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5 Best Watch Straps

January 5th, 2023

A person checking their black toned watch during a basketball game

A luxury watch design is a wonderful combination of the dial, case, and strap that truly defines its style. Although fashionable, you will want to make sure that your watch strap is also a comfortable fit for your lifestyle. There are a few different watch strap materials that designer watchmakers like to use with their phenomenal machines. Our experts at Hing Wa Lee Jewelers have put together a guide to some of our best watch straps that will look great on your favorite timepieces.

NATO Textiles

Not to be confused with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, these straps are primarily made of nylon and other synthetic fibers. They are always durable, water resistant, attractive, and affordable. NATO straps are available in a myriad of colors, from purple to pink to blue to black. They are predominantly used in sport watches, although some watchmakers use them in more luxurious varieties.

A leather band, silver dial watch laying on a blanket


There are a plethora of leather straps out there, each exhibiting its own unique texture and style. They are found in outdoor-oriented and formal fashion pieces alike. Calfskin has a smooth appearance, lacking detail in texture. It is commonly used in everyday and casual watches, as the material is affordable and versatile. Meanwhile, alligator leather is a mainstay in high-end timepieces, especially dress watches.

This material has a sophisticated and luxurious aesthetic. Its texture exhibits a distinctive pattern. While most leather is brown or black, watchmakers will sometimes dye them more unique colors like blue, green, and more.

Stainless Steel

Arguably the most popular strap, stainless steel evokes a classic and robust look. Metal straps are usually called bracelets. This metal is extremely durable and can survive just about all the elements. Common in sport watches and fashion accessories alike, this strap is an excellent choice. Many watchmakers use treated or finished steel that allows for multiple different hues. For example, PVC-treated steel conveys a sleek dark hue.

Metal plating of all kinds gives watchmakers the ability to use all colors, including gold. Gold plated steel has the benefits of steel while retaining a spectacular hue. Watchmakers often weave plating with bare metal to create mesmerizing patterns.

A man checking his sterling silver watch

Precious Metals

While precious metal straps usually come in the form of stainless steel plating, some particularly fancy timepieces go the distance. Whether a gold alloy or platinum, these bracelets evoke a luxurious and glamorous style. Some precious metal bracelets are even imbued with brilliant diamonds and other gemstones to create a peerlessly opulent aesthetic.


High-tech rubber straps are used in outdoor and sport watches. Resistant to all the elements, these are sure to survive any environment. Some timepieces are even worn underwater by divers, almost all of which use rubber straps. The material is also highly corrosion and electricity resistant. Rubber straps can come in all colors with many exhibiting a visually interesting pattern.

Two arms, one holding a leaf and the other with a watch that has a leather strap are resting on top of a motorcycle helmet

Find Watch Straps at Hing Wa Lee Jewelers

Hing Wa Lee is Los Angeles County’s best source for high-end watches. Our vast selection of today’s favorite watch brands includes household names and artisan microbrands. Whether you’re looking for a sporty outdoor companion or a luxurious fashion accessory, you’ll find your dream timepiece at both our San Gabriel and Walnut showrooms. Reserve an appointment with us today for a private showing of all the magnificent pieces we have in store for you. Want to know more about watch straps? Call our Walnut location at (909) 831-8888 and our San Gabriel spot at (626) 456-2222 to speak to our team.