here are a few practical recommendations that will help you to safeguard your strap
Be wary of these mistakes:
To protect your watch strap as long as possible, be careful to avoid any contact with water or humidity. In particular:
- Don’t forget to remove your strap before having a bath or shower.
- Avoid immersing it in swimming pools or the sea at all costs, even if it is made from shark’s skin or alligator leather.
- Avoid spraying or applying your perfume or skin creams directly onto the strap.
- Remove your strap before carrying out any kind of housework in order to prevent any highly detrimental damage.
If your strap requires cleaning, rinse it in clean, cold water only and never leave it to soak. Then ensure you dry it thoroughly using a soft cloth and leave it to dry completely, without exposing it to the sun or any other strong sources of heat.
A few tips for extending the lifespan of your strap:
Ideally, you should change your watch strap regularly, either by alternating watches or by fitting your strap with a quick-change system that enables you to change it easily every day. This system can be installed on most strap models, and not only does it allow you to match your outfit with your strap, but it also helps you to extend its lifespan.
Another tip is to avoid fastening your strap too tightly around your wrist. Choosing a looser fit will spare your strap from constant strain, which will damage the leather more quickly.
Similarly, don’t forget to freshen up your watch strap once in a while. To find out what type of treatment you should use on the various different types of leather.
Caring for smooth leather
Firstly, the surface of the leather must be cleaned using a soft, slightly damp cloth with a little soap. The second step involves applying a colourless leather care product, such as a leather cleansing or replenishing milk, which will protect the surface of the leather. Be careful not to use too much product, as this may slightly alter the original appearance of your item. Use a soft cloth to gently massage the leather to ensure the cream is absorbed, and leave to dry for a few hours. Brush the leather vigorously with a buffing brush. You can then use sheepskin for extra shine.
Caring for patent leather
Patent leather requires a different approach to smooth leather. First, clean your item with a damp cloth, then apply a small drop of oil (cooking oil will do) and immediately rub in with a dry cloth. You can also find foaming cleansers specially designed for patent leather in stores. Next, apply a polishing product using a chamois cloth and massage in to keep your item moisturised. Leave to dry for a few minutes and rub vigorously with a dry chamois cloth.
Caring for suede and nubuck leather
These types of leather require specific and, most importantly, regular care and attention. First, remove any dust from the leather using a soft brush before spraying a suede cleanser evenly over your item. Brush before leaving to dry for a few hours. The final step involves spraying your item with a suede replenishing product, which will nourish the leather and ensure it is water-resistant. Leave to dry, and brush one last time.
Anti-stain tip: small marks can be removed using a suede eraser. For oil stains, immediately apply Montmorillonite clay and leave for a full day.
Warning! Never use a brass brush on light-coloured leathers, as this may alter the shade of your item. Similarly, never use shoe polish, as this may clog the fibres and change the appearance of the leather.
Finally, don’t forget to choose a lining that suits your needs best. Generally speaking, Jean Rousseau straps have a calfskin lining, or a shark’s skin lining for shark’s skin straps. However, if you live in a hot country or practise sports while wearing your timepiece, opt for an extra-resistant lining from materials such as alligator leather, rubber or even shrunken cowhide. If you suffer from allergies, choose a hypoallergenic lining instead.