Why good rubber straps are great for bigger, heavier watches

Panerai Rubber Watch Band in Black

I, for one, have not moved on from the “big watch trend.” Anyone who reads Hodinkee will see in the comments section express wishes that any watch over 42mm would be better in a smaller case size. As someone with 6.5-inch wrists, I do get why certain people want more watches 40mm and under. But it’s not just about the dimensions on paper, it’s how the case shape and lug-to-lug dimensions fit on a particular wrist shape and size that add up to the overall feel. Also, some people just like the look of a bigger watch. 

That said, wearing a bigger watch on a smaller wrist is not always easy to achieve a comfortable fit. A balanced watch head is key to comfort and I have found that a nice and hearty rubber strap can really help on a big sport watch. I’ve been wearing an Everest rubber strap on my Panerai PAM112 for the last few weeks and it’s the most comfortable strap I’ve had for this watch, which has a blocky 44mm case that is not light like its titanium counterparts.

I discovered the joy of having a good rubber strap on a bigger watch when I tried on a modern black-dial Explorer II with a black Everest strap at Baselworld 2019. I had always thought the six-digit Explorer II at 42mm would wear too big for me, but when paired with a curved rubber strap (that really holds its shape yet is pliable too) the wearing experience is superb. Plus, the combination of the black strap to break up the steel made for an attractive appearance on the wrist.

Wearing the PAM112 Luminor on an Everest rubber strap allows me to make this my go-to summer watch. No long sleeves, plenty of pool time and accessorizing with a huge watch are three reasons to ditch the leather strap on your Panerai Luminor. Wind it and wear it and it will feel secure (but not too tight) on the wrist. Just rinse it off and repeat. 

One thing I really like about the quality of the rubber used by Everest is that it adds up to excellent tactile feel on the wrist. The watch head does not move around much and the curved shape of the strap molds around the curves of your wrist. 

So if you own a Deepsea Sea-Dweller, a strong rubber strap may be an ideal match to create that firm yet not constricting feel on the wrist. The purposefulness of a rubber strap paired with a chunky diver really makes the tool watch qualities shine. 

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