Rolex owners buy aftermarket straps for several different reasons. Some collectors want to protect and preserve their original Rolex bracelet, keeping it in mint condition for resale or special occasions. If you’ve owned your Rolex for a few years, you may be ready to change up the look but putting it on a rubber strap. Another reason to buy a rubber strap is as a gift for yourself or the watch lover in your life. Rubber straps make great stocking stuffers or birthday gifts as a lower-cost way to expand your watch wardrobe.
Evaluating and purchasing a rubber strap is different than buying a Nato or a stainless steel bracelet. For one thing, it can be difficult to assess the quality of a band you’re buying online. We’ve put together a few tips on materials and design features to look for when you’re planning to purchase a rubber strap.
1. A Rubber Strap for Your Rolex Should Have a Curved End
This is one of the most important components you should be looking for in a rubber strap for your Rolex. For the highest level of aesthetic styling, you should really consider a curved end strap. With a curved end rubber strap, each watch band is custom designed for different watch types. This provides the buyer with a strap that is flush with the end links, leaving no visible gap between itself and the case. Curved-end rubber straps give a streamlined look, so you don’t end up with weird rectangles of flesh showing through on either side.
Buying a straight-end strap is ok if it has a minimal gap or you like the look or material of the strap. Just keep in mind that a cheap strap can degrade the appearance and experience of wearing a Rolex. If you’ve already invested in a Rolex, it’s worth spending more for a premium rubber strap to accent your purchase.
2. A Rubber Strap for Your Rolex Should Not Be Made of Silicone
Many aftermarket rubber straps are actually made of silicone, a cheap alternative to vulcanized FKM rubber. Although it’s ubiquitous and cheap, silicone is not an ideal material for a watch strap. Unlike vulcanized rubber, silicone has an electrical charge. This small detail can lead to quite a few headaches in a watch strap. First of all, the subtle electrical charge will attract dust, lint, and dirt. Because of the electrical attraction this dust can’t simply be wiped away. Users often have to resort to extreme measures to prevent lint accumulation such as Scotch tape, fabric softener, or washing daily with warm water and dish soap.
To prevent dust accumulation on an aftermarket Rolex strap, look for one made with a high quality FKM vulcanized rubber. Vulcanized rubber is free of an electric charge and its also resistant to wear, temperature changes, and UV light. You should also seek out a vulcanized rubber strap with a brushed matte finish that looks high-end. Rolex’s Oysterflex™ bracelet also has a matte finish that looks stunning against a high-gloss metal watch case.
3. A Rubber Strap For Your Rolex Should Have High Quality Hardware
It’s important that the aftermarket strap you choose for your Rolex also has high-quality design and hardware, in addition to materials. If an aftermarket strap is specially built for Rolex’s deployant clasp, you can retain even more of Rolex’s aesthetic. You can keep the integrity and harmony of a Rolex watch while still switching up your look and protecting your original metal bracelet. If the aftermarket strap has a tang buckle option, it should be made of metal with a good heft and weight to counterbalance the weight of the case on your wrist. If you opt for a tang buckle, look for nine tilted tongue holes and variable sizing on the strap length. Nothing looks less classy than a Rolex on an aftermarket strap with two inches of strap hanging off the end.
4. A Rubber Strap For Your Rolex Should Have A Natural Curve
A good aftermarket strap will have some internal structure and rigidity to stand up to the weight of the watch case. In other words, you don’t want a strap that flops around like an eel when it’s unfastened. When you take the strap off, look for a gentle curve that echoes the curve of your wrist. Straps that don’t have this natural curve will take weeks to “break in” and mold to your wrist shape, leading to discomfort and chafing or rubbing. Straps with a built-in curve allow you for forego this break-in period, allowing for a comfortable fit the very first time you put it on.
5. A Rubber Strap For Your Rolex Should Allow Airflow
A rubber strap that doesn’t allow for natural airflow can be an unpleasant experience, leading to sweat build up and discomfort. Look for a rubber strap with a built-in channeling system, where some components of the strap are lower or higher than other parts. This will lift the strap slightly above the arm, allowing gentle airflow underneath the bracelet while still remaining secure on the wrist. A rubber strap with sufficient airflow will allow for comfortable, all-day wear for your Rolex.
Everest uses high-end FKM vulcanized rubber and intentional design features to deliver the highest quality aftermarket strap for your Rolex. We’re biased, but the thousands of people who have left 5 star reviews aren’t. Change the look of your Rolex easily with one of our luxury rubber watch straps.
Written by Meghan Clark