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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Say you purchase a nice aftermarket leather strap for your watch. Or you want to keep the stock one in tip-top shape.

Do you periodically clean and condition them or do you continually use your straps until they wear out? Very occasionally I've seen recommendations to condition leather straps because they last longer with proper care. And why wouldn't they?! :) Obviously this is similar to cars and leather seats.

If you meticulously care for your straps, please chime in with recommendations on products or even pictures of your straps.
 

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I, personally, just let them age themselves.
 
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I just use my car interior's conditioner, works great for the car even under California sun.

But after a while the white stitches will get a cream color from the conditioner, doesn't bother me as long as the strap is soft and nice.
 

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i regularly use pure beeswax on softer more supple straps applied with the finger tip allow to soak in and dry ,than wipe off residue , also will result in 'vintagising ' a softer leather , if you think about it it just like leather 'food ' as one might use on a saddle or nice pair of boots , obviously the leather has to be of type that will allow penetration ' Shoe polish wont hurt a nice shiny leather either on the same principle , you can also darken any tan type with applications of darker shoe polish , lightly rubbed in with soft cotton cloth allow to dry and polish clean
 

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I'm a bracelet guy so most of the time, there isn't a strap for me to condition. Luckily, I'm not much of a sweater so the few watches on leather I have don't really need extra attention.
 

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Mink Oil.

Darkens the colour. And adds a little bit if life to the strap.

I do the same to my leather shoes.
 
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I don't do anything. My father lives in the tropics and he rubs some sort of silicon on his strap. He swears it keeps it supple and keeps the moisture out. But I dunno...
 

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I tend to change and buy new straps fairly often so they are getting no treatment from me. When I don't like the looks anymore I toss it away or experiment on it with brushing or something like that. :)
 

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Mink Oil.

Darkens the colour. And adds a little bit if life to the strap.

I do the same to my leather shoes.

I use mink oil as well, it gives the strap more of a waterproof capability than not doing it at all. I also use Meltonian that cleans and preserves leather. My straps last a long time by doing this. If I'm going to spend good money on Breitling straps, I'm going to protect them.
 

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As much as I love leather bands, I had to stop using them, because in the sub-tropical climate of south Florida they barely last at all. Going through the trouble of rubbing products on the bands to recondition them only made them last a little longer.

Switched to NATO straps and never looked back. I know some purists here will have a stroke when I tell them I wear a suit while wearing a watch on a black NATO strap, but whatever. To each his own.
 

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I guess if you spend most of the day in a non AC environment, the sweat will shorten the life of the strap a lot. I spend maybe 1 hour in a working day outdoors, 5-8 hours in the weekend.
What I find happen when the strap is ready to be replaced is that the stitching comes apart, then the leather edges start fraying where it goes through the buckle.
Mink oil I feel significantly prolongs the life.

Next time I am in the US I will look out for the product Meltonian.

I am ok if an aftermarket strap only lasts a couple of years, but those OEM brand specific straps are so goddamn expensive that I want to squeeze out every minute of life out of them.
JLC charges over 300 dollars for one, which is more than most watches cost worldwide.
 

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I am ok if an aftermarket strap only lasts a couple of years, but those OEM brand specific straps are so goddamn expensive that I want to squeeze out every minute of life out of them.
JLC charges over 300 dollars for one, which is more than most watches cost worldwide.
JLC straps are made by Camille Fournet. It may be cheaper buying direct from Camille Fournet.
 
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