The most important watch accessory is the leather watch band, leather being the preferred choice when it comes to watch straps. Here are some tips on caring for your leather watch band.
1. Avoid using or placing sharp objects on leather watch strap. Leather may be durable, but not accident or damage proof.
2. Remove your watch before taking a shower or bathing. Leather and soaking water don’t mix. Even water-resistant leather will succumb and weaken in the end – so keep it dry to prolong its life.
3. It is important to clean the watch band on a regular basis to remove dirt, perspiration, odors and stains that all contribute to a watch band’s wear and tear. Avoid using a wet cloth or immersing the leather in water. Put a small dab of mild, moisturizing hand soap on the cloth and scrub the watchband on both sides. Rinse and dampen the cloth with clean water and wipe the watchband clean. Dry the watchband thoroughly, and then allow the strap to air-dry before wearing the watch.
4. A more thorough clean should be done every couple of months. You will need to detach the watch band from the watch. (If you have difficulty doing this, then you could request assistance from your local jeweler or watch maker).
Rub the watch band completely using saddle soap, or leather wax and wipe off any excess. This should restore the leather’s natural luster. If you don’t have saddle soap, use a small amount of olive oil, apply to the band, and meticulously rub it into the leather. Finally wipe the band with a clean dry cloth.
5. When other methods fail to remove heavy stains and dirt, you can use a simple homemade mixture of baking soda and water. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda into an equal amount of water to form a paste. Apply the paste on every part of the watch band, and leave it on for some time or for the night. Subsequently, wash the paste off, and leave it to dry completely before reattaching the watch to the watch band.