales make it textural to the touch and a variety of finishes make it a versatile material as well. The Molequin edition here uses scales from the belly of an alligator for increased uniformity and style.