Everything You Need to Know About Rolex Bracelets

Most of you would have probably heard quite a lot about Rolex’s famous watch lines and their movements, but how much do you know about its bracelets?

In this post, we’ll explore the universe of Rolex’s bracelets right from the time when this watch first came into existence. Let’s get started!

How did it start?

Gay Freres

Photo credit by Justia Trademarks

When Rolex first started manufacturing wristwatches, leather straps were all the rage because they were comfortable and easy to make. During the initial years, they opted for this trend, but in the 1920s, they switched to metal bracelets.

However, unlike today, these bracelets weren’t manufactured by them. A Swiss company, Gay Frères, made them. This firm was the official bracelet suppliers of numerous other Swiss watch companies as well, which resulted in the majority of the bracelet designs being similar across various brands.

Rolex wasn’t a fan of this similarity, and wanted to keep their aesthetics unique; thus, in the late 1930s, they designed their first metal bracelet, which later on evolved into its famous Oyster bracelet. 

The story doesn’t end here. Rolex wasn’t satisfied with just designing their own bracelets, they wanted to manufacture them on their own as well. One of the major reasons behind this aim was that the Gay Frères’ bracelets were expensive, which used to hype up the overall price of the watches.

In order to counter this, Rolex acquired Gay Frères in 1998, which not only reduced the cost of the watches, but it also made Rolex completely self-sufficient in timepieces’ manufacturing.

What are the different types of Rolex Bracelets?

Rolex offers 6 different bracelet options in its wristwatches.

  • Oyster bracelet
  • Jubilee bracelet
  • President bracelet
  • Oysterflex rubber strap
  • Pearlmaster bracelet
  • Leather strap

Each of these bracelets and straps has a different design, material, and purpose. Some of them are suitable for sports occasions, and the others are approved for dressier attires by the fashion gurus.

Now, let’s talk a bit about these bracelets’ materials. Rolex offers multiple premium metal options for its watches, such as white gold and rose gold. This metal information is embedded in the last digit of the watch’s reference number, with the exception of leather and rubber straps.


Let’s discuss bracelet types in detail:

Oyster bracelet

Rolex Oyster Bracelet Horlogefreak Instagram

Photo credit by @horlogefreak (Instagram)

The Rolex Oyster bracelet is the most popular bracelet design so far. Although it came into existence after the Jubilee, it soon became almost every watch enthusiasts’ go-to style.

Design and Material

Rolex Oyster Bracelet Rolex website

Photo credit by Rolex

If you look at the image, you will notice that it comprises of three flat pieces that are linked together, with the thicker one in the center, and thinner ones on each side.

Even though it’s quite a simple design, but its elegance grants it one of the top spots when it comes to the most popular watch bracelet designs out there.

You can get this bracelet in the following colors:

  • Oyster steel
  • Yellow gold
  • Rose gold
  • Rolesor (a combination of pink gold and oystersteel or yellow gold and oystersteel)
  • Platinum


The Oyster bracelet that we know of today isn’t a single stroke of genius. In fact, it took more than 70 years of minute changes, and incremental improvements to formulate the near-to-perfection design that features on the recent Rolex models.

However, as it is said, nothing is perfect, Rolex continues to evolve the Oyster bracelet.

Let’s have a look at what happened in the last 73 years

Rolex Oyster Bracelets Hodinkee

Photo credit by Hodinkee

In the image above, you can see the photographic timeline of what Rolex used before the Oyster and how it evolved to the current design.

  • The Oyster bracelet was first patented in February 1947 (patent number 257,185) and was introduced to the Rolex’s enthusiasts in the Rolex catalog of 1948.
  • The first models had riveted links and fixed links. However, due to fragility, riveted links were soon abandoned.
  • The vaunted end links were introduced in 1952 (patent number 303,005).
  • The folded links’ bracelets came out in the late 1960s.
  • In the early 2000s, Rolex switched to solid links


You’ll find the following clasps on an Oyster bracelet:

  • The Oyster clasp is the standard clasp of the Oyster bracelets. However, it doesn’t have a safety mechanism, and thus, is used on less sporty watches.
  • The Oysterlock safety clasp is used with sporty watches.
  • The Glidelock clasp is used in diver watches with an Oyster bracelet.

Style Appropriacy

As far as its appropriacy in the fashion arena is concerned, this bracelet design is suitable for sporting events and other semi-formal and casual occasions.

Jubilee bracelet

Rolex Jubilee Bracelet Horlogefreak Instagram

Photo credit by @horlogefreak (Instagram)

Another Rolex bracelet that dates back to the initial days of Rolex’s personal bracelet introduction is the Jubilee bracelet. It is considered the second most favorite bracelet among the Rolex’s enthusiasts.

Design and Material

Rolex Jubilee Bracelet Rolex website

Photo credit by Rolex

The jubilee bracelet comprises of 5 metallic linked pieces, out of which three are small and two are big. The smaller ones are interlinked and sandwiched between the big ones.

The smaller pieces are polished, whereas, the bigger ones are brushed.

In terms of comfort, the Jubilee bracelet ranks higher than the Oyster one because it has more links than the former, which allows it to sit comfortably in a weightless manner on the wrist.

Rolex makes Jubilee bracelets in the following materials:

  • Oystersteel
  • Yellow gold
  • Rolesor (a combination of pink gold and oystersteel or yellow gold and oystersteel)
  • A few Jubilee bracelets feature diamonds


Do you know why the Jubilee bracelet is called the Jubilee bracelet?

Well, this is because it was released to celebrate Rolex’s 40th birthday in 1945. It was present on the Datejust release of that year. It was among the most luxurious watch bracelets of that era because it was made completely from solid gold.

However, the introduction of the President bracelet in 1956 took down its popularity a bit. As a result, Rolex started manufacturing it in two-tones and steel variants.


The security of watches with a Jubilee bracelet depends on the following clasps:

  • Oyster clasp
  • Hidden clasp

Style Appropriacy

In the early days of its launch, the Jubilee bracelet was a dress bracelet, but its title was stolen by the President bracelet, which was released in 1956.

In the current era, in terms of style, the Jubilee bracelet is less sporty than the Oyster bracelet and less formal than the President one. Therefore, this bracelet design is highly suitable for semi-formal occasions.

President bracelet

Rolex President Bracelet Day Date Horlogefreak Instagram


Photo credit by @horlogefreak (Instagram)

The Rolex’s President bracelet is the epitome of grace and sophistication. Initially, the Jubilee was considered to be the most dressier of all the Rolex bracelets, but on the President’s debut, it took the market by a storm, and soon became the ultimate choice of high-profile personalities looking for elegant watches. Let’s have a look at in detail.

Design and Material

Rolex President Bracelet Rolex website

Photo credit by Rolex

In terms of design, the President bracelet lies somewhere between the Oyster and the Jubilee bracelet. This is because it has a three-link design, which is native to the Oyster bracelet, but is arranged with sophistication as seen on the Jubilee one. A few of its prominent design features include:

  • It has a three-link design.
  • It uses semi-circular links.
  • It has a hidden clasp.

President bracelet is one of the most luxurious bracelets made by Rolex, and thus, is available in only full precious metals, which include:

  • Yellow gold
  • Rose gold
  • Platinum
  • White gold


If we look back in history, the Jubilee bracelet was considered to be the dressiest bracelet among all the options available for Rolex enthusiasts. However, the 1956 Oyster Perpetual Day Just brought the President bracelet with it, which soon took over the title of being the most formal from Jubilee.

  • The President bracelet was introduced in 1956.
  • It was named “President” when the President of the United States, Lyndon Johnson wore it in 1965.
  • In 2015, Rolex introduced ceramic inserts in the President bracelet to counter wear and stretch.


Rolex President Bracelet Horlogefreak Instagram


Photo credit by @horlogefreak (Instagram)

Style Appropriacy

The President bracelet is suitable for dressier occasions, which is evident from multiple presidents and prime ministers sporting it while attending formal events.

Oysterflex Rubber Strap

Rolex Oysterflex Rubber Strap Rolex website

Photo credit by Rolex

Design and Material

If you are into a sporty aesthetic, then you would know that the most practical bracelet choice for this look is a rubber strap. Rolex is well aware of this fact, and thus, keeping its reputation and demand in the sporting industry under view, Rolex jumped onto the bandwagon of the rubber straps by introducing the Oysterflex bracelet. 

This unique strap debuted in 2015 with the Rolex Yacht-Master (reference 116655).

We are calling it unique because it has an inner core made from a combination of titanium and nickel, which is then coated with a black elastomer.

Another design factor worth mentioning is a patented cushion system present on the strap’s underside that provides the circulation of air, which results in a comfortable watch-wearing experience by reducing sweatiness.


The introduction of the Oysterflex bracelet isn’t very old. It was introduced in 2015 on the Rolex Yacht-Master (reference 116655). Later, it was used on a few Daytona models as well. In addition to this, Rolex used this strap to replace the leather ones from its Daytona line.


The Oysterflex bracelet has the following clasps:

  • Oyster clasp
  • Oysterlock clasp for sportier versions as it provides extra protection

Style Appropriacy

As we mentioned earlier, this bracelet is an excellent choice for sporty events because of its look and functionality. If you are into luxury watches that have a sturdy and sporty look to them, then you should go for timepieces featuring this bracelet.

Pearlmaster Bracelet

Rolex Pearlmaster Bracelet Rolex website

Photo credit by Rolex

Who doesn’t love a bit of glam and glitz? Almost everyone does!

The Rolex Pearlmaster bracelet is catered to all those who adore a bejeweled wrist.

Design and Material

The Pearlmaster bracelet is only present on the Rolex’s Datejust Pearlmaster watches for ladies. It has a five-link design, which is completely covered in jewels. These precious stones include:

  • Diamonds
  • Sapphire
  • Rubies

The Rolex Pearlmaster bracelet is the ultimate definition of luxury and is amongst the most lavish and luxurious bracelets of the Rolex’s history. It is made from the following materials:

  • 18k yellow gold
  • White gold
  • Everose gold


The Pearlmaster bracelet was introduced in 1992 with the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster watches for ladies. Since then, it has become the ultimate favorite of bejeweled watch lovers.


The Pearlmaster bracelet has a crown clasp, which is hidden, and thus, doesn’t interfere with the actual design of the watch. You can find this clasp on the President and a few Jubilee bracelets as well.

Style Appropriacy

The Rolex Pearlmaster bracelet isn’t just a watch bracelet, but a piece of elegant jewelry. Keeping its dual functionalities in mind, it's usually worn at occasions that require a glamorous style.

Leather Strap

Rolex Leather Strap Rolex website 

Photo credit by Rolex

Last but not least, let’s talk about the go-to bracelets for formal occasions, the leather strap. It is the first strap that accompanied Rolex’s timepieces because at that time other bracelets weren’t manufactured. In recent times, people like to switch their sportier watch bracelets with an external leather strap to make them formal events’ .

In addition to the less sporty look, leather watches completely change the aesthetic of a watch. It’s like having two watches at a single price!

In terms of comfort, none of the bracelets can beat the leather strap.

Design and Material

As the name indicates, a leather strap is made from leather. There are few recent models that use this type of straps, with the most prominent ones being the Cellini watches. According to Rolex, the Cellini’s strap is an “alligator leather strap with large scales”.


The Rolex’s leather strap’s history is as old as the brand itself. This is because in the initial days of this luxury brand, there weren’t any other strap options available, and thus, Rolex had to rely on the leather strap for its watches to stay on the wrist.

However and unfortunately in recent times, Rolex has limited the leather strap to its Cellini series and a few gold Day-Date options.

However, this isn’t something to worry about, because we’ve got you covered.

Click here to check our handmade leather strap collection tailored to your Rolex watch.

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