I’ll admit, when I first saw the Oysterflex bracelet back in 2015, I was not a fan. With its imposing black color and sporty rubber profile, it was just so un-Rolex. But fast-forward a few years later, and the Oysterflex style has grown on me. I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that I would wear one regularly, but I do admire what Rolex created. After all, the Oysterflex is not merely a rubber strap (this is Rolex we’re talking about), but a thoughtfully crafted bracelet that combines the advantages of elastomer and metal.
While the Oysterflex was initially exclusively available with the Yacht-Master 37 and Yacht-Master 40 watches, Rolex has rolled out this sporty black bracelet to other models, including Yacht-Master 42, Daytona, and Sky-Dweller watches. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the Oysterflex Rolex watches, including an explanation of design, sizes, and prices.
What is Rolex Oysterflex
Rolex is careful to call the Oysterflex a bracelet and not a strap, and once you understand its construction, you’ll see why. The patented design consists of a titanium and nickel-alloy blade clad in black elastomer. The result is much of the same durability as a metal bracelet, with the flexibility and comfort of a rubber strap. Regardless of what Rolex calls it, enthusiasts do refer to it as an Oysterflex strap almost as often as an Oysterflex bracelet.
Style-wise, rather than just a smooth finish, the exterior of the band includes a raised center for an attractive tiered surface. If you take a look at the underside of the Oysterflex, Rolex added wing-like rubber components. These curved cushions raise the rubber away from the skin slightly to allow for much-needed airflow. They also serve to stabilize the watch and help keep it centered on the wrist.
Like most Rolex bracelets, the Oysterflex bracelet tapers slightly as it meets the solid gold Oysterlock safety clasp attached to it. The sturdy deployant clasp is equipped with the super practical Easylink extension system, which permits wearers to lengthen the bracelet by around 5mm for a roomier fit.
Can You Buy Rolex Oysterflex?
You can only buy a Rolex Oysterflex bracelet (from Rolex) for a model that already comes paired with an Oysterflex bracelet. In short, you can buy a replacement Oysterflex bracelet. So this begs the question, which Rolex watches are available with an Oysterflex?
The Oysterflex made its debut in 2015 on the then-new Everose gold Yacht-Master models in 40mm (ref. 116655) and 37mm (ref. 268655) sizes, each fitted with a black dial. This particular bracelet was a solid choice for the new iterations of the luxurious yet sporty Yacht-Master models, as it matches the black Cerachrom ceramic bezels and black dials perfectly. Plus, the rubber coating is well suited for life at sea, since it can stand up to salty waters and long-term sun exposure.
Following the introduction of the Oysterflex on the Yacht-Master, Rolex rolled out this particular bracelet style to select Daytona models in 2017. Additionally, Rolex has used it to replace all of the leather strap options within their Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona collection. Today, the Everose gold Daytona ref. 116515LN, the yellow gold Daytona ref. 116518LN, and the white gold Daytona ref. 116519LN all sport the innovative black Oysterflex bracelet. The sporty black rubber Oysterflex band looks especially great with Rolex’s famed sports chronographs – regardless of the case metal.
Finally, in 2020, the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller was the latest Rolex watch collection to receive the Oysterflex bracelet treatment. You can find it on the Everose gold Sky-Dweller 326235 and the yellow gold Sky-Dweller 326238.
Rolex Watch Models with Oysterflex
- Rolex Yacht-Master
- Rolex Daytona
- Rolex Sky-Dweller
It’s worth noting that the Oysterflex bracelet is currently only available on gold Rolex watch models, including yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. Whether or not Rolex decides to furnish steel watches (or another precious metal watch like platinum) with Oysterflex bracelets in the future remains to be seen.
How Much Does a Rolex Oysterflex Cost?
If you buy a Rolex Oysterflex bracelet replacement, it’ll cost you around $250 per side. Since the Oysterflex bracelet comes with two separate pieces, each side is sold separately and the solid gold clasp is a separate (and significant) additional charge.
Since the Yacht-Master, Daytona, and Sky-Dweller have different case sizes, Oysterflex bracelets come in four different widths:
- 18mm to fit the 37mm Yacht-Master (Bracelet Code 350557, Part # B218-106-x)
- 20mm to fit the 40mm Yacht-Master and Daytona (Bracelet Code 350501, Part # B218-105-x)
- 21mm to fit the 42mm Yacht-Master Bracelet Code 351525, Part # B218-107-x)
- 22mm to fit the 42mm Sky-Dweller (Bracelet Code 351860, Part # B218-108-x)
Each side of the bracelet comes in six different lengths, which are categorized from letters C to H. The “x” in the above part numbers would be replaced with a size letter C, D, E, F, etc.
Remember, Rolex does not sell Oysterflex bracelets to pair with Rolex watches that don’t originally come with an Oysterflex. The company will simply sell you a replacement for an already existing bracelet.
The (retail) costs of Oysterflex bracelet Rolex watches are as follows:
- Everose gold Yacht-Master 37 ref. 268655: $24,050
- Everose gold Yacht-Master 40 ref. 126655: $28,050
- White gold Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659: $29,650
- Yellow gold Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226658: $28,300
- Yellow gold Daytona ref. 16518LN: $29,200
- White gold Daytona ref. 116519LN: $30,500
- Everose gold Daytona ref. 116515LN: $30,500
- Yellow gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326238: $40,000
- Everose gold Sky-Dweller ref. 326235: $41,400
Is Rolex Oysterflex Comfortable?
At first glance, the Oysterflex bracelet looks like a standard black rubber strap. However, the Oysterflex bracelet is not a simple rubber strap – as mentioned, it consists of a titanium and nickel alloy metal blade at its core, which is then wrapped with black elastomer. What’s more, for comfort, airflow, and stability, the underside of the band includes cushion segments to lift the rubber surface slightly above the skin.
Depending on the model, the Oysterflex is furnished with various clasps and extension systems to perfect the wearer to increase the bracelet length for added comfort and better fit.
- Cosmograph Daytona – Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink extension
- Yacht-Master – Oysterlock safety clasp with Glidelock extension system
- Sky-Dweller – Folding Oysterclasp with Glidelock extension system
The Easylink permits the wearer to increase the bracelet length by approximately 5mm. On the other hand, the Glidelock permits micro-adjustment of the bracelet length by around 15mm, in increments of 2.5mm.
If you like luxury watches with rubber straps, then the Rolex Oysterflex is arguably one of the best-designed options in the market that offers fantastic comfort. It’s not often that Rolex SA unveils a completely new design and this highly innovative one is a worthy addition to the brand’s bracelet collection, joining the likes of the famous Oyster, Jubilee, and President bracelets.