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Your Ultimate Guide To Rolex Bracelets

May 15, 2018

BY Paul Altieri

Rolex President 18206 Bracelet

Rolex President 18206 Bracelet

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A Tool Watch with Deep Roots

As a company whose roots lie in the tool-watch industry, the classic Rolex is generally found on a metal bracelet rather than a leather strap. Although several Rolex are available with a manufacturer’s option of a leather band, the vast majority of Rolex – both contemporary and vintage – are on metal bracelets.

Rolex Watches on Leather Straps

Rolex Watches on Leather Straps

Although the very first Rolex were fitted with leather straps, metal became a clear choice due to its superior longevity and water resistance. After the introduction of the water-resistant Oyster case, the Rolex brand became synonymous with superlative water resistance, and Rolex needed a strap that could match their watches in durability.

Clasp Bracelet Rolex Vintage Red Submariner

Clasp Bracelet Rolex Vintage Red Submariner

Dating Back to the 1900’s

During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Rolex fitted their watches with metal bracelets that were produced by a Swiss company, named Gay Freres. Many of these bracelet designs were also used by several other watch manufacturers, leading Rolex to design their own watch bracelet – the Oyster bracelet – in the late 1930’s.

Bracelet Vintage Explorer

Bracelet Vintage Explorer

Rolex Bracelets Over Time

Over the decades, the Oyster bracelet has undergone a variety of changes, each one refining the design and adding to its overall durability. Despite the numerous revisions, the Oyster bracelet’s iconic, three-link design has not changed, and it has been a mainstay in Rolex’s collection.

Gold Rolex Bracelet

Gold Rolex Jubilee Bracelet

To mark the company’s 40th anniversary in 1945, Rolex announced the introduction of their Jubilee bracelet. Initially offered in only solid gold, the Jubilee bracelet was specifically designed for Rolex’s flagship Datejust model. It was not until the President bracelets introduction in the mid 1950’s, that the Jubilee was offered in two-tone, and eventually, stainless steel options.

rolex gmt bracelet 16713

Rolex GMT Jubilee Bracelet 16713

Top Choice Among Collectors

As a testament to its initial design, the Rolex’s Jubilee bracelet has remained largely unchanged since it was first introduced over seventy years ago. While the Jubilee was quite robust, it was always intended to be more of a “dress” bracelet. In 1956, Rolex’s new President bracelet took the title as Rolex’s premium, flagship option.

Rolex Day-Date Tridor 18239

Rolex Bracelets like the Day-Date Tridor 18239 are rare and very sought-after

Visually speaking, Rolex Bracelets like the President Day-Date is a mix between the Oyster bracelet and the Jubilee. Rather than using the flat links of the Oyster bracelet, the President (which also employs a three-link design), uses semi-circular links that echo the appearance of the Jubilee bracelet.

Rolex Bracelets

Rolex Everose Day-Date 118205

Since its introduction, the President bracelet has always been reserved for Rolex’s premium watches. The President bracelet is only crafted in 18-karat gold or platinum. Additionally, it is always fitted with Rolex’s Crownclasp, a concealed clasp design that creates a seamless effect throughout the band.

Rolex Bracelets

Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN with Oyster Stainless Steel Bracelet

Despite a variety of small refinements over the decades, the designs of the three main Rolex bracelet designs have changed very little. Each bracelet fills a clear position in Rolex’s lineup, and all three have designs that are truly iconic and timeless.

Rolex Bracelets

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116515LN Leather Strap and Oysterlock Clasp




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