All you need to know about crocodile watch strap

Alligator and crocodile watch straps are much more expensive and sought after than other animal leather straps because there’s a limited number of animals and it takes a long time to grow them. In this article, let’s find out something you may not know about crocodile watch strap.

A. Alligator vs Crocodile watch strap differences

When trying to determine whether alligator or crocodile leather is superior leather or more luxurious, there are many factors to consider before making a final determination.

Species of Reptiles

There really is only one species of alligator, known as the American Alligator. In contrast, there are over a dozen species of crocodiles from all over the world. The most common is the Brown Caiman, which is found in Central and South America. Generally, caiman skin is drier and stiffer than alligator skin, and significantly less durable. Unfortunately, many items made from caiman skins are deceptively labeled as alligator products. 

Although extremely rare, a very few crocodile skins can compare with the quality of alligator hide. These would include “Nile crocodile” and Australian saltwater crocodile. When processed and tanned correctly, these very rare and expensive crocodile skins can meet or exceed the luxuriant nature of alligator skin.

Most species of crocodile are endangered and therefore illegal to hunt and harvest for commercial use, or at the very least their use is restricted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

When examined closely, crocodile or caiman skin will have small pits in the scales. These pits do not exist at all in genuine alligator products.

A Comparison of the Leathers

At first glance, it can be very difficult to tell the differences between alligator vs crocodile watch strap. They are similar in a number of ways, and both will provide many years of useful service. However, the value and quality of the leather can vary greatly depending upon the tanning process used and the body section of the donor animal from which the leather is taken. The most important considerations tend to be softness, scale pattern, and finish.

For the most part, alligator skin is of a far greater quality, with more symmetrical scale patterns, softer skin, and a smoother feel than crocodile skin.

Crocodile leather (above) and Alligator leather (below)
Alligator’s veins are flatter than crocodile’s.

Most mislabeling occurs with the Brown Caiman, whose skins tend to be thinner, dryer, stiffer, and less durable due to less sophisticated tanning processes. For most products, the skin from the belly and throat areas is used because it provides the most symmetrical scale patterns, which are rectangular in shape. Skin taken from the sides of an animal will have scale patterns that are more rounded in shape, and the hide can still be of a high quality. The least desirable part of the animal is the tail, which comprises approximately 50% of the animal’s length. Skin from this area is stiffer with scales more widely spaced, and it is usually heavily scarred.

Size Matters

The size of a skin can help distinguish genuine alligators from a caiman or croc. Alligator skins are generally six to 12 feet long, while caiman and most croc skins are only three to five feet long. With smaller donor animals, the transition of scale patterns is evident even in small items such as a wallet or purse.

Scale patterns tend to correlate to the size of the animal. Therefore, hide from a full grown alligator may have scales that are over one inch square and tend to be more symmetrical.

In general, alligator skins are going to be softer, more supple, more durable, and provide a more uniform scale pattern than crocodile watch strap. Additionally, alligator is not an endangered or threatened species, so products manufactured from genuine American alligator are maintaining an environmentally friendly status as well.

B. Difference between real crocodile watch strap vs calf leather crocodile embossed watch strap

We think there are still some people who want to know how to distinguish cowhide embossed crocodile leather. Because the craftsmanship of embossing and dyeing cowhide is becoming more and more exquisite, some embossed cowhide looks very much like real crocodile skin at first glance. If you come into contact with cowhide embossed imitation crocodile leather, you will be confused at first sight, excessive height, detailed texture, the dyeing is quite real. Many people and even brands can use this to make watch straps. 

Let us tell you a few ways to distinguish the embossed crocodile skin. First look at the pores, crocodile skin does not have pores like cows and sheepskins, imitation crocodile skins pressed with cows and sheepskins will show pores if they are not heavily painted.

Secondly, the texture is raised. The slub pattern of real crocodile leather is high on one side and low on the other side, but some crocodile leather is pressed into a small steamed bun-like texture, which is more distorted.

C. Maintenance of crocodile watch strap

Crocodile skin should avoid oil and water. We know that in daily life, we will wipe some maintenance ointment on cow and sheepskin to extend the service life. Some people naively think that the same ointment can also be used for the maintenance of crocodile skin, which results in completely damaging crocodile skin, especially water-stained crocodile skin, which will change color immediately after oiling. Actually, crocodile skin does not need extra maintenance. Usually, avoid exposure to the sun. If it is dirty, wipe it with a cloth. There are special rare skincare creams abroad and you can also try them.

Additionally, avoid fastening your exotic watch bands very tightly around the wrist. It is a bad habit that prevents proper blood circulation around your wrist, moreover it stresses the strap each time you move the wrist leading to an early deterioration of the watch band. Selecting a looser fit spares the strap from the constant strain that will damage your leather faster.

B.A Handmade – Premier quality exotic watch bands provider in the US

B.A Handmade specializes in the design, manufacture and supply of quality exotic watch bands, including alligator leather straps. All products are meticulously handcrafted or imported with clear origins. Sophisticated leather materials with neat lines are the advantages of watch straps at B.A Handmade. Moreover, all of our products are made from full grain leather – the best sort of leather with high durability and uniqueness. 

You can choose exotic leather watch bands HERE or request your own customized straps. Besides, when you buy a leather strap at B.A Handmade, you will get a free needle buckle and strap replacement tools.

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