According to company vice president Max Blankfeld, the likelihood of obtaining good Y-DNA from an old watchband for genealogical analysis is low, especially if the person died quite a while ago and any sweat on the band has dried up. A forensics lab could try to extract the DNA, but the cost would end up being very high, with no guaranteed results. Moreover, if other people ever touched that watchband, before or after the person died, any DNA thats retrieved might not be from your father. The bottom line is that we dont recommend using the watchband, Blankfeld says.
But dont give up hope just yet. Did your father have a brother? A nephew? Cousins with the same surname? Testing one of these people would be a better option. If you have no living male relatives from that line, a toothbrush, electric shaver or hearing aid would be a better bet than a watchband. (Of course, any such object should be handled only wearing gloves to reduce the risk of contamination.) There would be a charge for forensic extraction (Family Tree DNAs fee is $250), in addition to the cost of a Y-DNA test (starting at $169).