Overlooked by many when considering a watch, the watch band is perhaps the most visible component to a watch and one that can truly turn the timepiece into an interesting form of jewelry. Here are some of the most frequent types of watchbands:
- Brass – Brass is often used as a base metal for watch bands. Base metals, which can mean any non‐precious metal, can be finished with plating that gives the band the look and feel of gold, silver or even black. Both cost effective and fashionable, brass has been used to create jewelry since ancient times. Brass is mainly a mixture of copper and zinc and radiates a lovely warm reddish‐copper glow. Brass items also generally contain nickel, aluminum and occasionally tin, so those with sensitivity to nickel may find brass jewelry difficult to wear. Items made with brass are usually exquisitely detailed. One drawback to brass is its propensity to change color. A coating of oil can usually prevent brass from turning.
- Ceramic – Ceramic watch bands are popular for many reasons. Ceramic carbide is a manmade product – not the ceramic usually found in stoneware or pottery. Industrial ceramic carbide is extremely durable and nearly impossible to scratch and can be manufactured in a wide variety of colors. Ceramic carbide is also a material that people with metal allergies and sensitive skin can enjoy since it is completely hypoallergenic.
- Gold – The literal "gold standard" of watch bands, higher‐end watches feature a bracelet fashioned of 10K, 14K, or even 18K gold. When buying a gold watch, look for a stamp with a karat mark, the manufacturer's registered trademark and the country of origin on the inside of the clasp.
- Leather – The classic leather watch brands are available in a wide range of colors and designs. Leather bands are always a popular option because they are very simple, comfortable, and stylish.
- Military – Crafted from a variety of materials, military watch bands can offer both a casual and sophisticated look.
- Resin – Tough, durable and available in many colors, resin watch bands are a stylish and sporty look. Resin is a high‐impact plastic that can be used as an inset or accent on each bracelet link, or to create the complete watch band. Resin is easy to care for, usually requiring only a wipe down with a soft cloth.
- Rubber – Soft yet surprisingly durable, rubber watch bands are a great option for the person on the go. Typically used with sport watches or for children's watches, rubber watch bands can be manufactured in a variety of colors and textures.
- Stainless Steel Considered durable and long lasting, stainless steel watch bands are popular with both men and women. Easy to wear and take off, they offer flexibility by matching formal and informal attires, much like other forms of jewelry.
- Titanium – Titanium is commonly used these days as watch bands or bracelets for sports watches. Light and durable, these bands are an obvious choice for many divers' watches.
- Exotics – Exotic watchbands can be crafted from materials like alligator, pigskin, shark or sheepskin. Offering an interesting look and story, exotic watchbands can often elevate a fairly ordinary watch into an appealing jewelry piece that adds smart style to any wardrobe.