BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ROLEX OYSTER BRACELET
The iconic three-link design oyster bracelet was released in the early 1930’s, it was Rolex’s best bracelet they had ever designed with it being durable and sporty. Today, you can find the oyster bracelet available across almost every single model Rolex offers. There are of course differences between each oyster bracelet such as the fully brushed (like on the Submariner), polished center links with the classic fold over clasp (like on the Datejust), or polished center links with the double fold over clasp (like on the GMT). However, we will be focusing on the Rolex oyster bracelet on the classic Datejust since both have the same clasp.
Photo by Rolex
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE JUBILEE BRACELET
It wasn’t until 1945 that Rolex introduced the jubilee bracelet which was designed specifically for the Datejust to celebrate Rolex’ 40th Anniversary. The jubilee bracelet was made from the 5-link design as opposed to the oyster bracelet 3 link design. This gave the jubilee bracelet a very classy and sophisticated look. If you were wearing a suit or dress, the sparkly and eye-catching jubilee would be a great option. Even though back when both bracelets were first developed, the jubilee was significantly less durable and often had issues with the bracelet stretching over time, this is not the case today.
WHICH BRACELET WINS THE COMFORT AWARD?
Both bracelets offer great comfort, however due to the links being smaller on the jubilee and having more of them, it hugs the wrist ever so slightly better than the oyster. They both have the easy link adjustment of 5mm for those warmer and colder days of the year. General consensus among watch collectors is that the jubilee takes a slight lead in the area of comfort.
WHICH ROLEX BRACELET IS MORE DURABLE?
In the past, the oyster would have been more durable, it was designed for their tool watches and to be used in all sorts of conditions. The jubilee used to have problems with the bracelet stretching which is very common amongst any of Rolex’s vintage pieces. Today, both are very solid and more than able to cope with all your sporting activities. They are both made from Rolex’s solid and durable Oystersteel, 904L which will last you a lifetime and more! The jubilee does tend to hide scratches better than the oyster bracelet due to there being less surface area to make contact with on the jubilee since it is made up of tiny arches. The oyster does show wear and tear a bit more easily than the jubilee but if this is something that bothers you, you could always get a quick polish.
AN ALTERNATIVE OPTION, EVEREST RUBBER STRAP
However, if you were wanting to wear your Rolex whilst playing sport, then no matter which bracelet option you’ve gone for, Everest has the perfect rubber strap option for you. Having a rubber strap will help give your precious bracelet a break from all the wear and tear whilst allowing you to have an extremely comfortable Everest band on the wrist. With so many colour options to choose from, you can match to your dial or your outfit or mood.
At the end of the day, there is no wrong decision. Some people say you should match the jubilee with the fluted bezel and the smooth bezel with the oyster. It’s your watch so you can wear whatever you love most. Both are excellent bracelets that will look fantastic whether you’re in a more dressy or sporty environment. Don’t forget you can always give your watch a new look or even more sporty feeling with one of Everest’s rubber straps!
Check out Everest’s fantastic range of rubber straps and accessories here!
By: Thomas Pinches