The most important thing an article on Rolex bracelets can start with is a simple plea: never call a Rolex bracelet a strap or a band. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s continue. The bracelets that Rolex has paired with its watches has changed over the years. There’s been different link materials and construction, changes to the number of links, reimagined bracelet designs, and a wide variety of clasps used. To clarify the types of bracelets you’ll most often see on Rolex watches, we’ve put together this simple guide.
A Leather Strap for Rolex
Yes, you’re going to see the word “strap” at least once more in this article, and that’s to describe the type of watch band used on early Rolexes: the leather strap. Before Rolex developed its water-resistant Oyster case, leather was the material of choice for wristwatches, and Rolex was no different. High-quality leather was affixed to the watches, Buyers today still love the look of leather paired with a Rolex. (Newman Daytona, anyone?) Everest’s vegetable-tanned leather straps are carefully designed to connect seamlessly to a wide variety of cases. Each strap is customized to fit the correct size and style of the endlinks, allowing you to personalize any Rolex.
The Rolex Oyster Bracelet
The bracelet used most often on Rolex model is its patented Oyster bracelet, originally manufactured by Gay Frerès, and patented by Rolex in 1947. Rolex actually ended up purchasing Gay Frerès in 1998. This allowed Rolex to bring bracelet design and fabrication in-house, which directly led to innovations in bracelet style in the years to come. You’ll see Oyster bracelets on Submariners, Daytonas, GMT-Masters, Sea-Dwellers, and Explorers. Oyster bracelets are easily recognizable by the triple-linked metal construction, with one larger link in the middle and two smaller links on either side. Depending on when it was made, claps on the Oyster can vary but most use either the Oysterclasp or the Oysterlock deployant. Today, Oysterlock deployants use Rolex’s glidelock technology, an addition to the deployant that allows wearers to make tiny micro-adjustments to the clasp, ensuring a snug fit no matter what your wrist size.
The Rolex Jubilee Bracelet
Designed in 1945 for the Rolex Datejust, the Jubilee bracelet’s name indicates that Rolex designed the bracelet to celebrate their 40th year in business. The Jubilee was definitely a dressier bracelet option, and it debuted in solid gold on the Datejust, Rolex’s first chronometer with a date window complication. Today, the five-link design with three center links flanked by two exterior links continues to elevate the profile of any case it’s paired with. In the mid-‘50s, Rolex began offering it in two-toned metal, calling the resulting bracelet “Rolesor” to indicate the mixed-metal look.
Image Source: Rolex Super Jubilee Bracelet 63600
The Rolex President Bracelet
The Jubilee’s designation as the “dress bracelet” for Rolex changed in the 1950s, when the President bracelet was unveiled. It can be described as a cross between the Jubilee and Oyster bracelets. It is made of solid three-link construction, but has semi-circular, rounded links that echo the curves of the Jubilee links. It’s currently only available in precious metal and is used only on the Rolex President Day-Date and the Lady President.
The Rolex Pearlmaster Bracelet
The rarest of the Rolex bracelets, the Pearlmaster bracelet was first seen on the Rolex Pearlmaster in 1992, and isn’t used on any other references. It’s a metal, five-link bracelet with rounded flat links. It has slightly wider center links. It is also available only in precious metal, and it’s always seen with the Crownclasp, a deployant with a concealed clasp.
The Rolex Oysterflex Bracelet
First appearing on a rose-gold Yacht-Master in 2015, the Oysterflex bracelet is Rolex’s elastomer band, only available in black. It has a core of metal, so Rolex still refers to it as a bracelet, rather than a strap. It’s also used on an Everose Daytona and is the first bracelet that’s not 100% metal. Visually, it’s quite a departure from the solid-link bracelets that have been Rolex’s calling card for its entire history, but collectors responded positively. If you love the look of Rolex on Oysterflex, but you don’t have a Daytona or a Yacht-Master, you can use our rubber straps in a variety of colors to recreate the look.
Written by Meghan Clark
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