Rolex Oyster Bracelets
I have decided to write a story about the Rolex Oyster Bracelets made from Stainless steel that has been around for decades, which I guess is obvious since we repair and restore lots of these bracelets.
In my humble opinion I truly believe that the Oyster Bracelet has played an important role in Rolex history. Especially the all steel and also the all gold versions. The Rolex Oyster bracelets have been around for more than 70 years. They are extremely popular and sought after through out the World.
Models like Submariner and GMT-Master are perfectly matched with the Rolex Oyster Bracelets. They look absolutely stunning on your wrist. These bracelets have a fantastic feeling,. They are very wearable and the clasp functionality is very high standard and very durable. There has been a continued development over the years so it was not just a one time hit. Rolex made sure to come out with new functions and small but genius improvements over the years. The Rolex Oyster bracelets are almost like a de facto standard for many of the very valuable vintage Rolex timepieces.
Rolex Bracelet Service is very happy to be able to service many of those bracelets in many variations. We try to make sure that any vintage Rolex Oyster bracelets stay as vintage as possible. Since the Rolex Oyster bracelet is quite simple we can service and restore many of the existing Rolex bracelets, not only Oyster but also Jubilee and President bracelets.
It all started with a reference 1680 three decades ago. Rolex bracelets go all the way to the 1930’s where the Rolex Oyster bracelets started as very costly add-on’s. It was not even being a standard in their catalogues. Pricewise a Rolex Bracelet could be almost half the cost of a Rolex watch. Gay Freres, the genius behind the Royal Oak bracelet started making bracelets for Audemars Piguet. He was the most renowned bracelet manufacturer at that time. Amongst others he made the hollow link for Zenith El Primero.
Even though there was a lot of bracelet makers in the 1930s and in the 1940s Rolex never left Freres. They confirmed the loyalty to Freres services when Rolex bought Freres company in 1998. This strategy of cutting down the number of external suppliers continued to be a part the Rolex dna. Today they have very few external suppliers since they operate with a large cash reserve.
More About the Rolex Oyster Bracelets
As an example Rolex owns the factory that produce the 904L steel.
Rolex patented their Rolex Bracelets in February 1947 and in 1948 they were shown in a Rolex catalogue. But the first appearance of a Rolex bracelet is the Rolex Jubilee from 1945 fitted on a Datejust. The early Rolex Oyster bracelets were intended for Rolex Bubble back versions chronographs. The leather straps were fitted to most other references. Until 1952 the Rolex Oyster bracelet design and construction did not change a lot. In 1952 Rolex changed the endlink design from straight endlinks to the design as we know it today. So with the new design of the Rolex bracelet endlink Rolex finally closed the kind of gap or missing link.
Not only from a design perspective was this a cornerstone in the Rolex bracelet story. This also decreased the force and pressure on the spring bars. The pressure was now distributed more evenly and also it would minimize the overall tension.
The first Rolex watch to be fitted with this new type of bracelet was the Rolex GMT reference 6542. This Rolex watch was launched in 1954. This new look of the Rolex bracelet gave the Rolex GMT a sportier look. Soon after the same type of bracelets were fitted on the Rolex Submariner and on the Rolex Explorer. Until 1964 this was the only bracelet type available until the Jubilee bracelet was introduced in 1964.
Rolex Bracelet Service
both the Jubilee and the Oyster models.
From a repair perspective we see more wear, tear and stretch on the Jubilee. Namely because the Jubilee bracelet type has more and smaller moveable parts that implicate more grinding on smaller parts. Over time the Rolex Oyster bracelets have gained weight in order to be more and more durable.
The first generation is referred to as rivet bracelet. We can not service due to the rivets on the outer edge that is keeping together the hollow, folded links. Once we move into the folded links versions we can offer our restoration and repair service. Folded links comes with more durable and tougher links consisting of more pieces of 904L steel and internal pins. The current version of the Rolex Oyster bracelets comes with solid links.
The major changes over the years were made for more functionality and not so much for cosmetic reasons. Today a Rolex Oyster bracelet is fitted with compact links prepared for daily use years after year.
As with all watches a broken bracelet can result in a lost or broken watch. We consider the bracelet a very important part of your Rolex watch.