Knowing the leather of your watch strap

47Ronin watch strap leather

Leather is a very common and traditional material used for watch straps. Nowadays, we have modern materials such as rubber, silicon, nylon, etc for different functionality and style for the watches. Yet, leather is irreplaceable for its classic, elegant appearance, and unique quality.

47Ronin watch straps


Beware of Genuine Leather!

“Genuine Leather” is what you often see printed at the back of watch straps. While literally “Genuine Leather” means real leather instead of synthetic leather, it actually indicates the grade of the leather, which is…...far from the best. Genuine Leather is cheap, and since the focus is often on the watch itself, brands can often get away with “Genuine Leather”, and make it the common standard for watch straps.

What are the better leathers?

The best leather quality is “Full Grain” leather, followed by “Top Grain” leather. These are the layers of leather above that of Genuine Leather. These are the top surfaces of the leather which are the strongest due to the construction of the fabric molecules are bonded strongly to one another. Genuine Leather is further down the layer, closer to the flesh of the animal where the material is softer and not as strong. Genuine Leather makes soft comfortable watch straps, but they need a outer layer of artificial coating to give it strength and design. However, Genuine Leather straps often brake apart after some time.

47Ronin watch straps

47Ronin#6 Leather watch strap with kimono fabric

(22mm, Light brown, Blue, black & gold) 


What leather does 47Ronin use?

Leather is a common material we use, among others such as crocodile skin. We often use Full Grain leather as it is the strongest type of leather, we hope to create watch straps that last a lifetime. Besides, each piece of Full Grain leather has its unique characteristics. As Full Grain leather is the outermost layer, it is where the hair of the animal grow, and exposed to the environment. This gives Full Grain leather a very raw characteristic as the texture of the hide is not homogenous. Compare to other leathers which are flat, smooth, homogeneous in colour, Full Grain leather has areas of a different shade, varying thickness, and irregular curves, and sometimes scars can be found on it.


Each piece is unique

Because we use Full Grain leather, we design and handcraft each piece of watch straps giving them each a unique appearance. Even when we use the same piece of cowhide, or the same piece of fabric material, each watch strap is never identical to another. Furthermore, each watch strap is numbered, and information of its owner are stored in our database, so as to track where our products have travelled to after leaving our studio.

47Ronin Watch Straps


This is how we make 47Ronin watch straps: A unique piece of Japanese art on your wrist, A stand alone fashion icon.

Follow our Instagram @47ronin_watchstraps for latest updates!



Find out more about Full grain, Top grain, and Genuine leather.

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