Rolex Bracelet Types: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

Rolex is celebrated for its unparalleled precision and distinctive luxury, and its diverse selection of bracelets is no exception. With five types of bracelets, Rolex caters to various styles, preferences, and wrist types—from slender to robust.

The iconic Oyster bracelet is the most recognizable, famed for its durability and comfort. Its robust construction, versatility, and timeless design make it a favorite among both Rolex aficionados and casual wearers.

The ultimate guide below offers a detailed overview of the different Rolex bracelet types, helping you make an informed choice that aligns with your style, wrist size, and budget.

Here are some of the popular Rolex bracelets, plus details on each choice:

1. Oyster Bracelet

Oyster Bracelets

The Oyster bracelet was first patented by Rolex in 1947 and introduced to the market in 1948. The hallmark of the Oyster bracelet is its flat three-piece link design. This style provides a balanced mix of elegance and sportiness, making it suitable for various watch models. The sleek, simple design also offers comfort and durability, which Rolex enthusiasts highly value.

It’s made from various metals, including stainless steel, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum. It’s also available in two-tone combinations, such as steel and gold (Rolesor). 

Moreover, some versions are equipped with the Oysterlock clasp fitted with a Glidelock extension system that enables adjustment of the bracelet length by 20mm in 2mm increments and an Easylink extension system that allows wearers to adjust the bracelet by 5mm without tools.

It’s featured on iconic Rolex models such as: 

2. Jubilee Bracelet

close up image of Jubilee bracelet

The Rolex Jubilee Bracelet was first introduced by Rolex in 1945. It’s known for its five-piece link construction. This design includes three slender middle links bordered by two larger side links, which together create a sophisticated and dressy appearance. The links offer exceptional flexibility and comfort, making it a preferred choice for many watch enthusiasts.

Rolex crafts it using various materials, including stainless steel, gold, and two-tone combinations. Each material brings unique flair and durability to the bracelet, ensuring long-lasting wear.

Several reference numbers denote the variations in size and fit. For instance, the ref. 63130 is designed for the Lady-Datejust, while the ref. 63208 fits the Datejust 36mm models. These specifics highlight the Jubilee’s versatility, catering to different wrist sizes and watches.

Rolex models featuring it include:

The slight price premium associated with Jubilee bracelets over the Rolex Oyster bracelets reflects its intricate construction and the added sophistication it brings to these iconic watches.

3. President Bracelet

President Bracelets

The Rolex President Bracelet was introduced in 1956 alongside the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date. It’s renowned for its semi-circular, three-piece link design. This unique structure provides a distinguished look and ensures a comfortable fit on the wrist. Its hidden Crownclasp adds an element of sophistication by maintaining the bracelet’s uninterrupted aesthetic.

Rolex exclusively crafts it using precious metals, ensuring its elite status. It’s available in yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum. 

Each variant offers a distinctive look, allowing the wearer to select a bracelet that harmonizes with the watch and their style. It has never been produced in stainless steel, reinforcing its exclusive reputation.

As of now, it’s featured on two Rolex models:

4. Oysterflex Bracelet

Oysterflex Bracelet

The Rolex Oysterflex Bracelet was launched in 2015. It marked Rolex’s departure from traditional metal bracelets and leather straps, aiming to blend comfort and durability. It’s engineered with a flexible titanium-nickel alloy blade covered in high-performance elastomer. It also has a unique tiered design that lifts it slightly away from the wrist, allowing smooth airflow during wear.

It incorporates the Rolex Glidelock extension system, allowing for precise toolless adjustments of the bracelet length by 15mm. End links secure the attachment to the case, maintaining aesthetic and functional integrity.

Available primarily in black, it’s designed to complement various case materials, including Everose gold, white gold, and yellow gold. The bracelet is available in sizes and configurations tailored to specific Rolex models.

It’s available in Rolex watches such as:

5. Pearlmaster Bracelet

Pearlmaster Bracelet

The Rolex Pearlmaster Bracelet made its debut in 1992 alongside the Rolex Pearlmaster watch. It’s recognized for its polished, flat and rounded five-piece link construction. It features a concealed Crownclasp, which provides security while maintaining a sleek and uninterrupted band appearance. The design combines robustness and refinement, making it suitable for high-end timepieces.

It’s crafted exclusively from precious metals, including 18k yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold. These materials add to its luxurious appeal and ensure durability and resistance to tarnishing.

Rolex also offers it with diamond embellishments, further enhancing its opulence. Variants with different configurations of precious stones provide additional options for customers seeking personalized luxury.

Several Rolex models featuring it include:

6. Leather Straps

Leather Straps

Rolex initially utilized leather straps in their early watch models. Rolex leather straps are crafted with meticulous attention to detail. They typically include high-quality stitching, perfectly contoured edges, and robust clasps that firmly secure the watch to the wrist. 

The design often incorporates features like folding Oysterclasps or tang buckles, ensuring security and ease of use. The leather used is usually treated for durability and wear resistance, making these straps a lasting option for luxury watch enthusiasts.

The materials used in Rolex’s leather straps are of the highest quality. These straps are usually made from calf leather, alligator leather, or other exotic hides to provide a luxurious feel and appearance. Calf leather is known for its softness and flexibility, while alligator leather offers a more textured and sophisticated finish.

Several Rolex watch models featuring them are:

Exotic and Custom Straps

Exotic and custom straps offer unique design elements and luxurious materials, enhancing the appeal and exclusivity of Rolex watches. They were introduced as an option for those seeking more than the standard metal bracelets. The development of custom straps allowed watch owners to personalize their timepieces further, adding a level of individuality to the ever-popular Rolex brand.

They’re distinct in their design features. They often incorporate unique patterns, intricate stitching, and enhanced durability. The clasps on many exotic straps are engineered for a seamless fit, contributing to a cohesive look with the watch case. Additionally, bespoke elements such as monogramming and bespoke stitching patterns are available, making each strap truly one of a kind. Below are two widely preferred bracelets for customizing Rolex watches:

NATO and Zulu Straps

NATO and Zulu Straps

NATO straps were designed for military use, providing durability and security for soldiers’ watches. Zulu straps, often confused with NATO, have a slightly different origin. They were developed later as a civilian version with specific differences in design and hardware, elevating the strap’s popularity among watch enthusiasts and collectors.

NATO straps feature a distinctive design with additional nylon material attached to the buckle tongue, enhancing security. They typically include thin, rectangular keepers and a tang-style buckle, providing a secure fit. Zulu straps, on the other hand, are noted for their rounder and thicker hardware. The keepers and buckles are more robust, setting them apart visually and functionally from NATO straps.

NATO straps are commonly made from lightweight nylon, ensuring comfort and durability. They include extra material on the underside, which helps secure the watch even if a spring bar fails. This added layer is their key feature. Zulu straps are often made from thicker nylon or leather, catering to those who prefer a more substantial feel. 

Popular Rolex models frequently paired with NATO straps include:

  • The Rolex GMT Master II
  • The Rolex Submariner 

On the other hand, Zulu straps are often favored for models like:

  • The Rolex Explorer, where the thicker material and rounder hardware enhance the watch’s rugged aesthetic. 

Mesh Bracelets

Mesh Bracelets

Mesh bracelets, sometimes referred to as Milanese or Milan mesh have a design characterized by tightly woven metal links that create a smooth and flexible band. The intricate weaving enhances the bracelets’ visual appeal and durability. They often feature a sleek buckle or deployment clasp for secure fastening, ensuring both style and security.

They’re crafted from high-quality materials such as stainless steel and occasionally precious metals like white gold or platinum. These materials contribute to the bracelet’s strength and resistance to wear and corrosion. 

Additionally, variations in weave patterns—ranging from fine to coarse—provide different textures and appearances, allowing wearers to select a style that best matches their preferences and the specific watch model.

Specific Rolex models featuring them are:

  • The Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Choosing the Right Rolex Bracelet

Selecting the ideal Rolex bracelet may be confusing, especially for beginner watch owners. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

Factors to Consider

Here are some of the factors you should consider when selecting a bracelet:

  • Material: Rolex offers various materials, including stainless steel, gold, platinum, and bi-color combinations. Each material has its benefits and can significantly affect the bracelet’s aesthetic and durability.
  • Comfort: The bracelet’s design and weight play a substantial role in comfort. Robust materials like stainless steel might be preferred for everyday wear, while gold or platinum could be chosen for special occasions.
  • Style: The chosen bracelet should harmonize with the watch’s style and your taste. Options like the classic Oyster or ornate Jubilee can drastically change the watch’s appearance and suitability for different occasions.
  • Durability: Assessing the bracelet’s robustness is crucial, especially if you’ll wear the watch during activities that could expose it to wear and tear.

Practical Tips

The following are some simple pointers to help you get your ideal band:

  • Try Before You Buy: Testing the bracelet in person can provide insights into its comfort and appearance that photos can’t convey. Trying different styles can also help you determine which bracelet suits you best.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Some materials and designs require more upkeep than others. For instance, links in a Jubilee bracelet might need more frequent cleaning than those in an Oyster bracelet.
  • Adjustability: Consider the ease of adjusting the bracelet. Models with more links or those designed for easy resizing can be more convenient and provide a better fit.
  • Versatility: Opt for a bracelet that matches multiple watches or outfits. Versatile designs like the Oyster can complement various looks, from casual to formal.

Evaluating these tips can help ensure that the chosen Rolex bracelet meets practical needs and personal preferences.

Final Word

Rolex continues to innovate with its bracelet designs, ensuring durability and style. These bracelets enhance the watch’s appearance and offer a comfortable and secure fit for collectors and enthusiasts.

Key Takeaways

  • Rolex offers six bracelet types: Oyster, Jubilee, President, Oysterflex, leather and Pearlmaster. The Oyster bracelet is known for its three-piece links, while the Jubilee has five-piece links, the President has semi-circular three-piece links, the Oysterflex has a flexible titanium-nickel alloy blade-elastomer design, the leather strap for using the finest materials like alligator leather, and the Pearlmaster has flat, rounded five-piece links.
  • The more elegant and complicated the bracelet is, the more maintenance and cleaning it requires. For example, Jubilee, President, leather straps and Pearlmaster bracelets generally need more care than Oyster and Oysterflex bracelets.
  • Professional servicing for Rolex bracelets is as important as regular cleaning and inspections. It guarantees excellent results, as the experts have the skills and necessary tools.

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