Look down at your wrist. Did you know that the leather watch band you're wearing is a tradition that's over 7,000 years old? That's about how long ago humans discovered leather.
And while watches didn't come into the picture for a while, leather bands were the prime choice when they did.
Leather is so long-lasting when maintained correctly that you can find museums full of leather artifacts from millennia ago. Want to know how to take care of a leather watch band to make it last like that?
We've got your guide below.
Unclip Your Band From Your Watch
If you have a leather watch band for your Apple Watch or bought your band separately from your timepiece, removing the strap is an important first step for a deep clean.
This way, you'll be able to get into all the creases and hardware of your watch band without worrying about the watch itself.
Gather Your Supplies
Once you've removed your watch from its band, you want to have your cleaning supplies ready to go. You'll need two microfiber (very soft) cleaning cloths, a small bowl of warm water, whatever soap you'd like to use, and a conditioning agent for when you're done.
Do The Dry-Clean First
Take one of the soft microfibers or polishing cloths and rub down your watch band. You can use a q-tip to get into any holes where you see build-up or to get around the hardware.
This step will remove any loose dirt, just like sweeping the floor does, before you mop. Use sweeping motions and light pressure when you're wiping your watch down, as you don't want to grind any dirt into the leather.
Start the "Wet" Clean
Most people who own leather understand that it's best not to get it wet. So when we say to use the "wet" method, know that we're using very little water.
If you're doing a regular cleaning, you can skip this step. This method is for a deep clean.
Wet your clean cloth with a small amount of water and add the soap to the cloth. Using small, circular motions, buff the surface of your watch. Move to a new part of the cloth and re-dip as needed. Be as conservative as possible with the amount of water and product you use.
When you're done cleaning, find an unused part of the cloth, wet it in clean water, and gently wipe down the band from top to bottom to remove the soap.
Let it Dry
Your leather watch band should be set on a clean cloth to dry and left alone until it returns to its natural color. Don't apply heat or sunlight to the band to make it dry faster. This can damage the leather and the color of your band.
Once it's dry, you can ...
Add Leather Conditioner
Since leather is animal skin, it needs conditioning just like ours does. A good leather conditioner can prolong the life of your watch, increase flexibility, and prevent rips/tears.
Follow the directions on the leather conditioner after your watch is dry.
Maintaining Your Now-Clean Leather Watch Band
Depending on how often you wear this particular band, you should do a deep cleaning every three to six months. Between deep cleanings, try to wipe down and condition the leather watch band every few weeks.
Doing this leather watch band maintenance regularly will increase the life of your investment and keep your band looking like the day you bought it.
For everything leather, from conditioner, to watch bands, to passport covers, shop our products.