Article By: Logan Hannen
What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to take a look at the different styles of bracelets that can be found on Rolex watches, past and present.
Rolex has been putting bracelets on their sport and casual models since all the way back in the 1920s, when they were using bracelets designed and supplied by manufacturer Gay Freres. However, because these bracelets were also being used by other manufacturers, and Rolex wanted to develop a bracelet that was iconic and unique to them, they began work on developing what would be called the Oyster Bracelet.
The Oyster Bracelet
Oyster Bracelet on Vintage Rolex Explorer
Source: Bob’s Watches
The Oyster Bracelet was patented in 1947, and was originally designed with straight ends that were more like tubes for the spring bar than actual end links. Eventually, the brand got around to filing a patent for the curved end links that would become staples of the Rolex Oyster line. And the brand has only continued to update the bracelet over the years, introducing solid end links and solid center links around the mid-2000’s, eventually also rolling out a brand new clasp for the Submariner featuring a patented micro-adjustment system called “Glidelock”. Now the bracelet comes stock on most every Rolex sports model and also as an option on the Datejust line. Speaking of Datejusts…
Rolex Datejust Ref. 6824 on a Jubilee Bracelet
Source: Anna Griffin
The story of the Jubilee’s introduction might well be a classic by now. In 1945, Rolex was celebrating their 40th anniversary, and marked the occasion by releasing a watch, the now classic Datejust, alongside a bracelet designed precisely for it in the form of the Jubilee. While it was originally only offered in gold, as the years went on, Rolex would slowly work their way into introducing it in two-tone (as pictured above) and eventually steel.
The Jubilee is also a far dressier offering than the Oyster. It features a highly unique design, with five parts to each link: two large outer links on either side of the bracelet, along with three smaller links in the center that do, in their own way, resemble the shape of the link design on the Oyster (that is to say that the top portion of the middle link connects at the bottoms of the two links beside it). It’s a hard thing to explain, but take a closer look and you might see what I mean.
Rolex President Bracelet on Everose Day-Date Ref. 118205
Source: Bob’s Watches
Last, but certainly not least, we have the king of all Rolex bracelets, at least in terms of prestige. The President bracelet was introduced in 1956 on the very first Day-Date, and the pair have been inseparable ever since. No, seriously – unlike the Jubilee, which has done turns on GMT Masters and other sport models, the President has only ever been produced for the Day-Date line, and only ever in precious metal (as has the watch case it was built to connect with).
In design, it seems to be almost a bridge between the Jubilee and the Oyster. From the Jubilee, it takes the smaller link sizes, and from the Oyster, it maintains the three link, rather than five link, construction. Unique to itself, though, is the way in which the links are beautifully curved to create a rounded, almost beaded look that catches light exactly the way you might want a solid gold Rolex to do. The last thing to note with the construction is the clasp – the so-called “Crown Clasp” is designed to be completely concealed to avoid in any way breaking up the lines of the bracelet as it drapes around your wrist. It too, like the clasps of its siblings, has evolved over time to become more refined and more sturdy.
Alright geeks, there you have our quick primer on the three most common Rolex bracelets. Which one is your personal favorite? Or do you love them all equally? Sound off in the comments on Facebook and let us know!!! And as always, keep it classy, watchfam.
MORE FROM THIS SERIES:
DEC 11, 2018 | 3 MIN
Watch 101: What’s a Power Reserve?
DEC 04, 2018 | 3 MIN
Watch 101: Strap Monsters – Watches That Go With Any Strap
NOV 28, 2018 | 3 MIN
Watch 101: What is a “California” Dial?