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Care of exotic skin watch straps

  1. chickenman26

    chickenman26 Mar 4, 2015

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    I recently damaged a genuine alligator strap after getting some cooking oil on it. Actually, the oil was less damaging than my ill advised cleaning attempts. So what do you do/not do to maintain these straps if you're wearing it daily. Yeah, I know...avoid cooking oil. Any special care tips?

    Stu
     
  2. ctpete

    ctpete Mar 4, 2015

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    My father always put a bit of mink oil on his watch straps to preserve them. It did have a tendency to darken the brown and natural tone straps. Today, I might consider a light spray of shoe waterproofing. I will test one of my watches and report back.
     
  3. Nobel Prize

    Nobel Prize Sergio Mar 4, 2015

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    on leather simple face cream works well. Nivea etc
     
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  4. MikiJ

    MikiJ Likes songs about Purple spices Mar 4, 2015

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    When I originally started to play golf, there were only leather grips. Easy now, we did use steel shafts and balata golf balls :) I started my love affair with wrist watches and "new shoes" for them to wear a few years later. Hell my affair is going into it's 6th. decade. That being said: I learned to use Lexol then and use it to this day on all my "ladies" new shoes, especially the more expensive styles. Yes it will darken the lighter colors, but Black, Dark Brown, Navy Blue etc. will enhance their depth of color and will protect any leather or exotic skin.
     
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  5. chickenman26

    chickenman26 Mar 4, 2015

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    Thanks for the replies. I pretty much tried all these suggestions. Lexol has been my favorite for years, but it turned this honey colored alligator into dark brown. Mink oil made it worse. The strap seems to soak up any liquid or cream like a sponge. Finally, I tried Dawn to remove the mink oil, Lexol, etc., and that totally wrecked the finish. I bought a new one and find myself taking off the watch anytime I'm around grease (pizza), oil, or any liquid. Paranoid, maybe. But these straps ain't cheap! BTW, it's an RHD Lousiana Alligator. Gorgeous and soft as butter.

    Stu
     
  6. Flingit1200s

    Flingit1200s Mar 4, 2015

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  7. chickenman26

    chickenman26 Mar 4, 2015

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  8. NT931

    NT931 Mar 5, 2015

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    Hughes, the guy who makes the custom croc straps for me, swears by Saphir Reptan cream.
    [​IMG]
    I haven't used it myself though, but am planning to get one soon. Apparently it helps preserve your strap for longer.
     
  9. chickenman26

    chickenman26 Mar 5, 2015

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    Good grief! I don't think I want to know what that strap cost. I Googled the stuff and found some glowing reviews for use on alligator watch straps. If you do use that "reptile milk," please post pics. Thanks.
     
    Edited Mar 5, 2015
  10. pitpro

    pitpro Likes the game. Mar 5, 2015

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    This happened to me also.
    A coating of matte or gloss urethane(depending on your strap finish,
    will keep any skin oils or other oils from permeating the leather.
    Try it on a cheap strap, I think you'll be convinced.
    If the strap is trashed from the oils, try sanding the surface
    with some fine sandpaper and recoloring best you can with
    some shoe cream of the appropriate color, then coat with the
    urethane and you'll be surprised at the result.
     
  11. Flingit1200s

    Flingit1200s Mar 5, 2015

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    With boots, if the leather is kept conditioned and not allowed to dry out it will rarely pick up other liquids and stain badly. (Other liquids being every day stuff like water, skin oil, a light splash of olive oil in the kitchen etc.) Mink oil is a great conditioner for leathers that will see rough environments like work boots, hiking boots, saddles, etc but will darken the leather and leave a bit of a film. Bick 4 will soak in so that when you wipe it down with a dry cloth there will be no residue. So far it is the best that I have found for my needs.
     
  12. White Side

    White Side Jul 31, 2020

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    Does anyone have suggestions for keeping a White Side of the Moon alligator strap white? I've noticed it picks up dirt quickly and becomes yellow and dull. It's impossible to get back to the new glossy white shine. I have another band and was wondering if there's anything I can do to prevent it from discoloring. I've read about the Lexol and Saphir Reptan creme. Would this be the place to start?
     
  13. pitpro

    pitpro Likes the game. Jul 31, 2020

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    Lexol is great for like car seats and furniture but it darkens the leather a bit which is a plus for car seats and dried furniture leather. If you were trying to keep an older strap from drying out it would be good but I don’t think that’s what you want.
     
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  14. OmegaP99

    OmegaP99 Jul 31, 2020

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    I don't have that watch, but Dr. Bronner's liquid soap, as a few drops on a damp cloth, works well on other white leather that I've had stains on such as dye from jeans on a car seat. This soap is a concentrate so when I say a couple of drops I mean it. Damp cloth only, so you aren't imparting water into the strap, gently pat the strap a few times, let sit for a few seconds only then pat again and by now the soap should have loosened some of the dirt, pat again with a damp but non-soapy section to "rinse" it, and then pat with a dry section of the cloth to remove any remaining moisture. Like all cleaning, patting is better than rubbing as its more gentle and far less likely to alter the surface or smear existing grime over the work piece.
    Be sure to test on a well hidden spot first to be sure you're satisfied and there's no issues.
     
  15. SkunkPrince

    SkunkPrince Jul 31, 2020

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  16. RadiumWatches

    RadiumWatches Jul 31, 2020

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    One of my other hobbies is expensive leather shoes so I can't tell you most products are I'll advised for leather unless your fine with it changing the color. A good product is Bick 4 or Lexol because it won't damage or change the color (normally, always check in a small part first of but sure) it's easy to apply, cheap and you can get it even easily. For cleaning there is a good Lexol brand cleaner too, but I'll avoid cleaning unless really necessary, just use hairbrush for leather regularly or a clean cloth to keep it free of dust and looking it's best.

    For exotic leather is even more important you don't use any product that is not specially formulated. I'll use Bick/Lexol for ostrich, elephant, shark, but very little quantity is enough. For snake or croc I'll definitely only use a special product for it.

    For regular leather that you wish to use in harsh weather you can use Obenhauf, or a similar product, even mink oil to protect it, but it will change the color, clog the pores, affect the beauty and durability of the leather. So in the shoe/boot world this is only recommended for work boots that will be used in harsh weather.
     
    Edited Jul 31, 2020
  17. RadiumWatches

    RadiumWatches Jul 31, 2020

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    I haven't experienced darkening with Lexol, after you just applied it may seem so because the leather is conditioned and the color is more vibrant, but after sometime it will recover it's regular color in my experience.
     
  18. RadiumWatches

    RadiumWatches Jul 31, 2020

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    You need to clean it first, then condition it. You can condition the leather without cleaning it. But after a using a cleaning product always condition.
     
  19. Sidreilley

    Sidreilley Aug 1, 2020

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  20. Sidreilley

    Sidreilley Aug 1, 2020

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    While I haven’t used the reptile cream, I have used Saphir’s other products and they are great. Repudely they make the world’s best shoe polish.