Rolex Bracelets: To Taper Or Not To Taper (As Much As Before)

Rolex Bracelets: To Taper Or Not To Taper (As Much As Before)

In my experience, bracelet taper is a good thing in terms of looks and comfort. As Everest founder Michael DiMartini wrote, one noticeable difference in the post-2020 Submariner is the proportions of the bracelet taper. The older versions went from 20mm to 16mm, which I feel is the ideal difference from endlink to clasp. The 2020 Submariner has a 21mm to 17mm taper, which is proportional to the older style, but has an undeniably different presence on the wrist.

Photo by @u/sporturawus

The 2021 Explorer 124270 tapers from 19mm at the lugs to 14mm at the clasp: a pretty aggressive 5mm taper that, for me, is an excellent look. Some collectors do not like this much taper, and as many people in Rolex Forums point out, there will always be some small detail for people to complain about.

Omega Seamaster 300M Bracelet

Image Source:

Most of Omega’s popular sport watches, Planet Ocean, Seamaster 300, and more recent pre-2021 Speedmaster feature bracelets with no taper or only a 2mm taper. Grand Seiko is another brand that makes bracelets with little to no taper. All the better for Rolex watches to be identified from a distance, but at the end of the day, non-tapering bracelets aren’t as nice and look like a cost-cutting measure to have uniform links. 

Photo by Monochrome Watches

The debate rages on on watch forums, and many people prefer non-tapered bracelets citing a more masculine look and better fit on the wrist. Maybe I just have smaller wrists, but in my experience, having a smaller width part on the bottom of the wrist makes sense because most people’s anatomy allows for a more extreme angle when turning one’s wrists inward.

Photo by Millenary Watches

The most comfortable bracelet for me is a Jubilee style with an extreme taper, which combines for the ultimate in the shape of the bracelet conforming to the movements of the hands and wrists. The smaller center links allow for more malleability.

One of my watch friends likened the Omega Planet Ocean bracelet to a handcuff. While cuff style watches can work really well, such as in the case of Bulgari Octo Finissimo, more traditional style watches work well with the watch head being the visual focal point and the underside having a supporting role, which is achieved with a bracelet taper.

Rolex and Tudor consistently used tapered bracelets and the look has become a hallmark of the brands that coincide with their bracelet designs. There’s a reason why the Oyster bracelet is one of the most copied looks throughout the industry,

Even on my Panerai PAM112, while the popular look is a non-tapered leather strap, I prefer using a 24mm strap that tapers to 22mm at the buckle. It helps make a more brutish watch a bit more elegant.

What is your preference? Comment below or on social media.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.