Best Rubber Strap for Rolex? We Compare 5 Options at Different Prices and Qualities

Best Rubber Strap for Rolex? We Compare 5 Options at Different Prices and Qualities


Whether you just got your first Rolex yesterday or if you’ve been collecting for years, you learn pretty quickly that when it comes to a Rolex, you truly do get what you pay for. Sure, from ten feet away, a Rolex and a Timex look exactly the same and in general, offer the same functionality. It’s not until you have a Rolex on your wrist, feel the weight in your hands, and take time to notice the intentional over-engineered meticulous details, that you really understand why the price is validated. 

When it comes to rubber straps for Rolex watches, they too can look the same from ten feet away. However, the discerning eye will quickly notice that not all rubber straps for Rolex are created the same, and you'd be mistaken to assume so.

To illustrate the differences between various rubber straps, we bought four rubber straps at four different price points: all made specifically for Rolex. For the fifth and final product, we'll take a close look at Everest's Curved-End Rubber strap, which (spoiler alert) truly was the top contender in every single category across the board. By looking at each product individually, you will get a good idea of what to look for in a rubber strap for your Rolex, and you’ll understand why certain brands are significantly better than others.

Our Rubber Strap Testing Methodology

As a baseline, we bought every strap in black. It’s the most popular color amongst watch enthusiasts, and it’s a good control variable. Second, we purchased new products. We didn’t want to taint the pool with second hand, possibly damaged straps. Third, we aren’t touching up any photos (except to hide brand names); if a strap is a dust magnet, has imperfections, or is otherwise flawed, you should know that. Overall, our goal is to give you the most honest and raw comparison we can. We’ll be using a Rolex Submariner 16610 as our guinea pig, comparing aftermarket rubber straps that use its OEM Rolex deployant clasp. 

We thoroughly tested each rubber strap for Rolex in 4 distinct areas: 

  1. Overview 
  2. Materials and Looks
  3. Installation (Case and Deployant)
  4. Feel on the Wrist

Now that we have all the details squared away, let’s gooooo!

Generic Oysterflex-Inspired Strap $24

Genereic Oysterflex Clone Strap on Rolex Submariner

Let’s start with the least expensive rubber strap on the list at $24. There’s no brand name to hide here: it’s a no-name generic product. Despite being, shall we say, heavily inspired by the Rolex Oysterflex, this strap does not have a seamless case connection, otherwise known as a curved end. This means that it’s compatible with most 20mm lug-width watches, but lacks the primary selling point of all other straps on this list. At this price point, you shouldn't expect any type of warranty, customer service, or reliable reviews.

Material and Looks

Generic Oysterflex Clone Strap Silicone

The Oysterflex clone’s material is listed as silicone. Silicone is a hybrid between synthetic rubber and plastic, meaning it can take on various properties depending on how it's made. In this case, the silicone is very light and hard, leaning further toward the plastic end of the spectrum. It won’t attract too much dust, but it isn’t very soft or flexible on your wrist. Silicone is also known to have a strong vanilla-esque scent at times and is a known allergen.

Installation: Case and Deployant Clasp

Generic Oysterflex Copy flat dropoff to buckle

This strap didn’t come with spring bars, which isn’t all that surprising at just $24. It fits 1.8mm diameter spring bars, meaning that – depending on your model – you will have to get aftermarket spring bars. Our Submariner 16610, for example, comes with 2.0mm spring bars.

Because this isn’t a curved-end strap, installation onto the case is much like any other watch strap. However, installing the deployant clasp wasn’t that easy. The diver’s extension had to be fully removed during installation: something that many people don’t want to, or simply don’t know how to do. This strap also requires you to cut it with scissors a la Dr. Scholls shoe insoles.

Indentations to cut Rolex Rubber Strap

There are indentations where you can cut the strap to your size (pictured above). In all honesty, you’re better off putting this $24 toward a better-made strap, or looking toward nylon offerings.

Feel on the wrist

Generic Oysterflex Copy top down strange angle

Compared to the other straps on this list, the Oysterflex clone is very hard. After the initial curvature near the base of the strap, there is a flat dropoff (see right side above): one that is not very forgiving around the wrist. I liken it to a G-Shock strap that’s a bit too tight. Again, $24 can get you much more strap for the money elsewhere.

Inexpensive Curved-End Strap $40

Least Expensive Curved-End Rubber Strap on Rolex SubmarinerMoving into the curved-end offerings – those that (should) seamlessly integrate with the case and lugs – we have the cheapest curved-end strap on the list at $40. As you can see above, the strap isn't very seamless with the case and lugs: it sticks out above the case. This is par for the course at this price point. Similarly, you shouldn't expect any type of warranty or attentive customer service. A return policy is about as good as you'll get.

Material and Looks

Least Expensive Curved-End Rubber Rolex Strap

The inexpensive curved-end strap claims to be made of vulcanized rubber: a far stronger and more corrosion-resistant material than silicone. That said, it feels a lot like thermoplastic: a lower-grade material that doesn’t last very long – it eventually begins to peel like an onion – and is more consistent with this strap's pricing. Much like the first strap, this inexpensive curved-end option is fairly hard. It looks alright and won’t attract much dust, but it might not be the most comfortable. 

Installation: Case and Deployant Clasp

Curved End Rubber Strap on Rolex Submariner

The inexpensive curved-end strap came with spring bars, but no spring bars that I would trust to hold an expensive watch. Luckily, it fits 2.0mm spring bars, so we just used the ones from the 16610. Like the $24 Oysterflex clone, this strap requires you to remove the diver’s extension and cut the 12 o’clock side to size. This is a fairly involved process – one that many people don’t want to concern themselves with. Furthermore, if you cut too much, the strap will be rendered useless. 

Feel on the wrist

Inexpensive Curved End Strap Top Down

Unlike the Oysterflex clone, this curved-end offering has no curvature whatsoever near the base of the strap: it’s a straight line down. This lack of curvature combined with the hard material makes for a strange wearing experience. There will probably be gaps between your wrist and the case as well as your wrist and the deployant clasp.

Most Expensive Silicone Strap $125

Silicone Curved End Strap on Rolex Submariner

Breaking the $100 threshold, we have the third strap on our list. At this price point, you should expect some type of warranty, solid customer service, and plenty of reviews to look through. You would expect an increase in materials/build quality, but that might not be the case.

Material and Looks

Silicone Rubber Strap Dust Magnet

This strap’s material is listed as “durable, waterproof rubber”, but doesn’t specify what kind. It’s the softest, gummiest rubber on the list, making it prone to pick up dust and lint. In all likelihood, it is silicone. While silicone is nice to the touch upon first inspection, it doesn’t have the comfort or durability of a vulcanized rubber, and at $125, you should expect a higher-grade rubber.

Installation: Case and Deployant Clasp

Silicone Rolex Strap Shedding material

Something of important note, particularly for a $100+ strap, is the fact that it shed a considerable amount of material upon installing the spring bar (pictured above). This strap fits 1.8mm spring bars, and while installing the correct size of spring bar, material came out of the other end. This speaks to the material properties of silicon, as well as this strap’s refinement, or lack thereof. 

Silicone Rubber Strap on Rolex Submariner

The expensive silicon strap requires complete removal of your deployant’s diver’s extension as well as some scissor work to cut it to size. I’m beginning to sense a theme here. Both of these processes make swapping out the strap more difficult than it needs to be. The strap also didn’t come with spring bars: a pretty major disappointment for $125. Again, it fits 1.8mm spring bars, meaning you might be able to use the ones from your Rolex, depending on the reference.

Feel on the wrist

Rolex Silicone Curved Strap on Rolex Submariner

Because silicon is a softer material, it’s pretty comfortable on the wrist, at least at first. This strap doesn’t have the most curvature, but it doesn’t dig into your wrist like previously mentioned straps. Although it’s nice and soft to the touch, gummy rubber like this becomes less comfortable as you wear it. Its lack of breathability only adds to this. There are no air channels on the underside of the strap, and its tacky consistency tends to stick to your wrist.

Cut-To-Size Vulcanized Rubber Strap $220

Rolex Submariner on Cut-to-Size Vulcanized Rubber Strap

Above $200 is where you get to the cream of the crop. At this price point, you should expect a great warranty, exceptional customer service, and the best of the best materials: namely vulcanized FKM rubber. With the above brand, we were not able to find any mention of replacement warranty on the website, nor do they offer free returns or exchanges.

Material and Looks

Cut-To-Size Vulcanized Rubber Watch Strap

This cut-to-size strap is made of vulcanized FKM rubber: the best material for a rubber watch strap. It's not a dust magnet, it's very durable, and it's pliable like softer rubbers without feeling gummy or tacky. This strap is well-made, it looks nice, and its case integration is near-seamless.

Installation: Case and Deployant Clasp

Curved-End Vulcanized Rubber Strap Deployant Clasp

While this strap utilizes top-of-the-line materials, it doesn’t have a top-of-the-line installation experience. Like all the straps on this list so far, including one 10x less expensive, this strap requires removal of your clasp’s diver’s extension and some scissor work to size. This would be admissible if there weren’t a better alternative at the same price. More on that soon. Crazy enough, this $220 strap doesn’t come with spring bars, and is completely non-returnable if accidentally cut to the wrong size.

Feel on the wrist

Curved End Rubber Watch StrapThere’s nothing like the comfort of vulcanized FKM rubber. It feels smooth on the wrist, it doesn’t suffocate your skin, and it’s very pliable despite its durability. That said, this strap doesn’t have much of a curve around the wrist – it’s a bit of a straight dropoff like some of the cheaper options. Not a bad strap by any means, but not the best. If rubber straps had grades, we’d give this one a B-.

Everest Curved End Rubber Strap – $220

Everest Curved-End Rubber Strap on Rolex Submariner

Finally, we have the Everest Curved-End Rubber strap. At the same price as the previous strap on this list, you'll notice quite a few major improvements. Like the last brand, at this price point, you should absolutely expect a great warranty, exceptional customer service, and the best of the best materials. Everest offers all of this: superlative materials, exceptional customer service, a 2-year replacement warranty on all rubber straps, and free returns and exchanges. Let's take a look at why Everest is the best rubber strap for Rolex.

Material and Looks

Everest Curved End Rubber Strap with pre-installed spring bars

Everest rubber straps are made of FKM vulcanized rubber. I touched on this with the last strap, but let’s talk specifics. On top of being waterproof, corrosion resistant, and hypoallergenic, this is some of the strongest rubber on the market. Vulcanization ensures that, despite FKM rubber’s freakish strength, it’s flexible and forgiving on the wrist. To verify superlative durability, our rubber undergoes independent testing. We know this product inside and out; we’ve been working with the same Swiss manufacturer for years – they are the industry leader in rubber watch strap manufacturing. 

Installation: Case and Deployant Clasp

Everest Curved End Rubber Strap Deployant for Rolex Submariner

Everest curved-end rubber straps come preinstalled with the correct size of spring bars for your particular Rolex reference. These spring bars are secured into the end of the strap with a solid ABS plastic insert: they aren’t going anywhere. Everest rubber straps don’t require removal of your Rolex clasp’s diver’s extension. You can install the clasp straight onto your strap as is, which leads to ultimate comfortability, function, fit, and look. Additionally, you size the strap before it arrives with our sizing guide – absolutely no scissors necessary. If you happen to miscount the links, Everest exchanges are fast, easy, and free.

Feel on the wrist

Everest Curved End Rubber Strap Top Down Oval Shape

In what may come as a surprise to other manufacturers on this list, the human wrist is an oval. Everest rubber straps take this into consideration: they curve all the way around your wrist, preventing any awkward squeezes, unsightly gaps, or straight up discomfort. Everest straps also have concave channels on the underside to enhance breathability. This is a non-negotiable for a rubber strap.

In Conclusion Everest Rubber Strap Extension Integration

At the end of the day, every strap on this list was designed for a luxury watch, but frankly, only one of them belongs on a luxury watch, and that is an Everest band. Nothing will unveil a strap’s imperfections or design inferiorities like putting it on a Rolex. Everest has a deep respect for the decades of mechanical innovation and evolution set forth by Rolex, and in fact, we try our best to emulate it in our own approach. 

When buying a high-end rubber strap for your Rolex remember to ask yourself these questions: Is the strap made of quality FKM rubber? Does the rubber strap perfectly integrate with the case with no unsightly gaps? Does the strap come with spring bars or do I have to buy my own? Does the strap need to be cut with scissors to fit? Is the strap intentionally designed to be comfortable on my wrist? Does the rubber strap have a warranty? Will the strap stand the test of time? All of these questions are important to answer, and Everest by far, exceeds all expectations.

Everest is constantly innovating and has made countless changes over the years to ensure our straps uphold three qualities: durability, supreme comfort, and unparalleled aesthetics. For over a decade, Everest has been the industry leader in rubber straps and rubber watch bands for Rolex owners. You already bought the high-end watch; why stop at the high-end strap?

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