My first instrument had a leather valve guard and I still have it on the instrument and use it on there to this day and seems to help protect the horn. However I have a much more expensive instrument now and have never had one on there. However it came with a valve bucket or whatever you call them that rested on the bottom of the valves to collect excess oil, grease, etc. Seemed like a good thing, but then quickly realized that it looked like it was going to start affecting the finish so currently don't use the leather valve wrap or the grime gutter (I had to look that one up) My bach came with the grime gutter and the irony is that I only noticed an issue with grime when I had the grime gutter on versus now I don't see an issue.
I would write them off as personal touch / preference and don't think that they are necessary.
Bach Stradivarius 180S37
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