Do you put any conditioner on your leather bands?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by Kyle76, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Kyle76 macrumors regular

    Kyle76

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    #1
    Leather bands have a limited life. Do you use any products to condition your leather bands and extend their life? I wear my classic buckle almost every day.
     
  2. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #2
    No. I would avoid it. I am sure Apple leather is treated extensively to minimize damage from wear and tear. Often times, aftermarket conditioners do more damage to leather than protect it. (And this is why conditioners/cleaners of leather should NOT be used in automobile leathers.)
     
  3. fyun89 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Like any leather products, I wont use abrasive ones. Test a little amount and see how it reacts.

    I use leather conditioner on my one of my car and it works great. You just shouldnt use a cheap one. To prove my stance, I have a comparison car with a similar production year (both BMW) that I have always forgot to apply conditioner. It has much more crack marks on the leather.
     
  4. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #4
    How long do you want these straps to last? In all the years I've been a watch geek I have never heard of this.
     
  5. Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #5
    Agreed. You can use leather conditioner on leather in vehicles. That's not accurate that you can't from What that other forum member stated. I have leather in a Sports car that I own that has stitched embroidered leather, and I use a mid grade leather conditioner that has easily maintained the leather looking new and strengthens the leather from cracking.
     
  6. Thai, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #6
    Nope. There is nothing that strengthens the leather. That was a good one! LOL

    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2017 ---
    I had a BMW M3 once with optional Nappa...used leather conditioner...still had cracks etc..

    The problem with the leather used in cars is that the surface is sealed, and these products don't penetrate very much. The best thing you can probably do to prolong the life of it is to clean it often as it will keep the surface clean of dirt and other abrasives that will eat away at it. But, with frequent use over time, the leather is bound to wear down regardless.

    Or if you don't believe me, ask Hermes or Louise Vulton.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2017 ---
    Just more info from a leather expert on bimmer forum:

    Leather does not require 'conditioning' with anything other than water.

    Adding 'conditioners' which generally contain oils and waxes will change the appearance of your leather over time as dirt will build up on the surface and cause a sheen.

    The type of leather you have is 'coated' leather. This is essentially a 'painted' leather
    with a clear coat finish over the top. The leather may or may not be dyed through with
    aniline dyes prior to the finish coating.

    Essentially it is this top coating that needs looking after.
    Cleaning is vitally important as the top coat will wear away if allowed to become dirty.
    Dirt on the surface will also become ground into the finish by constant abrassion.

    'Conditioners', balms, feeds etc (traditionally oil and wax based) cannot penetrate this
    finish so are not worth applying - they can also leave behind residues on the finish which will only attract more dirt if allowed to remain. 'Conditioners' will not do any
    protecting on leather even if they say they do as there will not be enough active
    ingredient in them to do anything.

    Leather however finished has to remain breathable and it will allow the movement of
    moisture back and forth (transpiration) so the use of water based cleaners and
    protectors will keep the leather correctly hydrated which is essentail to keeping it in
    good condition.
     
  7. Kyle76 thread starter macrumors regular

    Kyle76

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    #7
    What's a "water-based cleaner"? A special leather cleaner, mild soap or just plain water?
     
  8. Thai, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #8
    Right...and this is why "treating" watch bands is not recommended.

    Personally, i just use water and a good cloth after vacuuming up all the dirt.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2017 ---
    See my thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/classic-buckle-saddle-brown-water-test.1988189/

    Now compare this to any Hermes Apple Watch band and do the same test...much different! Hermes leather will stain with just water for a long time (adds to the patina) and even some Hermes leather (black) will bubble up if not dried right away. Apple Classic Buckle leather is HEAVILY treated to keep its texture for a long time...now, it does develop patina but very slowly...so, it is not totally impervious to outdoor elements.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2017 ---
    This is a Hermes band from sweat from working out (by a member here):
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Relentless Power, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #9
    Uh oh. THai is wrong again. Or the manufacturer must be lying. I'm guessing the latter. So you must be saying I can file a law suit against this company for false advertising? I don't believe you at all.

    I have been using Lexol for years. It clearly states it strengthens leather, when you're saying it doesn't. . It doesn't mean it will strengthen in all cases pending the condition of the leather. And..you can't speak for all leather variations.



    Enjoy!





    IMG_0980.PNG
     
  10. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #10
    LOL...you believe everything a manufacturer says? Prove me wrong? With an advertisement?!

    I did enjoy your post...blind ignorance on your end. Thanks for the laugh as always with your posts/"arguments". :)
     
  11. Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #11
    Or believe some random forum member with providing anecdotal evidence. If you can prove the manufacturer wrong on this and show me how you know this regarding Lexol, then kudos to you. Otherwise, don't Make claims you cannot support please with your ill-informed claims on leather in vehicles. Thank you:D
     
  12. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #12
    Huh? Here's a thought...ask your car manufacturer if ANYTHING that i wrote above is wrong. Ask them. Simple. Please try to understand what i wrote FIRST before calling me out on it...as has been the norm with you when you argue with me and others here. Stop it dude.
     
  13. Relentless Power, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #13
    Uh..Oh ok Thai. Thanks for the discussion and you also contribute to the argument. Since you don't have any evidence to back your claims. I'm moving on. There is no sense in arguing if you cant support what you're saying. Again, if you decide to do your homework on this and prove how you know the manufacturer is lying, let me know. Have a great day.:)
     
  14. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #14
    Deflections? Basic car knowledge dude...you basing your "argument" on an ADVERTISEMENT is ignorance.

    Ask your sports car dealership. Ask if there is a protective/clear coat from manufacturer on your leather that basically seals it. What sports car do you have?
     
  15. Thai, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017

    Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #15
    FYI, more tidbit...since late 1990s, all car manufacturers use a super thin vinyl coating for protection. (There are exceptions...i "hear" that King Ranch leather on some Fords lack this coating.) This coating has micro-perforations that prevents most conditioners (esp cream based) from penetrating.

    Don't believe me? You can tell by putting a few drops of plain water on it and see if the water sits on the surface or gets absorbed right away.

    And this is why my test (see link above) of Classic Buckle Saddle Brown leather shows that Apple does coat it...thus, conditioning is not needed with Apple Classic Buckle.

    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2017 ---
    More info:

    Re: Using conditioners on modern protected leather.

    Conditioners were designed for a different type of leather and are not a good choice for modern protected leather.

    First, understand that you are not conditioning your leather, rather, you are applying an oily or waxy film to paint. Your leather is painted and anything you do to the leather is, in reality, just being done to the painted coating. Paint doesn't need feeding or conditioning.

    Conditioners, in general, leave behind a film on that painted surface that attracts and holds dirt and dust which causes faster soiling and added abrasion wear as you slide in and out. If you have older, cracked or chipped leather, a conditioner will seep into the leather fibers and loosen the bond of the topcoat surrounding the crack which will make the crack worse. It will also hold dirt and dust in those cracks and make them more noticeable.

    Some report how conditioners made their leather softer. Leather is made soft in the tanning process. Nothing you can lay on a painted topcoat will make the leather softer than it was originally. That said, leather that has dried out will be stiffer than properly hydrated leather. The missing ingredient that makes leather get stiffer is moisture, not oils, waxes, silicones or fats. I would suggest that if you think your leather feels softer after using a conditioner one of two things have occurred. The moisture level contained in the conditioner evaporated and was picked up by the leather fibers due to the higher relative humidity in the vicinity of the leather. A wipe down with a wrung out cotton towel would accomplish the same softening of dry leather. Secondly, if the hand of the leather feels softer after a conditioner, it most likely is due to the film deposited on the surface of the topcoat giving that feel. Leather should not feel grabby or slippery. Go to a new car dealership and feel the leather of a brand new showroom car. That is the way your leather should feel; soft, dry and silky smooth.

    In any case, an oily conditioner will;
    1. either not penetrate the painted topcoat and sit on the leather leaving a sticky or grabby film that attracts dirt which increases abrasion. In some cases conditioners contain wax or silicone making your seats shiny and slippery.
    2. if this oily mixture gets through cracks in the topcoat, it will negatively impact the bond the topcoat has with the leather causing a more rapid decline in the leather coating.

    So how do you rehydrate painted leather? Through repeated and regular wipe-downs with a moist towel. Moisture will be re-absorbed by the leather fibers via higher humidity levels surrounding the leather. Water on the painted surface won't directly be absorbed through the topcoat into the leather but the raised humidity level will cause the leather to take up moisture. Moisture is the lifeblood of protected leather.

    Lest you think this is just my opinion, let me suggest that you do your homework. Contact some leather industry restoration professionals and ask these questions. Don't just rely on my comments, verify these comments with other leather professionals. Try not to believe everything product sales hype tells you. Snake oil salesmen have been around for ever and you need to go to the source to find the truth.
     
  16. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #16
    I must admit I use leather protection on the seats in my car, Auto Glym or something like that. Watch straps are different as they are a lot cheaper and easier to replace. A worn leather strap can look very nice whereas a cracked car seat looks awful. :)
     
  17. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #17
    Unfortunately, most conditioners will NOT prevent cracks and actually make the crack worst! See above quotes that i have bolded.
     
  18. fyun89 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    It certainly does not "repair" anything. But it hydrates the leather so it does not break down further by getting dried.

    It also protects the leather by keeping UV light and sweat to penetrate leather. Like how sunscreen works. If you dont agree with me on this, you're also denying that sunscreens dont work either.

    You can believe however you want. But it seems majority of the people seem to agree that leather conditioner "helps".
     
  19. Thai, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017

    Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #19
    Did you read Post #15?

    Our skin does not have a thin coating of vinyl...nor are we constantly behind automobile glass.

    Did you know that most (if not all) modern car windshield block over 90% of UV from entering the car? Side windows vary with manufacturers.

    I am not sure where you get "majority" of people...but that still does not change facts of the matter.

    Again, if you do not believe me, then ASK your car manufacturer.
     
  20. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #20
    I'm not overly bothered about car seats on a Watch strap thread. I use a spray on mine every so often as endorsed by Volkswagen Europe. Watch straps are different and I think you'll just have to accept they will wear out eventually. If they are a good leather then they'll last a good few years, probably longer than your Apple Watch. ;)
     
  21. fyun89 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    First of all, you said not to believe what manufacturers says.

    Second, in the US only, only our windshields have UV protection required by law (which some claims that many mfg dont use effective protection). You should google that. Side windows and sunroof do not have protection unless tinted.

    Third, i dont know which car mfg you're talking about, but not every leather is vinyl wrapped on top of it. BMW definitely does not use one for sure (i have x5 with dakota, 5 series gt with nappa and 740i with nappa).

    I assume you agree that it hydrates the leather? You did not contradict that statement.

    I also want to debunk your statement about the conditioning solution makining seats attract dirt and causing more damage. "YOU" bring in the dirt in the first place. Unless windy condition, they do not simply come in by themselves. Even if they do, the leather conditioner still does protect it. If you're an avid car cleaning guy, you probably know that even a thin layer of soap protects the car from getting scratched (ofcourse only up to certain microsized particles) Same analogy applies here.

    As I said, you can believe however you want. But by conditioning, it is not to repair, but it protect leathers from drying out and harmful rays. Cars, leather wallets, even my leather iphone/ipad gears all benefited. If it didnt work, I probably noticed it over the decade of conditioning my leather goods.
     
  22. Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #22
    ^This all day long. Thank you for making complete sense and debunking false equivalencies peddled from that other statement. Your analogy with how sunscreen is applied and conditioner is dead on. That's exactly the point of it.

    I have a muscle car and it has black leather inside it. And I apply it so the UV rays don't penetrate/fade the leather, Likely, in the same respect, The midgrade conditioner I use strengthens and softens the leather from cracking and or degradation . Especially in climate change is when you go from hot to cold temperatures, leather tends to adapt to that environment. And I can tell you the conditioner I use has easily prolonged the leather in my Sports car for years.

    As a matter fact, the conditioner I use is the same Conditioner used by the dealership for all their leather in their vehicles I purchased from and recommended. So I guess the dealership must be making a big mistake by using that conditioner on $35,000 muscle cars. Shame on them for believing them for a recommending a product that works.
     
  23. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #23
    So, you do NOT believe that there is a vinyl coating on the leather? Even your BMW?

    When you put water droplet on your BMW nappa, it gets absorbed right away? (And yes, i have had Nappa-equipped BMW M3...along with MB G500...so, yeah, i have had "expensive" leather cars.)

    Water hydrates the leather too. See above post #15.

    Your analogy is interesting to say the least....

    Are we talking about car leather or wallets? I was talking about car leather.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 20, 2017 ---
    Dude, i am glad that you can finally jump back into the conversation after being proven wrong. But ok...carry on.
     
  24. Relentless Power, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors G5

    Relentless Power

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    #24
    Exactly. I Thought you explained this well. We get a lot of opinionated amateurs in here in terms of Not considering practicality in daily uses.

    The variations of leather used in vehicles differs completely from leather used for an Apple Watch strap, wallets, all applied differently for different conditions, environments and different grades of leather for all vehicles. It really comes down to maintaining the leather.
     
  25. Thai, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017

    Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #25
    Huh? YOU based your whole darn argument on Lexol ADVERTISEMENT!!!! lol Hell, you even posted pictures to "prove" your point! Amateurish much?! LOL

    Ignorance is bliss with you...carry on.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 20, 2017 ---
    "The leather in question; BMW Nappa.

    The leather is drum (VAT) dyed a matching color to the pigment color that is sprayed on later in the process. After the pigment, a clear coat matte (top coat) finish is sprayed on. The true dye process is not always done before color (pigment) coat and top coat are added. This depends on leather type and manufacturer.

    What is leather dye and what is pigment?
    -Dye is exactly what you would think a traditional dye would be. It stains, it colors, it soaks into the leather and changes the color throughout.
    -Pigment is essentially paint. Modern leather pigment is a water based flexible "latex" acting type paint. If you sprayed it on smooth plastic (like a bag or acrylic panel) it wouldn't change the color of the plastic (like a dye would), it would leave a top painted finish. A pigment does not soak into the leather like a dye does. It "paints" on top of the leather attaching itself to the prepped finish.

    What is the top coat?
    Top coat is a protection coat to the color (pigment [paint]) coat. The finishes can vary from gloss, semi-gloss to matte. A top coat extends the durability, color, and life of the color coat by years and years (if proper care is taken). It also defines the total look and even feel of the leather. Top coats are also a paint, using the same technology as the color coat (polyurethane is one type).

    Are there different pigment and top coat types?
    Absolutely. Leather Clinic uses a water based Polyurethane type of formula. Leatherique uses a water based complex co-polymer formula. Each company will have their own formula.

    When is a dye used?
    Dyes are used (not always though) as part of the process leading to the color and top coat of modern leathers. It's also used in older methods of leather color as a stand alone method (ie; no color or top coat after).

    How long does a color coat last alone?
    The professionals say a color coat is only good for just a few years by itself at best.

    How long does a color coat with a top coat last?
    A color coat with a proper top coat can extend the life of the finish at least 3 times longer. A frequently used refinished leather would last 1-2 years with just color and at least 4-5 with a top coat added. The professionals say expect 5-7 years with a top coat and even longer if you're super careful and proper care products are used. Remember, a top coated leather is exactly how (nappa as an example) leather rolls out ready for upholstery. Some of us have 14 year old Nappa (like I do in my 96 M3) that is MINT.

    What I was wrong about?
    I had known Nappa leather was dyed and I have known that the leather had a top coat. I did not know that the leather had a color coat after dye. I also did not know what the color coat was... it's a paint, and "latex" in nature. The color coat is not a dye.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 20, 2017 ---
    [​IMG]
    --- Post Merged, Feb 20, 2017 ---
    "Lexol Leather products are water-based , formulated to be absorbed into leather, therefore is unsuitable for any leather or leather by-product that has a clear top"

    Just FYI. This came from a BMW forum moderator on Reddit asking Lexol...and that was Lexol response.
     

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