A metal bracelet, though more durable than its leather counterpart, is prone to damage caused by the build up of dust and bacteria within its structure, which may cause degradation and corrosion to its surface.
Plated bracelets are also vulnerable to abrasives such as dirt and dust, which can cut through the plating and result in a flawed finish. Scraping such bracelets against rough, hard surfaces should be avoided.
Most metal bracelets tend to use highly rust-resistant metals such as silver, gold, or stainless steel. Stainless steel for example, is used primarily due to its workability and durability, and has become a popular choice for both low-end and high-end watches. The fine properties of stainless steel, however, are not effective unless used correctly.
The “stainless” property of stainless steel is the result of an oxide layer covering the surface of the bracelet. This oxide layer is liable to cause rust under conditions of limited oxygen. A build-up of foreign matter such as dust and perspiration may eventually affect the supply of oxygen to the oxide layer, causing the bracelet to rust.
To prevent this, it is recommended to keep stainless steel bracelets clean and in an environment with an abundant supply of oxygen.
To maintain any metal bracelet, stainless steel or otherwise, periodic cleaning with warm water is advised. Dirt or stains can be safely removed with the use of a mild soap and a soft brush. The bracelet must then be dried thoroughly with a soft cloth to ensure that no moisture remains on the surface or within any gaps.