24.02.2022 - Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe Watch Strap Guide

From sporty straps to integrated bracelets, the strap can completely change the tone and feel of a Patek Phillippe watch. 

Pairing a strap with a watch face is like pairing a wine with a meal or a jacket with your outfit. It can make all the difference, and every combination has its own flair. 

Patek Philippe watch straps come in all materials: suede, alligator leather, metal, and various composites of plastic. There are also differences in colour, pattern and design. 

Are you thinking of your Patek Philippe Aquanaut or Calatrava, Nautilus and thinking how a new strap would change the aesthetic and effect? We like your thinking. We can give you all the information you need, along with images to inspire you.

The range of Patek Philippe straps and bands

Every part of a Patek watch is intentional and designed with quality in mind. Just take their Minute Repeater Tourbillon Singapore 2019 with its striking red stitch, or the dark alligator strap and yellow gold clasp of the 5070R Chronograph. 

Though they all have quality in common, the straps and bands of these luxury watches come in many different styles.

Dressy watch straps – Calatrava and Complications

Patek’s classy round wrist watches tend to be accompanied by a classic brown or black leather strap.  The main dressy watches under the Patek Philippe label are the tasteful and refined Calatrava range and the high-end, feature-packed Complications range. 

The materials used for these straps are usually alligator leather or crocodile leather (the former being slightly more valuable) or sometimes calf leather/calfskin. 

The most luxurious watches might employ an intricate metal bracelet such as the gold bracelet or white gold bracelet found on some Calatrava models

Sporty Watch Straps – Aquanaut and Nautilus

As you might expect, a rubber strap is less expensive than most of the other options, which is why is it most often used on the Aquanaut rather than the higher-end Nautilus, which tends to stick to metal bracelets 

Should I change my watch strap

Most people only think about changing their watch strap when the one that came with their watch becomes damaged. 

However, don’t think you are stuck with the strap your watch came with until you are forced to change it. You can change your watch strap at home with just one special tool. It’s an easy and satisfying little job. 

Due to their interchangeability and style, leather, rubber, and polyethene straps are becoming increasingly popular in comparison to integrated metal bracelets.

Also, it’s not just about aesthetics. Straps have different weights and feel. The perfect watch strap for you might still be out there waiting for you. 

Where to buy a new watch strap?

Official retailers do stock replacement straps, but you can also find an impressive second-hand market for official and non-official Patek Phililpe straps. 

How to change my watch strap?

Unless you are very confident in your skills, you may not want to use a metal instrument for doing any work on a watch made from precious metals. A small slip could put an unsightly scratch on your timepiece which will very negatively affect its resale value. 

Therefore, we recommend using a wood skewer, toothpick, or a similarly proportioned implement made of a soft material.

Removing a watch strap is as simple as depressing the spring bar that holds the strap to the watch face at the top and bottom. The spring bars in Patek Phillip watches have a handle/hook that makes it even easier to push them in.

Where the strap is attached to the watch face, slide the skewer into the side of the strap until you feel it push against the metal of the spring bar hook. Then push it further inwards and pull the strap away from the watch face. 

To attach your new watch strap, simply carry out these steps in reverse. 

How to clean my watch strap

Leather needs to be treated differently to metal, so for dressy watches with leather straps, remove the strap before cleaning. Wipe down the strap with a dry cloth, then gently wipe down again with a wet cloth. A special leather cleaner is recommended.

Metal straps are easier, and can be cleaned along with the watch case without removing the strap. As long as your watch case is water resistant, you safely dip or wipe it with lukewarm, soapy water. To do this safely and effectively, read our full watch cleaning guide.

Parts of a watch strap

When buying a new watch band or strap for your Patek Philipe, think about every part of the strap to make sure you buy an item you are fully satisfied with. 


Ah, the strap itself, sometimes also known as a band.

Independent straps are attached to the top and bottom of the watch face using spring bars and can be removed. 

Integrated bracelets, the type that you find on sports watches, can be removed, but this is usually only down to facilitate cleaning. The bracelet is designed as one part of the whole watch and it usually isn’t possible to replace it with a different type of strap. 

Spring bar

Hidden inside the strap where it connects to the watch face is a thin metal bar. The bar connects to the face and the strap wraps around the bar, connecting the two parts. The bar is spring-loaded and so can be shorted with some pressure, allowing you to remove the bar and therefore the strap. For this reason, this part is called a spring bar. 

Patek Phillip watches use a special spring bar with an additional handle that can be pushed back with a thin implement to depress the spring, making removal easier. 

They make it so easy, it’s almost as if Patek Philippe want you to mix and match straps!


There are two types of clasp you might find on a Patek Phillipe watch strap:

  1. A buckle
  2. A deployant clasp

If you have a metal watch with a bracelet it will have some form of deployment clasp. Leather watch straps might also employ a clasp, such as on this Calatrava White Gold 5127:

On the other hand, a Patek leather strap might also use a traditional buckle system:

Clasps tend to be slightly faster to close than a buckle, but it is also a matter of personal preference. 

Looking for Patek Philipe Watches and Accessories?

Patek make some of the most desirable luxury watches around. If you are looking for a trusted seller of second-hand Patek Philippe timepieces, look no further than Luxe Watches. Contact us today or browse our range.