The Rolex Oyster bracelet is perhaps the most iconic and distinct metal bracelet in the whole watch industry.
Today, it is the most recognizable watch bracelet design in the world, and it is evident that the Oyster bracelet has had a big influence on other manufacturers’ watch bracelet. Some may say that the Oyster bracelets is the definition of a sports watch bracelet.
But the fact is that the Rolex Oyster bracelet hasn’t always been what it is today. Robust, reliable, uncompromising, and with full rigidness.
Looking back at the history of the Oyster bracelet reveals that it has done quite a journey. At its core, it has always remained the same three-link bracelet design structure, but apart from that, most things have changed.
This is a complete guide to the Rolex bracelet. History, specifications, details, and background.
The modern Oyster bracelet is robust, sturdy, and reliable. With its solid links, the bracelet does not get much stretch over time. The bracelet is manufactured in steel, full yellow gold, full rose gold, Rolesor (rose gold and steel or yellow gold and steel), and lastly, platinum.
The bracelet can either be fully brushed or, it can have polished middle links. Oyster bracelets with polished middle links are less sporty, and therefore, they are used for watches where Rolex wants to enhance the elegance of the watch.
By looking at the reference number of a watch, you can tell which metal type the watch should have. The Oyster bracelet is made in all types of precious metals that Rolex uses.
The last digit in the reference number of a Rolex watch indicates which metal is used.
For example, the 116610 Submariner has a 0 as the last digit, which means the watch (and thus also bracelet) is made in stainless steel.
Rolex has, over the years, released a number of iconic bracelet designs, which are often associated with a few particular models.
The President, for example, is only used in the Day-Date today, the Pearlmaster is only used for the pearl master. The rubber strap is a more recent invention from Rolex, and leather has taken less and less space amongst Rolex’s collection as the market asks for other things.
It’s very evident that Rolex has made huge progress when it comes to both design and the technical functions of the Oyster bracelet.
When you look at how Rolex makes its watches, it’s clear that they do so in a way that ensures long-lasting durability. The aim is that the watches last for generations.
This is why much progress has been made with the Rolex Oyster bracelet.
To identify each and every single bracelet and clasp, Rolex gives them a reference number. In order to identify which material the Oyster bracelet is made in, you don’t have to look at the reference number of the watch, but rather, you can look at the reference number of the bracelet. The same last-digit reference format applies here. The reference number of the bracelet can be found engraved on the underside of the clasp, and on modern Oyster bracelets, engraved at the inside of the end link.
Yes, it is possible to have authorized Rolex retailers order bracelets for you. However, Rolex is very strict with selling parts for its watches, so there may be a lot of “but” in this.
First off, most bracelets are on order by the authorized Rolex retailer, which means there is often a waiting time of a few weeks to a few months. Furthermore, Rolex has discontinued the production of many bracelets today, which makes it impossible to buy/have ordered some of the older Rolex Oyster bracelets from Rolex retailers. The only way to find such will thus be to buy them from the secondhand market.
Lastly, some retailers have rules regarding the delivery of bracelets, for example, that they must mount the bracelet on your watch when you buy it, etc.