When buying a watch, most of the attention is geared towards the case, dial and bezel. The bracelet is often an afterthought, but they actually play a full part in one’s enjoyment of the watch. The wearer’s comfort, the security of the watch, and even the overall personality of the timepiece all depend on the bracelet design and how it fits on one’s wrists.
Rolex, ever so obsessed with details that matter, recognizes the importance of the bracelet and carefully studies the ergonomics and aesthetic of their bracelets. While their watches vary greatly, there are only 5 kinds of Rolex bracelets, but their design and technology is guaranteed to impress.
Here’s an insight to each Rolex bracelet style:
Rolex Bracelets Guide
Launched: late 1930s
The Rolex Oyster bracelet was the first ever bracelet designed by the brand, and remains the most popular. Characterized by three flat links, with the center link wider than the sides, it is less likely to stretch from frictional wear, which makes it durable and versatile.
It is widely considered as the sportiest of the Rolex bracelets, and is used on the entire range of Professional watches, or watches designed for sport and professional use. The Rolex Explorer, Rolex Submariner, Rolex Sea-Dweller, Rolex Air-King, and Rolex Milgauss all use the Oyster bracelet exclusively.
The Rolex Oyster bracelet is also an option in some classic models like the Datejust, and the Sky-Dweller; while the Oyster Perpetual comes exclusively with an Oyster bracelet.
It can be paired with different types of Rolex clasps (Oysterlock, Oysterclasp, Crownclasp and Glidelock clasp) and can also accommodate Rolex’s Easylink comfort extension link system.
Not only is the Rolex Oyster bracelet available in a variety of Rolex watches, it is also available in a wider range of metals and bi-metal colorways – this includes steel, Oystersteel, Everose gold, 18k yellow gold and white gold, and Rolesor styles.
A Quick Guide to Rolex Clasp Types
Oysterclasp – the standard clasp for Oyster bracelets. It features a folding clasp with a cover, with the crown logo imprinted on the cover. It is often found in classic, everyday models like the Datejust and Oyster Perpetual.
Oysterlock Clasp – this looks almost identical to the Oysterclasp, except it comes with an additional a snap-fit lever that requires more force when opening and closing it. It serves as added protection, particularly needed when using a tool watch. It is often found in Professional range watches.
Crownclasp – the most discreet and dressiest clasp that Rolex offers. The Crownclasp is characterized by a small crown-shaped lever used to open and close the bracelet. It is composed of folding blades that blend seamlessly underneath the bracelet, resulting in a concealed clasp.
Glidelock Clasp – a clasp that comes with an extension system. This extension allows the wearer to expand the band by approximately 20mm in precise 2mm increments. These adjustments are ideal for wearing the bracelet over a dive suit as in the case of the Rolex Submariner, or for loosening it during warm seasons.
The Rolex Jubilee bracelet was specifically made for the Rolex Datejust model. Launched in 1945, in time for Rolex’s jubilee anniversary, the Rolex Datejust was the world’s first chronometer to feature a date window on the dial – and Rolex decided that the groundbreaking watch deserved a special bracelet.
Characterized by five-piece links – with two rows of large links, and three rows of small central links – the Jubilee is considered as a dressier bracelet option. Paired with either the Crownclasp or the Oysterclasp, it looks more elegant than the traditional watch band, and more like a piece of jewelry.
It was initially only available in solid gold, but now comes in steel, Oystersteel, three shades of gold, and Rolesor styles.
The Rolex President bracelet is considered the most prestigious bracelet design of the brand. It was specifically made for their flagship watch, the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date, which launched in 1956.
It’s characterized by three pieces of semi-circular domed links, with wide links in the center, and two smaller links in the outer rows. It is exclusively fitted with the beautifully concealed Crownclasp, which adds to its elegant look.
Until today, it is reserved only for the Day-Date model, and a few Lady Datejust models. Just like the models it comes with, the President bracelet also comes exclusively in gold (yellow, white, and Everose) or platinum.
The Pearlmaster bracelet was introduced in 1992 for the Rolex Pearlmaster line. The Pearlmaster is widely considered as the company’s most lavish watch, with models exclusively made in gold or platinum, and always with diamonds and gems on the dial, bezel, bracelet and lugs.
It features five rectangular and round-edged links that makes for the perfect canvas for diamonds and gems.
While the Pearlmaster bracelet is typically seen on the ladies Pearlmaster, Rolex also released special edition Day-Date “Masterpiece” watches equipped with Pearlmaster bracelets in the early 2000’s.
The Pearlmaster is only available in gold (yellow, white, and Everose) or platinum, and is always fitted with the Crownclasp.
The Oysterflex is the latest bracelet design introduced by Rolex, and it first appeared on the 2015 Yacht-Master Everose model.
While a rubber strap may seem too casual for a Rolex, the Oysterflex is no ordinary rubber strap. At the center of the patented bracelet is a titanium-nickel metal alloy blade, and at its core is a gold Oysterlock safety clasp for optimal security.
In true Rolex fashion, they also included one clever detail: the “fins” underneath the bracelet, which provide space between the bracelet and the wrist, allowing for air circulation and comfort.
All these features give the Oysterflex the reliability of a metal bracelet, with the comfort of a rubber or leather strap.
The Oysterflex bracelet has also been made available on the Rolex Daytona since 2018, and on the Rolex Sky-Dweller since 2020.
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