Being an owner of an aftermarket watch band company tends to make one partial to the products they wear and sell, especially when its for Rolex replacement straps. Admittedly, it is a nice benefit to walk over to a shelf and grab a new strap with a different look to switch out just for the hell of it. We have a number of watch straps in our product line and our bias of them is not without merit. Everest creates literally some of the finest Rolex replacement watch straps available. It has been a time consuming endeavour to reach this stage, and we paid the proverbial price with the necessary research and development of any luxury company trying to create perfection. Personally speaking – our straps are damn nice. We hear it from our customers day in and day out, repeatedly.
We have gone to great lengths to form relationships with the most gifted leather strap makers using the highest quality material and craftsmanship regardless of cost. There is a very valid reason for doing it that way; we followed the footsteps of the company that is perhaps the most recognized watch brand in the world. I don’t even have to say the name because the people who read this know exactly who I mean. Rolex- there, I said it anyway. We are proud to have spent the time to seek out the finest Italian leather. Everest utilizes the latest Swiss technology to manufacture our stainless steel buckles and patent pending steel end links. Finally, we only use the finest vulcanized rubber for our rubber straps, the exact same material that other top watch brands such as Bell & Ross, Omega, and Bremont use. That being said, I decided to buy several of the other replacement watch straps available in the market places of Ebay and Amazon, just to see and compare the quality.
First purchase were a few listed as a “Rolex Diver” strap on Ebay, not a high flyer financially, all under $40. After a week or more of when I purchased them, I finally recieved the comparison straps. I Immediately could tell by the feel of the material they were not vulcanized rubber. I recognized it by the dust they collected within seconds and how overly cheap feeling they felt. It was the lowest quality material one can choose to make a watch strap – silicone. It is the worst at collecting dust and lint, next to a belly button. I won’t mention the name of the sellers but these straps were obviously not Rolex worthy whatsoever. Genuine POS category. I couldn’t even scrutinize them legitimately beyond 2 minutes because of the poor quality. In the trash can they went.
Next was a purchase of another band listed as “Rolex replacement dive strap”. At least this one was an improvement in rubber by the fact it was not silicone. Careful examination drew the conclusion of natural rubber or NBR. Again, not what I would refer to as Rolex worthy by any stretch. The Italian manufacturer is well known but unfortunately not specific in design to accommodate a good case fit of a Submariner 16610. On the contrary, there was an extremely loose case connection with noticeable spacing that exceeded 3 pieces of paper on each side of the lugs. No spring bars came with the strap, so I assumed I could use my standard spring bars, but they would not fit in the holes. At $70.00 I would have at least expected to receive spring bars?!
My next purchase was a step up to a strap on Amazon once again listed as Rolex replacement diver bands at $95, with prime delivery. Can’t beat the speediness and convenience of Prime. Got the strap PDQ, and I must admit it looked nice and fit better, it had the typical space between the springbar and the case connection but aesthetically an improvement. Although it was still not vulcanized rubber, it was not silicone and appeared to be natural rubber, not bad I thought. Until I looked closer and noticed the excessive material flash and realized the strap was not hand finished. On a scale from one to ten I’d give this a 6. I decided to keep looking.
So, back onto the web, and I thought this time I’m willing to spend even more and made a purchase of $150 from Ebay- allowing 2- 3 weeks for delivery from Hong Kong. Curved end tang buckle design for a Rolex Daytona. 18 days later I had my strap and thought hmmm, not bad looking over all. One thing stood out – the stainless steel buckle was stainless indeed with edges sharp enough to shave with. Dangerous – had I intended to keep it, I would have buffed off the edges as to not injure myself, but like the rest I thought, where is the value or quality in workmanship or material. Also, when I went to install the strap, I could not install it. I pride myself on being an expert at replacement watch strap installation, and no matter what I did, I could not get it on. What’s this world coming to.
Deep in despair I realized that just like anything else “you get what you pay for.” Rolex enthusiasts have plenty of options for aftermarket diver straps if you are willing to spend just a little more. Frankly, for $195 you can purchase a well made Swiss replacement watch band from Everest Horology Products that is the state-of-the-art vulcanized rubber with a fantastic case connection and a set of Rolex style spring bars included, not to mention (2) stainless steel 316 links for sizing that will practically look like it came from the factory. The fit, function and comfort are second to none. I highly urge you to think about what you are wearing before you search for a Rolex replacement band or strap on the cheap. Visit www.everestbands.com for a host of aftermarket strap options worthy of the watch it is connected to. You’ll be glad you did. This article was written with completely fair and unbiased opinions of the products purchased for review and was in no way influenced by the fact that I am one of the owners of Everest, honest!
The post Not all Rolex Replacement Watch Bands are Created Equal appeared first on Bezel & Barrel written by Michael DiMartini.