With the introduction of smartwatches with a suite of features like heart rate monitors, pedometers, GPS, mobile connectivity, etc, they have seen increased applications in sports. However, it would be a bit silly to use metal or leather straps on these watches. Unless you want to stop and search for a broken watch on the ground/field, every time you fall or bump into someone. That’s why we prefer something more durable & versatile, silicone. Today, we will discuss the use of silicone watch straps for sports activities.
A Brief Introduction to Silicone Watch Straps
Silicone straps are gaining traction in recent years, especially among smartwatch wearers. Silicone is made from a combination of silicon and oxygen; it is classified as a synthetic rubber. These material properties are what make silicone watch straps so special. They are flexible, resistant to heat and waterproof.
How is a Silicone Watch Strap Made?
As discussed above, silicone is a type of synthetic rubber polymer. There are two methods that manufacturers can use to make watch straps from silicone. Each method has its pros & cons.
Compression moulding involves compressing uncured rubber inside a high-pressure mould. Due to the high pressure & heat generated within the mould, the rubber cures & takes the desired form. On the other hand, injection works a bit differently. In this method, we simply inject uncured silicone inside a closed mould. The injection process creates high pressure, that allows the compound to cure & take form.
Compression moulding is used for high-volume productions, due to its speed. However, it cannot make as detailed and sharp shapes as injection moulding.
What are the benefits of Using Silicone Watch Straps for Sports Activities?
Silicone is replacing a lot of traditional materials due to its versatility & compatibility. Especially in wristwatch markets, you can even see the trend of equipping formal-style watches coming with silicone watch straps. So, let’s discuss some benefits of a watch strap made from silicone.
Silicone is a type of rubber, which explains it’s flexibility. These watch straps are very flexible and can easily bend around your wrists for hours, without deformation or surface cracks, unlike leather straps.
Silicone is also a very durable material, due to its flexibility and soft texture, it is very difficult to damage the surface of a silicone band. Normal day wear and tear like rubbing against surrounding objects, dust, etc, does not harm them. Unlike metal & leather straps that would most likely be damaged during a rough bout of playing a sport. You can wear your silicon strap and go play rugby in rain and it’ll be still as good as new.
Silicone is a highly biocompatible material, which means that it does not react with living cells. Now we don’t recommend you swallow your watch strap, since silicone needs to be treated more to make it perfectly bioinert. But what we are telling you, is that, for someone with sensitive skin or skin conditions, silicone is the best choice for you. It is hypoallergenic, which means it will not react with your skin or cause any other issues.
Being a hybrid between rubber & plastic, silicone is completely waterproof. You can keep it submerged for hours inside water, and it won’t make a difference. This makes them especially preferable for sports activities. However, keep in mind that the salt in your sweat can still interact with the silicon surface so don’t forget to clean your strap regularly.
5. Does Not Irritate/Damage the Skin
The problem with wearing metal or leather on bare skin during sports activities is that it will scratch and damage your skin. Imagine using your arms to break your fall and landing with a metal strap face-first to the ground. Yes, that will cause some damage, not only to the strap but also to your skin. Now, replace the metal with silicon and the results vary vastly. The worst thing a silicon watch strap will do to your skin is giving you a tan line.
Traditional leather and metal straps may give a formal & more classic feel, but when it comes to functionality, nothing can beat silicone. And for situations involving physical activities, silicone watch straps are your best option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Which strap is better silicone or leather?
Ans: That depends on the application of the strap. Is it going on a formal watch or a sports watch? Generally, silicone tends to have all the advantages due to its flexibility, durability and softness. However, the one place where it loses is the aesthetic, leather tends to give a more classical look than silicon.
Q2. Are silicone watch straps good for skin?
Ans: Yes, being a biocompatible & hypoallergenic material, silicone is a very good option for your skin. As it is inert & will not react with your skin, especially good for people with sensitive skin.
Q3. How long does a silicone watch strap last?
Ans: On average, a silicon watch strap can last up to 2 years, which is remarkably shorter than leather and metal. However, it makes up for it by being unbelievably cheaper to produce than the other two.
Q4. Do silicone watch bands get dirty?
Ans: Yes, anything that is exposed to the elements will get dirty eventually. The problem with silicone straps is that they can accumulate dirt & grime from sweat and dust. Therefore, you must regularly clean them.
- Last updated on Apr 04, 2023