Watch Strap Care & Expectations

Your Shinola watch strap was designed to be lived in, worn out, and well-loved; in this article we'll share some tips for extending the life of your strap while keeping it looking its best along the way. In the charts below, we'll point out normal wear expectations for our various strap types, as well as tips to maintain each. Further down, we'll also share tips to keep all straps looking new, as well as our warranty coverage. 


  Leather Steel (Bracelet)
Normal Wear
  • Leather straps are the most susceptible to discoloration and deterioration caused by moisture, sweat or direct sunlight, of all strap types
  • Aging characteristics will vary depending on the leather type
  • Leather straps will soften to better hug the curve of your wrist
  • If you wear your strap often, you may start to see it dark crease where the buckle clasps
  • It may be time to replace your watch strap if you notice cracking, severe discoloration, and/or shrinkage after repeated wear 
  • Over time, a metal bracelet may begin to look dull as the openings between the links of metal bracelets can allow for settling of dust and dirt
  • Metal Bracelets are also expected to show scratches over time
  • Our PVD (coated) bracelets may wear and dull at high friction points (such as just below the buckle) with repeated friction over time
Tips to Maintain
  • Avoid water - Water stains darken the leather and are not reversible
  • Avoid excess sweat - If you intend to wear your watch during rigorous activity or exercise, sweat marks will show much like water spots
  • Be mindful of what you wear - If wearing new dark denim or another rich color leather, color transfer is possible (and more likely if your watch strap rubs against the other item often)
  • Proper storage - Store your watch laid flat, rather than buckled, in a dry spot away from direct sunlight
  • Prevent rust - wipe off moisture, sweat or dirt with a soft cloth when convenient
  • Wash with water - If stains on the surface of the bracelet become noticeable, wash with water
  • Use a toothbrush - to remove heavier stains accumulated in the gaps of the bracelet segments
    • After washing, take special care to wipe the gaps of the bracelet segments with a towel and dry the entire watch


  Rubber Nylon
Normal Wear
  • A rubber strap may be the most versatile option if you're looking for something to withstand the elements and all types of everyday wear as rubber exhibits strong resistance to water
  • Over heavy wear, rubber straps may begin to show surface cracks, this is a sign that it may be time to replace
  • Nylon is water resistant but not waterproof
  • A light colored nylon strap may be more likely to show discoloration, sweat, grime, and staining
  • Nylon may fray from friction and use over time, when frayed greatly, it may be time to replace your strap
Tips to Maintain
  • If you notice a scent, grime or discoloration - wash with mild soap, that does not contain alcohol, and water. Dry completely with a soft cloth before placing back on the watch
  • Avoid harsh chemicals or oils - these may cause the strap to deteriorate, dry, or crack
  • If you are concerned about color change - do not wear light colored nylon strap during rigorous activity or exercise
  • If your nylon strap gets dirty - remove it from the watch and wash with a mild soap. Allow the strap to dry completely before placing back on the watch


  Silicone #Tide Ocean Material Yarn
Normal Wear
  • Silicone straps are water resistant. Their colors will not fade from moisture
  • After repeated wear or if exposed to chemicals, silicone straps may begin to thin or tear
  • Woven strap is water resistant but not water-proof
  • Light colors may be more susceptible to showing discoloration and staining
  • Over time fraying will occur from friction
  • Be mindful of fraying around spring bars and tongue holes which may cause the strap to detach
Tips to Maintain
  • Avoid extended exposure to water or chemicals - to prevent tearing
  • To clean - regularly wipe the band with a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth
  • For spot cleaning - lightly dampen the cloth with fresh water. If necessary, you can clean under running water, just be sure to dry completely
  • Do not use any type of soap - Chemicals can affect the look and longevity of the silicone material
  • Avoid extended exposure to water and chemicals - to help prevent fraying and discoloration
  • Clean your watch strap - regularly take the watch off your wrist wash the strap with water, rinse thoroughly and dry it well with a towel before putting it back on


  • Tips to keep any watch strap looking new:
    • Store your watch laid flat, rather than buckled, in a dry spot away from direct sunlight
    • To keep your strap in perfect condition, wear it less often or save it for special occasions
      • All straps are expected to pick up character with wear; that's why we say the only way to keep it looking brand new is to reserve it for special occasions
  • Warranty Coverage:
    • The Shinola watch warranty does not cover leather, rubber, nylon or silicone straps, metal bracelets or buckles of any kind
    • Even with the best care, if worn regularly, watch straps typically look their best for a maximum of 18-24 months, subject to lifestyle and daily activities
    • After this time we suggest guests replace their watch strap
Categories: Care & Expectations

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