The type of hide used, will determine the strength, quality and look of the leather.
We use full grain leather for our watch bands, as it is the highest grade available. Full grain leather retains the entire grain and it is this strong part of the hide that gives the leather texture and durability with a natural look. Only the cleanest hides can be used full grain, making these hides the most expensive, as they are the hardest to find.
Hides that have too many defects to be used full grain, are treated to remove the imperfections. These hides are sometimes then imprinted with a pattern. This leather is not as durable as full grain leather and doesn't look natural.
Split leather is low-grade and inexpensive. It doesn't contain any of the grain at all, so it doesn't look natural and it has low tensile strength.
Tanning is the process necessary for turning hides into long lasting leather. There are two main processes of tanning, which are described below.
We use vegetable tanning, which is a traditional method using natural tannin from tree bark, roots and flower pods which are left for around 40 days to tan. Only a few tanneries have the capacity, skill and patience to produce vegetable tanned leather. The end result is environmentally friendly and each piece of leather is unique. Only 10% of leather is made using this natural process, as it is more time-consuming to produce and relies on experienced craftsmen to create the vegetable-tanned leather.
Chrome tanning uses synthetic chemicals to tan the leather. This process only takes 1 day to complete. Most of the world’s leather is made using this method, which was invented in the 19th Century to allow for the mass production of leather goods.
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There's nothing worse than buying a watch and forgetting to take it off before jumping in the pool...unless it's water resistant. There are however different levels of water resistance and we of course ensured that ours was at the top of the water resistance level, as we know that the chances of a child getting their watch wet is very high!