Green Rambles: The Underestimated Importance of a Good Bracelet


Some of you might recognize this: for years, you have been admiring a certain watch, and when you finally get it, you are very excited only to realize after a couple of weeks that you are not wearing it as much as you should. This might have nothing to do with the watch itself but more with the wearing comfort provided. If the watch has a strap, this is often an easy fix, yet it is a whole different ball game when fitted with a bracelet.

I feel that some brands still underestimate the strength of a well-designed bracelet, both aesthetically and for wearing comfort. To some extent, this is a commercial decision. Developing a new kind of bracelet is quite expensive and relatively challenging. Such cost will mean that either the price of the watch will go up, which might make it less competitive in the market, or cut into the brands’ margins. After all, the watch industry is still a competitive and commercial endeavor. For some smaller brands, developing a bracelet of their own is so costly that it is simply unwise to dedicate a large number of resources to it. This makes it that, in particular, the classic three-link bracelet remains prevalent.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Ref.15202ST

Of course, we as consumers also have something to do with this, and we always say that we like new stuff, but the reality is that we don’t want it to be too different from what we already know either. So being conservative pays off for the brands. That being said, when they do invest in a new bracelet design, and the market receives it well, it will also reflect on the watch it’s on. In fact, it can further fuel its success. Good examples of this are the so-called Bond-bracelet on the Omega Seamaster Professional and the bracelet of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. In both cases, they are significantly different from what was otherwise available on the market, contribute to the watch’s identity, and are very comfortable to wear. Also, that superb bracelet that IWC offered on their Flieger- and Doppelchronograph is one of which I have fond memories.

Bracelets like those above elevate the watch as a whole, increasing their wearing comfort and good looks. While it might not be easy, I wish that brands put more focus on creating bracelets just like that. I know it is an investment, but mechanical watchmaking is an artistic process, and the bracelet should be part of this.

What is your favorite bracelet on a watch, and why? Tell us in the comments!

No Responses to “Green Rambles: The Underestimated Importance of a Good Bracelet”

Show all responses
  1. MAJID H NASIRUDDIN

    I ENJOY STEEL BRACELET ON MY WATCHES. OMEGA PLANET OCEAN AND GLASHUTTE ORIGINAL SPORT BOTH THESE WATCHES CAME WITH MICRO ADJUSTMENT WHICH WHAT I LOVE FOR FEEL OF WEARING COMFORT ON MY WRIST. NOW FORMAX IS DOING IT FOR REASONABLE PRICE. BUT ALL METAL BRACELETS SHOULD COME WITH MICRO ADJUSTMENT AS THE WEARER CAN DETERMINE HOW TIGHT OR LOOSE THEY WANT TO WEAR IT. OTHER IT’S ALWAYS EITHER TOO LOOSE WITH ONE EXTRA LINK OR TOO TIGHT BY REMOVING A LINK. INTERCHANGEABLE EASY PUSH AND PLAY PLAY NO TOOK REQUIRED IS ANOTHER GREAT FEATURE ON FORMAX WATCHES. MAKE THINGS USER FRIENDLY WATCH INDUSTRY NOT DIFFICULT. THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS ON BRACELET LET ME KNOW IF YOU WISH TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHT WITH ME. HAPPY HOLIDAY CHEERS MAJID.

    Reply
  2. David Balkin

    The best part of a Rolex Datejust circa 1995 is its Jubilee Bracelet. It’s super comfortable and that makes up for its stretching and sketchy clasp. From the same era the steel bracelet on a Seiko Kinetic alone is worth the $100 I paid for a closeout watch that keeps remarkably good time and can be left off the wrist for a few days and one shake and it finds the time. Now if it corrected the date it would be a perpetual calendar and cost 1000’s. BTW the Rolex has zero reserve. Off the wrist for a day and dead.

    Reply
  3. Ken Clare

    Nothing like Rolex’s Oyster Bracelet, the most comfortable I’ve encountered.

    Reply
  4. Jeff Taylor

    I find the bracelet on my Tudor Pelagos to be very comfortable. I wasn’t sure if I would like the bracelet when I bought it but is now one of my favorite and most comfortable watches.

    Reply
  5. Clinton Doggett

    Totally agree with this article. The bracelet on my circa 2005 Omega Seamaster 300M is one of the main reasons I continue to wear it almost every weekend.

    Reply
  6. Leonard Martinez

    I hate it when my bracelet either pinches a nerve or cuts off circulation to my hand, causing it to go numb. This started a few years ago, and it’s hard to find one that doesn’t do it. I’ve gone almost exclusively to rubber straps because of it, but the material of the strap doesn’t always guarantee comfort. Frustrating!

    Reply
  7. ALL watch manufacturers count with 100% plus earnings. If I had a hat I would go begging for those loosers, now gimme a break…

    Reply
  8. Dóczi Dénes

    For me, the Rolex Jubilee bracelet. I know a lot of Rolex fans don’t really like it because for them, the Oyster buckle is the classic. But I think Date-Datejust raises its exclusivity to watches, it’s no coincidence that Rolex developed them.

    Reply
  9. Alec Seville

    Good article, but misses one, for me very important factor, namely how metal straps can be finely adjusted to meet cha changing wearer’s conditions. My wrist expands and contracts depending on temperature, so straps on say my Rolex Submariner or the new Tag Aquaracer are brilliant but the new Grand Seiko is not so clever, and in the end I will probably have to swap the metal strap for a leather one! So why can’t all metal straps have some easy adjustment?

    Reply
  10. Joe Pobiner

    Bracelets are also more than aesthetic. They must also be easy to adjust, and not just by removing a few links or half-links. Some very expensive watches with bracelets don’t wear very well because their bracelets do not have any sort of micro-adjustment. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is one such watch, but the IWC Ingeniur does have l the ability to make small adjustments. There was also the early Bell & Ross Space 2. The ability to adjust a bracelet specific to the owner’s preference is key to wanting to wear it more. A watch that doesn’t seem to fit well – too loose or too tight – will stay in the winder (or the drawer) more. I emplore more manufacturers to include the ability to micro adjust beyond the simple link and half-link “standard”.

    Reply
  11. Clinton Doggett

    My first real watch was an Omega 300m diver–and it is still the most comfortable to wear because of the bracelet. It feels like silk against my skin and makes the wearing of a moderately heavy timepiece a joy.

    Reply
  12. Ken Clare

    Nothing like the Rolex Oyster bracelet, most comfortable bracelet out there.

    Reply
  13. My favorite bracelet is still from the long forgotten Bertolucci Vie Maris Dive Watch. It’s the most beautiful bracelet I’ve ever seen and it wears like butter, inspired by the smooth stones of the Italian coast. Part of their marketing at the time was “Feel the difference”. How right they were.

    Reply
    • Martin Green

      I fully agree with this one!! Bertolucci was in general very good in making pebble smooth bracelets, and the Vir Maris is among their best!

      Reply
  14. IWC bracelets are some of the best, had tge bracelet on a MkXVIII. My Glashütte SeaQ also has an very nice bracelet (I suspect the clasp shares a patent with iwc, as it looks identical). My BB58 has a nice bracelet, which would be almost perfect, if there was a half link or extra hole in the clasp. The Oyster bracelet is supremely comfortable. The bracelet on the latest Seamaster SMP is not a good bracelet, the older one was more comfortable. The bracelet makes the wearing experience.

    Reply
Leave a Reply