The thickness of a leather watch strap matters, and it will affect how well your watch fits you, especially when considering your choice of clothing. This is why it is imperative that you should understand the thickness of your leather watch strap and shouldn’t just assume that one size will fit everyone and still look impressive on your arm. So how thick should your leather watch strap be?

The thickness of a leather watch strap is based on your own preference and how large your watch is. The common guideline to follow is that if you have a larger watch, you can have a strap that is 4mm thick, or a 3mm leather strap for a medium watch, and a 2 to 2.5mm strap for a smaller watch.

It is important to know the thickness of the strap you want, especially If you are looking to acquire leather watch straps to change up the appearance of your watch often, without having to buy a completely new watch every time. Your watch strap can have a significant impact on the look that you are going for, and it should go comfortably with whatever you’re wearing.

Knowing The Appropriate Leather Strap Thickness For Your Watch

Leather watch straps are generally very comfortable to wear, and they can break in and stretch over time to make them even more perfect for your arm. Leather straps are an easy way to have luxury on your wrist as they can sometimes be custom-designed. Leather watch straps are also commonly available and very affordable.

Your leather watch strap must be able to fit correctly through the watch’s spring bars, as well as under the case of the watch, so that is the first factor that will affect the thickness that you are looking for. But it should also be thin enough so that it can tuck into the keepers twice without looking too bulky.

People often have a strap collection because they want the opportunity to showcase their watches, so the thickness of the strap should definitely not be too bulky or too thin, for that matter. This is why you should know what strap thickness is the most complementing for your watch.

Leather straps are often designed in such a way that they will fit the case of the watch perfectly. In the old days, watches were much smaller than many designer watches available today. These days you can get watches that are designed to be big and masculine with a rugged, muscular look.

All these factors will influence the thickness of the leather strap you choose. Thicker straps won’t make the watch move around your wrist as much as it would with a thinner and slimmer leather strap. It is important to keep the balance when you’re choosing your ideal leather watch strap thickness.

2mm Watch Strap Thickness

If you are looking for a thicker, bulkier, and masculine look, then you should know that anything thinner than a 4mm thick leather watch band will not do. The 2mm and thinner leather straps are usually designed with a classic, vintage look in mind.

Leather watch straps used to be thin because the watches weren’t as big and masculine as they are these days. These more delicate straps are ideal for a woman’s stylish, smaller watch and for men who prefer smaller watch cases.

Those who like to wear classic, vintage, or antique watches, like family heirlooms, may prefer to go for a 2mm or 2.5mm leather watch strap. It will fit perfectly through an older watch’s spring bars.

If your watch is too big for a thin strap, it will cause the strap to wear out faster, appear out of proportion, and sit uncomfortably on your wrist. Rather go for a thicker leather strap that will not move around on your wrist as it is pulled by the weight of your watch.

3mm Watch Strap Thickness

One millimeter can make a significant difference in the thickness of a watch strap. The 3mm watch strap is a more common thickness since it is ideally in the middle between the two extremes, and it isn’t too thick if you have a watch that is a bit smaller than the larger modern watches.

The thicker the watch strap is, the more durable it tends to be. It Is crucial to note that the quality of the leather will also have a massive impact on the strap’s strength and durability. If the leather isn’t high-grade, then you should know that no matter the thickness of the strap, it will soon crack and tear in weak areas and show its low quality.

With this in mind, if you use an older or smaller watch that can still comfortably handle a 3mm thick leather strap, it’s an excellent option.

4mm Watch Strap Thickness

As with the 3mm, the 4mm leather band is also very common, and many people prefer it over any other thickness. They are the most durable and the strongest of all leather watch straps purely because they are so thick. If you have a big, masculine watch, a 4mm watch strap will look good, and it shouldn’t have too much gravitational pull.

This is perhaps the most popular leather strap thickness and, in most cases, a preference amongst people. If you prefer a finer and more feminine look, then you should keep in mind that 4mm isn’t the right watch strap thickness for you. It will be too bulky for your style and fashion.

Most manufacturers and good artisans know that 4mm straps require them to taper the leather towards stainless steel buckle of the strap. If you are unsure if your strap manufacturer makes it thinner around the buckle, ask them about this. If they do not taper the leather, it will look far too bulky around the buckle.

 You should also watch out for the length of the strap if you use a 4mm thick watchstrap. It will already be bulky, and adding unnecessary length will make it look less refined, not to mention the fact that the added weight and size could get frustrating for you.

Other Leather Watch Strap Thicknesses

Believe it or not, some manufacturers produce custom leather watch straps that can be even thicker than 4mm. They are usually about 6mm, so they are incredibly thick. They are extra-bulky and designed explicitly for modern watches that are very big and masculine.

These extra-thick leather watch straps are also not recommended for anyone who isn’t very big and buff. They look out of place on thinner or more athletic arms, but they can look elegant on the arms of bodybuilders.

If you are looking to purchase a new strap and are not 100% sure of how thick the leather strap should be for your watch, play it on the safe side and choose a 3mm or 4mm leather strap rather than the 6mm. And if you want a thinner leather strap, a 2mm strap will be ideal. These thinner straps are the ones that are most popular since they are feminine, classic, and timeless.

The Width/Thickness Ratio In Leather Watch Straps

People don’t often realize how important the width of a leather watch strap is in determining the ideal thickness. You should consider the strap’s length and width since these must be in proportion with the thickness. A 6mm thick watch strap that isn’t wide enough to stay balanced would look ridiculous.

Leather straps come in various widths, and just as 1mm makes a difference in the thickness of the strap, so it does with the width. You can expect to see the following widths as you shop for your next leather watch strap:

  • 16mm
  • 18mm
  • 19mm
  • 20mm
  • 21mm
  • 22mm
  • 23mm
  • 24mm

To determine how wide your watch straps should be, simply measure the distance between your watch’s lugs. The distance between the lugs should be the same as the width of your straps. An exception to this rule is if your previous straps are designed with a curve at the top, you should also buy the same design as the strap will not fit with your watch if it isn’t curved at the top.

The Length/Thickness Ratio Of A Leather Watch Strap

As with the width, the length of a watch strap should also be proportionate to its thickness. The length of a leather strap is generally determined by the thickness of the strap. A craftsman who knows their work will know that the thickness of the strap will determine the ideal length for the watch strap.

That’s one reason thicker watch straps go particularly well with muscular arms. Since the strap must be longer to fit around a muscular wrist, the width and thickness must be adjusted accordingly to look proportionate.

If you need your leather strap to be thicker so as to accommodate a bigger and more masculine watch, then you should also look for a leather strap that will fit comfortably around your wrist and not be pulled around by your watch’s weight.

As with the width and thickness of a leather strap, a variance of just one millimeter will also make a difference in the length of your watch strap.

apple watch gold buckle

How Long Do Leather Watch Straps Last?

As we mentioned, the thickness of a leather watch strap is instrumental in its quality and durability. Even so, leather watch straps are not known for their long lifespans. They tend to get worn out much faster than other materials that are often used as watch straps, but none of the other materials are as trendy, classic, and fashionable as leather straps.

If you are extra careful with your leather watch bands and take the necessary care to ensure that you get the optimal life out of them, they should give you a few years of good service before retirement.

Thicker straps will last longer if you take proper care of them (more on that a bit later), but as you make the final decision of opting for a leather watch strap, you should also know which leather strap you want. Your final decision shouldn’t be based on the price of the leather strap but rather on its quality, as this will impact the leather strap’s durability.

You shouldn’t even consider a leather strap that is significantly cheaper than other similar leather straps. You will make a huge financial mistake if you do not do your homework on the type of leather used and what the price would be for similar leather watch straps from other retailers or manufacturers. If you buy cheap, you will have to buy more often.

Good quality leather straps such as full grain or top grain leather are the best quality. Be mindful of leather straps that are claiming to be genuine leather, as they aren’t necessarily manufactured of good, high-quality leather. Some cheap leather straps will crack and tear quickly. In fact, many “genuine leather” products are not genuine leather at all; placing a tag on plastic is easy.

How Should You Care For Your Leather Strap?

Leather watch straps aren’t waterproof, even though most people believe they should be. As your leather watch strap is exposed to sweat and other elements, it will stretch and wear out over time. But there are ways you can take care of your leather watch straps to ensure that they last as long as possible.

As you wear your watch, the oils from your skin will stretch the leather. Leather reacts to high temperatures and skin oils by creating odors. The more you wear your strap, the more it will start to smell. You can eliminate these odors by giving your leather straps time to breathe in-between wears.

If the odors linger in the leather strap, it is time to give the strap a good clean. You can clean the strap by removing it from your watch and wiping it with a clean microfibre cloth. Then you can use a damp (not wet) cloth with mild soap to gently tap on the leather strap. Do not rub it back and forth on the leather, as this will discolor and break down the outer layer of the leather strap.

You can now use another clean, damp cloth with no soap to remove the soap remnants from the strap. While cleaning the strap, you should remember that leather isn’t waterproof and that you shouldn’t expose it to too much water as this will damage the leather.

After the cleaning, you should give your strap time to dry completely before wearing it again. This is a crucial next step that you shouldn’t ignore. Don’t put it in direct sunlight to speed it up. Just place it in a well-ventilated area, and it will soon be ready. You can then condition your strap by applying a leather oil that will soften your leather watch strap and protect it from skin oils and elements.


It is imperative that you know your style, as that will determine the style that your leather watch strap should be. The size of your watch and the thickness of your wrist will also play a big role in your choice of strap since a watch that’s constantly moving around your wrist can be a significant source of frustration. Choose your leather watch straps wisely, and they will complement your look.


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