Best Leather Watch Reviews

Updated March 3, 2021

In today’s market there are a lot of watches in many different styles, but when you’re looking for a simple watch that makes a big statement, the classic leather band wrist watch is hard to beat.

We’ve taken a look at some of the best leather band watches available, evaluating them for their style, extra features (or lack thereof), materials, and overall value.

Whether you’re just dipping your toe into horology, or are already a dedicated watch-wearer on the lookout for the next addition to your collection, we’ve done the research to help you choose the best leather band watch for you.

See Our Best Leather Strap Watches

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1 Stuhrling Original - Men's 3997Z Dress Analog Watch Stuhrling Original 3997Z Leather Watch
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2 Tommy Hilfiger - Men's 1710294 Stainless Steel Watch Tommy Hilfiger 1710294 Leather Band Watch
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3 Seiko - Men's SSC081 Adventure-Solar Watch Seiko SSC081 Leather Watch
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4 Fossil - Men's Copeland Stainless Steel Watch with Leather Strap
Best Overall
Fossil Copeland Leather Band Watch
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5 AX Armani Exchange - Men's Dress Watch AX Armani Exchange Leather Watch
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6
Best For Higher Budgets
6Citizen AW1361-01E Leather Band Watch
Citizen - Eco-Drive Men's AW1361-01E Sport Watch
Best For Higher Budgets
Citizen AW1361-01E Leather Band Watch
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7
Best For Low Budgets
7BUREI Fashion Leather Watch
BUREI - Men's Fashion Analog Watch
Best For Low Budgets
BUREI Fashion Leather Watch
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8 Timex - Expedition Digital Chrono Watch Timex Expedition Leather Band Watch
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9 Fossil - Men's 44mm Townsman - FS5437 Fossil Townsman - FS5437 Leather Watch
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1. Stuhrling Original 3997Z Leather Watch

Highlights
  • Many different color options for face and strap

The Stuhrling Original is a great entry-level leather-band watch.

It has a wide face balanced by a thin, low profile, and a multitude of color combinations that make it easy to find one that matches your personal aesthetic.

The date window is easy to read and adjust, and the simple minimalist design makes it easy to dress up or dress down.

A few reviewers have mentioned having trouble reading the time due to the numberless face and the similar length of the hour and minute hands, and the Stuhrling lacks a backlight or glow-in-the dark feature.

But for this classy-looking watch at this low price point, these might be acceptable tradeoffs.

Specifications

Material:
Krysterna Crystal, Stainless Steel
Size:
7 millimeters thick
Movement:
Japanese Quartz
Case Diameter:
40 millimeters
Watch Strap:
Calfskin Leather
Battery Life:
18-36 months

Pros

  • Slim profile
  • Lightweight
  • Stainless steel case
  • Quick-set date window

Cons

  • No backlight
  • Watch face may be difficult to read for some

2. Tommy Hilfiger 1710294 Leather Band Watch

Highlights
  • Day-date and month display
  • Good for gifting

This Tommy Hilfiger watch is a handsome everyday watch that actually helps you keep track of every day, with its additional dials for the month, date, and even day of the week.

Still, the face of this watch is clean and uncluttered.

The brown leather band is dark enough to be paired with black outfits, and has a buttery smooth texture.

This watch does not have a backlight or glow-in-the-dark hands.

At 10 mm thick, it also has a larger rise than others on this list, but it isn’t outrageously large. If you like chunkier watches with more of a presence on your wrist, this won’t be a problem.

Specifications

Material:
Mineral Crystal, Stainless Steel
Size:
10 millimeters thick
Movement:
Quartz
Case Diameter:
44 millimeters
Watch Strap:
Leather
Battery Life:
18-36 months

Pros

  • Clean lines
  • Casual-dressy style
  • Numbered face

Cons

  • Chunky
  • No backlight

3. Seiko SSC081 Leather Watch

Highlights
  • Built-in compass dial
  • Solar-powered battery
  • Easy to read
  • Date window

This beefy, sport-style watch can take running, hiking, swimming and biking in stride–and it can do it all without you ever needing to swap its batteries, because the Seiko runs on a solar-powered lithium-ion battery.

For extra apocalypse-proofing, the Seiko also has a compass dial that allows you to use the indicators on the watch paired with the position of the sun to calculate direction.

It is water-resistant up to 10 atm and its large numbers can easily be read in daylight or in the dark, since they glow.

The Seiko’s rugged appearance makes it a bit hard to dress up for formal wear, but for almost every other occasion it is a clear standout.

Specifications

Material:
Hardlex, Stainless Steel
Size:
14 millimeters thick
Movement:
Japanese Quartz
Case Diameter:
42 millimeters
Watch Strap:
Leather
Battery Life:
Indefinite, as it runs on the power of the sun

Pros

  • Never runs out of battery
  • Sporty and rugged
  • Large numbers
  • Glow in the dark feature

Cons

  • Not for formal wear
  • Don’t store in total darkness, battery needs light to charge

4. Fossil Copeland Leather Band Watch

Highlights
  • Interchangeable band
  • Great for gifting
  • Highly stylish
Best Overall
Fossil - Men's Copeland Stainless Steel Watch with Leather Strap

Fossil is a brand with a whole lot of style, and that extends to the Copeland watch.

The watch comes in a few different face and strap colors, but is generally striking, with a brushed metal face and Roman numerals on contrasting metal.

The hands and numerals also glow in the dark. There is no date window, but that makes the face even more uncluttered and easy to read.

The Copeland is easy to coordinate with different outfits, and thanks to its simple but classic design it can be worn as a dress watch or a casual everyday watch.

Specifications

Material:
Mineral Crystal, Stainless Steel
Size:
9 millimeters thick
Movement:
Quartz
Case Diameter:
42 millimeters
Watch Strap:
Leather
Battery Life:
18-36 months

Pros

  • Roman numerals
  • Minimalist face
  • Glow in the dark hands

Cons

  • No date window

5. AX Armani Exchange Leather Watch

Highlights
  • Luxury brand recognition
  • Roman numerals
  • Giftable box

The AX Armani Exchange watch lives up to the luxury reputation of the brand, with its good looks and clean lines.

The large face gives it a good presence on the wrist, but it’s simple and classic design keeps it from being too gaudy.

Although you can choose from a few different color and material options, the rose gold face and brown leather band are definitely modern and trendy.

The different textures on the watch face keep things visually interesting without making the time harder to read.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
11 millimeters thick
Movement:
Quartz
Case Diameter:
47 millimeters
Watch Strap:
9.5 inches
Battery Life:
18-36 months

Pros

  • Many different color options for face and strap
  • Date window
  • Large face

Cons

  • No backlight or glow in the dark

6. Citizen AW1361-01E Leather Band Watch

Highlights
  • Solar-powered battery never needs replacing
  • 12 and 24 hour time markers
  • Date window
  • Box for gifting
Best For Higher Budgets
Citizen - Eco-Drive Men's AW1361-01E Sport Watch

The original Citizen Eco-Drive was the first solar-powered wristwatch on the market, and Citizen has continued to make good on that promise by continuing to design and produce Eco-Drives that are as beautiful as they are revolutionary.

The retro aviation styling of the numerals give it a subtle rugged style, and the minute and hour hands are clearly differentiated in shape and color.

They also glow in the dark.

The dark leather band with contrast stitching perfectly matches the aesthetic of the face, and the extra touches of red on the 24-hour markers and second hand give it a bit of a pop.

Specifications

Material:
Mineral, Stainless Steel
Size:
12 millimeters thick
Movement:
Japanese Quartz
Case Diameter:
45 millimeters
Watch Strap:
10 inches
Battery Life:
Indefinite, as it runs on the power of the sun

Pros

  • 12 and 24 hour time markers
  • Date window
  • Subtle retro look
  • Hands glow in the dark

Cons

  • Don’t store in total darkness, battery needs light to charge

7. BUREI Fashion Leather Watch

Highlights
  • Budget-friendly
  • Minimalist styling
  • Lightweight
  • Large face
Best For Low Budgets
BUREI - Men's Fashion Analog Watch

BUREI’s analog watch is a budget-conscious pick that has a lot of style.

Its simple, flat face has only the date window and time-keeping hatch marks, and the leather band is equally understated.

But the large diameter of its face makes it stand out, while its minimalism enables it to be worn with almost anything.

While the BUREI isn’t as durable as others on this list, it certainly punches above its weight class in terms of impact-to-investment ratio.

Specifications

Material:
Mineral Crystal, Stainless Steel
Size:
7 millimeters thick
Movement:
Japanese Quartz
Case Diameter:
41 millimeters
Watch Strap:
10 inches
Battery Life:
18-36 months

Pros

  • Date window
  • Color options
  • Versatile

Cons

  • May be too simple for some

8. Timex Expedition Leather Band Watch

Highlights
  • Digital display
  • Highly durable
  • Day, Date, and Month

The Timex Expedition watch is a workhorse, with a plethora of useful features including a 24-hour timer, a 100-hour chronograph with split and lap times, three alarms, and the option to toggle between 12 and 24-hour time or between two time zones.

And the famous Timex Indiglo backlight makes this watch a great one for nighttime work or adventure.

While it isn’t the most elegant watch on this list, the leather-and-mesh band still looks good, and the resin case is tough, not cheap.

The numbers on the digital face are large and clear, as are the day, date, and month numbers.

The Timex Expedition is a great everyday working watch.

Specifications

Material:
Acrylic Crystal, Resin
Size:
10.5 millimeters thick
Movement:
Quartz
Case Diameter:
39 millimeters
Watch Strap:
10 inches
Battery Life:
18-36 months

Pros

  • Alarm features
  • Chronograph and timer
  • Indiglo light-up dial

Cons

  • Not for formal wear
  • Good for swimming but not for diving

9. Fossil Townsman - FS5437 Leather Watch

Highlights
  • Great for gifting
  • Timeless look

The Fossil Townsman has a Mad Men-esque look–no surprise, since this watch was built around a 1960s aesthetic. It looks classy and refined without being busy or fussy.

At 44 mm, the diameter is pretty wide, but visually this is balanced by the symmetrical design of the watch face and the simplicity of the leather band.

The metal hatch marks stand out well against the dark background, and the second, minute and hour hands are easily distinguished.

Specifications

Material:
Mineral Crystal, Stainless Steel
Size:
12 millimeters thick
Movement:
Quartz
Case Diameter:
44 millimeters
Watch Strap:
10 inches
Battery Life:
18-36 months

Pros

  • Large face
  • Classic design
  • Chronograph

Cons

  • Face may be too large for some
  • No backlight or glow-in-the-dark

Leather Watch Buying Guide

Type

Analog

An analog watch can be driven by battery or mechanical movement, but always has the classic watch face with minute and hour markers, and two or three hands that sweep around it to the right (a.k.a clockwise). 

They often have an aviator-like aesthetic, which only makes sense, as wristwatches replaced pocket watches during World War I, when pilots needed a hands-free way to synchronize their timing.

Analog watches tend to be more sophisticated than digital style-wise, and as an accessory they help contribute to an outfit’s formal look. 

Modern analog watches are often water and shock resistant, and can often be found with additional features like chronographs.

Digital

These days, the word “digital” often refers to things that run on software instead of hardware. 

For us, the word refers to the fact that this style of watch uses numbers, or digits, to tell the time. 

For a while, digital watches were considered extremely high-tech–the first digital watch, which was unveiled in 1972, cost $2,100 (or $10,000 today). 

Nowadays digital watches are much more affordable, and often loaded with functionality features like timers, alarms, calculators, altimeters, and more. 

Their LCD faces are able to display more information than a static analog face.

Water Resistance

Every watch on this list has basic water resistance (yes, even the Armani). 

This makes sense–your watch is on your wrist, and your wrist is attached to your hand, and odds are your hand is going to get close to a sink at some point during the day (hopefully more than once).

Water resistance is an important feature in a watch for those who work outside in adverse weather conditions, but it is also a good insurance measure for all watch wearers.

Self Winding

Traditional mechanical watches need to be regularly wound by hand. 

Self-winding watches use the power of gravity to keep themselves wound. 

As the watch is worn, a weighted piece inside the watch is pulled down by gravity. 

The wearer’s movements will also make this piece move slightly, and that movement is transmitted to a gear chain that incrementally winds a spring. 

Style & Design

Watches often elevate the look of an outfit simply by being there. 

Leather bands have a classic look and a quality construction that makes it easy to dress up your everyday look, and the silver color of stainless steel is versatile and understated. 

Sometimes, simple elegance is all you need to look (and feel) like a sartorial expert.

Materials

Aside from being made to be beautiful, watches are also made to be durable. 

Being so close to the hand, they are bound to run into abuse at some point. 

This is why most watch bodies are made of stainless steel as opposed to aluminum: it combines lightness and good looks with great shock and scratch resistance. 

Watches with a body made of resin are similarly tough, but have a more rugged, sporty aesthetic.

Watch bands made of leather–whether it is black, brown, or any other color–are also tough. 

The suppleness of leather is comfortable on the wrist, while also bending and twisting naturally without cracking or breaking. 

Leather also happens to age well: it develops a patina over time that actually enhances its look instead of making it look ratty and old.

Pricing Range

Buying a cheap watch may be a good way to figure out if you actually like wearing one. 

But if you already know that you do, it’s better to buy quality. Remember that watches are tiny machines that require a great deal of expertise and craftsmanship to get right.

A five hundred-dollar watch that lasts ten or more years is going to provide a lot more value than a ten-dollar one that needs to be replaced every five months.

Our Verdict

A good watch is hard to find, but obviously not impossible. After taking a look at the best leather band watch options out there, the Fossil Copeland is our pick for Best Overall leather band watch, with its nice balance of looks, versatility, functionality, and price. Its Roman numerals give it a little extra flair that goes a long way.

We consider the innovative and beautiful Citizen Eco-Drive Best for Higher Budgets, and the minimalist BUREI watch Best for Low Budgets, or for people who just need a low-cost beginner option to try out. 

However, any and all of the watches on this list are solid picks for your next buy. 

As you make your choice, keep in mind your desire for extra functions as well as your personal style and the colors you tend to wear the most. 

That will help you find a watch that meets your needs but is also a lot of fun to wear.

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