Acquired from animals and turned into objects of use through a variety of processes, leather came to be popular as watch bands and has been around for several centuries. Though metal has emerged as an alternative, leather bands (straps) continue to be in use and much in demand formen and women’s models. Today, choice is divided broadly between the two. In fact, other alternatives such as plastic and fabric have also made an appearance, though Longines watch bands use metal and leather for their much-loved pieces.
Crafting leather for watch bands
Leather undergoes a variety of chemical processes before it becomes fit for the user. Interestingly, several of the methods are age-old and continue to be in use for the craft value.Most skins used to produce leather are sourced from domestic animals that have been reared using traditional breeding methods.
Exquisite and compliance-readyLongines watch bands
There are a few exceptions and certain types of leather originate elsewhere, but at Longines they are never from endangered species or even species that run the risk of becoming endangered. Longines, like all Swatch Group companies, scrupulously complies with the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which Switzerland has signed.
CITES – What does it ratify?
According to this convention, it is mandatory that a certificate of origin and a guarantee of compliance be provided for certain types of hides and skins. Moreover, only officially recognized, fully inspected breeders are listed as official suppliers and whatever the species, the hides and skins exclusively come from only these sources.
Preparation for the best Longines watch bands
The hides and skins are then specially prepared for their intended use. Typically, the process involves splitting between an upper and a lower layer of material, both of which are then smoothed, evened out and thereafter dyed by different processes, some centuries old. The resulting material is then processed in various ways to obtain the desired finish, suppleness, and dimensions.
Creating a Longines leather watch band
Once ready to be fashioned into bands or straps, leather pieces undergo a series of operations carried out by nimble hands, who have been patiently trained over many years. Expert craftspeople work at cutting, turning in, reinforcing, lining and gluing, stitching and sewing – till the classic Longines watch band emerges. Some straps will now be fitted with a classic metal buckle while others will feature a folding safety clasp.
Different straps from Longines for watch bands
There are three broad varieties of straps: Sports, Classic and Fashion watch bands. All undergo a process of inspection for resistance to abrasion and various types of stains, sturdiness, and ductile strength; the quality of the dye used will also be tested. The only variable is the degree of resistance to wear and tear and general aspect of the strap, that depends on the lifestyle and activities of the wearer.
Caring for your Longines leather watch bands
Being a natural product, leather continues to “breathe” even after being fashioned into a watch band. Therefore, it is important to ensure that it is cared for in the right way, so that it imparts just the right look to your watch. Discoloration is common owing to use, and so are deep creases along the band. Additionally, all leather bands, especially the light – colored ones, run the risk of staining.
How to keep your watch bands as good as new?
Since it is made from a natural, tensile and highly absorbent material, the leather strap fitted on a Longines watch will last a long time if a few precautions are taken and minimum care is applied. As abasic rule, avoid bringing a leather strap into contact with all corrosive or discoloration chemical and natural substances. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to protect the whole watch.
Protection against heat
Never place a leather strap near a source of heat – whether open fire, radiator or back-up heating and cooking appliances.
Protection against light
Exposure to strong direct light, sunlight or a powerful lamp over a long period are harmful for leather watch bands. Avoid them.
Protection against moisture
When moisture penetrates a leather watch band, it affects the coloration and the glue. Take care to protect from rain and water sources.
Drying a wet band
Leave a wet or damp band to dry at normal room temperature, preferably even in a cool place.
Take care to clean a stained or dirty strap at the earliest. Three methods of cleaning are recommended:
- Using water: Rub with a sparingly damp cloth, and if necessary,use some mild soap. This method may be used for straps made of smooth or grained leather. Always take care to see that even if the leather is very dry, it does not absorb too much liquid.
- Brushing: Use a soft brush. Recommended for nubuck leather and/ or suede. It will remove the dirt and refresh the surface fibers.
- Manual cleaning using solvent: Firstly, test the reaction of the leather to ensure that it does not discolor or change in appearance. This is suitable for all types of leather, including nubuck.
Whether it is fitted to a traditional or a contemporary Longines watch, a leather band handled properly and cleaned regularly, lasts between six months and to a year. Obviously, this depends on the wearer and his/her lifestyle, the climate, and the environment in which the watch is worn, as well as the metals and other substances (cosmetics, perfume, jeweler, fabrics, etc.) to which the strap is exposed.
How to order your Longines watch bands online
Longines have established themselves as heavyweights in the watch industry with a history steeped in tradition. With a legacy of over 180 years, it is not difficult to see why the brand exemplifies longevity coupled with luxury. The Swiss manufacturers provide a technical experience like no other.Their masterful pieces are sold the world over and each new model is much awaited by watch lovers.
When it is time to look for a replacement for your watch band, you will easily find Longines watch bands and accessories available online. Remember to select only from the best jewelers and watch boutiques which ensure genuine manufacture replacements and spares.
It is important to remember that when you replace your Longines with an original watch band, you ensure that your precious watch maintains its original appearance and authenticity.